tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC May 18, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
for their life. i mean just like any regular human being would have been, done. >> just state of panic. i really didn't know what was going on. >> i heard four more shots. i jumped the fence and we ran to the car wash. some girl got shot in the kneecap apparently and she was limping towards us. >> we heard more shots go off, and then we saw people running out. so that's when we all kind of just got scared. >> it just scared me like we shouldn't have to go to school and feel scared. >> we also heard from the president who says he is closely monitoring what's happening in texas. >> we grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack to the students, families, teachers, and personnel at santa fe high.
we're with you in this tragic hour and we will be with you forever. >> we are waiting for a news briefing from the governor of texas. prior to that, let's check in with jim cavanaugh, former senior atf official. sadly, for him, one of the people we check in with. there is a certain sameness to this coverage. i'm told we do not have jim cavanaugh. tammy leitner, or correspondent covering the story. tammy, did we hit most of the facts available at this hour? >> reporter: brian, unfortunately, there are quite a few parallels between this school shooting and previous school shootings. let's talk about this one in parkland. you talked about a fire alarm. we know that a fire alarm went off around 7:30. one of the big questions and one of the things that law enforcement will look into was did the shooter pull the fire alarm himself. as you recall, in the parkland school shooting, the shooter
there pulled the fire alarm to draw the students out, then to obviously lure more of the victims out. that will be one thing that law enforcement will look at here. now in this school shooting, we now know who the shooter was. he is a 17-year-old student. that will be up to you whether you choose to name him in your hour. but we've talked to some of the students that know him, and they reported seeing him. one student in particular reported seeing this student five minutes before that fire alarm went off. and he said that the kid -- he was quiet. he kept to himself. but one thing he also said was, this kid would wear a trench coat to school every single day. regardless of how warm or cold it was. even on 90-degree days. that's very reminiscent of columbine. as you remember, both of those shooters would wear a trench coat on the day of the shooting. he also said the shooter would wear headphones every single day. and he never thought that this kid would do what he did. he mentioned that he saw him about five minutes before that fire alarm went off.
and he believes that the kid just snapped. brian? >> tammy leitner, again, as i said, a certain sameness to the coverage of these events while we mourn the loss ever more tragic today. ten lives taken in this shooting in santa fe, texas. our justice correspondent, pete williams, has been working the story from our washington newsroom. hey, pete. >> reporter: so we know that the gunman suspect is 17. we're told that the person of interest that they're questioning is older than that. we have a name but we're not reporting at this point because we still don't know what potential involvement he may or may not have had with the shooting. until that's clear, we're not going to report the name. but the second person is older than 17. we're told that he had three guns with him when he came to school today. a handgun, a shotgun -- which appears to be the weapon that he used most in the shootings, if
not exclusively, and also an assault style rifle dekriscribes an ar-15 style rifle. under federal law, because he is 17, he could not have purchased these weapons himself. you have to be at least 18 to buy a long gun. 21 to buy a handgun under federal law. there's no law against him possessing them if someone else gave them to him, or indeed if he bought them from a non-licensed dealer. if he didn't buy them from a gun store but he bought them from a neighbor, sort of across-the-fence type sale. one obvious question is where did he get the guns used in today's shooting. we know at least two pipe bombs were placed in the school. and the placement of these explosives and the fact that he had all these weapons certainly indicates, brian, that this was planned well in advance. time to build the bombs, time to learn how to do that, time to place them, time to acquire the weapons. so all of those things suggest that this was thought out well
in advance. now why is not at all clear. nothing in the social media of this suspect indicates anything connected with an ideology that would be obvious for somebody motivated to do this kind of thing. no connection to isis. no connection to radical extremism of either the left or right. the only thing we've heard is, again, a familiar story which some students have said that he complained of being bullied repeatedly. and that's been a factor in past school shootings. and then the obvious connections to columbine here. the placement of the explosives. the pulling of the fire alarm. the wearing of the trench coats. we have seen before in some of these shooting incidents that it turns out that the people responsible for them were obsessed with previous school shootings. columbine seems to be one that comes up over and over again. so i think one of the things they are looking into is whether
this young man had studied that, had become interested in it, and was trying to emulate it. >> pete williams, thank you for that update from our washington bureau. upon mentions of columbine, we're not always able to say we have the man who wrote the book on the subject. we happen to have the man who wrote the book on columbine, dave cullen is here with us in our studios in new york. dave, it strikes me before the end of the day, someone is going to say, this kid was wearing a trench coat, did you think anything unusual. >> yes. i was just thinking similar thought which is kind of silly. i mean people do odd things all the time, especially in high school. people have all sorts of affectations. i'm sure there is people in school with their hair dyed green. >> yes. but, in is a marker. >> yes, but it's not -- it's not a major marker. you know, the fbi report on school shooters said that
typically like warning signs to really pay attention to is when the kid does all sorts of things in conjunction, like every report they do is about guns or killing. there was an example, actual example, a kid did that in different reports in home ecclass. he actually baked a cake in the shape of a gun. when it's done over and over is when it is a warning sign. things out of the ordinary in advance don't. now given what happened, yes, it's clear, it is very unclikly that it was a coincidence. he was probably almost certainly trying to signal his affinity for columbine and all sorts of things and giving signals there. >> the investigations in the after-action reports after every tragedy like this, if all the markers in 20-20 hindsight line up the same, what's a society to do with hipaa regulations, with policing, with the freedom of expression we expect in our schools for our kids?
