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Showdown In Syria's Largest City; Violence Hits Syria's Largest City; Violent Night In Anaheim; Cal Ripken's Mom Abducted, Found; 24/7 Watch For Olympic Threats; U.S. Training To Quash Terror Plots; Apps Gives Voice To Autistic Children; Official: Holmes Mailed Package Before Rampage; Gun Sales Spike After Shooting
Aired July 25, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Let me tell you, it's a huge, huge day of news. A lot to get to. But I want to start with something you will not see anywhere else. And that being, take a look at the map with me. Here you have -- we're talking a lot about it -- Syria. And the largest city in Syria is hurdling toward chaos. And I'm not talking about Damascus, the capital city. I'm talking about Aleppo here in the north. If Damascus -- if Damascus is Syria's Washington, then Aleppo is New York City.
Today, government fighters are streaming in to Aleppo to try to crush the armed revolt as they did last week in Damascus. Now, this is what awaits them. Look that the with me. I want to share these pictures with you. You see the flames. You see the smoke here. Several hours ago we gathered around our news room and watch this feed in live. This is Aleppo. And what we're looking at here is a government tank totally in flames. Later, rebels were seen in another government tank. Multiple tanks, in fact, they had managed to commandeer.
But now to this. Again, Aleppo. What we're looking at here, burned out remains of a police station seize and burned today. You see the outer walls charred. Take a listen. These are Syrians stepping on -- you see that -- a president -- here it is -- of their president, Bashar al Assad. They had taken that picture from the captured police station they ransacked and burned.
As you know, we have struggled the get our people, get our crews, get our correspondents within this country. The Assad government has put the country under lock and key. And Syria's neighbor Turkey, today, has sealed off the Syrian border. So, with all of that in mind, and I just want you to take a look here, Turkey to the north, Syria to the south. A couple of these, you know, red squares, that's where some of the border crossings have been thwarted.
CNN's Ivan Watson has now entered northern Syria. He is there with us now. We cannot, for the sake of his safety, the safety of our crew, I'm not going to tell you where exactly he is. But he has spoken with Syrians who have seen precisely what's happening in this town of Aleppo.
And so, Ivan, I know you're with me. The reports we're hearing today say that the Syrian armed forces, they're rushing toward Aleppo for the showdown with the rebels. Has that showdown begun?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. They're saying the battle for Aleppo is underway, Brooke. And every village I travel through in northern Syria, the sons, the brothers, the father in those villages, who have volunteered for the rebel free Syrian army, they are all mobilized and headed towards the front for the battle of this critical city.
And in the past two days, I've just happen upon two funerals for two separate fighters killed today and yesterday by helicopter gunships, which they say are the biggest single threat that they cannot fight against in Aleppo today.
BALDWIN: Ivan, as we pointed out, we can't say precisely where you are. We'll just say sort of nebulously you're in northern Syria. And in addition to coming across some of these funerals you mentioned, I know you've talked to a number of people who have turned against the government, who have very much so taken up arms. What did they tell you? Why?
WATSON: These are people who, up until 16, 17 months ago, just were going about their lives. They were students. They were real estate brokers. They were working on farms. And now you see the entire Syrian countryside, at least in this northern part of the country, is mobilized and armed. And these people are committed to fighting to bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who between himself and his father, have ruled this country for more than 40 years.
This is an existential battle for these people. They have seen their countrymen gunned down by Syrian security forces over the course of the past 17 months. They've seen the Syrian army destroy entire neighborhoods of cities that have joined in the uprising against the Syrian regime. And they say it's a life or death matter. They either bring down this regime, or they will be forced to flee their homes and they could be killed as they run.
Many of these villages here bear the scars of war. We went to one village today about 10 -- probably five, seven miles west of the outskirts of Aleppo, which is getting rocketed daily the residents tell me. And they took me to house after house where artillery shells have slammed through the roofs from a nearby Syrian army base.
Outside of Aleppo, the Syrian military seems to be on the defense right now, but it continues to harass civilian communities by lobbing shells into villages that are civilian. And people are dying in this dire battle. Take a look at this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON (voice-over): A father stained with the blood of his son. "This is the blood of a martyr," he yells. "Of a hero. A lion. His blood is pure."
