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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Bergdahl's Swap Location Unknown Until Hour Before; Seattle Campus Shooting, Multiple Casualties Reported; "This Is Not A Political Football"
Aired June 5, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news in the case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a White House official just now giving CNN new details about the operation that freed him.
Plus an OUTFRONT investigation on Bergdahl's platoon. Reports of disorganization, lax security. We have the investigation.
And we're now getting new excerpts of Hillary Clinton's much anticipated memoir. She is distancing herself from the president big- time, and we're going to tell you why. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, we are now -- we've got new details about the moments leading up to Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's release. So here is what we know. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Antony Blinken just told Wolf that the location to pick up Bergdahl was not known, get this, not known until just before handoff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We didn't reach an agreement in principle until about three and a half days before Bergdahl was actually released to us. We didn't know the general location of where we would pick him up until an hour, until the day before, excuse me. And we didn't know the precise location until an hour before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Didn't know the precise location until the hour before. And can you imagine that? And then going and putting that helicopter out, putting those lives at risk. How stressful this must have been. One hour before is the only notice they had, and that is why the administration says it did not inform Congress with that 30-day period that they were supposed to provide them.
Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon tonight. Barbara, that is a pretty incredible and unbelievable detail.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jaw-dropping, Erin, just flat-out jaw-dropping. A one-hour notice. What if the weather had gone bad? What if they had been shot at on the way in? What if that helicopter had run into mechanical problems? No margin for delay, no margin for error. This is the ultimate of U.S. military leaving no one behind on the battlefield.
STARR (voice-over): Bowe Bergdahl may have tried to escape his Taliban captors on at least two occasions, a U.S. official tells CNN. But until the Army can talk to Bergdahl directly, they won't know for sure. However, a U.S. official says we do have reason to believe there were times he tried to escape. Bergdahl may not yet have fully talked about his five years in Taliban captivity, but he is recovering after nearly a week under U.S. military medical care.
The Pentagon said he is now speaking in English to the medical staff treating him. Participating more in his recovery treatment and is resting better. The administration continues to insist Bergdahl's health and safety were at risk, and to make the point, showed senators a classified video of Bergdahl from December 2013.
SENATOR ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: He looked terrible and I think that video should be released at some point. He could barely talk. He couldn't focus his eyes. He was downcast. He was thin. He looked like a man -- I looked around the room as that video was shown, and I think it was clearly effective when the video stopped. It wasn't very long, maybe 30 seconds. There was dead silence in the room.
STARR: An Afghan security official who was on duty near where Bergdahl was captured in 2009 told CNN when local villagers spotted Bergdahl after he left his base, they tried to get him to leave the village, telling him the area was dangerous. The official said Bergdahl appeared to be under the influence of hallucinogenic substances. CNN has spoken to several U.S. officials who could not independently confirm those accounts.
STARR: So we now see the huge risk that these Special Forces took to get Bowe Bergdahl. But still, Erin, make no mistake, there are a lot of questions that the Army and the Pentagon want to ask Bowe Bergdahl. They want to know how and why he disappeared, and what happened during his captivity -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Barbara, thank you.
And OUTFRONT tonight, a contributing writer for "The Daily Beast," Kimberly Dozier. She is a long-time war reporter, covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former FBI counterterrorism agent, Tim Clemente. All right, great to have both of you with us.
Kimberly, you heard Barbara talk about Bowe Bergdahl's attempts to escape the Taliban captors twice. You've doing a lot of reporting on this. What have you heard?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, U.S. and Afghan officials tell me there were two attempts, one in 2011 and one late in 2012, early 2013. In the first one, he actually got away for about 48 hours. He escaped his captors and hid in -- he dug himself a ditch in the mountainous region of North Waziristan of Pakistan where he was being held. They found him, took him back.
About a year later, he got away again. This time it was villagers who spotted him and just turned him back in to the Taliban. This is an area where any foreigner is going to be spotted. After that, I'm told that the Taliban captors really increased the numbers of people watching him and made it a lot harder for him to escape, which made it a lot harder for rescuers who were thinking about some sort of raid to get him out.
BURNETT: Some people might say this is proof he didn't want to be there to begin with. But I guess it really isn't. It's prove proof he didn't want to be there at that time, but it still didn't answer the question as why he was there at the beginning and whether he intended to go or not.
