Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Curfew in Effect Tonight in Colombia, SC; Container Ship Caught in the Middle of Hurricane Joaquin; Donald Trump Still Leading Republican Pack; President Obama Will Visit Roseburg, Oregon, Friday; Survivor's Family Speaks Out; Pilot Dies Mid-Flight. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 5, 2015 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Some places seeing more than two feet of rain in just the last couple of days, entire neighborhoods now under water, a curfew in effect tonight in Colombia, the state capital. First responders carrying out hundreds of rescues from porches, rooftops and roads transformed into rivers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to kick out the back window of the truck. He's crawling out of the truck right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Dangerous rescue there. They kicked in the window. They got the driver out. Pulled him to safety. Tonight South Carolina officials are saying a lot more scenes like this are likely in the coming days now that the dams failed including this one near Gary Tuchman that joins us now - Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the name of the street I'm standing on is Rock Bridge road called that called that because the name of the span that crossed this lake, the Forest Lake was the rock bridge. But the bridge is now gone from the rain and from dam upstream, that was tough. And you can see right up. If a car came down the street, it would plunge into the lake. The rain has stopped for now. But people understandably remain on edge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The deluge was sudden and intense. When this road collapsed in South Carolina, sheriff's deputies put up barricades so no one would drive on the road. But for some reason a man driving with a female companion did and this is what happened. The county sheriff is Jim Mathews.

SHERIFF JIM MATTHEWS, KERSHAW COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA: It was mostly submerged but a piece of the vehicle where she was able to get above the water and stay alive and breathe.

TUCHMAN: Rescuers got to the car. The driver was upside down as flood waters continued to rise. The woman, though, had her window open and was closer to rescuers who worked to grab her. MATTHEWS: They were able to get her out. I think she was holding on

to one of the wheels of the car, but the man inside was trapped inside. They were not able to get him out.

TUCHMAN: When the water went down, fire officials and sheriff's deputies came to the scene where they recovered the lifeless body of the man inside the car.

All over that region, boat rescues have been taking place. Grateful people being brought to safety. Angela Williams is one of the victim floods.

ANGELA WILLIAMS, RESIDENT: What I got on my body is what we have. Everybody down there has lost everything this morning. Our vehicles, our clothes, everything, but the best thing is that we still have our lives.

TUCHMAN: Late this afternoon, many residents received recorded phone calls that nearby dams were being topped and to go to shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Jojo. This is Evy.

TUCHMAN: And who are these three?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Fluff, Mrs. Fluff and fluffy.

TUCHMAN: You-all evacuated?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mandatory evacuation.

TUCHMAN: They just arrived at this shelter after getting that phone call and there is great concern.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart is literally coming out of my chest.

TUCHMAN: There is much flooding in this area. Incredibly, this is the ninth far way of the green hill golf club. Sadly, it's now become the ultimate water hole. It's become a river with literally a current, six of the holes of this manhole covered with water. And because we're so far away from the coast, most people here don't have flood insurance, so the owner of the golf course says it's very likely he won't be able to afford to reopen it.

And with waters expected to continue to rise, an entire region wonders what might happen next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It is incredible these images.

Gary, can you just explain again, I mean, it took my eyes kind of a few seconds to adjust exactly where you are. That road has just been washed away. It just drops off right there?

TUCHMAN: Right. This was a bridge that connected this neighborhood. And the water just rolled down this lake. And this is not a river. This is not something that has waves. It's a lake. It is a quiet peaceful lake and the dam was topped, the rain stop coming down in biblical proportions and all of a sudden, this bridge just collapsed. So there are yellow police tape up right here right now. But people are used to zooming down the street and obviously the police are being careful to keep motorists away because this is treacherous, extremely dangerous. And that's a great concern, Anderson that bridges around this area, they know that.

Government officials and police are telling us that many of the bridges they believe are compromised by all the rain that is falling down so they are very concerned about the possibility of this happening to other bridges.

COOPER: Gary, be careful out there.

Gary, thank you very much.

More now on the rescues, hundreds by now, including the one that took place over this flooded neighborhood about 20 miles north of Charleston. Now, the video here is from a coast guard helicopter on the scene lifting people from rooftop including Christi Mueller and her 15 month old daughter, Kyla, who you see there safe in her mom's arms, an incredible rescue.

