tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN February 15, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. pray for this city. pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives. it's a horrific, horrific day. >> 17 more lives -- 17 lives lost in the latest episode of gun violence plaguing american schools. the suspect's social media now raising disturbing clues. a florida community reeling as officials resort to thoughts and
prayers with no action on the who a horizon. good morning. i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm dave briggs. it is 4:00 a.m. here in parkland, florida. people waking up to the recurring nightmare. helpless to stop the gun violence plaguing the country. 17 people killed at marjory stoneman douglas high school. an hour north of miami. five patients in life threatening condition. ten others hospitalized with n non-life threatening injuries. 12 victims of the deadly rampage have been identified. here now are a few seconds of the horror they went through inside the high school that will never been the same. we want to warn you this video is disturbing. >> holy [ bleep ] oh, my god!
>> students will never get out of their minds. officials say that is the sound of the ar-15 rifle firedly lby former student nikolas cruz. cnn learned how the attack began. >> the shooter wore a gas mask and he had a smoke grenade. he went and setoff the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms and into the hall. and there the carnage began. >> the gunfire sent students running for cover to escape. >> i started hearing six
gunshots. far away. i could still hear them clear as day. when that ended, i just told everyone we have to go. we have to run. everyone started running as fast as they could. people were taking snapshots. everyone has to go. >> then for the lucky families, there were emotional reunions. mothers and fathers embraced daughters and sons. those are the moments that just bring a tear to your eye. there have been 18 school shootings this year in 45 days. that is one every three days. for the latest on the police investigation and what we know about the shooter. rosa flores joins us closer to the school. good morning, rosa. >> reporter: good morning, dave. investigators this morning reliving the horrors as they
process the scene. painstaking task. according to the sheriff, this is an extensive scene. the deadly trail according to the sheriff started outside of the school where they found one individual dead. as they got closer to the school, two individuals were found dead and then, of course, there were 12 inside. what we're learning from authorities about nikolas cruz, 19 years old, expelled from the high school. according to authorities, they believe that he was ready for mass carnage. he had multiple magazines and ar-15 rifle he purchased in the last year. the trail inside the school according to investigators is heartbreaking. cell phones that were probably ringing when students left them behind or had text messages from those worried parents who were just trying to find out if their
loved ones were okay. we know that the suspect is somewhere in the cell this morning and he will be facing a judge for the very first time later today. we will bring you that, of course, when that happens. we are also learning from his relatives that they are heart broken and they have this message from a family attorney. >> nothing to indicate that anything like this was pending. showed no harm or malice toward anyone at the high school. they don't know where this came from. >> reporter: and the florida attorney gentjegeneral tells us state will pay for the funerals for all of those who lost their lives. this morning, dave, the governor is flying all the flags in florida at half staff. dave. >> rosa, thank you.
many of the worst mass shootings in recent years have something in common. the same weapon. the ar-15 rifle. used in all of them. sutherland springs, the church, the las vegas country pus ick c -- music concert. the pulse nightclub and san bernardino shooting and sandy hook along with aurora. the national rifle association calls it reliable and accurate. the ar-15 is the most popular rifle owned by more than 8 million people in this country. let's bring in cedric alexander. he is the deputy mayor of rochester, new york. cedric, good morning to you. where does this investigation go from here this morning? >> our heart and prayers go out to the victims and families and all those who lost their lives
yesterday. so tragic. today certainly begins to look at and continue to look at a lot of the social media information and interview those who knew the subject involved in the deadly shooting. of course, when something like this happens, it affects all of us. it doesn't just take a toll on those, of course, there in that community. it affects us across the country. a lot of questions will be asked today and a lot of investigative techniques will be introduced. you have a huge crime scene there also that will continue to be investigated as well. >> cedric, we understand that teachers had sent an e-mail warning of this student. we see these social media posts that we show. instagram or youtube.
was something missed? >> well, that's very hard to tell. it is still very early in this investigation. certainly when we look at the social media information that has been determined or discovered thus far, it is we would like to think someone would have taken action at this point. that may not have happened for a variety of reasons. what we must considerate this point to move this investigation forward and what is it that we can learn from this to be helpful to save lives the next time around? that is really important for us here. >> something, anything. i was at columbine nearly 20 years ago and it's astounding there have been 25 deadly school shootings and nothing has been done. absolutely nothing.