DOZIER: It doesn't answer why he originally left his base, but the officials I've been speaking to have said that wasn't part of their calculation. This was an American serviceman who was missing. They had to try as best they could to figure out where he was and to present possible options for getting him back.
BURNETT: So Tim, the administration is talking about Bergdahl's health. They played that 30-second video you just heard the senator talking about in Barbara's piece, which is interesting because it's back from December, and they're saying that when they saw that, they were so worried about his health they had to move with just days' notice in June. Obviously, that's a little bit confusing.
But also, the real condition he was in, you know, the Republican Senator Tom Coburn, he is a Republican, but he is also a doctor, saw the video. He spoke exclusively to our Dana Bash. He said Bergdahl wasn't sick, he was drugged. I want to play it exactly how he said it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: He had been drugged, either with an anti-psychotic or hypnotic drug.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What makes you say that?
COBURN: Because you can tell. It's easy. His speech was slurred. He was having trouble reading. He had what is called a stigmas. I mean, he'd been obviously drugged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, drugged or in a horrible health condition. I mean, that something the Taliban would have done, drugged him before the video, you think?
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: Erin, it's hard to say. Obviously Senator Coburn is a medical doctor and I'm not. And I haven't seen the video. So I can't make my own diagnosis on it. I wouldn't believe it would have been impossible for the Taliban to have drugged him or for him to have drugged himself.
If the villagers say it appeared he was on hallucinogens when he was first leaving the base, I mean, there is no shortage of drugs in that region. The Taliban fund much of their activities through the sale of poppy and drugs that result from poppy, hashish and heroin are big products coming out of that area. It's very possible that he got access to drugs that the Taliban had there in their possession.
BURNETT: That's an interesting point. So Kimberly, why didn't they try to rescue him earlier? I mean, there has been reports that they several times knew his location. Did they know he was trying to escape? Why didn't they try, especially in the times when he tried to escape? Clearly at those times these guarded by an incredible number of people, I mean, if he was able to escape on his own.
DOZIER: They knew about the first escape attempt but months later. Not in time to react in realtime. Several times they thought they knew the general area where he was being held. But senior administration officials I have spoken to have said they never were able to present a plan to the president and say we think he is here, and that is how we would get him out.
One administration official told me that they would have had to hit 12 different locations. And he was very specific. A dozen different locations simultaneously to make sure they were getting the exact place where Bergdahl was being held.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, both of you. I appreciate your taking the time. And I do want to tell you about a breaking news situation we're just learning about in Seattle that is just coming in right now.
A live picture of Seattle Pacific campus there has been a shooting there. The Seattle Fire Department says it is considering a multi-casualty incident. Medics have transported at least one adult male to the local hospital. We're going to continue following this breaking story and bring you updates. As I said again, this is a live picture, multi-casualties in Seattle.
That is really all I can tell you at this time. So as soon as we get more information, we're going bring that to you. And you heard me pause, because I do have a little bit more information for you. One suspect now in custody. Another suspect, though, still at large is the latest that we have. But again, no numbers of casualties except they are saying multi-casualty incident, shooting incident at this time.
So as we get more information, we're going share that to you, share that with you. We're going to take a brief break as we work on that story. And we'll also be talking about the administration's changing story on why it brought Bowe Bergdahl back. A big change in the reason. They had a short reason and now it's a different one.
And some excerpts that Hillary Clinton just leaked out of the memoir. She is saying something about President Obama that is pretty specific and pretty not in his camp. And is it crime fighting or in violation of your privacy? We are
going to tell you what the police already know about you.
BURNETT: I want to update you on the breaking news situation in Seattle at this moment. I want to show you a live picture of Seattle Pacific campus. There has been a shooting there. The Seattle Fire Department tells CNN it's considering it a multi-casualty incident. The Seattle Police tweeting at this moment, there is still conflicting information on the number of victims in Seattle Pacific shooting.
Three confirmed but SWAT still searching campus. One suspect is in custody, according to police. As you can tell, we don't know much. But as we learn more, we are bringing it to you in this developing situation right now at a campus in Seattle. I want to go to our affiliate right now, KCPQ and listen in to what they know at this moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this is going to be here for a long time. It's a crime scene investigation now as they try to figure out what happened. And, again, we don't have much information about the suspect or how they took him into custody. I'm hoping to get that here for you shortly.