>> well, i don't think that's the way out of this. i don't think -- trying to identify shooters in advance is definitely a laudable goal and something that we're working on. the fbi has great task force. i know some of those people. and they do actually between they and local law enforcement foil more plots than go forward. so that is very important. it's been somewhat successful. but we're never going to get all of them. that's a needle in a haystack. to me ways out of this are fewer guns, i would say not mental health. that's a ridiculously wide thing. i would say it is screening for teen depression because most of these are deeply suicidally depressed. third we have to find a way to diminish the sort of heroic nature that we in the media create for the shooter. and i think that's kind of the untold story of parkland, that they had finally accomplished that. i know -- i don't know if everybody at this table can remember the name of -- well, probably at this table -- but most people in america right now cannot name the parkland
shooter. where everyone -- most people in america can name emma gonzalez, david hoke and several of the others. they had actually taken the spotlight off the killer. that has never happened before in the history of any of these things. so we may have reached a turning point there of them making this less attractive to shooters if hopefully the santa fe people do the same thing. hopefully tomorrow some of these santa fe kids will be on television tonight and tomorrow and most of the conversation tomorrow will be about those kids instead of this guy before parkland, that has never happened before. >> the interviews i've seen thus far today are just predictably heartbreaking. let's go to the law enforcement side of the ledger, michael balboni is with us, former new york state homeland security advisor. and darren porcher, a criminal justice professor. retired nypd lieutenant. lieutenant, start with you. any problem with the prescription you just heard? >> i agree with it, but i also think that there's a further
anecdotal measure that we need to take. let's take into consideration, we've all gone to the airport. when have you ever heard of a shooting occur in the area where people are waiting to get on an airplane? you don't. the fortifications that they put in place in an airport are so severe and significant that we just don't have those issues. so oftentimes -- we're going to have this argument time and time again. gun control. mental health. but this still continues to happen. it is very difficult to make the mental health assessment on thousands of students that are coming in to an educational establishment. however, you are fortification is very important. i did my doctoral degree at fordham university and i focused on violence in these high schools. one of the key components is, keeping these bad actors at bay when they're coming in with weapons. and one of those things is, it's not just having metal detectors, but you need a fortification process that's consistent. and that's why i give you the
contrast and comparison with tsa. granted, there is a lot of reflection when we look at what happened in parkland as it relates to in case, the fire alarm being pulled, et cetera. because we in law enforcement have two options that we provide. it is either shelter in place or evacuate. here the shooter took that option of shelter in place away and everyone was caused to evacuate. so then it in addition creates a target-rich environment for the shooter if he wants to pick people off in the hallway. but moving back to my antidote to this, i think we need greater fortifications before a shooter comes into play. we had someone with a trench coat, a duffel bag. if that's not a harbinger for violence, i don't know what is. >> michael? >> if you take a look at what the schools have tried to do, the random in es of this has become so incredibly daunting. what's the conversation school board presidents are having with their community? they say we are trying to keep
you safe. but if you look at the homeland side, you do fortifications based upon intelligence. well, here you have no intelligence. it is a random act. you do screening. i agree with darrin, you should do better screening, but how do you do it for the entire population of the united states. so it is this randomness that's caused a huge problem. on one hand, school districts don't have enough money to put a metal detector in places where they've never had this type of violence. >> if they had the money, teachers wouldn't be buying school supplies with their own money. >> that's a part of the problem. the other thing is there is a big issue here about how do we keep the educational environment. do we fortify the schools in such a way that now you've got armed guards roaming the hallways? it is a huge issue to try to provide the right balance of security in a school setting. >> i've heard this said, too. let's assume you and i are within a few years of each other? you guys are attaching an old notion of going to school in
