tv CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN June 1, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good morning. i'm victor blackwell, leading cnn's special live coverage of the tragedy in virginia beach. christi paul is in atlanta with the rest of today's news. let me tell you what's happening right now here in virginia beach. there is a vigil at the regal cinemas in the city to remember those 12 victims of yesterday's shooting at the virginia beach municipal center. we'll have more on the victims in a moment.
first, though, this morning police and city officials gave really an emotional update on the situation. watch. >> we will turn our attention for the remainder of today to assigned family and liaison officers to support those families that have been stricken by this horrible event. we are going to wrap our arms around those that serve with us here in virginia beach. and we are going to make sure their families, their loved ones are taken care of and are supported, and that we guide them through the days and weeks ahead. we have a significant number of employees that have been mentally and physically affected by what they we want through yesterday, and the vision and the images they had to experience inside one of our major office buildings here in the municipal center.
>> the police also confirmed the name of the suspect, dewayne craddock. he was killed by a police officer in a shootout. he had been employed with the city of virginia beach for the past 15 years. we're going to focus on the victims, those lives that were cut short because of the shooting. and here they are. >> laquita c. brown who works in public works for over 4 1/2 years and is a right-of-way agent. and she is a resident of chesapeake, virginia. tara welch gallagher, who works in public works for over six years, and serves as an engineer and is a resident of virginia beach. mary louise gayle, who has
worked in public works for over 24 years and serves as a right-of-way agent and is a resident of virginia beach. alexander mikhail gusev, who has worked for over nine years in public works and is a right-of-way agent and is a resident of virginia beach. katherine a. nixon, who serves in public utilities for over ten years as an engineer and is a resident of virginia beach. richard h. nettleton. rich worked in public utilities for over 28 years, served as an engineer, served with me as a lieutenant in germany in the 130th engineer brigade, and was a resident of norfolk. christopher kelly rapp, who served in public works for just
11 months as an engineer and is a citizen of powhatah. ryan keith cox, who served in public utilities for over 12 1/2 years and is an account clerk and a resident of virginia beach. joshua a. hardy, who served in public utilities for 4 1/2 years as an engineering technician and is a resident of virginia beach. michelle "missy" langer who served as an administrative assistant for 12 years and is a resident of virginia beach. robert "bobby" williams who served in public utilities for over 41 years, is a special
projects coordinator and is a resident of chesapeake. her bett herbert snelling, who is a contractor and a resident of virginia beach. >> we now know the names and have seen the faces of the 12 people who lost their lives here. while this community is rallying around their families, their friends, and the four people who are still in hospitals with serious injuries, we know there is this parallel track of the investigation that's happening behind me. and at several locations across this community. cnn's brian todd is getting the latest on that. we did, brian, get a few new elements of the investigation from this latest news conference. >> reporter: we did, victor. what we can tell you is this, from this news conference, chief jim cervera said they recovered additional weapons at the scene and at the suspect's home, dewayne craddock's home. they did say they're going over
those weapons and trying to determine the nature of how they might have been used. and again, talking about the officers' response, talking about how quickly the officers got to the scene and got into the building. chief cervera said these officers acted very professionally, that they checked every room, every closet, under every desk and that they escorted several victims out of the building. and again, he praised their rapid response. one key piece of information about how all this unfolded, you can often tell what a motive might have been if there were any verbal exchanges during the exchange of gunfire between police and a suspect. we asked the chief about that. he said that he did not engage verbally with the police, when he saw the police he immediately exchanged gunfire with them. as we know, there was a long drawn-out gun battle. we pressed the chief on how many minutes the gun battle lasted, he did not want to give that information. victor, we have to say there are still key components of this investigation that police are not prepared to tell us. we for example them hapressed t
motive, police chief cervera was not prepared to say what the motivate might have been, at least this morning. we pressed them on whether the suspect made threats in the past to the employees, they were not prepared to give that information. i pressed the chief and the city manager hansen whether there were any disciplinary notes in his work record, conflicts with other employees that might have prompted him to go in and do this and again, they were not prepared to give that information or they may not know it yet, victor. those are some critical components here that we still as yet do not know. >> brian, some details they are choosing to keep a secret, close to the vest right now because of the investigation. other elements they're still working to get answers to those questions. brian todd, thank you for your reporting. joining me now to discuss is virginia beach mayor bobby dyer. first, my condolences to you and