he bought the gun legally and passed the back ground check. we don't know the time of the instagram comments. should social media be part of a background check? >> that's going to be interesting to do when you have such a large number of people who are involved or uses social media in this country and around the world. i think what we need to remember which is critically important is we have to say something when we see something. i know that sounds like an old adage that we hear all the time. particularly when we travel. it certainly has to have meaning in the environment we live in today. when we see that type of language and those types of threats and that type of uncharacteristic behavior of anyone on social media,
particularly if we may know them or suspect they may do warm, - may do harm, we have to le canne things granted. we have over 300 million people that live in this country alone. the greatest majority of the people in this country are on social media. we have to be more attentive and certainly not be afraid to notify authorities that we feel we should do so. >> cedric alexander, thank you. this is a call to action without a doubt. a call to action to congress. a call to action to every student, every parent and every school, if you see something, you must say something. christine, hopefully something, anything can be done. it is not clear any legislation would have stopped this, but to do nothing is inexcusable. back to you.
>> to do nothing is what has been done over and over and over again. if you can't send your kid to school and be safe in america, what is the point? voters have to take a stand. that shooting in florida, dave, drawing outrage from democrats in congress. >> the pattern will be perfectly predictable. a moment of silence. people will wish everybody thoughts and prayers and sympathy for the victims and the congress of the united states will do absolutely nothing. >> on the flip side, republicans have gone silent. more now from washington next.
position. >> some of the colleagues in the senate from washington, d.c. have been trying to make this about policy and gun control. is this the appropriate time to do that? >> it is not only because people don't know how this happened. who is this person and who motivated him? i think it is important to know all of that before you jump to conclusions there is a law we could have passed to prevent it. >> there is a time to continue to have the conversations about how through law enforcement and funding to make sure people are safe. we will continue to do that. >> governor rick scott. if you ask gun control advocates, there never seems to be a right time. listen to two democratic lawmakers who says there is a resignation in washington. >> this happens nowhere else other than the united states of america. it only happens here not because
of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. we are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel. as a parent, it scares me to death this body doesn't take seriously the safety of my children. >> the pattern will be predictable. a moment of silence. people will wish everybody thoughts and prayers and sympathy for the victims and then the congress of the united states will do absolutely nothing. >> what, if anything, i keep asking this question, has been done to deal with these kind of mass shootings since then by the u.s. congress? >> to honestly answer that question, not a damn thing. this institution will not move. as you said, 20 dead babies in
connecticut wasn't enough to move the heart of this place. >> president trump tweeting his condolences to the families of the victims. the florida editorial board says welcome prayers is a welcome response to anyone in need. we know thoughts and prayers are a grossly inadequate response to the country's self inflicted cancer of gun violence. the president's aides wanted him to make a public statement about the shooting, but he decided against it. dave. >> christine, uniquely american problem. we don't know if mental health legislation or outlawing bump stocks or tightening background checks. it is astounding that the congressional shooting at the baseball practice did not draw
action. we are happy that steve scalise recovered, but it is astounding. >> it is astounding there is not an effort to study. they handcuffed the cdc to study the impact of gun violence as a health issue. you know, when a bridge collapses, dave, we go to overdrive figuring out what happened and prevent it. when any other consumer product fails, we figure out how to make it safer for consumers. gun violence? we just don't. >> if anything, though, it seems we have become numb to these school shootings. you see alert on the cell phone and go about your day. this feels different. this one feels like a wake-up call. we said that after sandy hook. christine, back to you in a bit. the president did not say anything publicly about the shooting, but after a week of silence, he did speak up about
domestic violence. >> i am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. everyone knows that. >> now cnn has learned that rob porter was one of many operating with temporary security clearance for more than a year. more ahead on "early start." my name is jeff sheldon, and i'm the founder of ugmonk. before shipstation it was crazy. it's great when you see a hundred orders come in, a hundred orders come in, but then you realize i've got a hundred orders i have to ship out. shipstation streamlined that wh
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almost wouldn't even have to be said. now you hear it, but you all know it. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. >> the president breaking his long silence on domestic violence did abuabuse. that is after his top aide, rob porter, accused of abusing his two ex-wives. the president has struggled to respond to the outcry of the mistreatment of women. vice president pence admitting the porter debacle was fumbled. >> as i said and the white house has said, i think the white house could have handled this better. i still feel that way. >> cnn has learned exclusively there were more than 100 staffers in the office of the president working with interim security clearances a year after the election. that includes ivanka trump and jared kushner. it can hamper the ability to
perform job functions. six lawmakers have sent a letter to christopher wray for all of the names of the people with temporary security clearance. and the by partisan immigration deal is emerge in the senate. it offers a path to citizenship for dreamers. the plan would also place $25 billion in a trust for border security. it would bar most dreamers from sponsoring parents for citizenship. senators who met behind closed doors emerged hesitant. the proposal stopped short of the demands including the end to the visa lottery and overhaul of legal immigration. dave. >> there is very little optimism
about legislation there either. the suspect in the deadly shooting in florida is due in court this morning around 8:00. >> sad to say that 17 people lost their lives. >> nikolas cruz did pass a background check to buy an ar-15 style rifle despite scary social media posts. red flags and warnings. we are back in parkland, florida after this short break.