Christi joins us now along with Kylan and Kyalan's dad, Ian Walts.

So Christi, thanks so much for taking the time. I mean, this obviously has been incredibly stressful couple of days to you. When did you realize that you needed to call the coast guard for help?

[20:05:08] CHRISTI MUELLER, RESCUED BY U.S. COAST GUARD: Actual the coast guard we knew we needed help around midnight Sunday morning. However, I think it was around 5:30 in the morning on Sunday that the second attempt of calling 911 didn't get us anywhere and that's when we knew something had to be done. So that's when I kind of Googled the coast guard and gave them a call and they sprang into action.

COOPER: I mean, Ian, how were you able to get to a place where you could actually be airlifted?

IAN WALTS, RESCUED BY U.S. COAST GUARD: The water was actually rising so fast I was worried the water would come up under the house and knock the house off the pylons that it sits on. I actually decided to go out to the front of the house on the front steps and I sat on the front steps and literally waited for any sign of a person to go by, any sign to hear somebody, a neighbor came by, I flagged him down and he drove the boat to the front steps. We all got in it, and he took us around the corner to kind of a meeting spot at another neighbor's house. And when we got there, there was a few other neighbors who are already there had been rescued from their homes and that's where we had the coast guard come and rescue Christi and Kylan.

COOPER: And I mean, we have the video of Christi and Kaylan being rescued. I think Kylan was doing an imitation of a helicopter sound earlier. What was that like? Were you afraid? MUELLER: It was terrifying, yes. I can't really think of the right

word that could describe really what I was feeling. But it was absolutely terrifying.

COOPER: And Ian, for you --

MUELLER: Not only for myself --

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.

MUELLER: Sorry about that.

Not just for myself but just for, you know, my daughter, our entire family, our neighborhood. The entire experience was really scary.

COOPER: And Ian, for you, I mean, you watched them both getting rescued. The helicopter actually couldn't rescue you and your son, why not?

WALTS: That's correct. They actually -- they flew around looking for the house. There was no way to really, you know, know address of the house at that point because, you know, everything was so flooded. So they kind of just flew around, you know, looking for us. I actually had to grab a flag off the side of the house and I had to hop up on to a hand rail. I didn't want to, but we had to find a way to get a signal to the helicopter.

COOPER: Wow.

WALTS: So our neighbor's wife actually held onto the back of my shirt while I stood up on the hand rail and waved the flag back and forth. And we were -- I mean, I was probably 25 feet off the ground at that point like straight down. So it was pretty terrifying.

COOPER: They were taken up by the helicopter. How did you and your son get out?

WALTS: Three or four neighbors had John boats, and they just kind of went around and they came to us first. They got everybody out of that spot. We all went to dry land. And then they went around to all the other houses and got everybody they needed to get out of there. They got everybody out. Like our neighborhood is basically who saved us.

COOPER: Well, I mean, to have neighbors like that definitely brings people together.

MUELLER: Most definitely.

COOPER: Yes. Thank you so much. I wish you the best.

MUELLER: Thank you so much, Anderson.

WALTS: Thank you so much, Anderson. We really appreciate it.

COOPER: Again, as we have been saying, the danger is not over yet.

Our meteorologist Tom Sater joins us now from the CNN weather center with the latest.

So Tom, I mean, this record-breaking rainfall, as many as nine dams failing, what's the latest tonight?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Not only nine dams, Anderson, but reports in the last 24 hours, as many as 30 breaches of different dikes and different heavies. Now, they maybe minor, but with this kind of historic rainfall in the coming days, it is going to be historic river flooding.

Take a look at this, already, some of the small tributaries have reached record levels. Washing away river gauges, it has never happens. But now, all the small tributaries get into the larger rivers. And the flow across the state of South Carolina is from the northwest to the east southeast.

Heavy rainfall that was in Greeneville will go in toward Colombia. Heavy rain that was in southern counties of North Carolina will start to slide down toward Myrtle Beach. Then from Colombia, making its way to Charleston, I really fear that the tremendous amount of pressure on the river banks is going to lead to maybe more breaches and more failures of dike, levees and dams. It is where the tributaries come together, Anderson. And east over, cross, down to Charleston, George town which the submerge, could be, really looking at catastrophic problems as well. (INAUDIBLE) just have their hands full for the next several days trying to forecast where the crest will be and where it will move next.