Mad, grief and pride from a man who just learned his son died in battle. Abdul Rashid (ph) was only 22 years old. A defector from the Syrian military. He died Tuesday morning fighting for the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Rashid is the fourth man from this small hilltop village to be killed battling the government. A fellow fighter named Korshid (ph) brought Rashid home to be buried. He says Rashid was shot in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
WATSON (on camera): A helicopter killed your friend today?
WATSON: On a rooftop, on top of a building?
WATSON (voice-over): What began 17 months ago as a peaceful protest movement has morphed into a full-fledged armed insurgency composed of defectors soldiers, as well as students, shop keepers, real estate agents, and even members of President Bashar al Assad's ruling Baath Party.
WATSON (on camera): And you were in the Baath Party before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WATSON: For a long time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 10 years.
WATSON (voice-over): The commander of a rebel group that calls itself the Syrian Flacons tells me he's fighting to free Syria from more than 40 years of dictatorship under the Assad family. And new recruits keep coming every day.
WATSON (on camera): You want to fight?
SECROT AMIN (ph): Yes.
WATSON: Against the government?
WATSON: That's why you came back to Syria?
AMIN: Yes, yes, of course. Because he's killed everyone. He's killed my cousin. He's destroyed my village. He's destroyed my home.
WATSON (voice-over): Twenty-three-year-old Secrot Amin came home from a job in Dubai to start his own brigade of rebels. He brought a bag full of radios, cameras and sniper scopes he'd bought with his own money.
WATSON (on camera): And all of this is for war? You're going to fight with this?
AMIN: Yes, I know. But I go to war for my family, for my country. WATSON (voice-over): Brave talk from a young man who has yet to set foot on the battlefield. This rebel veteran, Korshid, chokes back tears while talking about his friend killed in Aleppo just a few hours ago.
KORSHID: We must fight Bashar al Assad.
WATSON: After burying his friend, it's back to the battle.
WATSON (on camera): You will go back to fight?
WATSON: To Aleppo?
KORSHID: To Aleppo.
WATSON: And, Brooke, I think it's important to stress what started 17 months ago as a protest movement in the south of the country has spread all the way up to the northern borders, where I'm located right now. And what was peaceful is now a very armed movement and armed insurrection. You could call what we're seeing right now very much a civil war.
BALDWIN: Ivan, I know we've spoken before and you've said you've covered so many other conflicts globally and this is some of the worst violence you have ever seen. Ivan Watson, thank you so much to you and your crew, live in Syria. We appreciate it.
And now to you. I just want to get a -- step back and get some of our bearings because it's so important to understand the geography. When we talk Syria, you have Lebanon and Israel to the west. You have Iraq to the southeast. Turkey, north. And we mentioned these three red squares. These are the now blocked border crossings. I'm going to get into that in just a moment. But I want to talk specifically, both Damascus and Aleppo, which is what Ivan was just talking about.
So, Damascus. You know this is the capitol of Syria. And so we have highlighted three different neighborhoods. These are where, you know, they've had a series of revolts in different neighborhoods within the capitol city of Damascus. And then what did the government do? The government rushed in. they rushed in troops. And for the moment -- and I say this, you know, delicately in Syria -- for the moment, Damascus is calm.
This is the capital city. To the north, this is what Ivan was talking about. This is the focus today. Aleppo. Again, two million people. Really the country's commercial center. Sort of more like the New York City, as Damascus is like Washington. And I have CNN's Ben Wedeman, because would you believe he lived in this city for a number of years. And he's joining me now live.
And, Ben, I just want to get a little perspective from you. How significant is it that within this past week we have had major, major eruptions here in neighborhoods within Aleppo? Not just Damascus now, but Aleppo as well.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think many people were really waiting for Aleppo to rise up. It's a city with a history of opposition to the regime in Damascus. In fact, there was a revolt against the regime of Hafez al-Assad, the father of Bashar, in the late 1970s, which began in Aleppo. And I was in Aleppo at that time and every night you would hear intense gunfire between opponents of the regime and the security forces. Many people believe that if Aleppo falls, that's really the beginning of the end for the regime of Bashar al-Assad. It is the commercial capital, the manufacturer capital and is very much the agriculture heartland of the country. And so if that falls into rebel hands, it's really just a matter of time before Damascus falls as well.
BALDWIN: Ben, give me a little bit more in terms of the historic significance here. I know that Aleppo is really one of the world's oldest urban centers. This is really the cradle of civilization, is it not?