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. pray for this city. pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives. it's a horrific day. >> 17 more lives lost in a terrible, terrible episode of gun violence. the suspect's social media racing clrac raising clues. now thoughts and prayers with no action on the horizon. i'm christine romans in new york. welcome back to "early start." >> good morning, christine. i'm dave briggs. it is 4:30 a.m. in parkland, florida. america once again waking up to its recurring nightmare. a mass shooting. helpless to stop the gun violence plaguing the country. 17 people killed at marjory
stoneman douglas high school. five patients remain in life threatening condition. ten others hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. so far, 12 victims of the deadly rampage have been identified. here just a is just a few secon the horror they endured. we want to warn you the video is disturbing. >> holy -- oh, my god! [ gunshots ] >> just an absolute nightmare. officials say that is the sound of an ar-15 rifle being fired by 19-year-old former douglas student nikolas cruz. senator bill nelson told cnn how the attack began. >> the shooter wore a gas mask and he had smoke grenades.
he went and setoff the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms and into the hall. there the carnage began. >> just never had a chance. the gunfire sent students running for cover trying to escape. >> i started hearing six gunshots far away. i could hear them clear as day. as that ended, i told everyone we got to go. we got to run. everyone started running. people were taking snapshots. i said you have to go. >> then for the lucky families, there were emotional reunions as mothers and fathers embraced daughters and sons. you can imagine what that emotion feels like. those moments of waiting to hear
from their kids must have been the most painful moments of their life. there have now been 18 school shootings this year. that's 45 days. one about every three days. for the latest on the police investigation and what we know about the former student behind the shooting we have cnn's rosa flores here in parkland. >> reporter: good morning, david. reliving the horrors. that is what investigators are going through as they process the extensive scene which starts outside the school. here is what we have learned from authorities. they found one body on the street. they moved closer to the school and two bodies. they found, of course, 12 bodies inside. as investigators go through the painstaking process of going inch by inch to try to connect dots to try to collect clues to figure out why this gunman did
what he did, they are sifting through everything that was left behind. cell phones that were probably ringing. cell phones with text messages from frantic parents trying to learn if their child was okay. we are also learning more about the gunman. nikolas cruz. 19 years of age. he was expelled from the high school because of disciplinary issues. we learned from authorities he purchased an ar-15 style rifle about an year ago. he passed the background check. we are learning he is going to face a judge in a bond hearing later today. we're hearing from some of his closest relatives. i say closest relatives because his mom actually died in november. a family took him in and that family is speaking and saying they're heart broken. here is what they said. this is their family attorney. take a listen.