[20:10:15] COOPER: Yes. I mean, any idea when this might let up?

SATER: Well, it is letting up right now. There is somehow rainfall. Let's go ahead and take a look at the last 48 hours, what you're going to see was good news we though was at the eastern plume of this moisture river was making its way northward. But rainfall rates up in Myrtle Beach were up to four inches an hour last night. And with heavy rain in North Carolina that goes into South Carolina Rivers. But now it's lighting up. It is more of a head game right now.

Let me take you back, too. As we go back and look at the moisture feel with this, Anderson. We haven't even talked about the Bahama Islands. It's been obliterating the central islands. We have relief efforts now being drop from the air. Many islands are without power. They are without communication. One relief worker said it's been there Katrina. But the rainfall eases up and I think it will be out by morning which is good news. Now just watching the rivers starts to rise -- Anderson.

COOPER: Just incredible.

Tom, thank you very much.

Coming up next, the search at sea for a crew mainly American and were afraid they went down in hurricane Joaquin.

And later, a wounded survivor of the tragedy in Roseburg, Oregon speaking out for the first time about what she experienced in this horrible moments after the gunman opened fire and what she saw in his face and the moments just before.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:15:01] COOPER: As we continue to follow the unfolding disaster on the flooded ground in South Carolina, we're learning more tonight about the storm tragedy that struck at sea. A container ship caught in the middle of hurricane Joaquin in the El Faro with a crew of 33 including 28 Americans, the search for survivors now underway. Now, the latest from our Alexandra Field.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In empty life boat, the lifeless body found by searchers who say the cargo ship El Faro sank. It is now likely thousands of feet down on the floor of the Caribbean Sea.

LAURIE BOBILLOT, DAUGHTER ON BOARD EL FARO: Not sure if you have been following the weather at all but there is a hurricane out here and we're heading straight into it, category three. Last we checked winds are super bad and seas are not great. Love to everyone.

FIELD: That's the last email from one of 33 people aboard the ship that lost contact on Thursday just as hurricane Joaquin slammed into the Bahamas. Winds raging at 140 miles per hour, waves crashing 50- feet high. The high winds and huge waves hampered early efforts to find El Faro which left Jackson to Florida on Tuesday and was scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico by Friday.

CAPT. MARK FEDOR, U.S. COAST GUARD: If the vessel did sink on Thursday and that crew was able to abandon ship, they would have been abandoning ship into a category four hurricane.

FIELD: The one recovered lifeboat is damaged and no signs anyone was ever in it and still no signs of El Faro's other lifeboats. Search crews are still hoping they will find survivors in two debris fields where they spotted cargo and life preservers. One, northeast of the Bahamas, El Faro's last known location. The other 60 miles north of that. So far only one body has been spotted floating in a survival suit unidentifiable and unable to be recovered.

FEDOR: The science is really just busy (INAUDIBLE), how long can you survive? In warm water condition, that is about four to five days. Then you kind of look at the art of it is, you know, these are trained mariners, you know. They know how to properly abandon ship. They know how to survive in the water.

FIELD: The coast guard says the ship lost power Thursday morning. But officials haven't explained why leaving it vulnerable to the force of the waves, previously taken on water and was already leaning over.

Twenty-eight Americans and five Polish nationals all on board a ship piled high with 391 containers plus 294 vehicles. Among them according to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, graduates of the school, Keith Griffin and Jeffrey Matias. TO BUSHY, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY: Mariners don't fear too

much, I don't think. But fear this, when their shipmates, their schoolmates, their friends, their family members are involved in a marine tragedy.

FIELD: The main maritime academy says there are reports four of their graduates were also on board.

Alexandra Field, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It is just terrible. We'll of course, be following this and all storm-related stories throughout the night.

We turn now, though, to politics and new polling that shows Donald Trump still leading Republican pact but by a slimmer margin these days. The latest NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" Marist university numbers out of Iowa showing a five-point Trump lead over Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina in third place. A month ago he was up seven points in the same poll over Dr. Carson with Jeb Bush in third.