WEDEMAN: Yes, it is. It's in the fertile crescent where many people believe civilization began. And, in fact, there's an old rivalry between Damascus and Aleppo. Both cities claiming that they were -- are the oldest, continuously inhabited cities on earth.
WEDEMAN: And certainly among the people of Aleppo, there's a feeling that Damascus has really sort of become too powerful. They have always felt that Aleppo is really the city that deserves to have the real power in Syria.
BALDWIN: Ben, something we touched on briefly. You know, you have Turkey here today. So Turkey today has sealed off different parts of its border here with Syria to the south. Talk to me about just how significant that is and why do this? What are the Turks thinking?
WEDEMAN: Well, Turkey has been really one of the major trading partners for Syria for centuries. And I remember, when I lived in Aleppo, we had to actually go to Turkey to get essential goods, like sugar and milk. And we had a bank account in Turkey as well just to go back and forth really to function. And so when Turkey is cut off from Syria -- rather Syria from Turkey, it really mean a halt to all normal economic activity. In fact, there's far more trade probably between Aleppo and Turkey than between Aleppo and Damascus. So when those two are cut off, it really does mean life is going to change dramatically for the people in Aleppo.
BALDWIN: Our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman, who has lived in the city of Aleppo for a number of years. Ben, we appreciate you live today.
A lot more unfolding this hour, including word that Cal Ripken's mother has been abducted by gun point. We are expecting police to give a statement on that any minute. We will, of course, take that live for you.
Police shoot and kill two men and now one city is on edge. The voices of the protesters are getting louder and the violence is out of hand.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
First, Mickey goes to North Korea. Now, wedding bells. The rogue nation's mystery leader surprises yet again.
Plus, the number of folk who want guns in Colorado skyrocketing since the massacre. But their reasons not all the same.
And from Grace to activist. Debra Messing joins me live on what she wants the world to know about AIDS.
BALDWIN: Police firing rubber bullets into angry mobs. Crowds spitting at police. Spitting at them. Taunting them. Throwing rocks. Setting fires to trash cans. Breaking store windows. Two dozen people now hauled off to jail. Folks, it was a intense night again in Anaheim, California. This city has been hit by four days of protest over a pair of police shootings. It happened over the weekend. The aftermath of one was captured on cell phone video and posted on YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, he's still alive, man. Call the cops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Now, look at this. You see the man on the ground. You saw him for a second behind the fence. That was 25-year-old Manuel Diaz. Police describe him as, quote/unquote, "a known gang member." Here he is on the ground. They say Diaz and two other men were acting suspiciously in an alley Saturday afternoon. And when officers tried to question them, Diaz tossed something over the fence. He ran. During this chase, police shot Diaz, who reportedly was not armed. Diaz died at the hospital.
And on Sunday, police were chasing suspected gang members running from a stolen SUV. One of the men shot at police. The officer fired back killing the 21-year-old gunman.
Now, both of these shootings have people in Anaheim angry. They're on edge and out in full force on the streets. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've been told to disburse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm leaving. Don't twist my arm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go home. Get out of here unless you want to get arrested.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Officials in Anaheim believe many of these people in last night's protest don't even live in Anaheim. Described them as outsiders hell-bent on creating mayhem. And they do not, I repeat do not want an encore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR TOM TAIT, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA: Vandalism, arson and other forms of violent protests will simply not be tolerated in our city. We don't expect last night's situation to be repeated. But if it should, the police response will be the same -- swift and appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait on the phone with me from Anaheim.
And, Mr. Mayor, gosh, I mean just looking at these pictures, these fires set to businesses, broken windows, expletive, you know, in graffiti describing your city's police force. How do you, sir, how do you characterize what is happening in your city?
TAIT (via telephone): Well, ah, it's --
BALDWIN: That's a heavy sigh.
TAIT: Pardon me.
BALDWIN: That was a heavy sigh.
TAIT: That was a heavy sigh. Last night we had a city council meeting and that was a great place for people to vent, to state their opinion, to state their anger and also to protest. And that's where it should be, a place where we do the people's business.
BALDWIN: But, obviously that's not happening. We're looking at pictures of people being arrested by police. You know, rubber bullet, fires, broken windows. When you see these pictures, sir, this is your city, how do you -- what do you think when you see this? How do you describe this?