this community because these are not just constituents. these 11, and 12, we'll talk about bert snelling, were friends, were co-workers, were fellow public servants. more than 12 hours on, what are you feeling this morning? >> i'll tell you what, it's still a sense of shock, disbelief, why did this happen. i guess the big question is why. we want to know too. yes, police are looking into it, and, you know, be ensurassured once the information becomes evident -- we just don't want to speculate right now and give out false information. we want to make hour thsure tha through your help, the communities are aware of what's going on. this rocked the foundation of virginia beach. we are the safest city of a city this size in this country, with a magnificent police, fire, ems, and sheriff. this worked our foundation. >> and this has been personally difficult for you because, again, you know these faces, you're new to the mayor's office
but not new to city government here. and the contractor there, bert snelling, was a personal friend of yours. >> yes, he was. he started off as a carpenter who worked at our house. he became a friend. we socialized. regrettably, i hadn't seen him in a little while but i found out on social media last night about midnight that he was one of the victims. and i was devastated. >> tell me about him, how did your contractor go to becoming a friend? >> i'll tell you what, he was just such a great guy. he was a consummate professional, did great work. but you know, when somebody is working and you get to know each other, we invited him out for a happy hour to join us and everything, then my wife, we met his wife and everything. and, you know, i tell you what, this really -- this really hits home with me. but also the -- but just seeing the other victims, you know, up on the screen and everything, it
really humanizes the extent of the tragedy that happened in our great city. >> these aren't just individuals. these are mothers, fathers, cousins. >> friends. neighbors, colleagues. yes. >> especially in a community as tightly knit as this. let me ask you, a lot of what we heard from the police chief and from the city manager just a little more than an hour ago was about how this community is going to rally around and support these families. how is virginia beach going to do that? >> the strength of virginia beach are the people of virginia beach. and we're resilient. we're going to be responsive and we're going to come together as a community. you know, right now everybody always had that feeling, that we were a safe community, because of our public safety people. we're going to restore that confidence. and i'm sure that, you know, the community is just going to come together and rally around, you know, not only the families, but
just as a community, that, you know, we are -- this unfortunate event does not define virginia beach. what defines virginia beach is the strength and resolve of the people. >> a lot of city business happened in that building. >> yes. >> which is now a crime scene. cars still in the parking lot. investigators on scene. how will you continue the business of the city monday morning? >> i'll tell what you, obviously we're not going to have access to that building. but i am confident our city manager will find contingency plans. you know, once again, the people's house was violated. you know, that's where people came, people worked, that's where people came to do commerce and business. you know, and once again, we have to restore some equilibrium in the city and we're going to do that. >> the way you do that, will you consider changing the access -- i mean, the free and open nature of a public city building.
>> when the time is appropriate and the information is in, we'll discuss what we're going to do going forward. right now we're not even 24 hours into this, and right now we're dealing with the shock and the sorrow of what's going on in our city. but this is going to be a long term process. this is not going to be a week, it's not going to be a month, years. this will be a lifelong process for the city of virginia beach as we live and learn through this project. this is a nightmare that nobody ever wants to live. but it did happen, and we're going to have to step to the plate and react responsibly. >> the city is joining this fraternity of so many that have lost residents in the senseless gun violence. mayor bobby dyer, thank you so much for being with me, i know you have to navigate the
official work of the city but you also lost friends yesterday. >> yes, and i'll tell you what, virginia beach is going to come together on this. >> thank you so much. with us is law enforcement analyst charles ramsey, we'll talk with him in just a moment. do your asthma symptoms ever hold you back? about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma. fasenra is designed to target and remove these cells. fasenra is an add-on injection for people 12 and up
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so let's get after it. ♪ everything is all right what would you like the power to do?® ♪ all right we heard shooting. we heard shooting. but we didn't think it was that close, like in proximity of the building. so i just thank god that they were able to alert us in time. because if it had been ten minutes more, we all would have been outside. so that's what i'm grateful for today. >> i heard on the stairs, we go to the corridor, there was a lady on the stair unconscious, blood on her face, blood on the stairway. we didn't know what happened. one of the other workers went upstairs to see what was going on, she came back down and said, get out of the building. >> is it true that he's dead? >> yeah.
