market. wall street rebounded boosted by tech stocks. the dow and the s&p 500 both up again for the year. thanks for joining us for dave briggs in florida and me here in new york. i'm christine romans. "new day" starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day". it is thursday, february 15th. chris is in new york. i am in park land, florida. this of course the scene of the latest school shooting. this is a city in mourning. this is the site of the deadliest school shooting in the u.s. since sandy hook, which of course we all remember in newto newtown, connecticut more than five years ago. police say this heavily armed young man stormed into his former expelled. he opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon and turned
his school into a war zone. police say 17 people were killed in and around marjorie stone ham douglas high school. at least 15 others are hospitalized. five of them with life threatening injuries. we're waiting to see what their condition is this morning. and in just hours, this 19-year-old suspect will make his first court appearance. he is -- he's been transferred to the broward county jail. you're going to see new video right here. this is him in the wee hours of the morning being transferred. as you can see, he's in huffs and he's being walked in. these are the first shots we have of him in custody. investigators already finding disturbing social media posts from this suspected killer. as cnn learns he was getting
treatment at a mental health clinic. and he legally purchased the ar-15 that he used in this massacre. so is, again, we're seeing the nexus of memory health and ability to get weapons. so this attack of course is reviving the gun violence debate. can congress do something this time to stop this carnage in schools? let's begin with cnn's rosa flores in parkland, florida. rosa? >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. as you mentioned, we've learned that the suspect will be facing a judge later today. behind me, investigators scouring, processing the scene and also reliving the horrors of this gunman and what he left behind. >> oh, my god! >> terrifying moments unfolding
inside this florida high school. a gunman bran dishing an ar-15 style semiautomatic weapon, opening fire, killing at least 17. >> there were tears. there was crying. some of my classmates did not know if they were leaving the school alive. >> reporter: the fire alarm sounded minutes before the end of the school day. >> the shooter wore a gas mask and he had smoke grenades. he went and set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. there the carnage began. >> reporter: students and teachers confused because only hours earlier they had done a fire drill. >> everyone thought it was a joke. then the game shots came about. >> i heard screaming. i heard about five, six gunshots. we thought they were
firecrackers. >> reporter: faculty alerting the school that an active shooting was under way. some running for their lives, others hiding under desks sending frantic text messages to loved ones. >> she said tell them someone is hurt on the third floor. >> reporter: one student hiding with with 19 students in a closet for nearly an hour. >> i was praying, praying, praying. it was the most scariest experience of missed life. >> reporter: police desperately attempting to locate the shooter. >> did he know where the shooter is? >> we don't know, but we're already in the building. >> reporter: this shows students huddling on the floor when the s.w.a.t. team lives. >> police, police. >> reporter: outside, first responders rushing to help the injured while anxious parents waited to be reunited with their children. >> he said, mom, it was real. it was really real. >> reporter: of an hour after the shooting began, police arrested him in a neighboring
city after fleeing trying to blend in with the crowd. >> he told me how he got kicked out of two private schools. he was held back twice. he had military aspirations. he enjoyed hunting. he always seemed quiet and strange. >> reporter: investigators now looking for answers in the suspect's online posts. police uncovering these disturbing images of the suspect on instagram, showing him bran dishing a knife and holding what appears to be a b.b. gun. and a target riddled with bullet holes. now, it could take investigators days to process the scene, alisyn. think about this. according to the sheriff, this crime scene begins outside of the school. the first body was found by the street. they found two bodies outside the building. of course we know 12 others were found inside. alisyn? >> yes, rosa.