BURNETT: We're just waiting to see if he was going to answer a question there. Literally, as this is developing, we're taking a live shot from an affiliate. So you're hearing that reporter report out the very latest that he knows. You're looking at an aerial shot of the Seattle Pacific campus with the athletic fields.
I'm not familiar with the campus, but I can tell you this, that there are reports of three casualties. We don't know whether that means injuries or fatalities, and we don't know if there are more. We do know one suspect is in custody at this moment. So we're going to get you more information just as soon as we are able to figure that out.
Well, tonight President Obama is firing back at those questioning his decision to swap five Taliban leaders for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Here is the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We saw an opportunity and we seized it and I make no apologies for that this is not a political football. You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land, who they hadn't seen in five years, and weren't sure they would ever see again. And as commander- in-chief of the United States Armed Forces, I am responsible for those kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, though, the White House is changing its reasoning for moving so quickly on the prisoner swap. And they emphasize the reason timing matters is they're required by law to give a 30-day notice to Congress when they're going to transfer anyone out of Guantanamo. They failed to do so in this case. They gave a reason. The first reason was Bergdahl was sick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: His health was growing more fragile. He had lost a good bit of weight, and we were very concerned that time was not something we could play with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now officials, though, are moving off the health issue and telling lawmakers their concern was that Bergdahl could have been killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: They had intelligence that had even the fact of these discussions leaked out, there was a reasonable chance Bowe Bergdahl would have been killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, CNN political commentator, Sally Kohn and Reihan Salam. All right, Sally, why can't the White House get its story straight?
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't know that they haven't. I don't see a contradiction at this point. They're saying the reason to do it urgently was because of his health. In the video they just showed lawmakers was from five months ago. We know that. They notified Congress in December. But look, the part of the reason they didn't tell Congress sooner is they were concerned about leaks. Don't just trust Democrats on this.
General Stanley McChrystal said the same thing and as long as we're speculating, let's be honest. If I were the White House right now, given the intensity of the Republicans in Congress and their desire to scuttle the president on anything, and frankly, politicize every issue of national security, I would wouldn't trust them either to go to them with this and not leak it, to be completely frank.
And I think that was the White House's concern. They knew, they were told. They were warned that if this was leaked, the Taliban would kill Bergdahl, and frankly, I think that that's not a risk you want to take.
BURNETT: Reihan, you think that's fair? They told senior leadership if you leak this, the kid is going to get killed, do you think they would have leaked it?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think so, number one. But number two, I also don't think this is really about Republicans and Democrats. There are a lot of service members who served with Bergdahl who are coming forward to talk about this because they see a strategic issue. During the Bush presidency, then Senator Obama often raised serious questions about the Bush administration's strategy.
And when you're talking about releasing prisoners from Guantanamo who are high value targets in exchange for an American soldier, for an American Marine, this is a strategic question about the choices we're making and the message we're sending to America's foes. That is a legitimate political issue.
KOHN: This shell game of constantly it's about having notified Congress, no, no, it's about Sergeant Bergdahl and his conduct and whether he is actually a traitor or whatnot. We never then -- Republicans never want to get to having a serious conversation on either issue.
SALAM: It's not --
KOHN: The fact of the matter is we take care of our own, and we punish our own. We don't leave anyone behind. If he is a traitor, a deserter, we deal with that here --
SALAM: I didn't say the word traitor and I didn't say the word deserter. Those are not Republicans, those are veterans. We're talking about this because it matters to them. We're not talking because --
KOHN: -- also saying he should have been brought home.
BURNETT: And there are a lot of them saying that. You both have a point in terms of what veterans are saying. Let's just talk about the politicization here. This is an issue. You see Susan Rice again on the talk shows saying some things that perhaps were not -- maybe she wouldn't say them in quite the same way now, but she said it.
And then you have Harry Reid saying something. Let me just play it, Sally, because I think you will laugh at this when I play the thing I'm going to play. Here is Harry Reid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come it seems you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before.
SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I'm not sure I'm the only one. It made a big deal over nothing. The whole deal is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make? What difference does it make?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And what difference does it make? Here is Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because a guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Not exactly the best word choice for Harry Reid.
