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Family Of Colorado Shooting Victim Rikki Olds Speaks; Limited Press Coverage Allowed As WH Officials, Lawmakers Tour Border Facility. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired March 24, 2021 - 12:30   ET

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


[12:30:00]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: The family of Rikki Olds, the 25-year-old store manager of the King Soopers Grocery Store. She was killed in the store. The family is coming out to speak. And they were just kind of getting a little bit of a heads up from the person that's working with them. It's the press representative who was saying that, you know, obviously, they are still going through the early stages of grief, which is completely understandable.

They're going to be coming out. They're going to be speaking about her life. They are very uncomfortable. They don't want to talk about the case. They don't want to talk about the investigation. She was saying just before they're coming out, but they are coming out to talk about their life and their loss. I believe, this is Robert Olds, I think he goes by Bob Olds, he's the uncle that has provided a picture, one of the first pictures that we saw of Rikki, 25-years-old. Let's listen and I think they're talking now.

ROBERT OLDS, NIECE RIKKI OLDS KILLED COLORADO SHOOTING: So good morning, everybody. First thing I want to say is send my condolences to Officer Talley's family, true hero, save lives, and just a great, great police officer and great man. And I'm setting my mind and my family's heartfelt condolences to his family.

On behalf of my family, we can't thank the community and everybody for their overwhelming support that we have gotten. Rikki was truly special to us. She was vibrant, she was bubbly. Rikki was kind of the light of our family.

When Rikki showed up at the house, we never knew what color hair was going to be. We never knew what new tattoos she may have but that was Rikki. And Rikki lived life on Rikki's terms, not anybody else's terms. And then her life was cut short, unfortunately, by the events the other day.

Sadden that she didn't get to experience motherhood. She didn't get to experience marriage. She didn't get to -- she was 25 years old. She didn't get to experience a lot of the stuff that we get to experience in life. And I'm saddened for her and I'm saddened for all the rest of the victims.

There's a hole, there's a hole in our family. That won't be filled. I mean, we try to fill it with memories, you know, that's tough. It's tough. She had dreams. She had ambitions. She was moving up the ladder in King Soopers. And now she can't, she can't do those things.

She was one of a kind, she was that person. She was -- she come to the house and we joke around and we'd laugh and she would start laughing so hard she would snort. And she's probably, you know, like throw something at me or something for telling you guys that. And she was a snorter when she left hard. And I will really miss her. I really miss that personality of hers and just her being around.

She has a little brother who's taking this really tough, really tough. So please remember him in your thoughts and prayers. She was like a daughter to my mom. I know this is probably out there. My parents raised her for the most part. So mom is essentially lost a daughter and a granddaughter. My sister lost a niece. And it's tough. I think I'm ready for questions.

[12:35:26]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll start with Andy Grossman (ph) with the Denver Post.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm a reporter for Denver Post with Andy (ph). We've covered that newspapers that said Rikki can, you know, is going to save people and walk through the store, in the store. Can you tell us about --

OLDS: I haven't heard about that. So I'm sorry, I can't answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's going to be part of the case investigation. So maybe some of those details about what happened inside will come out in the days to come. We have Answer Hanson (ph) from DNC or O'Neil (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ahri Snyder (ph) from Washington Post.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right Ahri Snyder (ph), do you feel like your family is getting the support they need right now?

OLDS: Overwhelming support. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have Laura Robinson from CNN.

LAURA ROBINSON, CNN PRODUCER: I'll pass it on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Grant Hatchen (ph) from The Sun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Alisa (ph). I believe Rikki want, you know, her dream job was to be a nurse. Could you describe what did she -- what would be her dream job?

OLDS: Well, Rikki was living her dream. Yes, she wanted to be a nurse. But that plan got altered. So Rikki had a backup plan. And Rikki was pursuing her dream of being a store manager at King Soopers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lauren Scharf for FOX21.

LAUREN SCHARF, FOX21, DIGITAL PRODUCER AND DATA REPORTER: Yes. What would she like to do for fun with her friends?