because this school had something unique. it had outdoor hallways where kid would change classes. it makes it just as complicated. let's turn to charles ramsey. commissioner, thank you so much for being with us. investigators now have to look for signs. they start figuring out were there any signs? were there red flags that were missed? who is this suspect? what trail of bread crumbs did he leave? and guess what, there were some. >> at this point in the investigation, he's alive. so they can interrogate him to get digital footprint through social media. >> he left a big digital footprint. he said online i want to use my ar-15 to kill people. >> someone had to know something. the question is who knew what,
when and could it have been avoided. >> doesn't that lead us to the background check. as far as we understand this suspect legally purchased his ar-15. he passed a background check a year ago. so are background checks not looking into social media? >> i don't believe they look into social media at the present time. >> how is that possible? >> well, maybe they need to. again, it's what's practical and what's required by law. so it was too easy for people to get their hands on assault weapons and other types of weapons. >> listen, this guy was all over social media. he had youtube videos. he had postings of disturbing violent things. he took pictures of himself brandishing weapons. are you seeing in order to get a gun in florida, whoever approves the background checks don't have to look into somebody's digital footprint? >> i can't say with 100% certainty, but i don't believe so. i don't believe so. that doesn't mean they shouldn't. that doesn't mean in the future
we shouldn't rethink exactly what goes into a background check. but the bottom line is too easy for people to be able to purchase weapons, especially assault weapons. what does an 18 or 19-year-old need with an assault weapon anyway? >> some of this ammunition can be bought online. you know all about this. i know that you -- i've heard you talking that you don't have much faith that lawmakers can do anything about this. but that doesn't seem possible. surely there must be something we can do to protect your teenagers in high school. >> well, there's something we can do. but to rely on congress to do it, we're not going to get anywhere with that. i have zero confidence that they're going to do anything. if sandy hook didn't move the needle at all, there's no way i think this is going to move the needle. and it's going happen again. this is not going to be the last school shooting or mass shooting we will have to deal with. it's just not going to happen. >> can you tell us what was happening with investigators and policemen. they showed up and it's chaos,
of course. they get the call of shots fired at a school. they have to figure out where the gunman is, is there still an active shooter. there was chaos and confusion of course. some of the kids who hid in a encloses he et the better part of two hours. just explain what happens when police get this call. >> well, police departments across the country have gone through active shooter training. we learned at columbine we cannot wait for s.w.a.t. to arrive because while we're waiting, people are dying. they go in and try to neutralize the threat. three things people need to do in a situation like that. first is run if you can. get out of there. the second is hide, barricade. if you're in there two or three hours, so what? if you survive, you survive. and the last is to fight for your life because that's literally what you're doing. >> commissioner, isn't this just a little sick that this is the advice we're giving to all of
the students across our country? we're telling them to run like hell, fight. this is not what high school was designed for. this campus was an indoor, outdoor open campus. you are looking at video how terrorized the kids were. they thought they were just going to school in this day. there is this cell phone video of everything that transpired in their classrooms. >> it is not just a little sick. it's very sick. it is the reality of our society right now. until we stand up and do something about it, it is not going to change. the only question is when and where it's going to happen again. >> we can hear -- there's actually some video taken -- look, all kids have cell phones now. there is really horrible video from inside the school. this is the video where you can hear actually the audio of the ar-15 firing. so let's listen to this.
>> holy -- >> oh, my god! >> all right. listen, it's too horrible. it's too horrible to actually process. you can hear the kids trying to process it, not knowing what's happening, blood-curdling screams. i know you say there are answers. what is that? having metal detectors at schools? what would you do? if you were in charge, what is the next thing to do to keep kids from having to endure this horror? >> well, there has to be a strong stand. pass some kind of legislation and enforce it. in order to make it difficult for people suffering from mental illness or having some other types of issues. think about it.
you could be on the no-fly list and go out and buy a gun. that is absolutely insane. there is legislation floating around in congress to make it easy to purchase silencers. now, look at that video and think what it would feel like if he had a silence other that weapon and how long it would take for kids to react and know what's going on. how many more lives would have been lost? to me it's insane that you would even think about doing something like that. yet that's reality in our society today. it's got to stop. and the only way it's going to stop is if americans stand up and say enough is enough. you legislators, we did not put you here to do this, and you're going to have to do something. but i don't think it's going to happen. >> we have had this same conversation, hideous deja vu over and over again. after las vegas, we talked about bump stocks. it can turn a semiautomatic into an automatic weapon.