KOHN: No, but at the same time, again, you know, here is Hillary Clinton. And in this case Harry Reid saying, look, we need to bring our soldiers home. Everyone who volunteered to go serve in this war, the war is ending. We don't leave anyone behind. And by the way, first of all, a war is ending, you trade prisoners of war at the end of the war period, regardless. It would have happened anyway.
And second of all, Bush era lawyers are saying they had no grounds to keep holding these folks. It's over. It's a legitimate swap and it is being politicized. And Sergeant Bergdahl is being dragged through the mud without any facts.
BURNETT: There are still a lot of questions about that. I hit pause for just a moment. I want to show everyone a live picture right now of what is happening at Seattle Pacific campus. Our affiliate right now has an eyewitness, and I want you to be able to listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooter in handcuffs on the ground and it appeared that he wasn't alive anymore. He thinks that the guy who pepper sprayed him may have been a student here who is also working on security at the front of the building as well. They brought those students out. And actually for quite a while, they were out here on the street being frisked themselves and interviewed to make sure they were not a suspect as well.
But these kids say a frightening thing. One of them said he never imagined when he woke up this morning that he would be coming to college, a very safe college campus and be dealing with this by the afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me compare some of the information I have from a law enforcement source. Compared to what you have, I'm being told that the shooter was very agitated. The shooter is alive right now and that the shooter was pepper sprayed. And that was why he was in the condition that you said. But you're telling me that your witnesses said the shooter did not appear to still be alive, but was handcuffed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said there was somebody on the ground who appeared to be dead who was handcuffed. So we're getting some different information out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes when you have a scene like this, the officers will come, and they'll just handcuff everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because they don't know who the shooters are and who the victims are. It's likely that also could be one of the shooting victims that was shot in the eye by the suspect. And again, certainly too early to know what a motive is. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will say this. One of the other students we talked to earlier who peeked out the room and saw bodies on the floor, and she saw what she believed about the shooter, and she told me she recognized him as a student here at the school. And that disturbed her greatly, obviously. That's what she said.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so the students were inside, and they've all been brought out of the building now. You saw some of them being escorted off campus and brought to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were searched and brought over into this bank parking lot here. But the officers just came by a few moments ago and started picking and choosing some of these students. They said they wanted to bring them to the gymnasium. I guess they wanted to interview them further on what they saw and heard today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we don't know if the person who pepper sprayed the suspect at this point was a security guard, which would be a Seattle police officer, or if it was another student here or somebody on the campus at this point. But we do know that the person pepper sprayed the shooter, and that the shooter told him and another person don't move. And when the other person moved, he shot them.
So it's very early in the information and witnesses are always going to be conflicted on their statements when they come out. The main thing for the safety of everybody here, the shooter is only one shooter and that person is in custody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's the good news here. But as you can see, it's still a frantic scene here around this campus. And they're symptom going around the campus as well, the Seattle police, looking for any information or any evidence they can find.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And again, students got an e-mail --
BURNETT: And you're listening to our affiliate, KCPQ, in Seattle. A shooting at the Seattle Pacific campus. Where at this point, as you heard the scene described as frantic. They're trying to figure out exactly what happened, how many casualties. Multiple casualties at this time.
We're trying to figure out how many people and what their condition. Right now as well as the status of the shooter. Our breaking news coverage of this story continues in just a moment. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: We want to update you on the breaking news situation in Seattle we're following. This is the campus of Seattle Pacific. There has been a shooting there. The Seattle Fire Department is telling us medics have transported four gunshot victims. The injuries varying from miner to life threatening.
Police say a suspect is in custody, and we're told there are no other suspects currently being sought. Like so many of these cases at first, they had been looking for a second shooter, but it has turned out now there is the one shooter in custody, and it appears then that that shooter is alive, which is obviously unusual for these cases.
Former FBI counterterrorism agent, Tim Clemente joins me along with Lou Palombo, retired law enforcement agent with the Nassau County Police Department. Tim, let me start with you. As a former member of the FBI, we're also learning the FBI are on the scene. What would they be doing?
CLEMENTE: It's possible the FBI S.W.A.T. Team is assisting with the locals. I was S.W.A.T. Team leader here in Washington, D.C. for the FBI and we routinely trained with all local law enforcement tactical teams in the case of an active shooter like this. And in the FBI, we would also possibly join in the investigation because of federal aspects that might be involved. The state murder is generally a state investigation, but anything above that could bring the FBI in for investigative assistance.
