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Coverage of the Movie Theater Shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 24, 2015 - 00:00   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell.

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: And hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade.

We continue to follow the breaking news out of the State of Louisiana. A shooting inside a movie theater.

HOWELL: It is still a very active crime scene at this hour , a mass shooting that happened around 7:30 local time, 8:30 P.M. Eastern. And the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, which is just west of the city of New Orleans.

KINKADE: Police say the shooter is a 58-year-old white male, and that he acted alone. Two people were killed and the shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Seven people are wounded, three of them remain in a critical condition.

HOWELL: Multiple agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation are at the scene. One witness, describe the screams that she heard coming from that theater.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've heard the girls (ph) are screaming, like they came out from the movie theater saying that someone got shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And after that, what did you do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know what happened yet. So -- then we, the guard or something came to us and tell everybody to get outside, so we ran outside. And they have this lady right there, and she was on a dress, and there was blood everywhere. That's when we realize what was going on. So here - and here, we went inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see other people running? I mean, what the things look like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of people running over here.


HOWELL: Witnesses describe that as a pretty chaotic scene after that shooting took place. And we're also hearing from Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal, who rushed to the scene of that shooting. He is asking for prayers for the Lafayette community.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: The great thing about America is when any of us suffers, whether it's one family or one community, we all suffer.

This is the time for us to come together. I know we've been in inundated with calls from folks all over the country. What we can do now, is we can pray.

We can hug these families, we can shower them with love, thoughts and prayers. Their families at mourning, they are mourning the lost of loved ones tonight. Their other families that are in the hospitals right now, hoping their love ones are going to make full recoveries. The best thing anybody can do right now, is to think about them, pray for them, shower them with your love. That's the most important thing, we will get through this.


HOWELL: Also hearing from the man who is inside that building and across the hall from the movie theatre where the shooting happened. And he talked about what he heard. Listen.


KEIFER SANDERS, WITNESS: We were sitting in movies and started, and the alarm came on, we need to evacuate to the nearest exist, so we did. And then we evacuate, we came on (inaudible). I've seen a lady that was wounded in the legs, laying on the (inaudible) shots, awaiting - waiting on the ambulance to get here.

And then, I've spoke to another guy that was actually in the movie theater that the shooting happen there. And what he said was, they were sitting down all right before the movie started, it was quite. There was no argument, nothing. Nothing going on and a guy just stood up and started opening fire, and that everybody scrambled and the guy was of kind of at the (inaudible) shooting. Never were they tried attempt to leave.

KINKADE: The movie playing was the blockbuster Trainwreck. The movie star has now reacted on Twitter. Amy Schumer tweeted this a short time ago saying, "My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana".

Let's bring in our Law Enforcement Analyst now, Cedric Alexander who joined us at the desk. Thanks for being with us.

Now, we know that the FBI and local police are at the same. We know that they've looked for explosives and declaiming the area. What will they be doing in the coming hours?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, let me say this. My hearts and prayers go out to the innocent victims who lost their lives and re injured tonight. So, this is very preliminary and still very early in this investigation that probably still have technical teams that are going to that movie theater, inch by inch, to make sure that there are no other any victims in there, any other subjects that maybe inside, and also gone this week for any IEDs. And that's a very important part.

Now, once that is completed and investigators will go inside, and they have started to conduct their investigations. So, this is very early on in this unfortunate that has occurred here tonight at Louisiana.

HOWELL: Well, Cedric, we are hearing also that law enforcement has the special officers to different theaters there in Lafayette. Is there concern? Is there a worry that there could be copy cat?

ALEXANDER: Well, that thing but what we maybe doing that appears is that, they just going to be extra precautious tonight in that community. Because here again, it's still very early in this investigation. We don't know what initiated this attack? Rather it was a lone gunman or rather it was other people that may have been involved, was been planned.

[00:05:00] We don't know. So, I'm quite sure it appears to what you're saying is that you're just taking all precaution to make sure that people in that community are safe.

KINKADE: Oh, what we do know as the fires, that the gunman, the shooter in this case is now dead. He was a 58-year-old white male. What they'll be looking at to determine his motives?

ALEXANDER: Well, here again, it's very, very early. Once they make an identification which I'm quite sure they probably do know who he is by now, then it's just a matter of going back, looking into his profile, his history, going back to his home, his neighborhood, talking to witnesses and others that may have had contact with him such as family members prior to this attack inside that movie theater.

But I think as the hours and the days evolved, we're going to understand more and more of what created this situation here tonight, and what is the cause behind it, and the reason for it.