america. america in the interim has changed. our need for safety has changed. we're going to need to fortress up. >> the challenge there is of course, what do you do? i think the thing we all acknowledge here, what are you attacking? you're attacking schools. they're looking for that sensationalism. to your point that the glorification of the violence, if you take a look at youtube and all the different things -- snapchat, these folks want to be noticed and they want to take the most violence and put it to the most extreme effect which is why they attack the schools. if you work from that epicenter out, they be there is a whole bunch of different issues in terms of social services and identifying these children. but you know the other common factors, these are folks who were bullied at some point in time. we'll find that out. lot of times a lot of shooters had worked with -- they had tortured animals. there are indicators with a lot of these different cases that if you took time and you looked back and you said, these are the
harbinger of this type of violence. but how do you make the case to the school? school administrators have to become psychologists as well? and you have to screen every student that comes into a school? very, very challenging. >> i think the moment i knew we were living in a new age is someone marketed a white board that could be taken down from a classroom wall and could be used to shield students and teachers. >> i mean that's unfortunate. i commend my counterpart. we've done many media hits in the past on these types of issues in the past. but the truth of the matter is, there's an evolving process with school safety. now i understand, some may argue that, hey, look, we don't have the funds to do it. it is aness nescessity. because if we don't take the appropriate action, these acts will continue. we just had parkland recently. i will bet my paycheck on we're going to have another one of these bad acts before the end of the year. and we're going to have the same conversation -- gun control, legislative reform. that's not the answer. it is not going to happen on that platform. it is something that's going to
happen in the schools and it needs to be an amalgamation between the educators and the law enforcement personnel to erupt -- to einvestigave erect fortifications in these houses of education. >> i haven't studied the way you have, but it seems to me what you are talking about is daily violence, which may be somebody is carrying a gun and a situation erupts and something goes on. so keeping them out at the beginning will definitely help county out most or all of those. but in these sort of more random events where it is just a momentary thing where the person can get in by doing something like pulling the fire alarm or doesn't even need to pass the area, can just shoot his way right past the metal detectors. will those kinds of measures really work for these single
events where a person comes in with three firearms? how is any kind of metal detector -- >> i believe absolutely. i gave you the example of tsa. have you ever heard of someone storming an airport like jfk with gunfire to get to the passenger area? the truth of the matter is, i have never heard it. this is something that is -- has been effective for years on end. since 9/11, we've had the revolution in the airports. we need the same revolution in the schools. >> but there's not that number of airports. there's thousands of times more schools in the country. can you really do what -- >> i'll give you an example. you bring that up. look at the population in entrance to airports. it far exceeds the population that comes in to a school. but it's been a proven success. i think that we need to focus on this being the blueprint or the prototype in how are we going to erect school security going forward. because if not, we're going to have the same conversation in the future. this is the only thing that i've seen that's been successful in terms of the academic
environment. i'm a college professor right now. i teach at a university here -- i teach at pace university here in new york city. i say the same thing over and over again. we say that we don't want to line the perimeter with tanks. i got that. i think that this is a house of education, and it needs to be dealt with accordingly. but unfortunately, the pendulum is switching. i'm not saying to line it with tanks but i think we need to erect greater fortifications and we haven't done it. >> i have tremendous respect for you, as you know. but i don't think anyone in the nation would support creating a tsa type program for a school system. i just don't see it happening. there are steps -- remember, i am in the business of school security. we consult with schools all the time. >> you don't think the standards that you walk through now would be effective in a school setting? >> they might be. but again, there are so many different ways. as you know, you can defeat these types of security systems. we don't know specifics about the incident here today, brian. but there was a guard. there was a retired detective who was on site.
i don't know yet if that individual was armed but he was taken out. so -- to answer that question, well, if you had a guard in every school you might prevent that. it didn't happen here. here's the other thing. these mass shootings are 4% of the shootings in the country every year. 4%. there's so much other gun violence out there. when you have a school administrator, what are your priorities? how do you really manage these types of threats? brian, that's why i said before about the randomness. >> let me bring in some of the parents who we've just heard -- parents and teachers, apparently, gathering outside and we acting to what we have witnessed. this is just in to us. >> she called me, she said, mom, there's shots. and i said, what? she said there's shots in the school and she was crying. i turned around and just hauled it all the way to the school. thank god i was close. and just stayed on the phone with her the whole time, tried to keep her calm.
