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Bradley Manning to Live as a Woman; Georgia School Shooting; 911 Caller Pleads with Shooting Suspect; Hannah Anderson Speaks Out

Aired August 22, 2013 - 09:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The WikiLeaks source says he wants to live the rest of his life as a woman and he no longer wants to be referred to as Bradley, but as Chelsea.

His gender identity crisis was revealed during the sentencing phase of his trial after the military released this picture of Manning wearing a wig and makeup. Manning now wants hormone therapy for gender reassignment and that's something Fort Leavenworth, the Army base where Manning is being held, does not provide.


DAVID COOMBS, MANNING'S ATTORNEY: Well, I don't know about the sex reassignment surgery that Chelsea hasn't indicated that that would be her desire. But as far as the hormone therapy, yes. I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so.


COSTELLO: Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence joins us live now.

So this has to be a new one there the Army.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly one that they're not equipped to deal with at Fort Leavenworth, Carol. I mean, they basically will provide all kinds of mental health therapy, psychologists, psychiatrists, any kind of counseling he would need. But in terms of giving him hormones or much less sex reassignment surgery, Fort Leavenworth and the Army just don't do that.

So, David Coombs is right. He's basically going to have to sue the Army to try to get that therapy there, or down the road perhaps petition on medical ground that Manning's needs can't be met there and that he needs to be transferred to a federal prison where he can perhaps get that hormone therapy.

COSTELLO: So who would pay for this therapy?

LAWRENCE: Well, the government. The taxpayers. I mean, basically, when you're incarcerated, part of the deal is the state or the federal government is taking responsibility for your medical condition. You no longer have the means to fund your own medical care, so it's just like if a prisoner needs medicine for diabetes, some courts, not all, but some courts have found that this condition is a medical need and that as such the prison or wherever is holding the prisoner would be obligated to pay for it.

COSTELLO: And then if he is transferred to a federal prison, would he have to go to a woman's prison?

LAWRENCE: That gets into a real tricky legal area. I'm not sure exactly for every prison what the rules are as to, you know, when you are placed in a male or female population. I know he's going to be in a population in Fort Leavenworth. And I did some digging on that. At Fort Leavenworth, there's between 400 and 500 male inmates. More than half of them are there for sexual crimes.

And from what I've been told Manning would transition to more of a general population area because now he is convicted. He had been sort of in a trial area where the people -- where you're there, but you're still on trial. You haven't been convicted. But now that he's been sentenced, he was scheduled to move to a more general population area there at Fort Leavenworth.

COSTELLO: All right, Chris Lawrence, I'm sure much more will come out about this down the line today.

Chris Lawrence reporting live from the Pentagon.

We have new pictures of children returning to class in Decatur, Georgia. Just two days after a school shooting terrified the community and shut down the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

Also this morning, that dramatic 911 call that everyone is talking about. Many are calling this woman Antoinette Tuff a hero. She is the school office worker who confronted the shooter. Police say Michael Brandon Hill was armed with an assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition but Tuff didn't run away. She actually engaged him, sharing her life story, including her thoughts of a suicide in a failed marriage.

She even told him, she loved him. And slowly, but surely, Hill put his gun down and surrendered. But you have to hear this for yourself. So here it is. The entire unedited 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: DeKalb Police. What's the address and your emergency?

ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL BOOKKEEPER: Yes, ma'am, I'm on 2nd Avenue in the school and the gentleman said tell them to hold down the police officers are coming, he's going to start shooting. So tell them to back off.


TUFF: Do not let anybody in the building including no police. Do not let anybody in the building including the police. UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me, ma'am. Where are you?

TUFF: I'm in the front office. He just went outside and started shooting. Can I run?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Where -- can you get somewhere safe?

TUFF: Yes, I got to go. No, he was going to see me running. He's coming back. Oh, hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Put the phone down.

TUFF: Bye. OK. She said that she's getting the policeman to tell them to back off for you. OK?

MICHAEL BRANDON HILL, SUSPECT: Tell them to stop all movement.


HILL: Stop all movement now.

TUFF: Stop all movement now on the ground. Stop all movement on the ground. If it's not an emergency, please do not use the radio. If it's not an emergency, do not use the radio.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Are you talking to the shooter?

TUFF: That's what he's telling me to tell them on the radio.


TUFF: Now what did you want me to tell her, sir? OK. He told me put you on hold and call the news, ma'am.


TUFF: What you want -- you want me -- I'm trying to find the number for Channel 2. OK. You want me to tell them to -- hello?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.

TUFF: Police?


TUFF: He said tell them to back up right now.


TUFF: OK. Hold on.