HOWELL: And as Lynda mentioned to you, we know that he's 58, a white male. We do not know the identity law enforcement not yet releasing that. When would you expect that law enforcement will release that name, and why would they keep that so close to the vest right now?

ALEXANDER: Well, here again, it s very early in investigation. You want to make sure that you don't compromise any part of this investigation because we don't know what launched this attack on his behalf. So, they are being very smart, they are being very deliberate, and think over time, as long as we are very patient, they will get that information to us in terms of who that perpetrator is. But it's just a matter of just being a little patient right now.

KINKADE: President Obama has spoken quite often in the last few weeks about his frustration with U.S. Gun Control Laws. He was interviewed on the BBC yesterday, and he said and I quote, "If you look at the number of Americans killed since 911 by terrorism, it's less than a hundred. If you look at the numbers that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands". What do you make about frustration?

ALEXANDER: Well, I think the president brings up a very good point, and certainly he is frustrated, and many Americans in this country are just frustrated by this will too.

And what's going to happen up here, again, the whole issue of gun control just want to come back into our lives, and there's going to be for the talk about it in Washington, on the Hill, and across this country because in some ways, we're really going to have to understand how do we protect the rights of people. We have the right to own weapons but at the same time too, how do we protect innocent victims as well too, and how do we make sure that guns don't get into the wrong hands, to the wrong people.

So, it's a very complex issue in our society. We all understand that. But we all are much frustrated. Many of us are just as frustrated as the president of the United States. And it is worthy of some real concern because what we beginning to see is these types of activities. This type of violence appears to be happening week after week after week in this country. And we can no longer ignore.

So we have to begin to really have some real hard and intelligent conversations as to how we're going to confront this issue around gun control, but at the same time too, protecting the rights of those honest good citizens who use guns in a proper and correct way.

HOWELL: We are looking at this situation today and, you know, it was just a short time ago, where we saw a situation where a person went into a church, and shot and killed people. In this case, we understand this was a movie patron, who was inside that theater and when the shooting happens.

Cedric, stay with us of course so we will come to you for some more insight on this but we appreciate you being with us, our CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Cedric Alexander, thank you.

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

KINKADE: Thank you.

Well, the shooting in Louisiana has a special resonance in the United States. It comes almost exactly three years after similar deadly shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. There, 12 people died and 70 others were wounded by the gunman open fired the crowd at the screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Night Rises". It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

HOWELL: Last week, a jury found James Holmes. Guilty of multiple counts of first degree murder in that massacre at the (inaudible) phase of his trial. Again, this weekend is expected to last about a month. KINKADE: Of course, it's frightening to think of movie theaters as anything other than safe and, of course, summer time is a very popular time for moviegoers.

HOWELL: Joining us now is the CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter.

Bryan, what can you tell us just about -- at least the reaction from this theater given what happened.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. We've been trying to reach the owner of the theater there in Lafayette. It's a movie theater chain that has theaters all across the south in the U.S. It's based on New Orleans. They've had no comment yet on what happened on one of their theaters tonight.

But obviously, whenever like this happens out a movie theater, it does affect the industry. It does create concern in the industry, and questions about security. You we're describing Aurora, three years ago, it has become one of those atrocities where you just say it with one word, Aurora.

[00:10:00] You know, it really shocked the context of the country 30 years ago because so many were killed in such a usually happy as you know in an entertaining place. I think that's what is so unique about a crime that is committed on a movie theater. People go there implicitly believing they are safe and have to sit in a dark theater with strangers to be entertained. To, in some cases, see violence on screen but know they are safe there.

And I think once again, people will, especially in the common hours and days, wondering, are they safe when they go to the movie theater? Well, the short answer is yes, obviously or for most past when we see -- when we see crimes like this, they are obviously the exception of the rule. And certainly in the aftermath of the Aurora massacre, we did not see a big downturn in ticket sales, we did not a dramatic change, you know, in peoples movie going habits. There were changes to security and the wake everywhere and maybe we'll hear about that again in the wake of this -- in this, you know, mass shooting in Louisiana.

For example, there were more guards in some cases, there were more security checks at theaters. What we have not seen though is a real change in the way movie theaters operate. And many of the security measures that were implemented were implemented quietly. There wasn't a lot of publicity around them. Movie theaters did not want to publicize them. And at the moment, I have a feeling we'll see some of the same reaction to this most recent tragedy.

HOWELL: You know, Brian, we hear from some of the people there that were act with theater and you know, we understand that the -- the sounds that they heard, many of them thought that those sounds were coming from the actual movie, but in fact it turned out to be the gunshots were being fired either in the or nearby.