congress dragging their feet on that. to your point about the mental health component, we know this suspect did have a mental health issue. he was in a mental health facility sometime. how can they not figure out the nexus, if you're in a mental health facility you shouldn't have guns. >> he legally purchased the gun. >> what's the mental health clearance? >> but that's my point. he legally purchased. so it's not as if nobody knew he had a gun. he's undergoing mental health treatment. we've got to find a way to protect vie sraes and people to an extent. but at the same time make sure this is a person right now who should not have access to this weapon. maybe a year from now, two years, that's okay, but not now. >> commissioner ramsey, thank you so much for being here. so, chris, listen, if you can hear my frustration, you and i
have been here too many times before. obviously it's a different town with a different name. this one is parkland. it's a different school. but there are 17 families who aren't getting their loved ones back. we ask the same question. we always say what can we do? the challenge for you and i will be to get different answers out of people in power. chris? >> maybe, maybe not. i think at this point the job is what you're doing right now. you're there. you're letting people know what matters about what happened. what happens after this say much tougher part of the conversation. because the ultimate frustration is we never get to step one. step one after any kind of crisis is what do you do about the crisis? we have never had that question meaningfully addressed in this country in my time. and i don't think there's anybody here who has been to
more than i have. what do we do about the shoo shootings. charles ramsey said it. but we haven't had the change. that's the frustration. >> listen, obviously you know. we have asked all sorts of lawmakers to come on to do to have the conversation. lawmakers say too soon. it is not courteous or respectful. we're going to have that conversation today. >> look, you can call it out as what it is. that's b.s. we heard it after vegas. bump stock. charles ramsey talking about the application of silencers and what difference, god forbid, this young man had had one of those on his weapon. it was too soon. have we ever discussed it next? never. alisyn, you're in the right place at the right time. we'll be back to you in just a
second. so, look, you've seen this picture before. you've seen schools like this before. you've heard the thoughts and prayers stuff before. you have seen the families. so what happened? why did this guy do it? we're not going to name him. now it is an official rule. why? there is no good reason to name who commits these acts. figuring it out how it could have been prevented, that's a meaningful conversation. in this case maybe, maybe it presents so many glaring missed opportunities that maybe somebody of conscience somewhere with power will decide to act. we'll tell you why that is such an obvious choice next. doing it yourself or tagging a friend thing. more revolutions in the making thing. that play like a girl thing. that four-legged friends thing. at&t gives you more for your thing. more entertainment, internet, and unlimited plans. more for your thing. yeah, that's our thing.
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just hours from now the suspect in the florida school massacre will be in court. investigators are now combing through social media accounts for clues, and there are a lot of them. we know the alleged gunman was expelled from the school you see behind me, managrjory douglas. jessica? >> reporter: the gunman was taken into custody outside the school. we are told this morning he has been talking to investigators. besides what they're learning directly from the gunman, officials have searched many things, including gun records
and also social media for clues here. a u.s. official tells us the shooter did purchase the ar-15 himself sometime in the past year. and he did pass the background check to purchase that weapon. but the warning signs were definitely there on a variety of social media posts. we have seen one of a shotgun, him brandishing a pistol which appears to be a b.b. gun. and of course these threatening comments that he posted under youtube. i whana shoot people with my ar-15. i wanna die fighting killing bleep ton of people. i am going to kill law enforcement one day. they go after good people. and we are learning the adopted family is co-op indicat coopera. his mother died a year ago from the flu.