TAIT: No, it's -- well, that was in front of city hall. So I was -- I was there last night. It was isolated in front of city hall. And it's not -- Anaheim's a big city. But it was obviously very disturbing to see people use violence in a protest. We can't put up with that. Absolutely cannot put up with that.
BALDWIN: As we mentioned, these protests, these are over these two deadly shootings that have absolutely rocked your community. Especially the Latino community, five of whom have been shot to death by police. What can you tell us about these investigations into these shootings? And let me just also mention, I understand that you're meeting with members of the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI Friday. But what can you tell the nation about these investigations?
TAIT: Well, the investigations a normal process. They are investigated by the Orange County district attorney's office. And they do a -- of all police unions (ph). In fact, our police department and our chief doesn't even know what the facts are. They're to be determined by the district attorney.
I saw, you know, the television coverage on Saturday night and I believe we need an independent, credible entity to determine what the facts -- what the truth is. And I believe that entity is the United States -- U.S. -- Office of U.S. Attorney, Justice Department.
BALDWIN: OK. So once you meet with them Friday, your hope is that this would be this independent third party who could properly, without bias, conduct an investigation into the police department, correct?
TAIT: Absolutely. And I think, you know, the first thing -- the first thing, to gain the trust of the community is the truth. And as I said before, we're going to seek the truth. And when that comes out, we're going to own it, whatever that means.
BALDWIN: But, sir, it may take a little while for the truth to come out. And in cases like this, are you fearful for night number five, number six, number seven. This scene playing out continuously in your community until you seek that truth? That your community may not be placated by, you know, lack of answers.
TAIT: The community, the people in Anaheim want to see positive change. The people in Anaheim do not like the rioting that went on last night. I'm -- that's over. Things have calmed down. I'm confident that things will soon get back to normal. And again, that was -- you know, that was around city hall. We're a big city. We have 350,000 people. It was just a small number of people who were in front of city hall who, unfortunately, result -- acted with violence.
BALDWIN: I just have to ask, final question, you say it's over. How do you know it's over? How do you know you won't have another night of this?
TAIT: I don't -- I -- of course I don't know that. Of course I don't know that. But I know that the people of -- I went to a meeting this morning of leaders in the city of the Hispanic community and nobody wants -- nobody wants that violence. Protest, yes. Discourse, yes. But violence, absolutely not.
BALDWIN: Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, we'll follow up with you and see how things go ager that meeting with the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI and if you're able to establish that independent, credible entity that you so seek to seek the truth. We appreciate it.
TAIT: Very good. Thank you.
BALDWIN: This just into us here at CNN. Kathryn Jackson is no longer guardian of Michael Jackson's children. A Los Angeles county superior court judge made that ruling minutes ago. Wow. The judge appointed T.J. Jackson as temporary guardian of Prince, Paris and Blanket. T.J. is the 34-year-old son of Tito Johnson. And this news today, this comes after Kathryn Jackson was first reported missing, but Los Angeles Police found her at a spa in Arizona. We're making calls. As soon as we get more information, we promise we'll bring it to you live.
He is a baseball legends. He's a hall of famer. And we have just learned Cal Ripken's mother has been abducted by gunpoint. We're expecting police to give a statement. We're going to take it live here in just a couple of minutes.
Also, the mystery woman -- here she is standing next to North Korea's new dictator -- is now his wife? Kim Jong-un's latest secret revealed.
BALDWIN: Let's talk famous couples for just a minute. You have Kanye and Kim. Can't pass a checkout stand without seeing these two, can you? You've got Brad and Angelina with their upcoming nuptials. And now you have King Jong-un and Ri Sol Ju. Yes, it's summertime when a young dictator's fancy turns to thoughts of love. The supreme leader of North Korea is now married according to state TV. OK, OK, so we made up this "Star" magazine cover, but there is so little we know about the bride here. She has been seen by Kim's side a handful of times over the past. Here she is in the white sweater on the right of your screen. I know it was quick. She was also with him during this show, remember this, which featured Disney characters performing against their will, or at least against the will of the Walt Disney Company, which never authorized it. Kim Jong-un took over leadership of the country when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December. He is said to be in his late 20s. We don't actually know how old he is. But the regime is so reclusive, we can't tell for sure. So, sorry, ladies, he's off the market. Had to have a little fun. Come on now.
As the Olympics get closer, the U.S. is revealing a 24/7 operation to monitor terror threats. But the woman in charge of our nation's security also revealed today who the greatest terror threat is to America.