TUFF: OK. He said -- he said to tell them to back off. He doesn't want the kids, he wants the police, so back off and -- and what else, sir? He said, he don't care if he die, he don't have nothing to live for, and he said he's not mentally stable.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me. OK? Put the phone down if you have to but don't put it on hold so I can't hear.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Can you tell me where you are?

TUFF: In the front office with him.


TUFF: He said -- he said send in one of your radios with an unarmed officer.


TUFF: She said OK, she's getting ready to tell them, or somewhere he can talk to the police. He said, but if they come armed, he's going to start shooting again.


TUFF: Only one officer.


TUFF: He said, if you have to go ahead and evacuate them all right there in the front of the building.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. OK. Ask him, is he willing to give his name?

TUFF: She said, are you willing to give your name? He said no.


TUFF: He said no, he knows that if he gives his name, he's going away for a long time, and he said he knows he's going away for a long time. He's on probation. Tell them to stand down now. Tell them to stand down now he said.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell him I'm going to give them the instructions.

TUFF: She said she's giving the instructions. He said that he should just shoot himself. He said -- he said call the probation office in DeKalb County and let them know what is going on.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Who are we asking for?

TUFF: She said, who is she asking for? He said he think it's Officer Scott.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. OK. TUFF: You want me to let them -- let her get by?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: What's your emergency?

TUFF: Yes.


TUFF: Yes.


TUFF: You want me to tell her to let -- let her come, sir? She sounds like she loves you a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: You're on the phone with a relative?

TUFF: Yes. Yes. What you say, sir? He said he should have just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he's not on his medication.


TUFF: Well, do you want me -- I can help you. Want me -- do you want to talk to them? Want me to talk to them and try -- OK. Well, let me talk to them and let's see if we can work it out so that you don't have to go away with them for a long time.

No, it does matter. I can let them know that you have not tried to harm me or do anything with me or anything. That you want -- but that doesn't make any difference. You didn't hit anybody. So -- OK.

Let me ask you this, ma'am. He didn't hit anybody, he just shot outside the door. If I walk out there with him -- if I walk out there with him so they won't shoot him or anything like that. He wants to give himself up. Is that OK? They won't shoot him?


TUFF: And he said he just want to go to the hospital.


TUFF: She said --

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Just hold on one moment. OK?

TUFF: OK. She said hold on and we -- and she's going to talk to the police officer and I'll go out there with you.

Well, don't feel bad, baby. My husband just left me after 33 years. But -- yes, you do. I mean, I'm sitting here with you and talking -- just talking to you about it. I got a son that's multiple disabled.

Can I speak to her? Let me talk -- let me talk to her and let her know that I'm going to go with you. You want me to talk to her? No, you didn't, baby. It's all going to be well. And they just going to talk to the police. OK. OK. Hold on. Hold on a second, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Uh-huh, don't hang up the phone.

TUFF: OK. Hold on. He wants me to go over to the intercom so hold the phone for me, OK?


TUFF: OK. Wait a minute. So can you talk to the police and let them know that I'm going to walk out there with him and he wants to give himself up?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. I am. Let me get an OK from them, OK?

TUFF: OK. And what -- and you let me know what we need to do? He wants me to get on the intercom and let everybody know that he's sorry, OK?


TUFF: OK. Hold on. Ma'am?


TUFF: OK. He's going to come out now but -- he wants to know what do you want him to do with the gun.


TUFF: Or do you want to send a police officer in? He said, he'll be on the ground with his hands behind the back and I'll take the gun from him and put it over here on the other side by me.


TUFF: OK. Put -- yes, put all that over here so that way they won't see it. OK? Come over here and put it over here on this -- OK. Put it all up there. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: He's put the weapons down?

TUFF: Yes. So hold on before you come. He's putting everything down.


TUFF: So he's going to get on the floor so tell them to hold on a minute. So let him get everything together. He's getting it all together. OK. Tell me when you ready and I'll tell them to come on in. OK. He wants to drink his bottle of water so let him drink it. Let him get it together. He's -- OK.


TUFF: Did you want me to call somebody and talk to somebody for you? OK. We not going to hate you, baby. It's a good thing that you're giving up. So we're not going to hate you. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, you're doing a great job.

TUFF: So let's do it before the helicopters and stuff like that come. So --

HILL: I already hear them.

TUFF: They're here? You hear them? OK. So you want to go ahead and want me to tell them to come on in now? OK. He's getting everything out of his pockets now.


TUFF: OK. He said the gun may come back and say it's stolen but it's not. He knows the whole story about the gun and he let you all know that.


TUFF: Do you all want him to take his belt off?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: That's fine, just take all his weapons off.

TUFF: OK. She said that's fine, take all your weapons off. Your -- he said he don't have no more weapons.


TUFF: OK. So you -- OK, he's on the ground now with his hands behind the back. Tell the officers don't come in with any gun -- don't come on shooting or anything, so they can come on in and I'll buzz them in.