his father died 14 years ago. and this gunman did purchase this ar-15. and we do see there he was taken into custody. we know he is talking with investigators. and, chris, this morning we have learned that the gunman has been transferred to county jail. we know he will make an appearance in court a little bit later this morning. chris? >> all right. appreciate it, jessica. it's almost always obvious in retrospe retrospect. the frustration, pain ends up being, why isn't anything done to make it different the next time? we have this conversation for the people affected most and the people who may be in the future. those are the groups to protect. let's bring in cnn analyst james gagliano. tell me if i'm wrong. if any other type of criminal event, in the aftermath, the immediate assessment is why did this happen? and then, what do we do the next
time. look at terrorism. oh, the guy drove a car. how did he get the car on the sidewalk? we deal with barriers. they bought these kind of materials. we have to deal with that. how did this person get in this country. then we deal with that. not here. what's the difference? >> chris, i look at this from a military perspective. there's the tactical level and the strategy yic level. we figure out the nuts and bolts and mechanics how to deal with this. april 1999, columbine. we adjusted the tactics. going to the sound of guns is what we needed to do instead of waiting for the perfect law enforcement plan. at the strategic level, which involves politics and a lot of other things, the problem there is we have two die metric ally
opposed. they go to two separate corners. >> i get that but it is the end of the discussion. we are not at a consensus of wanting to stop the next one. we have a president right now who hashtaged make america great again. i don't think it ranks uggerly in any other category than school shootings. >> the conversation we just had is complacency kills. we have been complacent on dealing with this issue. jimmy, to your point, gun and control, it's like jumping on the third rail of a subway. nothing good is going to come out of it. >> let's look at what we know. he was all over social media saying horrible things. you can't do anything about
that. if you see something, say something. maybe he gets a call. maybe he gets a visit. they don't have the tools and resources to do this every time. he was getting mental health treatment. the governor is actively fighting. governor scott is actively fighting a federal court that overturned a law in florida that you can't as a doctor ask if someone has firearms. you get penalized for something. does that make sense? you're a gun guy. you're in the fbi. you believe in the second amendment. >> i do. >> does that make sense? >> i had this argument last night with don lemon. the argument becomes as soon as you mentioned second amendment. it came on light in 1791. the blowback i get is you have to understand that weapons evol evolve. the purpose is for citizens to respond to a potential tear ran
cal government. my counter argument is you have an ar-15. the government has nukes. you are not going to win that one. if that is the premise, we have to have a commiserate response. >> if you're going to have a fight of what kind of weapons you want. it is who gets them. he is getting mental health treatment. if you're not adjudicated mentally ill, which very few people who wind up or have a criminal background that triggers it, you're fine. even this, be be hon heest, it's a little bit of a red herring. mental illness is the real problem. it is a component. but the mentally ill are more likely to be victims. >> mentally ill is on one end of the behavioral continuum. >> right. >> we can't look through one optic. it's not a health practitioner's optic. it's not an educators optic or
politicians. we need to look at this holistically and break the barriers down. if there is an issue that politicians are blocking, a doctor from asking questions, we need to smash that barrier. it's about responsible gun ownership. you and i both support the second amendment. both gun owners. >> all three of us are gun owners. i love you guys. you both look like you could be elected officials. but you're not. they wouldn't even come on the damn show. they won't even come on the show. and they'll say, well, we have to honor the tragedy. we have to have sympathy for the victims. thoughts and prayers. talk to the victims's families. ask what they want. they want change. president trump after vegas, do you remember what he said? i'm holding it in my hand. we'll be talking about gun laws as time goes on. never a damn word about even bump stocks. a no-brainer. no need.
no self respecting gun owner wants a bump stock. it is a cheap mechanism that ruins your accuracy. we never spoke about it again. not a single lawmaker would come on to discuss it this morning. >> how about the other low-hanging fruit that's out there. 39 states do not require a legal gun owner to report a lost or stolen firearm. >> right. >> 39. only 11 require that. how about this. we you can gift a legal firearm to a family member. there's no reporting on that. these are simple common sense things. >> i want to give it back to alisyn. she's down there where people need to have their attention down there in florida. look, it lines up pretty simple, alisyn when you see the same thing again and again and again. we are not even at step one, which is having our elected
officials say what are we going to do about the school shootings. they're not even there. >> i know. as you pointed out, so many have refused our requests to come on to have that conversation. but we're going to have it anyway. and we have a lot of people to talk to down here. up next, we have a witness to this horror, a student, who was in the school, heard the gunf e gunfire. and his mother who was right down the street. she's also a teacher. and how they were texting each other and what happened next. the or no downtime. and no surgery. results and patient experience may vary. some rare side effects include temporary numbness, discomfort and swelling. ask your doctor if coolsculpting is right for you and visit coolsculpting.com today... for your chance to win a free treatment.