BURNETT: All right, I just want to update you on the information we have. Tim, as you were speaking, we now know according to the fire department, just telling CNN, there is a male and a female with life threatening injuries at this moment, and two men with more minor injuries. In terms of the four victims at this point that we are aware of. We don't know if there are more, but those are the four we're aware of. Lou, you have dealt with these kind of situations. What would you be looking for right now?
LOU PALOMBO, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT (via telephone): Well, clearly a motive and what we're doing right now, what we're looking for is information that could lend itself to crime scene expertise, interviewing individuals, trying to piece together a sequence of events that took place. We're collecting all the tapes on the campus that may have video recorded this. We're doing a number of different things to try to put the sequence of events together and to solidify the facts that it was one shooter, for example, and the nature and the way that the shootings were carried out.
BURNETT: Tim, it's interesting that at first the reports were that they were looking for a second shooter, which we hear so often. We heard it in Fort Hood recently. We heard at the Navy Yard shooting. There is always this looking for the second shooter. It ends up most times just being one shooter. This time, though, something unusual. The shooter in custody. The shooter is not dead that.
CLEMENTE: That is rare. Because Erin, ordinarily these guys commit suicide at the end of a heinous act like this. This guy didn't for whatever reason, or maybe he didn't have time to. He was surprised by law enforcement, but the problem with these situations, eyewitnesses in a situation of extreme stress like this aren't very reliable. And so the descriptions of this shooter may have been drastically different by different eyewitnesses, which may have been the reason why law enforcement is looking for more than one shooter. It's very common. It happens. And as Lou just said, you have to filter through all that, try and get the facts, get down to the facts, determine was there one shooter, and if so, why did he do this and what was the problem that caused him to do this, and make sure - first of all make sure all other personnel are safe. And once you have retrieved that, secure the crime scene so that a criminal investigation can proceed.
BURNETT: Lou, what is the significance? I want to - I just emphasize this point again, and I want to emphasize this is preliminary reporting. But what we understand right now is that the shooter is alive. That is incredibly rare. And people are so often left from Newtown to Fort Hood to Navy Yard never knowing why somebody did something so horrible and destroyed so many lives. And in this case it seems we may know.
LOU PALUMBO, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT: Well, you know, every case is different, Erin. And in this instance, this individual may have decided to stay around to bask in his notoriety. I mean these people are not mentally balanced. We know they're emotionally disturbed oftentimes. And it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what their end game is. Is this just another way to obtain attention? The last (INAUDIBLE) in Santa Barbara it was the vendetta. Every one of these cases are unique into themselves with one common denominator, mental illness. And in reference to the looking out for two shooters, that's just standard operating procedure in the law enforcement. We're never going to come to a crime scene where there is a shooting and just assume that there was one shooter. We're going to exhaust all of our investigative skills, so to speak, to narrow down how many people actually participated in a particular event.
BURNETT: And I want to bring in Jeff Beatty now, former FBI special agent. Jeff, you did so much work on the Boston massacre and that situation, and of course the shooting that happened during that - that chase. What is your take on what we're looking at right now, or what we're hearing about as we're still trying to figure out the number of casualties, how many people were injured? We know at least two with life threatening injuries. But we do know the suspect is in custody.
JEFF BEATTY, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, and you're right, that is very unusual. I'm watching your air right now and seeing a theme. At this point, I would be not so much concerned about their motivation, but the security of the scene. And that some of your other guests have talked about, you know, looking for that second shooter. They now believe there is only one. But a shooter doesn't have to be the secondary threat. You know, we've seen people who have showed up, Klebold and Harris and others who have started shooting sprees and they've had explosives in their car. I'm a little concerned when I looked at the imagery that I'm looking at now that there are people just standing around on the street. And I don't see dog teams working, you know, to make sure that there is no explosives in any of the parked cars, any of the bushes or anything around there. And there are civilians just walking through there. There is a technique called a beta trap ambush. It was used against law enforcement in Atlanta by Eric Robert Rudolph at the clinics on the North Side of town where there was an initial threat. People responded to it and then they were targeted by a bomb, that's a secondary threat. It doesn't have to be a shooter, Erin. Secondary threats can be explosives. And - so security at the scene is a big concern I have at this early point.