>> i've heard that like someone -- that a guy came in with a trench coat and like a duffel bag and then he had like a shotgun and he just started shooting people. i don't really know what else happened. >> what is going through your head today when you know that six or seven of your friends are injured? >> i mean just pray to god that they can pull through. try to help any way i can. i don't really know what else to say. >> -- they went straight to voicemail. i called her like four or five times. >> yeah, we have. she has a lot of missed calls. >> my sister was in the classroom. that's why i'm so worried right now. just praying for her to come back. i was like really close to her. >> i can't imagine what they're going through right now. i want to read you something before we bring in our next interview. chris murphy, of course the congressional district adjacent to newtown. let's call it like it is. the horrifying inaction of congress, slaughter after slaughter, has become a green
light to would-en shooters who pervert silence into endorsem t endorsement. there will be a lot of similar sentiments today, especially from members of congress who have been pushing this issue. standing by to talk to us is a 16-year-old, sophomore, named dakota schraeder. dakota and a friend heard the shots, i'm told, and took off running. dakota, tell me what you remember, where you went for safety, and have you heard from everyone in your life that they're okay? >> yes. as soon as we heard those explosions, the boom sounds, me and my friend, ryan, we took off as fast as we can leaving no nobody but us two to go to the woods -- the woods, yes. and at that point, we're scared. i'm trying to sit here and call my mom on the phone. i ended up getting a hold of
her. and at that point i'm having an asma asthma attack. i'm running so fast and i'm scared and my heart is just pounding out of my chest. and finally i'm sitting here talking to my mom and she's calming me down. i'm letting her know that there's possibly a school shooting and bombing going on. and at that point my mom was really upset, scared for me. she didn't know what was going on or what to think because i could barely talk at that point. so all the way she's going 80, 85 down the highway just to come get me and make sure i'm okay. >> let me ask you, how did life in your high school change after parkland and florida? >> after that, i was scared. because after the shooting in florida, we had a scare in february at our school that there was a shooting. some girl posted on social media that she was going to shoot up
the school, which it -- it just tore me up. i've been not even wanting to go to school anymore after that. my mom didn't make me go to school because she understood my frightness. and just -- i shouldn't be able to feel like that in school, especially after the first scare tactic happened. and then for it to happen again, but it actually happen this time? it just blows my mind how it can happen. like why did this happen? we should have took our procedures in place which our school never trained us. they never took the time to actually teach us a procedure for school shootings like they would for hurricanes or anything. >> so you never had a live shooter drill. >> no. they told us to put desks in front of the doors and stay low
and hidden. but not once have we ever had a procedure physically practice it. >> how would you have described your high school and the school spirit and life at your high school if i had asked you yesterday before this? >> i would say overall -- our school is shooken up a little bit from last time, from february. so our school wasn't necessarily prepared for it, but most people kind of got the idea of what to do. >> and when you learned that the identified gunman in this case, 17-year-old, is a kid who wore a trench coat to school every day, including on warm summer days, what's your reaction to that? >> it's very unusual. i don't see why him carrying a duffel bag, why they wouldn't
think of something. because in florida, the same dude was carrying a backpack and he wasn't even allowed on campus. for him to carry a duffel bag into the school? i don't understand how he got past and inside the school with a duffel bag and a shotgun in it. it just blows my mind. >> what do you guys have left on your calendar? i know depending on the part of the country, depending on the school, this is a time of examples. it is certainly a time where promise have been going on. >> well, there is a lot of stuff going around in our school right now. we have tests, finals and promise and powder puff for seniors and all this stuff. and i just feel like our school should take into consideration to be more open with -- be more open with this. because not only did he get inside the school with a gun? but he placed bombs in our school. how was he able to do that with as many people as we have in our
school? >> do you think you guys will go back for the remainder of the time you have? or do you think the next time you see the school will be in august or september? >> i'm never going back to that school. ever. and i hope that the school doesn't open up, because it's just very upsetting that people -- our friends and our classmates that we've been with all these years of our lives seen getting shot. and my friends witnessing other friends getting shot. it's just not even safe anymore. >> dakota, thanks very much. i'm sorry for the loss your school and community has suffered today. and thanks for being composed enough to be able to talk to us. age 16, a sophomore at that high school. we'll have more about the points she raises in a moment. we're also joined now by a
physician. dr. madane, director of the clear lake medical center. eight students were apparently transported to your facility. doctor, what update can you offer? >> i can confirm that, yes, eight students did come into our facility. six of them have been discharged with non-life threatening injuries. two of them do remain here in the hospital. both of which required operations, going to the o.r. >> anything beyond that? multiple gunshot wounds? i'm guessing they were treated for? >> yes, sir. >> and did you -- forgive me, did you have any fatalities upon arrival? >> no, we did not. >> okay. you are a trauma center? >> we are a level 2 trauma center. >> so you receive ambulance and life flight helicopter patients, as well? >> we do, yes, sir.
>> okay. how many more hours do you think until your hospital will brief -- or are you moving the briefings to be in coordination with the regent? >> we will brief later on this afternoon to go over everything that occurred. >> okay. well, thank you. i know your time is short, dr. safi madain for joining us this afternoon. we have the more urgent point to discuss that we just heard a high school sophomore raise and that is that she doesn't plan to go back to that school. this is part of the conversation we were having in this room. you want to say that the people who want to make this solely about the nra, solely about gun laws are missing this point. that if we, parents, people in responsibility, adults, don't listen to what she just said, we're missing the point. >> definitely. i mean we definitely have to listen to these kids.