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stoneham douglas high school. this heavily originaled 19-year-old opened fire with a somy automatic weapon used in war zones. a student inside the school captured this video and audio of the gunfire when it started. so much of this is deeply disturbing. >> holy -- >> oh, my god. >> joining me now are christi and will gilroy. she is a teacher here in the school district. her son was inside stoneham douglas high school. that's his school. as shots rang out. thank you very much. i know it's been a long day and night for you. will, you heard the gunshots. you were in class. but you didn't think they were really gunshots. >> no. we thought they were firecrackers. >> and then what happened?
half of the students were outside because we had a fire drill. >> you had an active shooter drill? >> we had a fire drill. this was supposedly another fire drill. >> he pulled the fire alarm first. >> the gunman pulled the fire alarm. you thought for a long time while you were hearing this and while you're teacher was getting you into the closet that this was a drill. >> this was an active shooter drill. they were going to shoot blanks off. so we thought this was not real and a joke. our class was talking like, oh, this is nothing. we'll be out soon and back home. >> your teacher turned off the lights, locked the door, got you into the closet and locked the closet. you were all in there thinking this was a joke, a drill. when did it dawn on you what was really happening? >> we heard police sirens.
and someone texted their parents if they heard something. we were all texting our friends. some people were posting on social media there is a shooter on campus. that's how a lot of us knew. and i texted my mother. i texted my mother. she said she was on lockdown at her school. >> when you got that text, you were a couple of miles away. you're an elementary school teacher. what was happening? >> our school was just dismissed. he said, mom, is a drill going on? our principal put us on lockdown. it's not a drill. we all locked ourselves in. and i texted back, not a drill. go follow directions. >> this is happening at your son's school. were you tempted to race over there? >> the thing is, you don't know where the gunman is. you don't know what he is doing. we have all done the drills. i know the teachers are doing what they are supposed to do. he was safer staying put and
following directions. >> will, you're a freshman. this happened in the freshman part of the high school. >> yeah. >> and have you lost friends? >> yeah. i have, actually. >> how many? >> three. >> you have lost three friends. >> uh-huh. >> three classmates that you have known for years. and none of the names have been released to the media. >> yeah. >> don't name them. how do you know that? >> a lot of my friends have been contacting parents and trying to figure out what's happening. we heard this is happening. it's scary. it is shocking to realize we could have seen them the day before and now we're not going to see them again. >> will, you're a freshman. how do you make sense of that? >> i don't -- i'm just going to have to bear with it. and i'm going to do my best to just tell all my friends to stay
strong. i know no one thought this would happen at our school. we'll have to do our best to just keep going on and never forget what happened to your friends and never forget them. >> christi, how can a 14-year-old be asked to live that way? >> you know, it's just like he had, it's a safe community. we thought it was a safe community. >> your community was named the safest -- it was something like the safest community in the country or in florida. "time" magazine featured it. except on a day when a 19-year-old comes into school with an ar-15. >> like my son said, we have to be there for each other. we have to stay strong, provide help and guidance. i know our school is open today. i'm going in to work. you know, i know my husband can stay home with my son. but we're a community. we're a family. we have to be there and say we're here for you. we care for you. we're going to take care of you.
>> there are 17 members of your family, community family that are gone. what is it like whether these calls are coming in from parents? >> it's surreal. you don't think it's going to happen. it's only been a couple hours. i'm not sure it's sunk in completely yet. >> of course not. everybody is in shock. this is a shocking life event. everyone is in shock. and the idea that your lives can change. and you survived. and your lives are forever changed by what happened for a few minutes in there. what's going to happen to this school community you're a part of? >> you know, i'm so thankful that my son and many of his friends are safe. and i'm horrified and saddened for all the families that are at loss here. i think the most we can do is come together and be there for each other and hope that -- it's terrible we had to have these drills.
but i'm glad that, you know, people knew what to do and some people were so brave to help out our students and support them and take care of them. >> will, when you were in the closet and you figured out it was real. so at first you and your friends were joking around. then people got on their cell phones. what happened when you figured out this is for real. >> everyone was saying they heard there was a sniper on campus, there was a shooter. when we heard the shots, we realized that must have been where the shooter was. we were nervous because we were right across from that building. we were trying to keep each other calm. some girls were crying and boys too. >> what were you saying to each other? >> we're going to get out of this. don't worry. don't make too many sounds. keep it calm. police are here and they're going to help us get out of this. >> what was your teacher doing? >> she was making sure everyone was quiet.