STELTER: Yes, and I guess so that issue of when you're in a theater, when you're in a darkened room, you believe you are safe, you know, you have to believe you are safe in order to be able to enjoy the drama or the comedy that you're seeing on screen. I think it was mentioned earlier that we've heard from the start of the movie that was playing, Trainwreck, this is a movie by Amy Schumer, a real fast rising star in Hollywood. She pretty quickly reached out via Twitter, said "My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana."

You can understand why she felt the need to say something when it was hear movie that happened to flame at the time of the shooting. Most likely, a coincidence but since it was her movie, you see her waiting there. The studio that released the movie, Universal, has declined a comment at the moment. There was not much they can say at a moment like this, other than to send their prayers and thoughts to the people involved.

KINKADE: Brian, you mentioned that in the wake of the shooting in Colorado that security measures change in some theaters. Do you know which theaters security, new security was stepped up? And do you think down the track possibly we will see metal detectors in movie theaters like we see it at festivals, music festivals?

STELTER: Right. You know, I think what people so, in many case, is so clearly appreciate about the movie going experience is that you can walk right in. I was making a comment to Don Lemon earlier about how sometimes you go and sneak into a second movie. There is that kind of, you know, ability and behavior like you see in movie theaters because there is not rigid security because people are free to go about their days and have fun and have a good time in movie theaters.

The idea of walking through metal detectors to walk into a theater would really change that, would really reshape that. But, yeah, you mentioned which theaters that, you know, made changes, the theater in Colorado, in Aurora, was owned by Cinemark. That, you know, theater company did take some extra measures in the wake of the shooting there. They've actually been involved in lawsuits from some of the family members of the victims of the shooting in 2012. Some of them sue in Cinemark saying there should have been stronger security at the time of the shooting.

Those cases have been working their way through the courts. The two big chains in the US are AMC and Regal. And they have also, in the wake of Aurora, tried to take more security measures. But like I said, they turn out to publicize them, they turn out to promote the fact that they're doing them because they don't want to make people concerned or make people frightened. And then also don't want potential wrongdoers to know about the security measures. But this was a smaller movie theater chain, it's called Southern Theaters and I think they get notable on their website, they do make it clear that even if you have a concealed carry permit, even if you're allowed to carry a gun in the state, you're not allowed to bring it to the movie theater.

And obviously in the wake of an attack like this, we will hear about conversations about whether, "People would have been safer with guns in the theater from law-abiding citizens were safer with (inaudible)."

KINKADE: (No, don't...)

HOWELL: So, that will be a debate that will continue but, you know, at the end of the day, what do you have you? You have just innocent people, you know, who went to a movie theater and found themselves in this situation.

KINKADE: Let's just have -- we don't say airport type screening so we have to take a few shoes just to go to see a movie?

HOWELL: Metal detectors at theaters. Brian brought that up.

Brian, thank you so much for your insights.

Now, we heard earlier from Lafayette Police Chief, Jim Craft, who describe what his officers saw when they first entered that theater. Listen.


[00:15:03] JIM CRAFT, LAFAYETTE POLICE CHIEF: Four officers entered the theater to engage the shooter. They did hear shots being fired at that time. What they found upon making entry is that it appears that the shooter has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after discharging his weapon numerous times.

What we have so far is that we have confirmed two fatalities, the shooter and a number of confirmed fatalities and the suspect and let's say the confirmed fatality.]


HOWELL: Let's listen now to this news conference from Jim Craft speaking. Let's listen to them.

CRAFT: ... and people moving back and we guys had to be moving back. We located the suspect vehicle of what we think is the suspect vehicle. There was a suspicious package inside and as a result of that, we had to stop all processing work and all investigation. We have tracked down at the scene where Louisiana State Police bomb squad is now in charge of the scene and has (robot) out and they're going to deal with that. And so from now, our investigation is on hold until we're absolutely sure that the scene, both inside and outside, is safe.

And I'll turn it over to Colonel Edmonson regarding the state police responsibilities.

MIKE EDMONSON, LOUSIANA STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: First of all, thank you all for your coverage here. And there's a lot of moving parts, there's a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation and then our job is to try to get that correct because we're going to make sure the families themselves, the governor is going to talk about his bill at the hospital, talk some of the families and we want to make sure we get this much accurate information out as possible.

So please allow us the opportunity to do that. What you saw earlier with the Germans running across the parking lot, they located the car of the individual, the alleged shooter who is now deceased at this time.

We saw some stuff in there, a dog actually hit on three different location of the car, so out of abundance of caution, we brought in the bomb squad, they're at the car now, they see some stuff in there, they look suspicious, that's all it does, it looks suspicious. And we'll also will going to get into the chunk.