>> jesus christ. >> so are 12 victims. the latest one they just announced at a news conference. and he lived right above you. >> it could have easily been me. i'm victor blackwell here in virginia beach. those were some of the witnesses to that horrific shooting yesterday. i'm joined now by cnn law enforcement analyst charles ramsey, also a former police chief and commissioner. good morning. >> good morning. >> let's start with where we ended with the mayor, restoring some sense of security in this community and how to do that. is there a way to better secure public buildings, should that be part of this conversation, or is
this just something, this possibility something we live with in this free society? >> well, i mean, it certainly should be part of the conversation. but the reality is, it's a public building. people come, go in and out to pay water bills, phone bills, i would imagine, things of that nature. the one individual, the victim who was filing a permit. so there's only so much you can do with public buildings like that. but certainly it should be discussed as to whether or not security could be tightened. >> so of course you've been a commissioner and chief of big cities, philadelphia, washington, d.c. as well. what is the value now to an investigation, the motive here of a shooter that is already dead? what's the value of finding out why he did this? >> i mean, there's always value in finding out why somebody did it because it might, you know, present some red flags that maybe we should pay attention to for any future incidents.
but you need to know and answer the question why. i mean, you don't just wake up one day, i would imagine, and decide you're going to go in and kill as many people as possible. there was something going on. he was subscribed as a disgruntled employee. disgruntled over what? it was reported yesterday that he was actually named as a point of contact in some of the literature that the city had put out in previous years. so that means that he must have been a pretty good employee. you certainly wouldn't put the worst guy down as a point of contact. so what happened? ing it wou i think it would be very important for us to know that. >> engineer for 15 years with the city. there's also the reporting, according to sources, telling cnn that in addition to this rifle and .45 caliber handgun, there was a suppressor, some call it a silencer, erroneously, because no shotgun is silent. how would the use of a
suppressor change the equation in a shooting of this type? >> you know, it was interesting, one of the people that you interviewed or at least you showed the footage prior to my coming on said that she didn't think -- she heard the shots but didn't think it was that close. it would distort the sound so people wouldn't realize that the shot was right outside their door, for example. it would make it a bit more difficult for police to go in and actually locate the shooter, because you're locating him basically through the sound of gun shots. so it does change the dynamics. it's not like television where it also completely muffles the sound. it does lower it in terms of decibels. what a lot of people don't realize is it's legal to purchase suppressors in i think it's 42 states, although there's a lengthy process that you have to go through and register with atf and that sort of thing. but there was a movement to try to actually lift that two point where you no longer had to register with the atf.