since there were 30 of us in the closet, we were getting hot. we had to stay in there for an hour. she was making sure -- she would plates she passed out to fan each other. and she had water to give to everyone. which was pretty lucky. >> 30 of you were trapped in a hot closet with people panicking for an hour. what happened when the police showed up? >> when they came to our classroom, we weren't too sure because we couldn't see who came in. >> because you were locked in the closet. what did you hear them say? >> we heard this is the police department. if anyone is in here, you can come out. but we weren't sure. we were skeptical. we thought they left. we went out. they put your hands up. they said if you have anything in your hands, drop it. they made us put our hands out, walk out in a fast line to get to the street. and if you had a backpack on, you had to take it off. because they were just making sure -- they didn't know if
there was anything else on the campus. >> when you say in the closet you knew that the shooter had been captured, how did you know that? >> we saw all over the country this was on the news. my friends from other states knew that. they were texting us saying are you okay? people were calling us. we didn't answer them because we couldn't be talking. we kept seeing news. one of our friends had a computer on him. he brought his back back in. he saw that the shooter was captured and we just with the news and the social immediate kwrarbgs we knew. but if we didn't have that, i don't know what would happen really. >> how surreal is it to be in a darkened closet and reading news from around the country about what's happening feet away from you? >> it was crazy, unexpected, shocking. every kid who came to school on valentine's day thinking it was going to be a normal nice day. give candy to your friends or
roses and then realize they're on the news and they could lose their lives. or friends could lose their lives. it's just crazy. >> that's one of the things that struck me. we were on lockdown too and isolated in our classrooms. it was when family was texting. i'm watching the news. are you guys okay? you know your child is there. i heard from him. i knew he was fine. but when you hear it from outside, it just made it more real and big, as big as it really was. >> how is your family going to get through this? he is at such a tender age? >> you know, the school district has offered grief counseling. we're going to rely on our friends and stick together and spend time together. and if we need help and guidance, we're going to go and get it are you going to feel safe going back to school? are you going to feel safe going back to school? >> i feel safe. i think with all the teachers and all the training, if this happens again, it -- there will
still be fatalities but i think the police are going to do their best to stop any more future, to any school. even if you think it won't happen at your school, it can happen at your school. never in a million years. and this happened. we're going to hopefully have a good week and next week if we go to school, it is very shocking. >> this is the new normal hoping teachers are well trained. >> i want to thank all the staff. having gone through the shooter training myself, i so appreciate they followed the directions. it is a new normal. no, i don't want that. i know when i was training at the elementary school i thought, well, i'm so glad i learned this but it's not going to happen here. and it can happen anywhere. >> kristi, will, i know you've
been up all night. thank you for sharing your story. chris, you heard it. this is what kids around the country now have to deal with, shooter drills and then praying that it never happens in their school. >> it is something that you wouldn't be able to make up if you wanted to create a destruction fiction where a mother has to sit next to her child and you interview them and ask them all the right questions to help us understand what this is like for them. and she said, well, i've taken the active shooter course. he's depending on the teachers to do the right thing when this happens the next time. that's the best we can do? it is really such a disgrace. alisyn, thank you for taking us down there so we can be focused on the right thing. where are our leader? they're not on this show. i bet you you won't see many of them today. they are hiding from the reality and disguising it as sympathy and sensitivity. wow, what an irony. president trump tweeted
condolences to the families of the school victims and their families. aides reportedly urging him to speak. cnn's abby phillip is live at the white house. after las vegas when we had low-hanging fruit to deal with, something in the form of a bump stock he said, we'll be talking about gun laws soon. not a word since. >> reporter: that's right, chris. nothing has happened since then. this morning the sun is rising on washington yet another day after a mass shooting. and with a lot of the country looking to the president to find out what to do, what kind of guidance or structure will there be after this. and the president hasn't really said a whole lot. it has been pretty quiet here at the white house, uncharacteristically quiet, chris. the president went to bed last night having sent that tweet and wakes up this morning with the possibility that he might say something.