What you got a problem here, and we moved again out of abundance of caution, we moved people completely out of that area just to make sure the scene is safe. Officer safety, people safety, public that's about our most concern at this point. You're going to hear noise, it could sound something like a muffle shotgun blast. That is strictly powder going off as we -- we'll probably going to explode the windows, we'll probably going to explode the chunk because we don't want to open ourselves, we are like a robot opener. So we can make sure that there is nothing in there that could cause anybody in your home. That's what you're going to see taking place probably over the next hour.

After that, we're going to then go into the theater itself. But keep in mind that is a crime scene, we still have bodies in there, OK, now the shooter is still in there and at least one of the personnel. So we need to get back in there, make sure that is completely clear. There is couple optics in there, there are some dogs that hit on earlier, we're going to go in there, we're going to check those -- those packages out, we're going to x-ray them, make sure that there is nothing that concerns us in there. And then once we get that cleared, then hopefully that will take maybe another or so to do that.

But here is the deal. As long as it takes this is going to take. Because we want to make sure that everyone is safe. So we're going to go in there and do that, and once we can secure that scene then the next step will be to bring the crime lab in there. Because there's a lot of -- lot of information in there that we want to make sure that we get accurately and plus we're going to make sure we can get the corner in there to actually do the job that his office will need to do.

So that's going to be part of the next couple hours or so. I think you heard the chief a few minutes ago, there is information now that people are putting out the actual shooter myself (ph).

Here is the bottom line on that. Why would we want to put any information out about that individual until we get all the things that we need from him? We need to make sure we check his place out, we talked to his friends, because if there is other concerns there, all you're doing is putting somebody's else life constantly in danger.

So that's why we want to make sure that we get accurate information to you. We're going to release it as soon as we can, we'll verify the information we have or verify the disease names, we're trying to talk to the families now. We owe them that respect to actually talk to the families and let them know what happened. And then we'll systematically work with tames, we're trying to talk to the families now. We owe them that respect to actually talk to the families and let them know what happened. And then we'll systematically work with the chase (ph) office and his detectives to find out, "Hey, what happened? What brought the guy in there? Why did he go in there, buy himself? Why did he go in the theater and why did he decide to pull the weapon out and to harm individuals and actually kill two individual?" We need to find that out.

Basically, it take time to do that. So please allow us to do that. As you can see, we've got public informations officers down here, we'll get the information to you, answer any questions you might have. But please keep in mind that, when we leave here, we got a lot of people for that lot of work to do.

[00:20:04] This is going to be the rest of the night. It's going to be enter them all (ph) before we can actually clear the whole scene from a forensic standpoint, and make sure we look at each one of those.

Lot of experts on this thing right now, the right people here. So we're just asking the public to work with this. There's nothing that we believe that has any other concerns, passes, point. Again, there is no other active shooter out there, and we don't believe there is anybody else involved so we want to make sure the public understand that which is why we move the people out, evacuated in apartment complex and a small area just to make sure to weekly that call completely clear it out and make sure there is no other concerns to that.

What I want to do now is turn it over to Bobby Jindal who's had the opportunity to visit with some of the families, to go about the hospital, and again deliver a message to the heirs (ph). And he will answer the questions you might have.

BOBBY JINDAL, LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Thank you, Mike. I want to thank Michael, thank the Chief, and thank all law enforcement, federal state level you see that we're working together here.

Today is the day that not only angers but also sadness to all of this. This should never happen anywhere but you certainly never imagined, we never imagined what happened to Louisiana, never imagined would happen in Lafayette.

This kind of a night crime, an awful night that brings us together as a community, we all reside in community, we ask people for their thoughts, for their prayers, let us shower these families with love.

Let me tell you. I did opportunities to go to a local hospital and visit with some of the families. I thank the doctors, the nurses, the other because they are taking such great care of these that were injured tonight. I want to share with you just a quick story about -- just a story of heroism, and just an example of what happened inside the theater.

I was visiting with several family members and friends. There was a couple of teachers were in that movie theater tonight. And all of them are shot, one of them is released tonight. Our friend nearly jumped over our -- and her account (ph) actually saved your life. If she hadn't done that, her friend got shot, the fellow teacher got shot, that bullet she believed would have hit her on the head. Now, both teachers ended up shot. The second one, the one whose life was saved, even though she was shot on the legs, she had the presence of mind to hold the fire alarm to help save other lives.

Now I think that as we learn about the details and then we're going to hear about other acts of selfless heroism of people trying to help each other and trying to save other lives, these are two teachers just out to watch a movie during their last few days to a summer break. Getting ready for the new semester. They never imagined that their little outing would be interrupted by this senseless act of violence, this awful, awful tragedy.