The Trump's also lead continues in New Hampshire with Fiorina in second, Jeb Bush in double digits at 11 percent. Again, though, Trump's lead shrunk from a month ago from 17 point over the leading rival back then to just five points now. As always, a reminder, early polling may not predict much.

On the other hand, to CNN's Dana Bash discovered for a candidate like Donald Trump who places so much stock in its numbers, polling could say a lot about his campaign's future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What would it take for Donald Trump to drop out of the race?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not masochist. And if I was dropping in the polls where I saw that I wasn't going to win, why would I continue? I'm a realest. I'm doing great in the polls right now.

BASH: Hot on Trump's heels, Carly Fiorina campaigning today in New Hampshire the old fashioned way at a Rotary Club.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here in New Hampshire, we are all revealed. And that is because this is a place where campaigning is intimate.

BASH: There is nothing intimate about Donald Trump's campaign style, a lot of interviews and social media. Then there was this, a "Saturday Night Live" impersonator leading the season's premiere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is very simple. I get in there, taxes go down, everybody gets a job, salaries go way up, we build a wall, it's huge over in China, they are going to say now that's a wall. BASH: The real Donald Trump set his sights today on Bernie Sanders

tweeting senator Sanders communism is a further development or higher stage of socialism. Bernie Sanders wants to turn America into a hippy commune. And trump went after his GOP rival Marco Rubio retweeting a boyhood photo of the 44-year-old senator that also refers to him as little Rub and says he doesn't have the swagger to run the country.

But Rubio is on the rise from three percent to ten percent in New Hampshire. No response to Trump but he is defending himself against criticism from his former mentor Jeb Bush who told us Rubio is inexperience as a first term senator was reminiscent of President Obama.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a president who came in and said the same kind of thing, new and improved, open to change.

BASH: Today Rubio pushed back saying it's about ideas, not experience.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he had been in the Senate for 50 years, I think he still would have met some of the failures. He's meeting because his ideas don't work.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[20:20:48] COOPER: Dana joins us now.

I mean, it seems as if the race is tightening. But obviously, a lot can change between now and February.

BASH: So much can change. I was just looking back at the polls thinking about the distance in time between now and the Iowa caucus is February 1st. Four months ago, if the caucuses were held then, guess who would have won the Iowa caucuses? Scott Walker. He's not even in the race right now. So that I think is a very eliminating way to answer the question.

And also, just look at the poll that you were talking about in New Hampshire. John Kasich did very well in the first Republican debate, and his numbers got much better in New Hampshire which is where he's putting most effort. But in this new poll they cut in half in the past month because the second debate maybe he didn't leave as much of an impression. So it's very, very volatile.

But one thing does seem to be consistent at least in the past several months, Anderson, those never before elected officials candidates who have never been in public office, they are still doing pretty well.

COOPER: Yes, legal way. Dana, thanks very much. (INAUDIBLE) as well.

Quick reminder, the first Democratic debate takes place a week from tomorrow in Las Vegas. Dana will be asking question along with Don Lemon and CNN Espanol anchor, Juan Carlos Lopez. I'll be moderating. That's Tuesday night the 13th, 8:30 Eastern Time right here on CNN. We have new reporting on his decision to run shortly on the program

tonight. One big question, will vice president Biden be there? That's one question ahead.

Also tonight, more breaking news, you will the sound of a pilot keeping his cool during one of the most terrifying moments that can happen aboard a commercial airliner.

Plus, a "360" exclusive of a survivor of the shooting in community college in Oregon describes how the massacre unfolded minute by terrifying minute what she did to stay alive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:26:33] COOPER: There is more breaking news tonight. The White House says President Obama will visit Roseburg, Oregon on Friday and meet privately with relatives and victims of last week's mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. The president was visibly angry in his first remarks after the shooting, the fall semester had barely begun when a student opened fire killing nine people, wounding nine others. Most of the carnage happened inside room 15 of snider hall where a writing class was meeting for just the second time. A room full of students just getting to know each other.

Tonight, we have new and exclusive details about the killings as survivor is sharing her story telling CNN's Sara Sidner what she saw and heard during the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRACEY HEU, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I really don't know how I survived. I don't know, I was actually planning on just, you know, waiting to see the black light, you know, just waiting not to see anything anymore.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tracy Heu lived because she played dead.