BURNETT: All right. That's very interesting point that Jeff makes as we said, former FBI special agent. I can tell you right now just looking even at it with "The Seattle Times," the local newspapers reporting, they are doing the strip searches of some of the students right now. But that's the latest that we have. Certainly you don't see that here. For those familiar with it, I do know my understanding is the shooting was near Otto Miller Hall at the Seattle Pacific University Campus. As we get more information, we're going to come back to this. Thank you very much to Lou, to Tim, to Jeff. All right. And I do have a little bit more right now, which is the suspect is being taken to police headquarters. So we had said -- we had said he was in custody and now going to police headquarters. We have the affiliate reporter? All right, let's listen into our affiliate, KCPQ.
BEATTY: That earlier you asked about where the shooting happened. It happened just inside the door and up those steps and inside the door of the university there are some 30 shotgun shells, and that's a rough estimate on the floor of the building there. And again, we have three victims. We know one was in very bad condition, critical condition. The other one was able to walk out. We don't know the condition of the third right now. But again, some of the officers on the scene here that were first here say there are a number of shotgun shells inside there, which would appear to seem that he was able to reload that shotgun. He was very agitated according to witnesses when he got here. There were two people here that he was talking to. And he told both of them don't move. And then he - one of them moved and he shot that person in the eye with the shotgun. Guys, I'm getting a little feedback here. So if you're asking me questions, I can't tell. Let me reset this with my photographer, and I'll get right back to you.
BURNETT: All right. So you just heard the development that we had there. Obviously the custody, the suspect is now in custody and being transported to police headquarters. You just heard the description there from our affiliate reporter on KCPQ in Seattle. That the suspect was very agitated. Approached two people in the hall, Otto Miller Hall, I'm sorry, on that campus and said don't move. One of them moved. He then shot that person in the eye. Our understanding, he was reporting three casualties. The numbers are very fluid. We're hearing four right now. From officials in Seattle who say two of them right now are fighting for their lives. As we get more information on this, we're going to come back to it. I want to take a brief break as we try to get some - a little bit more detail here for you on this breaking news of the shooting at a university campus in Seattle. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: I want to update you on the breaking news situation in Seattle. You're looking at the live picture of the shooting scene at the Seattle Pacific Campus. There has been a shooting on that university campus. The Seattle fire department is telling us that medics have transported four gunshot victims. That's the latest that we have. Those numbers are fluid. They could change. But four is the number we have right now. And at this moment, one of the men, one woman being treated with life threatening injuries. Another man and woman are said to be in stable condition. And the suspect we can now report is in custody. SWAT apparently still clearing buildings. They have been searching students. At first they thought there could be a second shooter. Now our understanding is they have ruled that out. We're trying to understand exactly what happened. A teacher's assistant just spoke to our affiliate about the scene. I wanted to play what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just heard muffled sounds. We were regarded as from another student who has the hesitation to just really - just, you know, go back inside the building to lock down, and just to, you know, remain calm. All we heard were several different episodes, I heard specifically two different ones. One I thought was to be a teacher who is a Jully (ph) teacher, he, you know, that experiment in class for chemistry. But once I knew that it was muffle shots I've been, you know, told other students to seat down quietly and we were evacuated by the police officers in due time that came in a couple of minutes later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And we also understand, at least from what our reporter - our affiliate reporter was saying, others he had spoken to said that the suspect appeared very agitated and approached students at Otto Miller Hall, a Hall at Seattle Pacific University Campus, and approached two people there, a tense conversation, told them both not to move, one of them did move and he then shot that person in the eye. We do not know whether that person is one of the life threatening casualties, or one of the more minor injuries at this time, but we do know one significant thing about this case, so far the shooting is that the suspect is in custody. The suspect did not - wasn't killed by law enforcement and didn't kill himself unlike many of the recent shootings that we've seen from Santa Barbara to Fort Hood to Navy Yard shooting. All of those ended with this suspects being killed. So, we are going to continue to follow this story with our FBI agents that we have and our reporters.
As we are getting that information in, though, I want to get to other breaking news story tonight, because we just got some new details about what's inside Hillary Clinton's new book. Everyone is waiting for this book, what you are going to say, what it means for aspirations and the memoir, it doesn't come out until next week. CBS News, though, got a copy and we have new excerpts for you.