I saw family members that were hoping for the best. They were waiting information of their loved ones, they hoped, they believed that even though they wouldn't be discharged tonight, they would be able to make recoveries, but right now they just -- they wanted out and they're waiting for the doctors to be able to tell them that they are praying, they are fearful, they are anxious.

The best thing we have heard from folks all over the country, literally all over the country, now is the great time to send them your thoughts, your prayers, your love. This is a resilient community. Lafayette will come together, I can't name every single agency and folks that were here, and we've been joined by local statement federal folks. I do want to just again I'll close by thanking our law enforcement officials.

You heard me say this earlier tonight. They ran towards danger, not away from it. The first officers could still hear the gunshots and they still ran towards that theater, they do an amazing job protecting us every single day. I'm grateful for their heroism in this. I think we'll hear other stories from folks inside the theaters, those details come out.

Again, keep those family members in your thoughts and prayers. I know there was a lot of anxiety tonight in the (inaudible), lot of folks just waiting here some good news about their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd like to thank Governor Jindal on behalf of our community as well as he spoke with our City-Parish president tonight, Joey Durell, who is traveling. He is catching air travel back to Lafayette and should be back around daylight early tomorrow morning. Our prayers are certainly with all of those who have been injured in those, who have lost loved ones tonight.

We need to point out again and we can't emphasize enough to our local folks that this is major crime scene, it is a large crime scene that is along a state highway. Tomorrow morning, on Friday, that roadway is going to be very, very busy. Please don't take that way to work, if you can take a different route. Please allow and respect what's going on here today. This is just a beginning of a very long process, as Colonel Adminson said. And we need our community to come together.

Please respect the families and respect their privacy. Pray for them, pray for these first responders who got in harm's way today and saved many lives this evening. We thank you all for your outpouring of love and support and the contact that we've had from -- throughout the United States tonight. But, please, again, to our local folks, pray for our community, we'd take care of each other and stay away from these crimes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we ask you? The items that are inside the theater, what can you say about them made you guys classified and made suspicious.

ADMINSON: Well, there's a backpack in there, there are several items that the dogs went to initially that they hit on. So that concerns us. We want to go in there and make sure that we're clear because once we do that, we're going to let crime scene investigators go in there.

[00:25:04] Their job is going to take some time. There has been multiple shots fired in there, they got to locate each one of those shells, the gun itself, all of that -- all of that information that we have to build a case now. Even though we have the alleged shooter that's deceased, we still have to build a case. And I think it's out of fairness all involved. Let's put some closure to this. And I think that's how is that. We begin closure tonight, we're interviewing all that was in there again. Take a little over 100 individual in the theater talking to the witnesses over there and dealing with the local hospitals and also some of the eye witnesses that story happen.

So I want to look at his history, I want to look at his family, that all be part of it but I think compiling it all together and bringing some closure for this facility or this neighborhood and certainly for this city.

Like the governor said, the first responders, they were running in. I mean, our ambulance, and all those individuals that were going in there because they simply want to do something that was saving life.

This was an ordinary evening and I think you all see it, it became extraordinary pretty quickly.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... from the hospital?

EDMONSON: OK, well...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... maybe going to his...

EDMONSON: We'll be going out safe, they probably already have and they're working on that now and we have not received any information back on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any information on the shooter's criminal background? I know you're not releasing his name, sir.

CRAFT: He does have a criminal history. It looks like it's pretty old, nothing recent that we found (inaudible) but one of the things we have to do is make sure that person we're looking at is positively identified the person whose identify we find. So, that's going to take some time. And I know there's a lot of speculation right now on social media and we ask, please don't put on any information that could put our officers in harm's way. There's a lot of investigation that we've done regarding the suspect's background and we certainly don't want to compromise the safety of those officers who might be going to different addresses and different locations to learn more about the suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have any of the victims been released from the hospital (inaudible) condition is upgraded?

CRAFT: I think one victim has been released from the hospital. And again...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw one -- I saw one, the most -- I first then saw at least on victim released...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's one of the teachers.

CRAFT: The injuries ranged from nine live threats made to critical. We know that one victim was in surgery and was not doing well. And so, we're getting constant updates from the medical facilities. We do have police officers there to make sure those folks are protected and, you know, we'll continue to get updates throughout the night, why we work this (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give us any idea...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... will be able to return to their homes and bring (inaudible)?

EDMONSON: I think that's good. Take time, Chief (inaudible). Once we clear the car, once we go inside the building, and clear that and then we're going to let their technicians actually start working the crime scene itself. A probably seven hours to get that done. And again, I want to put time (ph) on because this is about safety.