HEU: I was sitting in the front of the classroom facing the teacher when everything happened. He just came in and shot in towards the back of the wall and told everybody to get in the center of the room.

SIDNER: It was a fellow student but she didn't recognize him.

HEU: He had a guns with him and he was armed. He had a bulletproof vest on, and he didn't seem like he was, like anxious or anything. He just seemed like he wanted to do that, and he seemed happy about it. He didn't seemed stressed. He didn't seemed nervous. But when he came in, he told everybody to get on the ground. So everybody tried to huddle to the ground and then the girl in the wheelchair tried to get -- she got off and tried to get down on the ground --

SIDNER: Wait, there was a woman in a wheelchair during all this as well?

HEU: Yes, and she had a dog with her, but the dog was just on the ground, and she got off the chair. She went on the ground and then he told her to get back on the chair, and then she tried to climb back on the chair and then he shot her.

SIDNER: Tracey didn't know it yet but the girl in the wheelchair was dead. Her name was Serena Dawn Moore. In July, Moore posted this picture on Facebook showing off her new service dog who she named bullet, bullet survived. Back in snider hall, the shooter continued to kill.

Did he say anything as he was going and systematically shooting people?

HEU: He seemed like he was excited about everything. He was just saying that he was going to join us and he specified in one or two minutes and that he'll make it not painful at all for any one of us. He'll make it quick and easy.

SIDNER: He turned his attention to Professor Larry Levine.

HEU: He told the professor to get down on the ground, as well and he was trying to crawl to the ground with us and he shot the professor. And then he just started shooting everybody on the ground and then blood started splattering all over the place. And then, that's when I knew that, you know, this is it. I'm probably going to die, you know. I probably won't see my kids anymore. I probably won't see anybody anymore.

SIDNER: Face down on the ground, hit by a stray bullet in the hand, she thought about her three children and waited to die.

You said to me that you didn't believe this was happening.

HEU: Happening for real, no.

SIDNER: What was it that made you realize this could be it?

HEU: When I saw the bullet wound in the guy's head and the blood gushing out and all those, the warm, the warmth of those blood that was all over me.

[20:30:03]

That's when I knew that it was real, and I remember whispering to one other person that was next to me, you know, he's only one person, all of us, you know, we just got to do something about it or, you know, we'll just going to die.

SIDNER: But then she heard the shooter make a promise, he would spare someone, a fellow student named Matthew.

(on camera): What did he say, exactly?

HEU: He said that you're the lucky one, I'm, you know, I'm going to let you live, but I'm going to need you to go and tell the police everything that happened and give them this and, you know, if you do all that then, you know, I won't kill you.

SIDNER (voice over): He handed the man an envelope to give to the police and then started asking victims about their religion.

HEU: He just asked them, are you Christian? Do you believe in God? And then they said yeah and he said good, I'll send you, you know, I'll send you to god. You'll be visiting god pretty soon and he shoots them.

SIDNER (on camera): Did he --

HEU: And then he asked them about them being Catholic and they said yeah and then he still shot them.

SIDNER (voice over): Then suddenly, his killing spree was interrupted by a guy passing the classroom who threatened to call police.

HEU: The guy that came in opened the door and tried to intervene, I heard him screaming I have a six-year-old son, and his birthday is today but he still shot him anyway. So he didn't give anybody any kind of remorse.

SIDNER: It turns out, that guy is a military veteran, his name is Chris Mintz shot seven times. He survived and now must learn how to walk again. The shooter wasn't done. But police soon arrived.

HEU: I heard him screaming ouch and then two more gunshots and then the guy that, the guy that had the envelope said he's down, he's down, everybody get up. So he -- I'm assuming that he probably got shot by the cops, and then he couldn't do anything anymore so he shot himself.

SIDNER: Her story matching what the authorities determined, police said they shot him first, neutralizing him and the medical examiner determined the student shooter killed himself.

HEU: The paramedics came and they helped me out. The police were very helpful. They all thought I was injured because I was soaked in blood from head to toe, but, you know, I just told them that, you know, I'm fine for them to go to the other people because everybody else needs their help.