so having suppressors available to the public at large is very, very troubling as far as i'm concerned. >> there's also the reporting that he had higher capacity magazines as well, and the ability to do even more damage and kill more people than he did. >> right. >> we know there was some effort federally to try to ban those high capacity magazines. how easy are they to get? >> they're not hard to get at all. i don't know what model .45 he had. i carried a glock .45 when i was on the job. you carry 14 rounds in the magazine itself, one in the chamber, that gives you 15. if you have an extended magazine, you could almost double that. he had several extended magazines, from what i hear. again, he was an employee. he knew the building. he actually shot people on all three floors, which is unusual, but he knew the layout. so he knew exactly where people
would be, probably where the largest number of people would be gathered. and had the police not gotten there as soon as they did, there has been a much worse outcome than, believe it or not, 12 dead. probably it would have been a lot higher than that. >> chief, we have had this conversation with me standing at one of many scenes and you answering the questions about the specific weapons and the specific suspect. but let me ask you the $64,000 question here. what if anything would make these less frequent? there is nothing in this man's background that would suggest that if there were universal background checks, that he wouldn't pass one. these weapons were purchased legally. is there anything that's clearly identifiable that could have said, this was avoidable, this was preventible, and if we do this, we could stop the next one from happening? >> we'll only know the answer to that question bounce a authoron
investigation is completed, going into the background of this individual. i think people need to understand one very important thing. that is you're not going to totally stop this but you can make it less likely to occur. we need to be able to sit down and have a discussion, a real discussion followed by real action on how we can reduce the opportunity to have people that should not have guns in possession of guns that are bone use them in a way in which they harm others, harm themselves and so forth. we need to have that discussion. we need to take some action. it's not going to be absolute. you may not get down to zero. but we can certainly make an it be a less frequent occurrence if we have the courage to stand up as the public, and also our elected officials who quite frankly are pretty much missing in action as far as i'm concerned, to actually do something to make it safe for people to go to work, go to church, go to school. this is going to continue. we'll be having this conversation again, there's no doubt about it.
the question is where. >> yeah. cnn law enforcement analyst, former chief, former commissioner charles ramsey, thanks so much. >> thank you. christi? >> victor, thank you so much. we want to get to some other news as well, a "washington post" report today saying president trump's advisers weren't on board with his threats to slap tariffs on mexico over immigration issues but apparently he was unmoved by their concerns. we'll dig a little deeper into that. and standing room only. at a border detention camp, live report for you here on some of these really disturbing images coming out of el paso, texas this morning. hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what?? what?! what?! [crash]
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♪ (buzzer) ♪ olly. welcome back. i'm victor blackwell in virginia beach. cnn continues its live special coverage following the latest developments in the mass shooting that happened here friday afternoon. now, this morning police identified the shooter. city officials also named the victims of the attack. 11 were city employees, one was a contractor filling out a building permit. the police commissioner says it's too early to determine a motive for the shooting but that work is happening now.
there are plenty of investigators here at municipal building 2 behind me. also spread across areas connected to this shooter. and of course we'll bring you more as we get it from investigators. but now let's go back to atlanta and christi. >> all right, victor, thank you so much. i want to talk to you about the "washington post" report this morning that president trump's own advisers weren't on board with his plan to hit mexico with rising tariffs but the president went ahead anyway, vowing to slap mexico with these new tariffs until the country does something to help slow the flow of migrants. u.s. and mexican officials are meeting in washington next week to talk about this issue. the u.s. imported $346 billion in goods from mexico last year. just to put some perspective on this. and a higher tariff at the end of the day would mean that you, you and me, we are likely going to be paying for it through higher prices on several items. we're talking about things like auto parts, tvs, avocados and
beer. cnn's patrick oppmann is live from mexico city. what is the reaction this morning? >> reporter: there is a realization that the clock is ticking. that's why mexican officials went to washington yesterday, they're speaking with members of the trump administration, they're meeting with them next week. there's a sense of urgency here that wasn't here when he threatened to close the border or make mexico pay for the wall. the u.s. is mexico's largest trading partner. mexico is fast becoming the u.s.'s largest trading partner. there are just so many products that these countries buy from one another. and you have auto parts that are sent here to be put into cars and then sold across the border. so it really is a very, very complicated, very connected economic relationship.