>> nothing to indicate that anything like this was pending. showed no harm or malice toward anyone at the high school. never mentioned he had problems with anybody there. they don't know where this came from. >> reporter: the sheriff tells us they are sifting through social media. there are a lot of menacing photographs and messages in the social media. dave, they say they are hoping there are signs or clues to let them know why this individual did this because at this point we don't have a motive. dave. >> some terrifying posts on instagram and indeed on youtube. rosa, thanks. many of the worst mass shootings in recent years have something in common. the very same weapon. the ar-15 rifle used in all of these shootings. sutherland springs church. las vegas country music concert.
the pulse nightclub in orlando. the san bernardino office shooting. sandy hook elementary. the aurora, colorado movie theater. the ar-15 is a civilian version of the military's m-16. the national rifle association says it is adaptable and reliable. let's discuss with charles ramsay and former police chief in washington, d.c. and philadelphia. good morning to you. you started your career in chicago. you noknow violent cities. this is one of america's safest cities. the 15th most safe city in the united states. this is a reminder to everyone that no one is safe. >> it can happen anywhere. that is the message now that we learned from yesterday and
newtown with sandy hook. not where you would expect to have this violence breakout. it can happen anywhere to anyone. ful we do something about it as a society, it is not going to change. >> you mentioned newtown. that was the moment that most thought this is changed. this feels different. we must do something. anything whether it is mental health or background checks. particular weapons. what does the law enforcement community want to see done? >> we want sensible gun laws. police like everyone else are all over the place. for the majority of the police organizations, they are not anti-gun or anti-second amendment. we have to come up with sensible gun laws where some 19-year-old or 18-year-old are not serving in the military. what are they doing with an ar-15? for that matter, what is anyone doing with an ar-15 in civilian life? that is an assault weapon.
we need a sensible way to approach the issue and make it difficult for these things to take place. >> instead of making it more difficult, it is making it easier. legislation we see in congress you say would make it easier. >> a bill now for reciprocity. you know with 50 states, you have varying gun laws. if you have a conceal carry permit, you can carry anywhere in the united states. there is legislation pending now that makes it easy for you to get a see leilencesilencer. can you imagine what that would be like if that kid had a silenc silencer? how long it would take to react? that is absolutely crazy for us to think about doing something like that. it is slipping through congress now. >> it was not so long ago that florida attorney general joined with the nra and made it easier
for 18-year-olds to acquire weapons like this. what does the investigation go from here? >> this is a crime scene. it is nighttime now. they have to wait and they are holding everything now. some shootings took place inside. some outside. they still have to search the grounds. they are looking for shell casings and forensic evidence. it will take time inside. this is a large building. you had a lot of victims for them to properly map everything out for prosecution. they have a lot of work ahead. plus, they have searcertif sear. i don't know how he came here. they have to go through that. there is a lot of work to be done. >> when you look at the social media posts and you understand that teachers sent around e-mails warning he was not allowed back to the school wearing a backpack. it seems something was missed
here. how does that process need to change? >> everything in hindsight is easy to see. how do you really know whether or not someone is going to do something like that? i think people do need to be on guard. again, this is a school where i don't know what security they have normally. i don't doubt they have metal detectors. these are the warning signs where people have to take seriously and take whatever action they have to take in order to prevent something like this from taking place. whether or not they could have prevented it, who knows. >> whether the warnings need to go to police and up to the fbi. it is a call to action to everyone in the country. not just congress, but hopefully every student, teacher, parent, administrator. if you see something, say something. tell the police. christine, we will have more from here in just a bit. back to you in new york. >> thank you, dave. the shooting in florida drew outrage from democrats in congress. >> the pattern will be perfectly
predictable. a moment of silence. people will wish everybody thoughts and prayers and sympathy for the victims and then the congress of the united states will do absolutely nothing. >> those are democrats. from republicans, mostly sile e silence. more from washington next. run, jump or swim in this president's day and save up to $600 on select tempur-pedic adjustable mattress sets. from the brand ranked highest in customer satisfaction, with mattresses by j.d. power. tempur-pedic sleep is power.
i'm dave briggs live in parkland, florida, following overnight developments in the florida high school shooting that killed 17 people. this ranks at the ninth deadliest in modern u.s. history. the deadliest since sandy hook. >> gun rights have been silent and some taking a familiar fall back position. >> some of the colleagues in the senate from washington, d.c. have been trying to make this about policy and gun control. is this the appropriate time to do that? >> it is not. people don't know how this happened. who this person is or what motivated them and how did they get a hold of the weapon used in the taattack. it is important to know that before we pass a law. >> there is a time to have the conversations through law
enforcement and mental illness funding to make sure people are safe. we will continue to do that. >> the worst shooting in florida's history. if you asked gun control advocates, there never seems to be a right time. listen to two democratic lawmakers who say there is a sense of resignation in washington. >> this happens nowhere else other than the united states of america. it only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. we are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens if th -- in this country with zero parallel. as a parent, it scares me to death the body here desknoesn'te
seriously my child's life. >> people will wish everybody thoughts and prayers and sympathy for the victims and then the congress of the united states will do absolutely nothing. >> what, if anything, i keep asking this question, has been done to deal with these kinds of mass shootings since then by the u.s. congress. >> wolf, honestly, not a damn thing. this institution will not move. think about as you said 20 dead babies in connecticut wasn't enough to move the heart of this place. >> president trump tweeting his condolences to the families of the victims. not impressed. writing thoughts and prayers are welcome response to those in mourning and in need. we already know thoughts and prayers alone are grossly inadequate to the self inflicted cancer of gun violence.