It won't be open and they won't be allowed to go back until we know, we feel that they're absolutely safe. That's why you're going to hear a noise around the corner, if we hear that, that's strictly (ph) as working and making sure that -- I'm not going to put (inaudible) there open that chunk (inaudible). So it's going to take a while but hopefully we can do it as quickly as possible but also the safe way as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As for the suspect (inaudible) alone, can you explain how you know that?

CRAFT: We think he was alone. Just from my witnesses that we've interviewed already, no one reported saying seeing him sitting with anyone. He appeared to be by himself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give us any ages of the victim?

CRAFT: The ages range from the late teens to probably into the 60s. How about those... We're actually talking to a family right now so let's give that family a chance to get that information out there. I think that's important. Let me ask closure of that family, it's a horrible situation to have something like that happen. So it was important as securing an ID of the bodies in there. Remember, we have done that and they're actually talking to the family (inaudible).

CRAFT: Where we started to make the death notifications to -- into family members who went to the hospital to check on their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said 100 people were in the theater. Was that the entire theater or just the actual movie viewer when the movie was going on?

CRAFT: We don't exactly do head counts inside the theater, of that particular theater itself, but I was told when I robbed (ph) on scene that we had about 100 people to interview.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea about motive?


CRAFT: Not yet. We -- You know, we -- this kind of stuff just leave me wondering we, you know, why we would a guy come into the theater, you know, in this city we, you know, we have a relatively safe city. And just, you know, randomly starts shooting people.

[00:30:16] You know, it's hard to figure out, and he's deceased, so we may not ever know.

UNKOWN MALE: Tell me about this that you recover from the scene?

CRAFT: We haven't recovered any yet.

UNKNOWN MALE: Guys, we're going to stop this conference. The next press conference will probably take place once the building is secured and cleared, OK.

We'll let you know when that's going to take place. Thank you all so much.




CRAFT: Thank you.


HOWELL: The bottom of the hour and you are watching the live news conference there from Lafayette, Louisiana. Let's update our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world on what's happening there.

The shooting happened just after 7:30 Central Time, 8:30 Eastern Time in the city of Lafayette. That's when investigator say, a man walked into a theater, open fired, killing two people, and then turning the gun on himself, killing himself, so three dead overall, seven people injured.

We will continue to follow the story and bring you the latest developments as we learn more here on CNN Stay with us, right back after the break.


HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. We continue to follow the breaking news out of Lafayette, Louisiana, a shooting that took place inside a movie theater there.

Officials say a gunman walked into a movie theater, as a patron, then open fired, killing two people, then turning the weapon -- the gun on himself, killing himself.

At least seven other people injured. This happened just after 7:30 Central Time, 8:30 Eastern Time at that shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana.

[00:35:03] And at this hour, still a very active crime scene. We understand that investigators located the alleged shooter's vehicle.

They noticed a suspicious package inside. And now, the bomb squad is in charged of the scene, they are using a robot to go to that vehicle to determine of what is inside.

And until that happens, the crime scene is basically on hold, suspended, until they can determine what the case is with that particular car.

Also important to point out, this is the time where investigators are making death notifications. Again, remember that two people killed, and we understand that the injuries range from critical to non-life threatening, and one victim released from the hospital just recently.

KINKADE: And we just heard from the local governor, Bobby Jindal, who has met with some of the victims in the local hospitals there.

He spoke about a couple of teachers who he met. He said one actually thought they were going to be shot in the head, another died across to save that teacher.

And of course they were just hoping to go for a casual night at the movies towards the end of their summer break before returning to school.

So, there are some stories of heroism coming out of this as we speak. We still understand that there are two bodies of the victim's inside the theater as well as the body of the gunman the, the car on the east on the same. But as we said, the crime scene is in locked down at the moment, as the bomb squad moves in and assesses this suspicious package in the gunman's car. Now, we're going to go to a witness Bearb, our witness Paige Bearb, who joins us now on the phone, she was in the theater.

Paige, can you explain to us what happened? What unfolded as you were there at the movie, and I understand Trainwreck, the film was just about to start when this shooting occurred.

PAIGE BEARB, WITNESS: Yes, ma'am. I wasn't in the same actual theater of the movie, I was in another one next door to it. And all I can hear was people screaming.

And then the alarm set off. First the exit, and as we we're leaving, everybody was running out, exiting (ph). And I've seen the people who've got shot. I've seen one lady with the gun wound to the legs, and they were taking her into an ambulance, and all I can think was just run, try to save your life.

And I went to my car and I just said (inaudible) we got to get out and live...


KINKADE: Sorry, when that fire alarm went off, did everyone start to run out of the theater?