BALDWIN: So we have just learned, we told you a moment that Cal Ripken, his mother who has a home in Maryland was abducted by a man yesterday morning out of her home at gunpoint. We've been listening to this news conference. We'll play you some sound in a moment.
But the short end of it is the fact she is now a-OK. She was found in her vehicle. I'm just looking over at my notes because I was listening, found unharmed in her car. She is with her family now. Let's listen. This is the Aberdeen police chief. This is Chief Henry Trabert. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF HENRY TRABERT, ABERDEEN, MARYLAND POLICE: At about 6:15 this morning, Mrs. Ripken was located unharmed in her vehicle in close proximity to her residence. At that time, she was assessed by local paramedics of the Aberdeen Fire Department where she was not found to be injured and at this time, she is resting with her family.
Between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, we believe, a male subject approached Miss Ripken at her residence, produced a handgun and forced her into her vehicle and he fled the air.
After he fled the area, we believe that he drove throughout Central Maryland and at this time, we are not sure what locations he was at. What time he was driving in what counties and that is still under investigation at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right, I want to bring in Joe Johns. He's our crime and justice correspondent. I know he's been following today. Joe, here is where I'm confused. This is where I want you to sort of clarify.
So if I'm hearing correctly, did this man who, by the way, is still arm and dangerous and on the loose and they're looking for him. Did he take Mrs. Ripken with him as he went through Maryland before dropping her back off or no?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: That's just what it sounds like. It sounds like according the police that he put her in the car and drove all over Central Maryland is what the police chief said there.
We don't know where they went, what counties they went to. But she was missing for the space of about 24 hours, Brooke. So this must have been quite a drive and quite an experience for her.
She was later checked out by paramedics and they found her to be in good shape. So now she's resting at home, a very bizarre story in fact and still trying to find out whether this person who actually abducted her even knew who she was.
That's probably the central question as we look at this point, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK. So as those details begin to eke out, we'll check back in and see what you know. We know this individual as we mentioned this police chief says armed and dangerous, still on the loose. Quickly, we heard from the Ripken family, what have they said today?
JOHNS: They put out a little bit of a statement. It was pretty short. I mean, we can put it on the screen there for you. The jest of it was that they were happy she's back with them and healthy as a matter of fact.
This has been a long and very trying to a family, grateful relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. The other thing I have to tell you is that news conference is still ongoing. There might be more information.
But earlier today, the authorities were telling us they didn't get any demand note or demand call for ransom or anything like that. There's no indication even that Cal Ripken was actually contacted. So a lot of this is still a mystery.
BALDWIN: How bizarre. Thank goodness she is OK. I'll be it perhaps shaken out. Joe Johns, thank you so much. Joe Johns for us in Washington.
BALDWIN: As we get closer to the start of the Olympics. Remember opening games this coming Friday. The U.S. today is revealing it has set up a 24/7 operation to help assess security threats.
The Obama administration telling Congress it's working with the British government to find and disrupt any possibly terror plots, but then the testimony turned into a discussion about lone wolves.
I want to bring CNN intelligence correspondent, Suzanne Kelly. She is live in Aspen, Colorado. Suzanne, you heard from homeland security secretary saying a lone wolf scenario is still really a top concern. Why did she say?
SUZANNE KELLY, CNN INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, she checked off a couple of things that are really concerning right now. One is aviation. One is cyber and one is that home grown threat that you talked about.
Brooke, just quickly, aviation is still a very top concern because they believe they AQAP is still actively plotting to bring down an airliner in the U.S. or on its way to the U.S. as we saw with the plot that was just disrupted in May.
They have no reason to believe that they are not continuing to try to do that. The cyber threat is still such a pressing issue because of a vulnerability perspective. Napolitano simply told the committee that people just don't know how at risk they are, the cyber attack.
And then the last one you talked about really interesting because on so many levels the home grown threat is something that intelligence and counterterrorist officials in this county have been training for quite some time. Take a listen to what the secretary had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET NAPOLITANO, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Importantly, however, we also know that violent extremism can be inspired by various religious, political or other ideological beliefs. As the recent terrorist attack overseas in Bulgaria as well as the shooting last week in Aurora, Colorado demonstrate. We must remain vigilant and prepared at all times. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Really interesting end note on this for you, Brooke. Those Aurora police that responded to that shooting last week had actually gone through a DNHS training program we heard today from the secretary that teaches them how to respond to incidents where there might be even be multi shooters.