that is not the most common reaction though. of course, this is a few hours out. >> it's starting to be a reaction. >> yes. yes. but the biggest single reaction kids have when they've had a couple days to work through it -- because their responses change. but very soon they typically start to feel like something has been taken from them and their school in particular has been robbed from them, their society. it also matters how we name these. students are much more fortunate when we call it parkland, for instance. the geographic name, instead of the name of the high school. kids like columbine. newtown we went back and forth. they feel much more robbed where the name of their school becomes synonymous with the name of their tragedy instead of the town or locale is much easier to take. but typically they do a reversal after a few days and they really want to get back together, they want to get in their school and
feel like they take it back from the country, from the media, from the shooter, from everyone. so that may or may not change with this person, but that's how this usually evolves. >> it's interesting about the name of these gunman. you went through the list earlier. i have to say, i had forgotten 80% of them in the kind of ongoing march of breaking news we are forced to cover here. there's no joy or up side in repeating this gunman's name. it's germane to the people in his life. it is germane to 1,400 kids who are trying to remember if they knew or saw this kid, but there's no real need to do so, i guess. >> no, i don't think there is. i think you are exactly right. there is a short-term need sometimes, particularly when somebody is out in the open. but it's on the web if they want it, they can find it.
the repetition serves no useful news good especially in this internet age, and it does glamourize the person in their perception and the perception of other -- we know this from other shooters watching them in the past who have seen that recognition and -- >> it feeds the kind of criminal n narcissism that's often present. i have jim cavanaugh able to join us by telephone, msnbc law enforcement analyst, retired atf special agent in charge. jim, how does it affect the investigation, the presence of these explosive devices beyond speaking to premeditation? >> well, it's planning. it shows a real depth of preparation and desire. it could also indicate a desire -- we've seen some
devices thrown out on the street and so forth. but the agents and detectives have to go to those locations where the killer was from and first look for secondary -- seek for secondary bombs but they have to look for other victims. sometimes a shooter will kill a family member. . they'll kill a parent, a mother. you think of newtown killing. killed a mother, and then went to the school and killed. so they have to look for other victims. i don't know that those answers are in yet. but clearly this looks like a boilerplate from columbine which some of these shooters have done. you have the trench coat, the com bombs and the guns. maybe another actor with the main actor. you do have some echoes of that and some of these guys obsess on prior killers. so i think we might have a little boilerplate action there.
the fire alarm, the trench coat, the bombs. all that could be there. you've got a great discussion with the fellows there. they have some great points. i think you're right on every occasion here. infamy drives so many things. they want to be infamous. they want to be the person that kills the most. that drives some of it. and we've got to be conscious of that. so i like to see the killer's name on the charging documents and just for the law enforcement to get what they need. i agree that we don't need to keep harping on who they are. i tend to just call them the killer, the loser. i don't really want to hear their name anymore. i like to hear names of the heroes there. i think woose should also look what can be done.
it is reasonable gun control. good laws. it is school security. and the third is, the identification of the actors prior to the violence. and that encompasses depression, mental health which may be only in about 30% or less of these mass shootings. and what needs to be found out beforehand that may interrupt it. we'll see state numbers. it will vary, but like 60% to 65% of these young students will bring their guns from home. they'll steal them from the house. they'll take them from their grandparents like they did in arkansas. sometimes they can purchase them from a friend or something or illegally or steal them. but often 50% or more come right from the house. and parents aren't locking the guns up. "the washington post" had a real
good story about a profile of a school killer from -- fink it was the carolinas. talked about his planning and how he wanted to get his father's gun safe, get in there and get his ar-15. he wound up killing a student at the school but he would have killed many more if he got that ar-15. just by happenstance he wasn't able to get it. so we need to look into the three-legged stool, and then we need to look at people who are dismissing one of those legs as important. and people who are making an argument for their own ends. the country needs to look at it like that. when you just try to kick one of those legs out and say, oh, it doesn't involve mental health and depression or it doesn't involve guns or it doesn't involve school security or it doesn't involve reasonable gun laws, the stool can't stand. all of those things need to happen on a better basis. we can do it. we can improve it. but it really takes the will.