BEARB: Yes ma'am, exactly. We had got worried while we're sitting there that there was a shooting because a lady sitting not far from me, got a call that her friend couldn't come inside because they locked the doors until there was a shooting.

So she asked if we had a weapon to protect ourselves and I said "No ma'am, I sure we don't". And I was like (inaudible) because I didn't know for sure, then we heard the screaming coming from the theater next door. And we just started running out once we heard the alarms.

HOWELL: Paige, we heard earlier from your governor there, Bobby Jindal, about who set off that alarm, apparently, and we told the story also. But a teacher who apparently jumped, you know, attacked but another friend to protect or to try to stop, you know, a bullet from reaching her, but this woman was shot in the leg.

As you mentioned, you saw someone who was shot in the leg. But apparently, still pulled off that fire alarm, to let people know what was happening.

I just have to ask you, I mean, so you get out of the theater and you get a sense of what's happening, what's going through your mind?

BEARB: Scared, very scared. It was like reality set in real quick.


KINKADE: And did you know immediately what happen? Did you know that there was a gunman in the theater next door?

BEARB: Yes. Because like I said, the lady sitting not far from me, I got learned that there was, and then right after she said that, we heard screaming.

So, we all kind of just panicked. Because there was like maybe about seven or eight of us in the theater. And we just started running when the alarm went off.

KINKADE: And have law enforcement officers spoken to you, I understand they've interviewed about a hundred witnesses.


KINKADE: So you've provided details of what you - what you saw?

BEARB: Yes ma'am.

KINKADE: OK. Paige Bearb, we appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much for joining us.

HOWELL: We're glad you're OK, Paige.

BEARB: Thank you.

KINKADE: Yeah, we're glad you're safe.

[00:39:49] And we're going to continue the coverage of this shooting and speak to a law enforcement officer after the break. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Welcome back. We're covering breaking news of the shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana. We're going to bring in Lanie Lee Cook on the phone now, she's a reporter with the Canadian Advocate, she's live at the scene.

Lanie, before we get to the details about the shooter, just take us through how this unfolded, I understand the movie just about to start as the gunman opened fire we are of course learning about some of the details regarding the victims and a Press Conference has just got underway.

And they've explained some of the injuries. Just tell us what you know.

LANIE LEE COOK, REPORTER: Right, so what we know right now is that three are dead including the gunman, nine people are injured and a press conference that just concluded with Governor Bobby Jindal, State Police and the Lafayette Police Department, their local, one of those injured victims was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.

Other than that, police are still processing the scene. They found the shooter's car, what they believe to be the shooter's car and found a suspicious package within. They are soon going to be detonating that. They've escorted all the media away from the scene. Other than that, we have no new information.

HOWELL: And we heard that, you know, the officers, you know, we might hear something around that car and given what people heard obviously earlier in the day at that movie theater, I'm sure people are a little jittery but the officers did say that we could hear some sort of detonation near that car as they, you know try to determine the nature of this suspicious package.

If you could also just tell us, you know, what's the situation right now with people who did manage to get out? Do you see people still there talking to officers? We do understand they're going to be talking to at least 100 people, the witnesses.

COOK: Correct. People are still here inside the theater from what we understand. We don't know exactly how many people are still at the theater, a lot of people at the hospital.

[00:45:01] I did talk to some people who were in an adjacent theater right after -- right as the shooting was happening, a teacher in the theater where the actual shooting happened. According to the governor, a teacher pulled the fire alarm she -- after she had just been saved by her friend who jumped in front of her to stop the bullet from hitting her.

HOWELL: Right.

COOK: A very remarkable story. But she pulled the fire alarm so everyone evacuated the theater and I talked to three men who said when they walked out they saw a woman on the ground covered in blood. And the police have interviewed them, they've interviewed everyone who was on the scene at the time and actually there she though conducting interviews right now.

KINKADE: And we understand the gunman is a white male, 58 years of age and I understand according to that press conference that just happened. His body along with two of the victim is still in the theaters, is that correct? Are there people inside the theater that cleared the scene while the bomb squad gets in to do their work?

COOK: From what I understand, the scene has still at this. They are still processing it. I have no word that they have removed the victims from the crime scene. They're still processing it. The coroner is still inside.

HOWELL: You know, I can only imagine, you know, what the mood is right now given what happened there. I mean, what are people saying, these survivors who, you know, were lucky enough to get out of that theater.

COOK: Well, they are all in shock of course. This is an area, metropolitan area, some of it rural of less than 300,000 people. So it's very shocking to everyone here. There are tons of people in the streets just standing around trying to get information, trying to understand what's happening, showing support here in Lafayette.