OLDS: So Rikki was, she loves the outdoors. She was into camping. She was into hiking. Earlier on in her life, we got her involved in golf, which was huge with my dad. My dad was a huge golfer. So he kind of pushed her that way a little bit. And yes, so she loved golf. She played softball when she was younger. So just the outdoors type of stuff and that's what she enjoyed.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brian Willis with Rocky Mountain PBS.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Noel Phillips (ph) with The Post.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I already went.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's right then. Matthew Jonas, with The Camera.

(INAUDIBLE)

OLDS: Rikki live life on our own terms, like Rikki was going to do what Rikki thought was right. And if it didn't work out, Rikki would change and do it a different way. Rikki didn't care about if people judged her on her hair color or how many tattoos she had. You know, she's a strong, independent young woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I'm sorry for your lost.

OLDS: Thank you.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you talk a little bit about the relationship she had with her (INAUDIBLE).

OLDS: Rikki was workaholic. So I mean, it wasn't like they spent a lot of time together but that time was cherished. Cherished by both of them, you know, because they had both dealt with some trauma from their mom. So they have even a closer bond because of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Denver7?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll pass thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: MSNBC?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert, what's the last thing to remember about (INAUDIBLE) what's the last conversation you have?

OLDS: Well, it was my mom's birthday previous weekend. And she had made plans to come over Thursday. Just kind of hang out and celebrate my mom. That was it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember the thing she said?

OLDS: See you Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sean Herbert with CBS News.

SEAN HERBERT, CBS NEWS PRODUCER: You mentioned in your statement that she didn't follow training and she made them. Give us some examples.

OLDS: Just like with the hair, just like with the tattoos, just like, I don't know, not caring about being judged, about being her own person, about --

[12:40:07]

HERBERT: Give a scenario, an example or a story.

OLDS: Do you have one?

CARLEE LOUGH, RIKKI OLDS' COWORKER AND FRIEND: I work at King Soopers is Rikki. I also coach with Bob. Rikki at work, she would dance to the music. We called it her gorilla dance. She would flow her arms, anything to make you smile to make you laugh. If you were having that bad day, Rikki was there to make it better.

And our department we had nicknames for everybody. And Rikki wore her hair and braids a lot. So we nicknamed her Wendy, because her hair was always changing. And she always had two braids in her hair. She would do anything to make you smile. I can definitely recall us talking about tattoos and how, you know, Uncle Bob would always say, well, what are you going to get now? Or what are you going to get next? And we would joke about how we would -- should get his name just for fun, but in the heart.

So Rikki would do anything to make anybody happy or smile. She just was hurt. And if you needed to pick me up, you knew where to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carlee, can you give them your full name?

LOUGH: Oh, yes. My full name is Carlee, C-A-R-L-E-E, Lough, L-O-U-G-H.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're coworker and friend is that correct?

LOUGH: Yes.

OLDS: Carlee and I coach basketball together. And then Carlee and Rikki worked together at King Soopers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patty with the Associated Press.

(INAUDIBLE)

OLDS: Well, the one that just keeps sticking out of my head, and I'm sure I've told people this already is when Rikki was little. She's a child with me and my sons and my family to baseball tournaments and stuff like that. And Rikki's name for me was Uncle Bobob, everything Uncle Bobob, Uncle Bobob. And we'll be at these tournaments and then finally be over. And after being at the baseball field all day. It would be Uncle Bobob, Donald's today, which meant she wanted to go to McDonald's.

And I don't -- for some reason that memory just keeps popping up in my head. And, you know, maybe just because just the pure innocence and when they get to that little like toddler stage, and they start to talk and you start to realize their personality and.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old is she then?

OLDS: Only around four or five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Steven with The New York Times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pass.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Sergio (ph) with Colorado?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, first of all, I'm very sorry for your loss.

OLDS: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you just give me the last person to be in touch with her to have any contact with her. And what was her last words, do you know?

OLDS: I don't know who the last person was to talk to her imagine one of her coworkers. My last communication to her when I heard about this was a text message that said, hey, Mikus (ph), are you OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stephanie with Fox News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, first of all, Bob, I'm sorry for you lost.

OLDS: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) King Soopers and all of the flowers or the pictures and all the flowers and note (ph) some of the news coverage (INAUDIBLE). What kind of -- well, how do you deal about the community coming together (INAUDIBLE) together?