SIDNER: Tracy Heu rose from the floor to find she was one of only three people in her class able to walk out of the room. The rest were either dead or too badly injured to get out on their own. Heu says she survived because she was covered in blood from head to toe, the shooter thought she was dead. Today, she carries around a memento from that terrible day, her cell phone stained with the blood of other victims because as it turned out their blood saved her life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's just so sickening what this person did, I mean, what happened when she was finally able to walk out of the room?

SIDNER: She went to walk out of that room and actually, the man Matthew that had gotten that message and that envelope from the shooter told her stop, wait, don't go outside. There might be someone else with a gun, be careful. Eventually, she walked out and went to the bathroom and started screaming because she saw another gun inside of the bathroom, soon she saw paramedics and they helped her but she told them listen, I don't need any help. There are people in the classroom that are much worse off than myself. She left with two broken bones because that bullet went through her hand and broke some of the bones in her arm, Anderson.

COOPER: Just - It's just unbelievable. Sara, I appreciate you doing that interview. Thank you very much.

Coming up, I'll speak with the mother and brother of another young woman who survived the shooting. She was injured and still in the hospital. We'll find out how she is doing tonight.

Also, it is the last thing a community in mourning needs, the accusations that Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin once posted a link on Facebook to one of those ridiculous conspiracy theory videos about the Sandy Hook shooting. Hear what the sheriff has to say as people call for his resignation.

[20:34:15]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Again, the breaking news tonight, President Obama travels to Roseburg, Oregon on Friday. In the meantime, there are calls for the local sheriff to resign. The reason dates back to the Sandy Hook killings when Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings happen killing 26 people including 20 children. We were disgusted to learn that a conspiracy theory emerged claiming that it wasn't real and there are still some idiots who believe this. People posted videos claiming it was all a hoax that the devastated parents giving interviews were actually actors. It's hard to believe anyone could possibly buy into that, harder still to believe the sheriff of Douglas County, Oregon, may be among those who did. That's the allegation that surfaced. Kyung Lah looks into it tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin heading the mass shooting investigation that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College denying to CNN he posted a controversial video on Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't post it?

JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF: No, no, no, I know what you're referring to. That's not. That's not a conspiracy theory belief that I have.

LAH: That belief is spouted on this viral video produced by conspiracy theorists. It ludicrously claims that Sandy Hook is a hoax cooked up by the government to take citizens' guns away. The video viewed 11 million times on YouTube calls the victims' families actors. It even claims that murdered first graders are still alive. On the sheriff's Facebook page this post now removed linking to the YouTube video with this comment, "This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore, watch, listen and keep an open mind." And while he says he didn't post it, it was on his personal Facebook page since 2013.

[20:40:04]

DAN GROSS, PRESIDENT, BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE: The idea of having this man, it's beyond hypocrisy to have this man charged with leading the investigation.

LAH: The Brady campaign siting the Facebook conspiracy post called for the sheriff to step down.

GROSS: He's a delusional conspiracy theorist who's been put in the position to try and lead an un-bias investigation to this tragedy, and think about the things that we can do to prevent future tragedies like this from happening.

And so to the extent that wearing a badge keeps him in that position, no, he does not deserve to be wearing a badge.

LAH: The campaign also points to this letter posted on the department's Facebook page that the sheriff sent to Vice President Biden after the Sandy Hook school massacre. The sheriff writes gun control is not the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings. He tells the vice president, federal restriction on the Second Amendment shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, even pledging to stop any federal agents from doing so in his county. The letter is dated one month after Sandy Hook. On the heels of his county's own tragedy, he tells CNN this.

HANLIN: This isn't the time and this isn't the place to have the conversation about my position political or not on gun control.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Kyung joins me now. So I mean, has the sheriff explained at all why this thing is on his personal Facebook page? He says it's not his views.

LAH: Yeah, we've tried to reach him throughout the day. Numerous times with e-mails, cell phone calls, the sheriff who is once so readily accessible, he is not responding to any of our request for further explanation, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Thanks very much, Kyung. I appreciate it.

The shooting in Oregon ended nine lives and changed many more. One of the young women who survived being shot Cheyenne Fitzgerald is still in the hospital. Her condition has been upgraded. You can find a link to the go fund me page Cheyenne's family has set up for her by going to our Web site AC 360.com. Cheyenne's mother Bonnie Schaan and brother Jessy Atkinson join me tonight. Thank you both for being with us. First of all, how is Cheyenne doing?