That's the big fear that one day there will be an attack that sort of resembles the 2008 attack in Mumbai where there are multiple shooters all at once. That's their worst nightmare -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: We know the police department was a couple of blocks away, but they were there in 60 seconds on the scene of that movie theatre. Suzanne Kelly in Aspen, thank you.
By the way, CNN's security clearance team and Wolf Blitzer, they are covering the Aspen Security Forum so please watch Wolf taking his show on the road today in Aspen for "THE SITUATION ROOM" 4:00 Eastern.
And also go to our security clearance blog that's cnn.com/security clearance for more highlights and features from there.
Autism, one in 88 person children has it not being able to communicate obviously is a tremendous problem. But now would you believe there's an app for that. This is a huge, huge development.
BALDWIN: Right now an estimated one million children in the United States live with autism. If you're a parent who has an autistic child you know very well how challenging it with be to read and understand your child.
Are they tired? Are they hungry? Do they want to play? Well, thankfully there's an app that is giving a voice to autistic children. To give you an idea of how promising this could be, I want you to listen here to a mom's experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't wait to ask him so many questions but not knowing whether he would understand and be able to respond to me with this device. To my surprise, he understood everything I have been saying to him for the past nine and a half years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Wow, tech expert, Katie Linendoll joins me now. That's incredible. This one experience, right, with this son and this mother, but how are apps changing the game when it comes to communicating with kids like this.
KATIE LINENDOLL, TECH EXPERT: Yes, absolutely. It's amazing to hear from her. The iPad has been absolutely revolutionary in aiding this battle of communication. As you noted, for a parent, it can be so frustrating because are they tired? Are they hungry? Do they want to go out and play? I want to put the spotlight on this one app leading the way. It was out since 2009.
It's called "Proloquo" and what it does, it has 14,000 images and symbols on the app and "Proloquo" in Latin have actually means to speak out loud.
And literally when they touch the image, it actually speaks out loud for them. Better yet, they can actually string together images and symbols and create sentences.
So you hear from these parents, they've been working with a teacher who's been in special needs for the last 20 years and you're hearing to these different case studies and seeing it. For the first time, kids are really being able to communicate just from one app. The amazing part about it is today they actually announced an update.
Kids are using this as a device to actually speak for the first time. They are now using children's voices in the app. So in the past, all they had was adult voices and it does adult synthesized voice to sound like a child.
Starting today, this morning, they will actually sound like a child. So not only they now have an iPad or iPhone in him, which totally normalizes them.
They can become a cool, hip kid. They could actually have all this access to them right on it and a whole ecosystem of things to play with. So also, Brooke, I want to -- I know we're tied on time, but I also want to make the point here that great for those with cerebal palsy, great with those for down syndrome.
BALDWIN: So not just autism.
LINENDOLL: For stroke victims. Absolutely, anyone with a speech set back. We look at apps like Proloquo that are really paving the way and changing the game.
BALDWIN: Katie, how much does it cost?
LINENDOLL: OK, so don't have a heart attack because this is where I was like -- the apps is a $190. Hear me out on this because I got a little education as well, typically in the past kids with autism had a proprietary device that cost upwards of $15,000 to be able to communicate.
So now we're looking at $190 app. You can have multiple users on here, which is great for teachers, but also remembering they have an iPad and an iPhone in hand. That if you ever worked with kids that is hip and that is cool.
So if they are playing with an app and they are speaking as a child through the device that makes all the difference. BALDWIN: Katie Linendoll, we appreciate it so much. I got to cut you off because we are now learning there's a tremendous, a huge breaking development when it comes to this suspected gunman in that Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting. We're going to share that with you on the other side of this break.
BALDWIN: All right, just into us here at CNN as we are learning more and more details are eking about the suspected gunman in that movie theatre massacre from last Friday. Let me look at my note because this is what we're just getting.
A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said that police and FBI discovered a package in the University of Colorado mail room that appears to have been mailed by this alleged shooter, 24- year-old James Holmes.
This official could not provide details about to whom it was addressed, how long this particular package had been until mail room and what the package entailed.
You know investigators are pouring through it now because the big question is the why, the motive. Of course, these are pictures from this past Monday. This is the first time the world got this first glimpse of this man who has not yet been charged.