OLDS: It's overwhelming. And I have not seen that. I've heard different tidbits here and there. Last night, there was quite a crowd outside of our house that did a little candlelight vigil. But it's just overwhelming. And it just goes to show how many lives that Rikki touched.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vicente with FOX31.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm sorry for your lost. And thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. And speaking with her friends, there's been this recurring theme that she was so helpful to her friends. She will always back up friends and we heard from Carlee today as well. Was there something in her life that led to that for her to be that person that everybody would depend on that she would make people on (INAUDIBLE)?

OLDS: I think it stems from her relationship with her mother and wanting to be that nurture, that nurturing person that maybe she didn't get when she was younger. I mean, I can't speak, really for her mind but that would be my assessment.

[12:45:07]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you expand on that just a little bit with that, I don't think personal. But could you tell us a little bit more about that relationship?

OLDS: It's nonexistent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jacqueline with CBS Denver?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you again. Thanks for being here, first of all to talk to you. But my question is, what do you plan to do to keep her memory alive maybe in your life, but I have some other questions really for (INAUDIBLE) she was a favorite cousin. But --

OLDS: You have to slow down and go one at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One question. One question, what do you plan to do to keep her memory with her?

OLDS: To be determined, it's so early, I mean, definitely something what that is yet, that's going to be something my family and it has to decide. I mean, but definitely something. What that is, I don't even know yet, I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Natalia CPR News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here. Thank you again. It's been wonderful just having this time to share her life with us. I would love to know more about her little brother, how old was he? What do they use to do with her?

OLDS: How is he now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. What was the things that are keeping him better?

OLDS: I'd rather not answer that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. That's fine, thank you. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carl with ABC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd defer to Bob Goodman (ph), please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I'm very sorry for the loss.

OLDS: Thank you. I appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She sounds like a wonder person. So one question (INAUDIBLE), I understand that some of the family actually watched the shooting spree unfold on the live stream, and the one of them and what was it like, I mean, what you're experiencing and going through at that moment?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- not answer that one?

OLDS: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't do your questions about the case or anything like that, what they know and that type of stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's anything to do with (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to stay away from that question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carlee, when did you first hear about the shooting?

LOUGH: My family called me. I left work early that day, my family called me and asked if I was OK, and at work and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you didn't or whatever that day?

LOUGH: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was your reaction when they told you about the shooting?

LOUGH: I had no idea about it. And I just immediately turned on the news on my phone and on my television.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what was the realization like, that's the place where you work with your friends still (INAUDIBLE) or just left (INAUDIBLE)?

LOUGH: It's very hard. It's just difficult in general, for any of us that work there or for any of those families. It's something that you will remember for the rest of your lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we've gone through, I think all of the outlets that are here, maybe not all the names. Is there someone that -- is there an outlet in here that is not on the list? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). Can you share this in regards to -- what was it about (INAUDIBLE) and you say that's what she wanted (INAUDIBLE) career, why King Soopers? (INAUDIBLE).

OLDS: The customer service and helping people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, can you repeat?

OLDS: The customer service and helping people. Did you hear me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

OLDS: That's what it was about. I mean, that was kind of what the nursing thing was about too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anyone else that hasn't -- OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). You know, we've heard a lot about what I've heard (INAUDIBLE), I was wondering, the last year was like for Rikki?

OLDS: I don't have anything.

LOUGH: It was difficult for all of us. But Rikki was in the front end, she would have to deal with all the customer complaints. What she was great at doing she's very level headed and can kind of defuse the situation with any customers. So it was difficult. It's definitely a change for everyone with COVID. We had to adapt and do what we could.

[12:50:00]

BOLDUAN: As we've been listening in now to the uncle and also a friend of Rikki Olds, a 25-year-old manager of the King Soopers, who was killed when the shooting happened on Monday, talking about their incredible loss and really her incredible life. You can see how close they were and just what they said about her that she was a strong, independent young woman. She was the light of their family, bubbled said, and this has left a huge hole, a huge hole in their hearts, a huge hole in their family that won't be filled. Rikki Olds was 25 years old. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:55:07]

BOLDUAN: Six hundred children per day that is the average number of unaccompanied minors. One homeland security officials saying are being detained daily at the cross -- at the cross -- as they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. That's up from 500 a day earlier this month and nearly double what it was at the 2019 peak. It's leading administration officials to change now how they are talking about the border into migrants.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We are not saying don't come. We are saying don't come now. We are elevating our messaging so that the individuals do know that they cannot come to the border, the border is closed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: The Biden administration announced it is opening another temporary shelter to house the incoming crush of and unaccompanied minors. It released this video that you're looking at here inside two Texas facilities and under pressure, a lot of pressure to allow press as they should access to these areas. They are now saying that they will allow the media to join a group of White House officials and members of Congress as they tour a facility today, more to come on that.