we know, as you just mentioned, according to the to the "new york times"'s maggie haberman, the president's aides encouraged him to say something yesterday, and he chose not to. today we will see if that changes. this is not the first time in the president's tenure that he has dealt with these horrific acts. after the las vegas shooting, he did address the public. often those comments are about offering condolences to the people who were lost, praying for first responders. but washington has been unwilling and unable to do anything about the gun issue, even while democrats say the time is now. i think we will see the same cycle playing out again today, chris. >> guns are obvious. but there are other components. this mad man was getting mental health treatment. did that in any way affect his ability to buy a gun? were doctors able to talk to him about buying guns. he wasn't allowed on the campus with a backpack because he was seen as a threat. but that didn't funnel down into
any sense of urgency. what are we going to do to stop the school shootings? we're not much there yet. how sickening is that? abby, thank you very much for the reporting. let's bring in cnn analyst david drucker and real politics a.b. stoddard. when i say nobody will come on, i'm talking about the gop. you will get democrats. they could do more to start the conversations. we'll ask that question. it starts with terms of tone from the top. the president was urged i by aides to say more about the shoot, and he declined. your read? >> well, the president has made it clear throughout the shootings that have taken place in his first year of office that he doesn't want to do anything beyond offer condolences whether in a tweet or on camera. he's not obviously unlike
president obama who would come out and address these situations because he wanted to talk about mitigating the threat, wanted to talk about making changes. president trump doesn't center any plans to address these issues. he is not on his agenda. he is not pushing his own party, members of his party in congress to make changes. it is not a priority. so he is going to try to avoid talking about it. in his tweet, i would note he said no one should have to feel unsafe. or not feel safe in a school. members of both parties agree now none of us are safe anywhere but an airport. you're not safe at a movie theater in the tkarpl, not safe at a hospital, not safe at church, and you're certainly not safe at school. now that people have pushed back after these recent shootings saying thoughts and prayers are not enough. republicans are trying to find a way to avoid the subject. because, as you said, much the
bump stock legislation didn't go anywhere. i think we will continue to have these same conversations. and i would also add, single issue advocate voters on the issue of abortion, on the issue of gun rights, on the issue of refugee policy, they're ought there and they come to the polls. it is shown in polling that people don't vote on primarily the issue of gun control. until and unless they do, i don't see things changing much. >> look, you have to be right, a.b. otherwise there is mass insanity going on. we see the same out pourings of emotion, same senseless killings. if this were a terror attack, all right, what happens when one of those happens? they start taking a forensic look how this was able to happen and how to stop it. the guy drove on the west side highway. how did he get there? barriers have to go up.
how did he get in the country? who sold them to him? not here. what makes this so frightening to republicans? >> i think you bring up a good point that is lost both in terms of the public and policymakers. there are several components here, not just the gun issue, that need to be reviewed and could be reviewed that, in fact, may not be as politically sensitive as the gun issue is. but one of the reasons why nothing ends up getting done is because the gun issue is so politically sensitive on the right and i think it's misunderstood. and i think that people who want to do something in terms of new gun legislation, i think they need a better understanding of where reps are on the gun issue. and caricature is the national rifle association, nra, is driving republican policy on guns with campaign donations. and that is simply not the case. it is a manifestation of
committed voters who support the nra pause they are so committed to gun rights. that's what gives so much strength. if democrats had a better understanding of that, they might be able to work with republicans easier or have a better conversation. i think from the republican point of view, if they were able to understand that what many democrats, not all, but what many democrats are trying to do is address incidents like this that they don't happen again and it's not simply about a gun grab or just taking away law abiding citizens's rights to bear arms, all of a sudden the nature of the conversation started. but that is where it falls into. that's why we know in this time, as in previous instances, we don't expect thing to happen. >> a.b., the question i think is the initial one, the premise where any action would have to begin. it doesn't have to have the word
gun in it. you just can't. sorry. it is a fundamental aspect of every one of these. but it is what are we going to do to stop the school shootings? this don't even ask that question. that goes all the way to the top. the president has the hashtag maga, make america great again. he is supposed to be a change agent. we are the scourge of the world when it comes to these. nobody is worse than we are. how does that not make the maga agenda? >> well, one of the things that he did as a candidate, and many people wrote off, was build a coalition on several very durable, very powerful, potent issues. immigration, trade, and second amendment rights. talking about how hillary clinton, if she won, was going to take away all your guns. and he really engaged very, very
committed voters. only of them single issue sroters. built a powerful coalition on who continues to stand behind him. any in acrossed background checks are not on this president's agenda. >> i wonder what the number will be? let's got back to alisyn in florida. teens, not enough. 50s, not enough. maybe if a thousand people were killed it would trigger a different perspective. but not today. alis alisyn? >> i don't know what the magic number is. we will talk to all the people most impacted. maybe that will get somebody powerful's attention. we have breaking news for everyone right now. the broward county sheriff's office has booked this 19-year-old suspect accused of carrying out this massacre at the high school that you see behind me. prosecutors are now charging him with 17 counts of premeditated murder. he went to this school knowing
what he was about to do, the prosecutors are saying. the suspect will appear in court in the next hour. we'll bring you all the updates live here from florida. joining us now, two very special people. sherry spalding spent hours looking for son justin, who is with us also. he is a ninth grader with special needs. thank you both so much for being here. how many hours did you not know where justin was? >> i found out around 2:30 from my daughter's elementary school. >> that there was a lockdown? >> that there was a lockdown and a shoot-out at stoneman douglas. and i said, oh, my gosh, that's my son's school. i was frantic. i asked if i could leave. i came here without getting any form of information. i mean, he doesn't have a tfl.