HOWELL: Lanie Lee Cook, we appreciate your insights, reporting there on the scene. Please stay with us. Stay in touch with us and we will get back to you for further updates.

COOK: Thank you. KINKADE: We're going to and go to a witness, Keifer Sanders now. He joins us on the phone. He was across the hall from the movie theater when the shooting occurred. Just take us through what you saw and what you heard when this happened.

KEIFER SANDERS, WITNESS: Yeah. We were across the hallway from the movie theater, just thought about 11:30. Our movie had just began got through all the opening credits and it was maybe five minutes into the movie whenever end. And obviously the alarm went off, the screen went black. Kind of like a PSA announcer went over and saying to evacuate the building at your nearest exit. After we did, we evacuated through the back of the theater. That's probably around a 100 people around the back of theater maybe little more. And now we'll walk around to the front and the cops are already arriving.

They got there pretty quickly, you know, they had a lady who had a gun wound to her leg laying on the side walk in front of the movie theater. And then the cops rushed into the buildings to the front door and went there all got together and something. Then I ended speaking with a guy who was actually in the theater of the shooting. And they said it was kind of just quieting and argument. No, nothing going on and the guy just stood up and then just a normal manner and started open the fire on the theater.

HOWELL: And that's -- we've heard, you know, from law enforcement officials that this gunman, her witnesses was a patron. He was a movie patron, was in the theater and then as you mentioned just, you know, started opening fire.


HOWELL: What more can you tell us just about, you know, when you heard that alarm and people started to rush out, I mean it was a pretty chaotic scene, I would only imagine that, you know, it was pretty scary.

SANDERS: It really wasn't very chaotic scene to be honest with you.


SANDERS: Whenever the alarm went off. Everybody just kind of stood up and went to the back door. I mean concerns but it's not in a -- nobody was running around frantically or anything. There just nobody really knew what was going on a few people, a second maybe or the fire or something small like that and once, we got around to that front of the movie theater we realized that there was shooting.

KINKADE: So a lot of confusion there at first. Kiefer Sanders we appreciate you joining us tonight. So we hoped to talk to you again very soon. Thank you very much for your time.

SANDERS: OK, thank you.

[00:49: 29] KINKADE: We're going to take a quick break, and we're going to be right back after this with more on this shooting in Louisiana. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: We need to follow the breaking news out at Lafayette, Louisiana, a shooting inside a movie theater and at this hour still an active scene as investigators now have the bomb squad in place checking on the suspect's vehicle. They found a suspicious package in that vehicle and we understand that they will use a robot to detonate that suspicious package.

Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander who now joins us in. Cedric, so, talk to us about that procedure. Obviously these investigator say until that happens their investigation is on hold until they know that its safe because they found that suspicious package.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely. They have to move very slowly, very methodically. We have still have police officers and law enforcement officials out there that have to be protected. And if they've located a course, a suspicious item inside of this vehicle and you can pretty much rest assure there going to be a very cautious and they're going to take all the necessary precautions in order to safely detonate that item whatever it may happen to be. It may turn to be out to be false. It may turn the out to be something real but nevertheless safety becomes the most important thing here for all those involved.

KINKADE: And we've got (ph) that the gunman, the 58-year-old white male. According to witness reports who spoke to police, he was a patron at the movie theater but he seemed to be alone. What's the certain indication does that give you about this particular person?

ALEXANDER: Hey Lynda, I'll tell you very much at this point. As, you know, here again I think as we learn more until the night and to the morning hours. We're going to learn a lot more about who this 58-year- old gentleman is and what was his motivation, what is his history in terms of an in criminal history, in terms of his psychiatric history.

[00:55:16] So a lot is yet still to be determined. It's not unusual for anyone to decide to go to a movie late in the afternoon and take your...

KINKADE: But if he was alone it potentially rules out a domestic dispute.

ALEXANDER: It very well may, but here again we don't know. We don't know he who he was there to meet. We don't know whether there's some altercation that may have taken place. It is just way too early to tell but I here again, I truly believe that as the hours continue to move forward a lot is going to be unveiled on this investigation pretty rapidly.

HOWELL: Cedric Alexander. We appreciate you being with us and again just to update our viewers around the world. The shooting that happened in Lafayette, Louisiana, this is a shooing where two people were shot and killed then we understand from law enforcement that the gunman turned the gun on himself shot and killed himself, at least seven or nine, we heard nine from local reporter were injured. KINKADE: And we know that the victims who are being treated in hospital aids (ph) from their teens to their 60s. One person is in a critical condition who has undergone surgery recently. There are fears for his life. We will have more on this story at the top of the hour. Thanks very much for joining us.