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Public Statements

CNN "The Situation Room" - Transcript

Interview

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BLITZER: Those are certainly important questions about the Aurora, Colorado, gunman, raised by a relative of one of the people he wounded.

With us to start the conversation here in the SITUATION ROOM is U.S. congressman, the U.S. congressman whose district includes the movie theater where the shooting took place, Democratic representative, Ed Perlmutter.

Congressman, thanks very much for coming in. Can you share anymore details, if at all, about a possible motive that this shooter may have had in going into that movie theater?

REP. ED PELMUTTER (D), COLORADO: I don't know of anything, other than what the police chief talked about an hour ago. Just, you know, describing how elaborates he had booby trapped his apartment. Some of the steps that he took in, you know, placing all of his weapons outside, going in and getting them, and just starting to mow people down. And what makes somebody want to do that, Wolf, is anybody's guess.

And you know, you just had an earlier clip about the victims and some of the heroics and bravery that we saw, even against a gunman with that type of weaponry, you know, wearing all that Kevlar and bulletproof stuff. You know, Aurorans and Coloradans are generally a pretty tough breed and this hurts. I mean, there's no doubt about it. The victims in this tragedy, we are going -- there's going to be a lot of healing, but we'll get through this, and it's already started.

BLITZER: As far as we've heard, he was the one who alerted police that that apartment had, in fact, been booby trapped. As far as you know, is he cooperating with law enforcement right now?

PELMUTTER: From what we've heard, one, he did alert them to the booby traps, and, you know, who knows why he booby trapped it and then alerted them. So there's no telling what's going on in this guy's mind. But he has been moved to the Arapahoe county jail. And apparently he has a lawyer in place. He has, you know, to the degree he's sharing other things with law enforcement. They've been unwilling to let anybody else in on it.

BLITZER: As far as the money is concerned, because he bought a lot of, what, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, sophisticated weapons. He had explosive devices in there. As far as I know, he was unemployed, 24 years old, had just dropped out of graduate school at the University of Colorado in Denver. Do you have any idea? Does anyone yet know where that money was coming from?

PELMUTTER: Well, we're seeing now many packages came to his apartment. Obviously, he bought the assault rifle was expensive, the shotgun was expensive, the Glocks were expensive, the 6,000 rounds of ammunition that he bought over the Internet, obviously, cost a lot of money. And then the chemicals that apparently are all over his apartment all had to cost a lot. And packages, apparently, were coming into his apartment for the last couple three months. Exactly where he got the money? He was a graduate student at the University of Colorado health sciences center. That's going to be part of the detective work and the investigation that goes forward.

BLITZER: You're a lawmaker, obviously, in Washington. What's the most immediate lesson you think Washington, the federal government, should learn, should take away from what happened at that Movie Theater in Aurora, as far as gun control in America is concerned.

PELMUTTER: I'm going to start with a different lesson, and it's a lesson that we learned that started learning 13 years ago when we had columbine. Which is, a joint response of different agencies from the firefighters to the police officers to the bomb squad, so the first responders, we had tremendous response, federal side and state side, all the communities working together, everybody on the same page. And that saved lives.

So that is a lesson that was learned and was put into place. And in a terrible situation like we faced last night, it was put to good use, and I know it saved lives.

Now, with respect to the gun control question you asked, a second ago, you know, for me, the assault weapons ban should never have lapsed. I mean, I think we should have -- that should be in place. And I think we've got to take a good look at how he was able to acquire so much ammunition over the internet without any real question.

BLITZER: No red flags apparently went up, and nobody was investigating. These are important questions, we'll continue to investigate. I'm sure local, state; federal authorities are already way deep into these investigations as well.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us and our deepest, deepest condolences to your constituents in Aurora, Colorado. Appreciate it.

PELMUTTER: Thanks, Wolf. And I just ask you guys to hold all of Aurorans and especially the families that were directly impacted in your thoughts and prayers and your station has been great in focusing on the bravery of the first responders and the mourning and grief we must go through for the victims.

BLITZER: Couldn't agree more. Thank you, Congressman. Appreciate it.

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