TUFF: So hold on. Just sit right there, I'm going to buzz them in, OK, so you know when they coming. OK? OK. So just stay there calm. Don't worry about it. I'm going to sit right here so they'll see that you trying not to harm me. OK? OK.


TUFF: It's going to be all right, sweetheart. I just want you to know that I love you, OK? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life. No, you don't want that. No, you don't want that. You going to be OK. You're going to be OK.

I thought the same thing, you know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me? But look at me now. I'm still working and everything is OK.

Your name is Michael what? Michael Hill? When the weather -- in the harbor? The people came in the harbor and planted a gun? Oh, the drum from in the harbor? Oh, OK. So you came with the kids that play the drums for in the harbor? Oh, for real? So you was actually in there doing all of that with them? Oh, how awesome.

So that means -- I seen -- so that means I've seen you before then. Oh, OK. You all play them drums and stuff real good.

OK. He said that they can come on in now. He needs to go to the hospital.


TUFF: And he doesn't have any weapons on him or anything like that. He's laying on the floor and he doesn't have any weapons. He's got everything out of his pocket.

There is no -- the only thing he has on is his belt. Everything is out of his pockets, everything sitting here on the corner. So all we need to do is they can just come in.

I'm going to buzz them in so he knows that they are here and everything. And they can come in and get him, and take him to the hospital.

911 OPERATOR: OK. One moment.


Yes, she says she's going to let them know. She's talking to them now. To let know to come on in and to take you to the hospital. OK?

No, you stay right there. You fine. He said, do you want him to go out there with his hands up or you want him to --


911 OPERATOR: Stay right where he is.

TUFF: OK. She said stay right there with you are. Yes -- he wants to know, can he get some of his water right quick?

Yes, Michael. You said Michael Hill, right? OK. Guess what, Michael, my last name is Hill, too. You know, my mom was a Hill.

He said, what are you all waiting for? What's taking them so long to come on?

911 OPERATOR: OK. One moment.

TUFF: She said, she's getting to them now. They're coming.

They're coming. So just hold on, Michael. Go ahead and lay down. Go ahead and lay down.

Said don't put your phone -- OK. You just got your phone?

OK. That's fine. Tell them to come on. Come on.

OK. He just got his phone. That's all he got is his phone.


It's just him.


OK. It's just him.


TUFF: Hello?

911 OPERATOR: Yes.

TUFF: Let me tell you something, baby, nothing so scary in my life.

911 OPERATOR: Me, either. But you did great.

TUFF: Oh, Jesus.


COSTELLO: Words cannot express, right? Just amazing. Let's talk some more about this.

Martin Savidge is in Decatur. And the Decatur police chief, Cedric Alexander is with me this morning.

Thank you both for coming in to talk about it.

Martin, I want to start with you. Is Ms. Tuff back at school, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, she's not. She's off today getting some well-deserved rest. We're being told by school officials.

But, of course, she is the woman that everybody wants to see and everybody wants to know. And what we can tell you is that she's been with the school district eight years. She's been at this school three years.

And, in fact, initially she wasn't going to be the one in the office at that particular time. It was going to be someone else, but then the principal realized that's a key part of the day. A lot of parents come and go at that time and they need somebody senior, a veteran.

And so, Ms. Tuff was there and -- well, thank goodness for that.

COSTELLO: Are most of the kids back at school, martin?

SAVIDGE: They are. Yes. There are about 600 students, 800 total, but about 600 that show up on a daily basis and they all came back this morning. Yesterday, they were at a temporary site and today they are inside and counselors that are on site for the students, the staff, anyone who may need them. But everything started off normally, they say. And so far, everything has been just fine on the inside. But, of course, everybody wants to see Ms. Tuff.

COSTELLO: You're not kidding. Martin Savidge, thank you so much.

Chief Alexander, your thoughts about this incredible woman.

CHIEF CEDRIC ALEXANDER, DEKALB COUNTY POLICE: Well, the whole event was incredible. I tell you what, you just don't see that type of interaction in these types of situations very, very often at all.

There are some things in life you can rehearse for, but this was a woman who just kept her calm, kept her wits about herself, maintained her composure in this very dangerous situation, if you will. And was able to talk him through the process that he was able to lay his weapon down, lay himself down so that when authorities came through the door, it made it a better opportunity for everyone to be safe.

COSTELLO: So, during this long 911 call, 15 minutes, where were the police?

ALEXANDER: Well, there was police all over the place. And certainly, we had SWAT teams that had gathered and they already entering the building because in situations like this, what we've learned historically is that we don't wait. We're going to enter that building, that school or wherever it is as soon as we can. We're going to divert that person from whatever their objective or whatever their target may happen to be.