So, Clinton describes the on and off negotiations over the release of Bowe Bergdahl, interesting, because obviously the book was written and finished before this news event. She writes, quote, "I acknowledged as I had many times before that opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war. Brianna Keilar is out-front. And Brianna, you know, that's not a direct - oh, I told the president not to do it, but it does distance herself and there are other parts that I know you've taken a look at where she really does say that's him. I'm over here.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. And this one is kind of subtle. You're definitely right on that, Erin. And certainly, this transfer happened after she wrote this book. But we do know in recent reporting that she was skeptical of early plans to do a prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl. So this highlights that. Although her spokesman has come out and said she did negotiate, or she did authorize negotiations with the Taliban. And she didn't dismiss something like this out of hand. What we're seeing a starker difference in some of these excerpts from the book obtained by CBS News really has to deal with Syria. Hillary Clinton talking about how she wanted, really felt that it was the right thing to do to arm Syrian rebels, moderate factions of Syrian rebels that President Obama wasn't in favor of that. She writes, "No one likes to lose a debate, including me, but this was the president's call. And I respected his deliberations and decision." "From the beginning of our partnership," she writes, "he had promised me that he would always -- that I would always get a fair hearing, and I always did. In this case, my position didn't prevail." So you're seeing really stark lines on that issue of Syria, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Brianna, thank you very much. Pretty interesting how she is trying to distance herself. Think about her as a presidential campaign candidate, and it makes a lot of sense. All right, we're following the breaking news story in Seattle. At least four people have been shot on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. We are getting a little bit more information. We're working on our sources right now. We're going to take a brief break and come back and give you all of the new details.
BURNETT: And I want to update you on the breaking news situation in Seattle. This is Seattle Pacific University Campus. There has been a shooting there near Otto Miller Hall. The Seattle fire department is telling CNN that four victims of the shooter right now. Two of them fighting for their lives, a man and a woman and then another man and a woman, our understanding is, who are in stable condition. The suspect is in custody and is alive. And a witness to the shooting says the shooter appeared agitated just before shot one victim. So let me just bring in our guest here, Tim Clemente and former FBI agent special focus on counterterrorism Lou Palumbo, law enforcement agent. Good to have both of you back. Tim, so let me just ask you, you hear that the shooter appeared agitated, went up in this hall, approached two people, one of whom he ended up shooting in the eye. What -- does that give you enough information to at all?
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERROSISM AGENT: Well, it gives me a little bit of information about the fact that he was agitated, I mean in a situation like this, obviously he's going in there obviously to harm people. But generally, these circumstances we find like the shooter in Santa Barbara most recently, they are what we call injustice collectors and they are known by that from a profiling perspective because what they do is they build up all the slights and injustices throughout their life and they use them as ammunition and in an act like this where they feel totally justified in any act of vengeance, destruction or death because they've been slighted in some way. I mean look at the Santa Barbara guy. He didn't have a girlfriend, so that justifies him to kill as many as dozens of people he was trying to kill. S these people, and Lou mentioned earlier mental illness is obviously a factor in most of these shootings and I clearly - I think we'll find what it might have been in this case, but an individual like this, coming in, they are agitated, I don't know if the people that he shot were his actual or intended targets or if these were just targets of opportunity. The first people that presented, but this guy, I mean, we are going to look into his background, obviously. He is alive, so he can be interviewed and interrogated and I think we'll come to find that Lou is probably right about the mental illness and then also there were some things that were done to him that he feels this is just justification to do something to other people in response.
BURNETT: And Lou, we're hearing now the Seattle police department's going to hold a media briefing soon with what they know. So, obviously the second that starts, everyone, we're going to bring that to you live. But, you know, we don't - we don't know if they have more information at this point. Lou, again, I'm going off of what we just - some of our viewers may have heard from our breaking news coverage. Affiliate was reporting, so, this is what they were saying on our air. We have not independently confirmed it, but they were talking about a shotgun, some other people said he had an intent to reload. What are you able to figure out from that in terms of, you know, possible planning or preplanning?