Joining me now is John Sandweg. He's a former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Obama. Thanks for coming in John. This morning, the Vice President said what is happening at the border is a huge problem is how she put it but she also said this. Let me play this for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are we looking at overcrowding at the border, particularly these kids? Yes. Should these kids be in the custody of HHS, the Health and Human Services instead of the Border Patrol? Yes. Should we be processing these cases faster? Yes. This is however, not going to be solved overnight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: This is not going to be solved overnight. Is she right, John?

JOHN SANDWEG, ACTING DIRECTOR OF ICE UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, unfortunately, this is a long term problem. But really what the Biden administration is facing is the failure to fund the agencies that are bearing the brunt of what really is the new reality we face at the border.

Over the last five years, Kate, the borders changed. We don't have, you know, used to be those primarily Mexican nationals crossing the border trying to evade capture and get into the United States. They're really a shift. And we're now seeing Central American mass migration, family units, unaccompanied minor children. And when that occurs, it actually hits Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice Immigration Courts hard.

Unfortunately, despite the reality that this is what we've been facing for five, six years, we really haven't funded those agencies to deal with these increasing numbers.

BOLDUAN: When it comes to unaccompanied minors when presenting at the border, why is this so hard to get right? It is so troubling to continue to see these images coming out of the border like this.

SANDWEG: Yes, the terrible images. I mean, kids don't -- it's heartbreaking to look at those images of those kids in those facilities. Here's been the fundamental problem is that we periodically have these spikes in the unaccompanied minors. And again, this is like I said a moment ago, the new reality we're facing at the border.

Unaccompanied minors are unique, though. Well, over the last 15 years, we've really plussed up my former agency ICE detention facilities, we've really plussed up the Border Patrol, we never plussed up Health and Human Services are provided them with more funding for the long term shelters where these kids traditionally go where they belong.

So what ends up happening is you have a sudden spike, or you have here, this pent up demand because of the pandemic, ongoing, continued deterioration of conditions in Central America. And Health and Human Services flatfoot and just does not have the resources to place this many kids. And the only possible alternative, and it's a very unfortunate one is that they stay in the custody of Customs and Border Protection and those kind of facilities that we're seeing in the video released by the administration.

BOLDUAN: But we're not seeing the real video inside these border facilities that because it's not really being released by the administration. The administration is now going to be allowing a camera to join them when they visit an HHS facility today, though this is not the overcrowded border facilities that we're talking about that we've seen video that had -- to have been leaked out about to show.

And I mean, this is pretty hypocritical that they haven't let reporters in as they played -- pledged transparency. The COVID -- hiding behind, I'll say, this is my personal opinion. Hiding behind COVID restrictions, I don't think is fair. And I don't think is honest. When they've pledged transparency, we know that we can get into these -- we can cover people with, you know, in the midst of COVID we have been. What are they afraid of John?

SANDWEG: Well, obviously, look, I think this was a big misstep. Certainly there's some restrictions, there is operational considerations, there is COVID considerations, but that's not an excuse to writ large deny access to the facilities.

Look, I think a lot of the reason why we're in this mess is there's just a lack of transparency regarding everything border security, and immigration writ large and everything gets very political. And you have a crisis like this everybody flips positions.

But look, I'm heartened to hear that they're going to let the media come in today, but no good comes from denying the public access to this. The public needs to see what's going on so that we can make real decisions based on facts, not based on the political rhetoric in Washington, D.C.

[13:00:08]

BOLDUAN: That's exactly right. John, thank you very much for coming on. I appreciate your time.

And thank you all so much for joining us for the past two hours today. I'm Kate Bolduan. Brianna Keilar picks up our coverage right now.