>> jim cavanaugh, thank you for joining us by phone. we needed to hear all that. two bits of news. number one, kprc, our nbc station in houston, is issuing the first picture that we've seen of this 17-year-old. there it is. and pete williams standing by in our washington bureau with more news on this. pete? >> yeah. these are pictures from his social media, brian. he's well known in the community, you know, long before we chose to report the name, based on all the confirmations we had. his name and these pictures were circulating locally. so it's only natural that -- as we predicted before the day was out that his identity would be known. he used to play on the football team. i don't believe he was currently enrolled on the football team. according to officials i've talked to in our own search of social media, nothing has turned up there that would indicate any adherence to any kind of radical ideology. he wasn't a follower of isis. he didn't appear to be a follower of any kind of known
hate group. he had, i guess you could say, not a typical teenage interest in a lot of disparate causes and interests. but nothing that really adds up to anything that would indicate why this had happened. the only thing that we've heard all day from some of the fellow students is that they believe he was bullied, that he complained of being bullied. but that's the only thing that we've heard to indicate one way or the other. i think the picture is becoming clearer here now of how this happened. we had wondered earlier today because of the reports that the fire alarm sounded, that that would indicate that perhaps whoever was involved in this, whether it was he himself or someone helping him pull the fire alarm to draw people out of classrooms in the school where they could more easily become targets. but based on an analysis of what we are hearing from the witnesses, it appears that he did enter the school several witnesses have said wearing a trench coat to conceal these weapons he was carrying and began to shoot inside at least
one or two classrooms. and then we've been told by federal officials that he was confronted in the school building by the school security officer who was seriously wounded. they exchanged gunfire. and whether this student pagourtzis was able to continue shooting after that or whether that is the end of the shooting rampage, we don't know the answer to that. but we do know that he was confronted by the school safety officer who was seriously injured and was medevac'd to a nearby hospital for treatment. as we've also been reporting, they found at least two, possibly more explosive devices. we are told that they were pipe bombs which he apparently carried there in a duffel bag or a backpack. we haven't heard any reports that they went off. and in terms of whether they were fully working devices or hoax devices or what, we don't have a good answer to that yet, in part, because in the slow process of clearing the school, which was the first priority,
basically authorities were simply giving those devices a wide berth until they went through the whole school and made sure that no other victims or other potential attackers were inside the school. and they had cleared from that perspective, then they could turn their attention to these devices. i don't know whether they've been rendered safe or not yet, so we don't know anything about -- anything more about them other than we've heard from several sources that they were pipe bombs, which is a fairly low-tech kind of explosive. but nonetheless, one that can be quite destructive. >> pete, can we talk about the two elephants in those photos of the kid, especially perverse since he's accused of killing ten people today, and that is the peace symbol and the heart? >> yeah. i've heard various explanations for what the heart means, and so i can't claim to be an expert or say anything about it. but as i say, we've also seen pictures of perhaps the coat he
wore that day, that he had previously posted on his social media that have a whole bunch of different symbols. and they don't really add up to anything other than a sort of eclectic interest in a whole bunch of different kinds of things. but there's no theme that emerges from any of that. >> okay. suffice to say, his actions today, as accused, speak in the other direction. pete williams in our washington bureau, thanks. to our viewers, we're waiting to hear from governor abbott of texas. for just a moment here, we're going to fit in a break. obviously if the governor starts talking, we will blow out of it and come back live. otherwise, we'll see you just on the other side. shouldn't drive us apart. but when you experience sudden, frequent, uncontrollable episodes of laughing or crying that are exaggerated or simply don't match how you feel, it can often lead to feeling misunderstood this is called pseudobulbar affect, or pba. a condition that can occur from brain injury...
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i was one of the unfortunate parents. you know? just really kills me. you know. and i think the school needs to do -- i think the world needs do a better -- just look at ourselves and see what we're doing. >> there is a guy who speaks for all of us right now and a guy who feels this because it has happened in his community. if you are just joining us, we're looking at a death toll of ten in santa fe, texas. correspondent tammy leitner has been picking up more and more details as part of our coverage of this story. tammy? >> brian, one thing that i think we point out is, at least one student has said that the shooter was picked on, was bullied. yet despite that, he did not
seem to lash out. he really kept to himself. as we've talked about, he did wear a trench coat every day, but he also would wear headphones. he would keep to himself. he wouldn't talk to anybody. and he also said that nobody really made an effort to talk to him. he said that coaches did talk to him. pull him aside and talk to him because of his -- he would have some type of body odor because he would wear that trench coat during the middle of the summer. but other than that, people really stayed away from him. didn't report him having a lot of friends, being a loner. but also not being an angry kid. so as of right now, those are the reports that are coming in about him. >> tammy, i'm not a professional in this field, but you and i have been through the bios of so many maof the people involved. playing in a team sport does not match the profile of a loner.