and in the midst of all this, of course, they are negotiating, we're getting close to signing a new free trade agreement between mexico, canada, and the u.s. and just, you know, that is on hold now. so there is so much at-risk on the line right now. president trump apparently is not backing down. he said in nine days it will be 5%, but by october it could be up to 25% on all mexican exports to the u.s. that would have a major impact on the mexican economy. >> very good point, that he promises to continue to raise that number. i wanted to ask you, if mexico's economy spirals, say, i mean, we're concerned about the u.s. economy, of course, as well, but if mexico's economy spirals, wouldn't that spur possibly more people trying to get out of that country and coming to the u.s. border? >> reporter: it's such a good point, because the majority of the people that we see crossing the southern border with
guatemala, other central american migrants, mostly from honduras, guatemala, el salvador, has been consistently dropping over the last decade or so. that's because the economy here is improving. we've seen some indications the economy here is slowing down. it stands to reason if the economy were to take a nosedive because of these tariffs, 25% tariffs, that would have such a major impact, it would lead to more mexicans once again needing to go north to work, to find work. so it would have the exact opposite effect that president trump says he wants to accomplish. >> interesting. patrick oppmann, thank you so much for breaking it down for us. the spike in migrants coming across the u.s./mexico border is causing, and i'm quoting here, dangerous overcrowding at a texas border patrol processing facility. look at these pictures here, obviously we've whited out the faces, but this is according to
a new report from the department of homeland security, saying detainees are, quote, standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space. cnn's polo sandoval is live with more. what are you learning, polo? >> reporter: christi, as we look at these images, important context to keep in mind, the photos and findings from the office of inspector general are stunning but not surprising, given that we've heard from the interim homeland security secretary telling lawmakers that the situation is not improving, that the resources normally available to customs and border protection are just not enough to handle the surge in migrants, 109,000 detained in april, the may numbers expected to be even higher here. the head of border patrol says
border patrol a little bit here do not have the resources necessary to try to handle these numbers. it really comes down to capacity here as we look at these images. there were these unannounced visits performed by independent investigators, a watchdog group, the office of inspector general, who came to el paso and noted a facility was holding up to 900 people in early may. what will be done? i can tell you officials here in el paso have already made some temporary structures that will hold larger numbers. and there are plans for a permanent structure that could hold well over 1,000 people. that won't be completed, christi, until 2020. so the concern is, now, what will be done? certainly what you hear from the ground here. this report outlines not just conditions for the detained but also those doing the detaining. the report from the ig's office outlining decreasing morale among agents, some of the agents approaching retirement are in
essence trying to speed up that date because those conditions aren't improving here. that's what we're seeing on the ground in el paso. again, we've heard these kinds of versions coming from members of the administration, from the department of homeland security. what's important here, though, this is now an independent investigation that is now providing a picture of some of the facilities here in el paso. >> okay, so that's that particular detention facility. is there any indication that dhs has a plan "b," knowing that we're going into the summer and knowing those numbers could go up? >> reporter: there is that temporary facility that's been put in place to increase capacity here in el paso to 800 people. it's not just here but also up and down that stretch of southern border. you're seeing other border patrol sectors implementing similar policies. what you're also seeing is that permanent structure that is expected to be built here in el paso alone. and then finally, another action that's being taken by the agency
is essentially sending some of these detainees to other sectors that are perhaps built to handle this. finally, i'll note only about three days ago, this particular sector here in el paso apprehended its largest group ever, just over a thousand people. instead of sending them to one location they had to disperse them to ten different facilities here in the el paso region. that's a temporary solution, but what will be done on a permanent basis is an open question. >> a lot of additional legwork too, no doubt about it. polo sandoval, thank you so much. victor? fewer than 24 hours since the mass killing here in virginia beach, and there are two major searches happening right now. first, the search for answers. why this shooter did this. but second, the search for reassurance and comfort and security. there's a vigil happening right now. the beginning of the healing. we'll have more of the live special coverage here from virginia beach.