COSTELLO: So how far inside the school were police? Were they right outside the office?

ALEXANDER: We're all over the building and we had penetrated the building and we were not very far from that office, which we had, certainly we had communication with Ms. Tuff, who had communication with our dispatchers, as well.

COSTELLO: You're on the scene and you know this call is taking place and 15 minutes must have seemed to be like hours to you. I just can't even imagine just waiting.

But the 911 dispatcher who is on the phone with Ms. Tuff was also communicating with police on the scene telling them what was going on at the time.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely. Information was being sent to us as ms. Tuff talked to the 911 operator. She was talking to the dispatcher who was, of course, informing us of everything that was going on inside.

So, as we were gathering this information, we were also posturing ourselves to get into that building, put eyes on target and find out where everyone was and certainly where he was.

COSTELLO: So if he had opened fire, you were in a position where you could just return fire? ALEXANDER: Absolutely. It didn't get to that point, but had it done so, eyes on target, they would have done what they were trained to do.

COSTELLO: Chief Alexander, thank you so much for sharing. We appreciate it. I'm looking forward to meeting Ms. Tuff, myself. She's amazing.


COSTELLO: Still to come in NEWSROOM: campus crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As of today, my $51,777. I owe, $148,251.69.

COSTELLO: Student loans front and center today. The president promising help.

Also, a massive sinkhole swallows a swamp. It's all caught on camera.

Plus -- who's to blame for hurricane Katrina? Nearly a third of Louisiana Republicans are pointing the finger at -- wait for it -- President Obama.

And, 32 days, 18 accusers and one very pitiful fall from office. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner strikes a deal.

NEWSROOM is back after a break.



COSTELLO: It is clear this morning that Hannah Anderson does not want to be seen as a victim. The teenager kidnapped by a family friend who murdered her mother and brother decided to go public. On NBC's "Today" show, Anderson said she's not a victim, she's a survivor. And she talked publicly about Ethan and her mom for the very first time.


HANNAH ANDERSON, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: He had a really big heart and she was strong hearted and very tough. She knew how to handle things.


COSTELLO: Hannah also explained those 13 calls her abductor made to her at school right before he kidnapped her.


ANDERSON: The phone calls weren't phone calls. They were texts because he was picking me up from cheer camp and he didn't know the address or where I was. So, I had to tell him the address and tell him that I was going to be in the gym and not in front of the school just so he knew where to come get me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: Hannah would not talk about what happened in the Idaho woods. That part of her story is still under investigation. But she did have this to say to her critics.


ANDERSON: You are who you are. You shouldn't let people change that. And you'll have your own opinion on yourself and other people's opinion shouldn't matter.


COSTELLO: Hannah is now focused on getting back to life as a typical 16-year-old high school student.

Checking our top stories at 46 minutes past the hour.

The nation's top spy agency improperly collected e-mails from Americans during a three-year period ending in 2011. That's according to newly declassified opinions by a secret court that oversees the NSA. That same court also said the NSA had misrepresented its activities. A private advocate said this.


MARC ROTENBERG: It's very disturbing. The national security agency has extraordinary surveillance capabilities and these are tools that are supposed to be directed toward adversaries of the United States, not towards the American public.


COSTELLO: The court also said the NSA has fixed its mistakes.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is in great shape and expected to leave a Texas cancer center today. That's according to the White House. The younger Biden had an unspecified medical procedure, after feeling weak and disoriented on a family vacation last week. He suffered a mild stroke back in 2010.

International outrage is building over some disturbing images you're about to see from Syria's civil war. Some of you might want to look away. The pictures posted online shows dozens of bodies, many of them children. Rebels say the government has unleashed chemical weapons on civilian neighborhoods. Syria denies the claims, but some members of Congress say it's time for the White House to take action.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Where does this stop? When does the United States with very little cost stand up for these people and stop this horrific -- you can't look at those pictures without being deeply moved. Are we going to just let that go on?

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: The United States and its allies are calling on the United Nations to investigate. U.N. inspectors are in Syria investigating previous claims but the government is blocking its access to the sites.

Former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez might learn today if a grand jury has indicted him in a murder. Massachusetts authorities have already charged the 23-year-old with killing Odin Lloyd in June. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. Grand jury heard from several witnesses, including a man who is suing Hernandez for allegedly shooting him back in January.

Ichiro Suzuki the third player in baseball history to record 4,000 hits. The Yankees' outfielder got a single in the first inning last night. Nearly 1,300 of his hits come from his time in Japan. Ichiro trails only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb in lifetime hits.

We're watching the opening bell on Wall Street. Investors are hoping for a losing streak to end today. They're also weighing the possibility the Fed might reduce its massive bond buying program. We'll keep you posted and we'll be right back.