JESSY ATKINSON, SISTER INJURED IN SHOOTING: She's doing good right now. She's been upgraded. She has a couple of down falls, the entry wound she got was - it hurt some ribs and everything so she's had some cracked ribs she hasn't known about. But she's doing really good, not real good, but, you know, as good as she can be.

COOPER: Has she been able to tell you what she experienced?

ATKINSON: We're not going there as a family is what happened in there. We have respect for the victims and all the other family members, when they want to tell their story, they can. They've seen some horrible things in there and it's not my place to talk about it.

COOPER: That's understandable. Bonnie.

ATKINSON: But I can tell you anything you want to know about her.

COOPER: Yeah, well, I'm just wondering, Bonnie, I know. I mean you couldn't reach her on the phone. You went to the hospital. You said it was your mom's intuition that's something was wrong.

BONNIE SCHAAN, DAUGHTER INJURED IN SHOOTING: Right.

COOPER: And just --

SCHAAN: Yes.

ATKINSON: She's always been like this, any time us boys put her to the test, she always finds us. She can't - We can't stay hidden or evade her even in a crisis situation.

COOPER: Well, Jessie, I understand I mean Cheyenne sounds like a remarkable young woman. I understand she is 16 years old, she'd finished high school early attending college to become a nurse. Tell us about her.

ATKINSON: She's just incredible. She's really -- she's inspirational to us and our family. She's one of the last pure things I have in my life, like she's just awesome and genuine and just a real person. She loves nature and that's why she was becoming a nurse. She wants to help people and better the community and give back. You know, she's just incredible, you know. She's -- I just, I hope that she can pull through this mentally and -- it's just -- I just love my baby sister.

COOPER: Yeah.

ATKINSON: And I just hope the best for her from here forward.

COOPER: Well, we know that now President Obama is going to be traveling to Roseburg on Friday to meet with families. If you have an opportunity to meet with him, what would you say?

ATKINSON: Really? I would tell him to look where the problem really lies and quit running the agenda of -- quit running the gun agenda. It's not the problem. It's mental health in America. It's obvious. All of us talk about it and I don't know why we're hiding from it. We waste so much money and so much resources where they shouldn't be, you know, overseas, we waste it on the war on drugs, you know, we lock people up for smoking pot and waste tax dollars on that one. When we could be dumping it into health care systems and really make an impact in the community and ourselves. It's -- that doesn't seem like our country is going the right direction and it's sad.

COOPER: Bonnie--

SCHAAN: I feel that our children should be able to protect themselves somehow.

COOPER: And Bonnie, what do you want people to know about Cheyenne?

SCHAAN: She's incredible. She makes my everyday life very interesting. She's very happy on her way to her new career that she was looking to go towards. I want her better. I want to see her moving and happy and smiling and getting through this.

COOPER: Well, I hope you're able to see that really quick, and I appreciate --

SCHAAN: I'm sorry.

COOPER: No, it's totally understandable.

ATKINSON: We're just exhausted from the gauntlet of this week.

COOPER: Listen, I wish you guys the best and our thoughts and our prayers are with Cheyenne and all of you and all the families. Thank you very much. I know your family has a Gofundme page to help with Cheyenne's recovery. As I said, there is a link at our website, ac360.com, so that people can support her. Thanks very much.

Just ahead tonight, we have more breaking news, the sound of an emergency that every pilot trains for but also prays will never happen. The plane's captain was dying mid-flight. How his co-pilot kept everyone on board safe. Plus, what Doctors Without Borders is demanding after the U.S. bombing of its hospital in Afghanistan, a bombing it is calling a war crime.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:50:00]