you are on a high school football team, it's one for all, all for one. >> right. but just because he played on a team sport does not necessarily mean he was a part of the team. >> of course. yeah. >> he may not have been accepted. and we don't know how long he played on the football team for, whether it was a short period of time, whether he was accepted, or whether he stopped playing because he wasn't accepted. but we do know that he was described as a loner, described as not having friends, as not talking to people. but really as keeping to himself. i mean somebody that walks around with headphones on constantly in between classes, not talking to other students and not engaging, is somebody that is really keeping to themselves that doesn't want to have a relationship. >> okay. tammy leitner, part of our coverage of this story, thank you. nick powell is with us by telephone. he's a reporter with the houston chronicle. nick, first off. something we've just learned talking to a sophomore student. there was no active shooter
drill, especially post parkland, according to her at this high school. how unusual is that starting with the state of texas in the houston region. >> i can't speak to how unusual it is but i can say that i'm not sure that that -- that doesn't match up with some of the accounts from students i talk to now. i'm not sure whether they were -- a couple of students referred to doing the typical emergency procedure. i don't know if it was meant as a fire drill or something like that. but unfortunately, i can't speak to whether that's common state wide but if that is the case that there was no active shooter drill after parkland, yes, that would certainly be notable. >> she talked about something where they learned to barricade their doors. but in the classic sense that we've seen in so many other schools post newtown certainly, post parkland certainly where
you know your nearest exit almost like we're taught in aircraft drills. you know how you're supposed to file out of a school. in her experience, this hadn't happened. tell us what else you are learning covering the story as a local story. >> sure. i mean i can tell you that we obviously have the name of the shooter right now, demetrius -- sorry. i don't want to butcher his last name. from what i understand, he entered an art classroom with a shotgun, a pistol, and some pipe bombs. several students that i spoke to heard loud booms. and not necessarily gunshots. that kind of matches up with the reports of pipe bombs and explosives on and off campus as police officials had told the media. so, yeah, i think that was kind of a big -- i think that was most shocked some of the
students i spoke to, hearing the loud booms as's po opposed to r gunfire. many of the booms happened after the students were already evacuated from the building. one student i talked to, dakota schraeder, a 10th-grader at the school, she heard several loud booms. as soon as that happened, she said students just started to bolt and scatter and she and another student ran into the forest until she could contact her mother and i got to say, i told this to several other stations i've talked to so far, these kids were really, really shaken up, but also very composed and articulate and showed really, really impressive poise in talking to reporters after this. >> indeed, that was our experience. i want to ask you about something deeper, if i might. a lot of the new york and washington a-based media are not as mindful as they should be of what's been a sad time in houston that started with hurricane harvey.
which just had devastating imact, no unwith need remind you. >> sure. >> but this is just on top of that. you've got portions of the houston community that have not yet recovered from a natural disaster. yes, everyone came together, but, man, i've heard people so far today talk about this kind of sad season that started with the natural disaster. >> yeah. no, that's absolutely right, brian. and in santa fe, just to give you kind of a point of reference, about maybe half-way between houston and galveston, all the way to the south on the gulf of mexico. so i don't know the extent of the damage to santa fe in particular, but several adjacent towns and cities, dickinson and a few others, were all hit really hard by harvey and are still very much in the recovery
stages. many people are still displaced. you know, it is like a relentless stream of tragedies down here. and i hope that none of i hope that none of these students are also still going through that recovery process in addition to now dealing with the trauma of a school shooting. because you know, these are teenagers, as you noted. you know, this is a lot -- this is more tragedy than, you know, some people have to deal with in their whole lifetime. so yeah. you could just see the pain on these kids' faces. it was really -- for me, it was certainly shocking. and stunning to see. >> and finally, we are obviously expecting the governor. but is there a schedule of hospital briefings? are there critical patients we are worried about here? >> you know, i know that the patients have kind of been
scattered among different regional hospitals. i know some were taken to ut & b on galveston island. some were taken to the mainland hospital, which is nearby. i can't speak to briefings. i'm still here by the school kind of waiting for any additional reports. there is still a lot of law enforcement at the scene. and i heard fbi, atf as well. i think we are kind of in a holding pattern at the moment. i was told that the governor and senator cruz and some other local officials were doing to address the public pretty soon. so until then, i guess we are just going to -- kind in a waiting moment right now. >> nick, i know you are busy. we sure appreciate you spending a few minutes with us. nick powell, a reporter with the houston chronicle, where their website has been updated every few minutes on this story. to our viewers on left-hand side
of your screen. the reason we are watching that doorway -- there is local pd, sheriff, and texas rangers outside, part of the security detail for governor abbott. the governor is expected to exit through that door and come over down rain to the microphones that are halfway between the camera and that door. on hot day in santa fe, texas. an emotional day in santa fe, texas. the governor has been on site for a while. but he is being briefed on what to say. on the right-hand side of your screen, the kind of endless loop of today's coverage already, the life flight helicopters that were coming and going from a makeshift landing zone on the grounds of the high school. the same makeshift landing zone we have seen on the grounds of way too many american schools that have been home to this kind of thing. with the columbine comparisons as we've been saying, we have
the author the book on columbine -- as we went into the break you were giving me some of the comparisons that you were already seeing through your eyes. >> right. in addition to the all the ones that have been mentioned this. could easily be a red herring but had he i saw -- >> we were talking about the peace symbol and the matter pin. >> i was startle by both of those which obvious obviously out of kilter. the heart in particular may be a red herring but dilloncally bold was known for drawing all sorts of hearts in his journal in the two years where he took his road downward. entire pages of giant hearts. if this kid had been studying the other killers he would probably know in a and may be a marker back. also the duffel bags, if it turns out to be true that he carried them in in a duffel bag that's also something the
columbine kids go, which seems small to us but may mean lot to him as a marker. >> there is a lot of information flowing out there on social media. obviously you are free to see it all on your device. we are trying to show some restraint and confirm or deny what we can before throwing it on the air. but those pictures we wanted to pass along. they came to us originally from our nbc station out there, kprc. again, we are waiting for governor abbott of texas. he is expected to come out that door and brief the press. it's been a couple of minutes. i think the cameraman is signaling a two-minute warning to the governor. okay. he appears to now be saying he doesn't know. michael, you have been very patient to make a couple of points as you have been observing our coverage. >> the explosives, we haven't had a chance to talk about that. obviously the planning but the fact this he put them in there.