LOU PALUMBO, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT: Well, I would think, obviously, he had planned to do this. I don't think this was something that was spontaneous. The weapon he chose, which is a shotgun is probably one of the most if not the most lethal small arm you can be shot with. The wound channels and the ballistics associated with this weapon are just devastating. It's very, very, very hard, to survive gunshot wounds and that again, is contingent upon projectiles used, but a rule, it's a very interesting weapon. The second part of this thing is whether or not he just arbitrarily chose targets. In other words, if this is, for example, some type of just domestic disagreement, someone was going out with his girlfriend, he would have a specific target. It appears as if he just arbitrarily started to shoot at people, which is why I made the statement that I believe this s going to be associated again with mental illness.
BURNETT: And with mental illness. I want to bring in our Stephanie Elam who's just starting to work our sources on this story from Los Angeles and Stephanie, what have you been able to figure out?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One thing we are trying to get clarity on here, Erin, is just how police are trying to clear these buildings around where the shooting occurred. There was some discrepancy about whether or not there was one shooter or two shooters. We believe that there is one. We're still looking to confirm that, but what we do know is that they are going building by building, the SWAT team there, this is according to the official Seattle police department, Twitter account, and they are going through and they are cleaning out these buildings and these rooms to make sure that there's nobody else in there, making sure it's completely safe and locking down this area were this shooting has happened. They want to make sure that there is not anymore shootings that were going to occur, although they do believe that they have this one person in custody that they are taking down to the station they're saying and since he's alive, obviously, there's a lot more that we could learn from this, but at this point right now we just know that there are those four victims, two men and two women. Two with life threatening injuries that we are looking at right now, Erin.
BURNETT: Tim, how significant is it? I mean, that you have got the shooter in custody. I mean just when we -- it feels to so many of us that this is I can't believe this is happening again, this is happening way too much in this country, but in every case, the shooter is killed by authorities or kills himself. In this case, the fact that the shooter is alive, how significant is that going to be just in terms of law enforcement overall trying to understand what motivates people to do these horrible things and stop it from happening again?
CLEMENTE: Well, certainly there's a lot we can learn from this particular individual about why he did this. I mean in the case of James Holmes in Colorado in Aurora, he was alive at the end of it, he did it for that 15 minutes of fame as I think it was Lou also mentioned earlier and sometimes that's their objective. I want to be, you know, Columbine. Klebold and Harris wanted to be the greatest killers ever. And then I believe it was Holmes that wanted to supersede that and have the greatest record of - by anyone individual in a mass shooting. And so, some of these individuals, their mental illness leads them to wanting this notoriety. And this individual, the fact that he didn't shoot himself, a, may have been he was planning to do it and he wasn't completed with the task he had at hand. Maybe he had a secondary attack or a secondary assault he wanted to conduct and or law enforcement came in and this guy gave up which as you said it is very, very rare. Suicide by cop is very common in a situation like this. And the most common thing is suicide itself where they literally just shoot themselves at the end of the act.
BURNETT: Lou, I mean, obviously, being killed by authorities happens so often, because they're, you know, want to do anything they can to prevent these individuals from killing anybody else so the fact that they didn't have to shoot him, what might that say about whether he had already stopped or does that in and of itself tell you something?
PALUMBO: Well, I can say this. That if the law enforcement officials or the campus police were able to apprehend this individual without shooting him, that speaks volumes of them because there's always a value in taking these people alive and as this gentleman just pointed out, we need to study these individuals. You need to continue to learn, but, you know, I hate to be redundant about this, but there's a massive failure with our mental health system. Families that have children like these, we don't really know that much about this individual just yet. As you know, law enforcement right now is employing many of the same tactics they did with prior shooter in Santa Barbara, visiting families, seeing -- visiting his residence. Computers, any types of communications. They are trying to create a profile or an understanding of exactly what was making him tick as best as they could. But there's always a value in law enforcement apprehending someone like this as opposed to terminating him for the purposes that we're discussing and that's to learn. It's got to be about obtaining information.
BURNETT: All right. I want to just interject here a very quick break. We continue to cover this breaking news story out of Seattle. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: We are continuing to follow the breaking news out of Seattle. Four people shot on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. We're expecting a news conference to start at any moment as we try to understand what happened here. The shooter in custody alive. A huge and crucial development in this story. Anderson Cooper is going to continue to follow the story bringing you that news conference here live when it begins in just a few moments. Anderson Cooper 360" takes it over from here.