he's watching parents get in touch with their children. and here i am frantic, scared, worried. >> you couldn't get in touch with justin. outline he doesn't have a phone. and you couldn't get in touch with his teachers? >> i couldn't get in touch with the school at all. >> and this went on four hours? >> four hours. >> what were you enduring? >> i just kept asking questions. i kept moving around. i kept going place. they told me i can't go here. finally they had words and said, hey, you need to go to marriott hotel. i said the special needs goes to the marriott. why can't i go closer to him. i understand the situation. i understand the protocol. but as a paeurprent of a specia needs child, it was hard. >> i can imagine how hard it
was. were you fearing the worst? >> i was fearing the worst. i didn't get any information. i didn't get any news. i didn't get any phone calls. >> there was so much traffic while you were trying to find justin yourself, you had to at some point get out of the car. >> i walked the rest of the way. i walked one mile just to try to get any form of information just to find out if he was safe or not. it was -- i don't know. words just can't express what i was going through. and, you know, my heart guess out to the families. i didn't know anything that was going on. it was best that i didn't know. when i got home to find out how many people that were affected. >> tell me about the moment that you saw justin. >> oh, my goodness. so i went into the marriott hotel. and the first thing i said is my son okay? i said my son is justin.
he's a special needs child. they said do you have a picture. i showed the picture immediately. and he said, yes, i saw him. and i just fell in relief. yes, thank you, lord. he's okay. but, still, i wanted to see him. as soon as i see him we both just had eye contact. we ran to each other. i hugged him and kissed him and i thanked the lord. i'm just so happy that he's safe. i really am. >> i know justin is nonverbal. how will you be able -- do you know what he endured? do you know what he saw? how will you be able to tell? >> i don't know. i have to wait until everything calms and then speak with his teachers. you know, find out like other ways for communication. what i can do. i think now i have to get a tracker for justin so if i see movement then i would know he's okay. >> justin seems sleepy. it has been a long night. i'm sure that it was really an
ordeal for him. he seems great but he seems like he needs a long rest, as you will too. thank you so much. we're so happy that you found justin. thank you for sharing your story with us. the suspect who is accused of carrying out this massacre. this is the deadliest school shooting since sandy hook. of course we all remember that. that suspect is expected in court shortly. we will talk with the mayor of this city next. this is my cashew guy bruno. holler at 'em, brun. kicking it live and direct here at the fountain. should i go habanero or maui onion? should i buy a chinchilla? comment below. did i mention i save people $620 for switching? chinchilla update -- got that chinchilla after all. say what up, rocco. ♪ say what up, rocco. new year, new phones for the family. join t-mobile, and when you buy one of the latest samsung galaxy phones get a samsung galaxy s8 free.
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this is cnn breaking news. good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day". chris is in new york this morning. i'm in parkland, florida. this of course is the scene of a massacre. this is a city that is now the site of the deadliest school shooting in the u.s. since sandy hook, which we all remember which was about five years ago in newtown, connecticut. so folks are dealing with the same sense of devastation. police say this heavily armed man, young man, 19 years old, stormed into his former high school for when he was expelled and opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon. he turned his school into a war zone. here's the latest. here's where things stand at this hour. police say 17 people were killed in and around