why? was it to go after the -- to provide a diversion? was it to provide a means of escape? was it to attack folks who would be responding? we have seen that type of a tactic in war zones. and a big question is how would someone be able to get these weapons, put them together, assembly these bombs and use it tactically in this way? >> isn't it called the internet. >> exactly. law enforcement as they approach scenes like this, you never know what the capabilities of your adversary are. i think we have to anticipate that the people who perpetrate these types of incidence are going to have so much more knowledge. they are going in, not just a typical teenager, this is an individual bent on creating as much havoc as they can and may have some skills. >> darren, i want to get back to your fortification point. concentric rings of security.
yes, the tsa, once you are in the kind of clean zone, you are safe. you are safer. baggage claim, in an airport, outside the school gates at a high school, all of us walking into this building, we can't be safe. we can did our be-- do our best. we can hope to be living and working in a policed and secure society. but there is a lot of unknowns and a lot of variables out there. it is a scary world. >> absolutely. i separate the two as the internal and the external environment. the internal environment is where we have greater fortifications whereas the external environment, such as a football field, the parking lot, we don't have as much fortifications. it is an overwhelmingly comprehensive process we put into play. this is one cog in the mechanism of the revolution of security and school safety. >> you bring up a football field. we are talking about the state of tech where high school football, we need not remind our
viewers has mythic status and is a huge part of life. we're just fortunate that no one has chosen that venue. >> absolutely. but you know, we take into consideration the societal norms, the pendulum is switching. and i give you the contrasting comparison of a place like the united states versus switzerland. they have a lot of guns in switzerland as you do in the united states. but the societal norms are different. when we take into consideration these types of acts, horrific acts i refer to them as domestic terrorism. it's really pushing law enforcement to making these revolutions in how do we police the society appropriately? school safety is one of those components. when i look at school safety i oftentimes think the school administrator and the law enforcement component. the two need to work together in unison. one key component that's being left out is the greatest intelligence piece, and that's the student. the students hold an overwhelming degree of intelligence because they know
what the social secretaries consist of, and it's important that we get the translation of intel from the students to school officials and law enforcement so they can seamlessly transition into eradicating or terminating the threats moving forward. >> michael we have got a student wearing a trench coat to high school on a hot texas day. what failed us? >> apparently every day. that's the thing, brian in the last report, was that this kid would wear this trench coat lot of that's a part of the challenge. this kid might have been one of these misfits that we have in high school. we have them all over the place. so if they behave in a certain way maybe that set us up for you are the weirdo. then what do we respond? think about it. the laws in this country do not allow for a stop and frisk if someone is wearing a trench coat. you have got to have more. >> or someone walking around with headphones all day. >> right. and so when do you take that step and say wait a minute, so today is the day that you are
doing something that is a threat to everybody else? that's a part of our problem. in a free society we don't have the ability to stop everybody and say gee, are you a threat? we don't have that ability. >> we don't know what actually was taken. maybe they did bring him in and talk to him about it. is it something columbine related? we don't know yet. they may have taken some steps. all the kid has to say is what do you mean? >> does that pass for due diligence? >> i think so. i would say anything that looks like a flag to you always ask. >> you can do it in a non-confrontational way. >> the guy in parkland, they went to talk to this guy multiple times. they could have arrested him. i didn't work. the system is not foolproof. you can't catch everyone. the randomness of this, that's what's so daunting. we don't know where it couldic stroochl there is no rhyme or reason, no etiology.
the terrorism angle, this is not terrorism in some ways. >> it is typically an element of domestic terrorism. we have the campaign here see something, say something. we rely on citizens here as new yorkers to provide that intelligence to police. the same holds true with the school. >> i need the call a time-out here. it's 3:00 p.m. right now on the east coast. you are looking at a doorway in santa fe, texas, where in a moment, remembering the governor is a wheelchair we are going to see governor ab off the texas come out and come over to a set of micro phones and brief the news media. he is getting the latest information from law enforcement. right now, we are looking, as you see at the bottom of your screen, that graphic has not changed with the new death toll, nine students, one teacher, ten dead in a texas high school shooting, which like others we have witnessed has