Let me clear, that charging and arraignment happens next Monday. But these are the first pictures of this flame red hair. Remember the story, who could forget ever, 12 people killed, 58 wounded.
And from what we now thus far in the past couple of days, really this James Holmes has no major digital footprint. He appeared on a couple of dating websites, but really not too much beyond that. So there you have it. This package here from the University of Colorado mail room.
Since Friday's theatre shooting in Colorado, people in that state have been buying more guns. They want to buy a lot more guns, getting background checks. My next guest says over the "I need a gun mentality," let's focus on something else. She's in the very thick of the debate there.
BALDWIN: Wake up and read the papers. I just want to point out something. This is an item that caught my eye this morning. Take a look. In the days following the Aurora shooting, there was a big spike in the number of people trying to buy guns in Colorado.
So between Friday, day of that shooting and Sunday, Colorado authorities approved the background checks of 2,887 people that wanted to buy a gun. That's a jump of 43 percent over the same three days the previous week.
There are also reports people lining up outside gun shops. Not everyone in Colorado wants more guns in the hands of its own people. State Representative Ronda Fields is one of them. She's live in front of that theatre where that horrific, horrific shooting happened on Friday.
Representative Fields, thank you for joining me.
RHONDA FIELDS (D), COLORADO STATE HOUSE: Thank you for having me.
BALDWIN: It was the "Denver Post" article, I'm sure you saw it this morning that really caught my eye. I just want to quote. This is a quote coming from an employee at a gun shop. "He said a lot of people are saying I didn't think I needed a gun, but now I do."
Representative Fields, if this person was sitting right there next to you, what would you tell him?
FIELDS: You know, I just think those are just reactive kind of issues that people have. You know, I understand that people want to be able to protect themselves. We have to move beyond just being reactive and we need to be proactive. We need to come up with policies and strategies to prevent gun violence.
BALDWIN: What is your strategy? How do you combat this?
FIELDS: You know, I think it's already happening on the Hill. Congresswoman Diana Degett has already called for a ban on high capacity clips.
Those are just some measures that we can do to kind of curtail the violence. As you can see, there's no need for someone to have this magazine clip that allows them to do 60 rounds of firing of bullets per minute. There's no need for that. I think we should ban that.
BALDWIN: Representative, I just want to point out some numbers to put this whole story in context. This is for the Pew Research Center. They did some polling on gun control. This was back in April and here's what they found.
You see, 72 percent of Republican voters saying think it's more important to protect gun ownership than to control guns. Only 27 percent of Democrats agree.
I know you're on the state level and we're talking nationally. I have to challenge you why hasn't your party, the Democratic Party, done more to legislate guns because as you know that assault weapons ban expired in 2004.
FIELDS: Right. I can't speak for them. I can only speak for myself and my constituents in this district. It's time to talk about gun violence. We have to do something.
Because to do nothing I think we get more of the same. So I think that we need to be doing some bold leadership on both sides and we need to come up with some measures to kind of close the gaps.
BALDWIN: But specifically what can you do? I mean, you know, everybody's sort of knows this is not a winnable political topic on both sides of the aisle. It's an election year.
We're not going to be hearing too much when it comes to gun control from either Mitt Romney or President Obama, but for you in Aurora and in Colorado, what do you do?
FIELDS: You know and that really hurts me when I hear people saying we can't touch this issue because this is campaign season, and we're going to need to be re-elected.
What's happening right now is we had 70 people get shot here in the state of Colorado. Twelve are dead. We can no longer push this issue under the rug.
We need convene all the right players together to do what is right. I don't have all the answers, but I think we need be doing something and right now.
BALDWIN: And finally, Representative Fields, this is to personal for you. Can you tell me about your son?
FIELDS: Yes. I lost my son due to gun violence in 2005. So I understand what it's like to have someone suddenly be snatched from your life and have to deal with the trauma of burying someone and going through the trials.
That's what's going on right here in our city. Now people are having to bury their loved ones and then we're also having to see this person be charged for the crimes he committed. It's hard.
BALDWIN: I cannot even begin to imagine. Colorado State Representative, Ronda Fields, I thank you so much and again, our hearts going out to you and Aurora.
Just as a post script here to the story. I just want to let you know that gun sales spiked in Virginia in 2007 right after that Virginia Tech mass shooting and again in Arizona in 2010 after a gunman opened fire and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and many, many others in that crowded Tucson parking lot.