the president's aides wanted him to make a public statement about the shooting, but the president decided against it. dave. >> boy, christine, this really is his chance to show leadership and some moral compass and to calm this country. we will see if he does it. christine, it is amazing the 18 shootings this year. they have come in 13 states. do you think anything will be done? background checks or mental health? can you see any legislation getting a vote? >> if you couldn't get anything after sandy hook, after pulse nightclub, after aurora and the shooting in the movie theater, there have been so many horrible attacks. vegas. hundreds of people gunned down and so many died with no legislation. is it up to the american electorate to do something? not a lobby group, but the american electorate. that is the big question.
>> this is the law and order president. we spoke with charles ramsey. he said the law enforcement community is united behind sensible reforms. maybe they will be listened to in congress. christine, back to you in new york shortly. the president didn't say anything publicly about the shooting, but after a week of silence, he did speak up about domestic violence. >> i am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. everyone knows that. >> now cnn has learned rob porter was one of many operating with temporary security clearance for a year. "early start" continues from new york and florida in a moment.
thank you. we're leaving. make your way out. >> to domestic violence and everybody here knows that. i am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. everyone knows that and it almost wouldn't even have to be said. now you hear it, but you all know it. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. >> president trump breaking his long silence on domestic violence abuse. he has been avoiding the subject since rob porter was accused of abusing his two ex-wives.
possib porter denies the allegations. the president has struggled to respond to the outcry of mistreatment of women. cnn has learned there were more than 100 staffers in the executive office of the president working with interim security clearance. a year after the election. including ivanka trump and jared kushner. six democratic senators sent a letter to christopher wray asking for the names of the white house staff members with interim security clearance. and the compromise on immigration. it is unclear if the deal can get the 60 votes needed to pass the senate. a draft obtained by cnn shows it offers a path to citizenship for dreamers. the plan places $25 billion in a trust for border security and bar most dreamers who become citizens from sponsoring parents for citizenship.
senators who met behind closed doors emerged hesitant, but hopeful to unite. the proposal stops short of the president's demands, including the end to the visa lottery and the overhaul of legal immigration. the measure faces more hurdles if it ever gets to the house. mikaela shiffrin winning the gold medal. she won the ladies slalom in sochi in 2014. she has now won five gold medals in south korea. wall street shook off inflation fears. that sparked the selloff a couple weeks ago. stocks dropped after inflation rose 2.1% in january. americans paid more for gas, rent and health care. the federal reserve has a target of 2% for inflation. any higher, investors are
worried it will raise rates. wall street rebounded with tech stocks. the dow and s&p are both up again for the year. dave. christine, thanks. we are following developments here in florida. the deadliest school shooting since sandy hook. "early start" continues right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> pray for this city. pray for this school. the parents. the folks that lost their lives. it's a horrific, horrific day. >> 17 more lives lost and yet another episode in the cycle of gun violence plaguing american schools. the suspect's social media raising disturbing clues. a florida community is reeling this morning as officials resort to thoughts and prayers and no action on the horizon.
good morning. welcome to "early start." it is thursday, february 15th. i'm christine romans in new york. >> good morning, christine. i'm dave briggs. it is 5:00 a.m. in parkland, florida. known as one of the safest cities in america. waking up to a recurring nightma nightmare. helpless to stop the gun violence plaguing the country. 17 people killed at marjory stoneman douglas high school. five patients are in life threatening condition and ten others hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. so far, 12 victims of the h rampage have been identified. here are the moments of terror. we want to warn you the video is disturbing. >> holy --