COOPER: We have more breaking news tonight, we just obtained the audio of an air traffic control call reporting a medical emergency inside the cockpit of an American Airlines flight. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medical emergency, captain is incapacitated. Request handling for runway one-zero landing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ambulance will meet you (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they going to have a way to get in the airplane quickly or do we need to go to a gate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will have a way to get into the airplane quickly. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Understood. As long as they have a way to get on the airplane quickly. We'll need them to get to the captain. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's incredible how calm the first officer sounds. The pilot who later died fell ill during a red-eye flight from Phoenix to Boston. The first officer diverted the plane for an emergency landing in Syracuse. Every pilot trains for this type of emergency, certainly hopes it never actually happens. Our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh joins us with the latest. What more do we know about exactly what happened?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDNET: Anderson, passengers tell our Boston affiliate that the voice over the PA system was quivering when they were told that the pilot wasn't feeling well. One passenger said when he heard that, he knew it was a serious situation. We don't know the official cause of death. That's still unclear, but we do know that co-pilot took over, and because there is a two-person in the cockpit rule, it was a flight attendant who was in the cockpit when that co-pilot safely landed the plane with 147 passengers on board.

COOPER: What happened when the plane was on the ground?

MARSH: Once the plane was on the ground, ambulance met this aircraft. First responders boarded, and the captain was pronounced dead right there in the cockpit. Passengers say that they had to wait for the pilot's body to be removed from the plane. A terribly sad story, but it really does underscore why it is so critical for two pilots to be in the cockpit, one is always prepared to take over if for whatever reason the other cannot fly the plane, Anderson.

COOPER: Rene, thank you. Such a sad story.

There is a lot more happening tonight. Amara walker has the 360 news and business bulletin.

WALKER: Anderson, the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says the U.S. bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan is a war crime and is calling for an independent investigation. At least 22 people, including 12 medical staff members, were killed. Dozens were wounded. The aid group has pulled its remaining staff out of Kunduz. The Pentagon says the bombing was an accident and will be fully investigated.

Vice President Joe Biden seems closer to jumping into the presidential race, according to two senior Democrats who have spoken to him in recent days. They say he has ramped up his interest in the mechanics of the race. Separately, Politico is reporting confidants of Biden expect him to make a decision next weekend or shortly after.

Amtrak says a rock slide on the tracks caused one of its passenger trains to derail in Vermont. Seven people were injured. A fire official said at least two cars went off the track and over an embankment. And just outside Paris, protesters broke into a board meeting at the

headquarters of Air France and attacked executives, ripping off their shirts. The violence came after the company revealed plans to cut thousands of jobs. Anderson?

COOPER: The our special report about being 13. These days young people's sense of self has a lot to do with the selfie. It's never been easy being 13, but now smartphones have changed everything from bullying to trying to fit in. A preview of our special report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:57:40]

COOPER: In just a few minutes here on CNN, I host a special report that is the culmination of two years of research into what it's like being 13. Maybe you remember what it was like, a tricky time for anyone, but chances are when you were 13, there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no Internet. Safe to say smartphones have changed pretty much everything, and many of the kids we talked about say they can't live without them. Here is a preview of being 13.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I literally feel like I'm going to die. I'd rather not eat for a week than get my phone taken away. It's really bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I get my phone taken away, I feel kind of naked. I feel kind of like empty without my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate whenever I get my phone taken away. It is like the worst thing you can ever do to me. Makes me so mad. I just want to rip my hair out.

COOPER: 57 percent of kids in this study said they would rather be grounded than lose their phone. Meaning if they had to choose, they would rather be cut off from the real world than the cyber world.

ROBERT FARIS, SOCIOLOGIST: We see a lot of evidence of, if not outright addiction to social media, heavy dependence on it, and almost a compulsive need to be checking social media. We have very high rates of kids being anxious and worried they are missing out on what their friends are doing online. Beyond that, I think they are addicted to the image of themselves that they see reflected in the eyes of their peers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Some of these kids are taking 100, 150 selfies just to get one picture to post on Instagram. It's a fascinating hour. If you have questions, our researchers are answering them on Twitter. Use the hashtag being13, and on Facebook.com/ac 360.

That does it for us tonight. Thanks very much for watching. We'll of course continue to follow late developments out of the Carolinas, where the rain may be ending, as we heard earlier from our meteorologist, but floodwaters continue to rise, and so sadly does the death toll. It is now at 13. Nine dams have already failed, and officials are saying more could fail throughout the night.

Stay tuned to CNN for late details, warnings, and watches. We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another edition of "360." I hope you enjoy our special report, "Being 13: Inside the Secret World of Teens." It starts now.