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municipal building. you can see investigator over my shoulder, collecting evidence. earlier the city's police chief talked about really the toll of going through this scene for his officers. remember, the police station is just a few yards from this municipal building. they're all city employees. they know the people who survived and those who did not survive this shooting. here is some of what the chief had to say. >> the officers checked every room on every floor, every closet, under every desk, and they escorted a large number of city employees out of the building. and remember, they're escorting them out of the building while the victims are still in the building. i want you to know those officers worked with compassion, they worked with caring, they worked with professionalism. and assisting our brothers and
sisters who work for our city. this is a large scale crime scene. it's a horrific crime scene. police understand, it takes not only physical, emotional, and psychological toll on everyone who spent the night inside that particular building. >> if you weren't with us a few moments ago, from a conversation with the mayor of virginia beach, bobby dyer, i want you to listen to a bit of it. he talks about the community here, and their need to rely on one another, to make it through this tragedy. >> the strength of virginia beach are the people of virginia beach. and we're resilient and we're going to be responsive. and we're going to come together as a community. you know, right now everybody always had that feeling, that we were a safe community, because of our public safety people. we're going to restore that confidence. and i'm sure that, you know, the community is just going to come
together and rally around, you know, not only the families but just as a community, that we are -- this unfortunate event does not define virginia beach. what defines virginia beach are the strength and resolve of the people. the people's house was violated. you know, that's where people came, people worked. that's where people came to do commerce and business, you know. once again, we have to restore some equilibrium in the city and we're going to do it. >> listen, the people in this community, when they pick up the saturday paper, "the virginia pilot," they see this headline, "devastating," but also this photo, the man here, that's blood on his shirt, on his pants here. that's the front page of the paper here. the mayor understands, although he has his personal emotions to navigate because he lost friends in this shooting, he has to do
the work of restoring the sense of security, the sense of safety in this community and the people's house, as he called it, that city building. a lot of work ahead for the mayor here and the people of virginia beach. christi, back to you in atlanta. >> no doubt about it, they're going to do exactly what he said, because we have seen so much emphasis this morning on the healing process that they are prioritizing. thank you so much, victor, appreciate it. president trump is getting ready to make a visit to the united kingdom. he's just released comments about duchess meghan markle that are making waves across the pond. he's set to meet with the royals except for meghan who is on maternity leave. he called the duchess nasty because of comments she made before the 2016 presidential election. let's listen. this is what she said two years ago. >> yes, of course, trump is
divisive. think about just female voters alone, right? i think it was in 2012, the republican party lost the female vote by 12 points. that's a huge number. and with as misogynistic as trump is, and so vocal about it, you're not just voting for a women just because she's a woman, but because trump has made it easy to see that you don't really want that kind of world that he's painting. >> cnn's kristen holmes is with us now, kristen, walk us through exactly what the president said. >> reporter: christi, the president had a wide ranging conversation setting the stage for his trip to the uk. these comments about the duchess of sussex caught everybody's attention. to set the scene, we know that "the sun" confronted the
president with these remarks. take a listen to what the president said. >> now, meghan, who is now the duchess of sussex, she can't
make it because she's got maternity leave. she wasn't so nice about you during the campaign, i don't know if you saw that. >> i didn't know that, no, i didn't know that. no, i hope she's okay. i did not know that, no. >> she said she would move to canada if you got elected. turned out she moved to britain. >> that would be good. there are a lot of people moving here, so what can i say? no, i didn't know that she was nasty. >> -- american princess -- >> i think it's nice. i'm sure she'll do excellently, she'll be very good.
she'll be very good. i hope she does. >> reporter: so you can hear him there about the comments being nasty and then kind of walking it back, saying he hopes she does a good job. she won't be meeting this trip, to be clear, because she just had a child, she's on maternity leave. but even if she was to meet with president trump, it likely wouldn't come up.
remember, royals do not participate in politics, they don't want to give any idea to seem like they are on either side. and christi, i just want to add one thing. we're here at the white house, we've been here all day waiting for president trump to respond to the shooting in virginia beach, we just got a tweet, i'm going to read it to you, it says, spoke to virginia governor ralph north ham and mayor and ve mayor of virginia beach to offer condolences to that community. the federal government will be there for whatever they need. god bless the families and all. so we do know that president trump is not at the white house this very second, we don't know where he's gone, but where we are right now is this was what we had been waiting for, this kind of a response. we had been waiting to hear from him. we heard from those 2020 democrats who are all on the campaign trail. but this was exactly what we were waiting for, some kind of tweet to address those 12 lives lost in virginia beach, christi. >> and him just making that
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