tv News Al Jazeera September 16, 2013 11:00am-11:31am EDT
thz al jazeera. i'm del walters. a gunman opened fire inside the washington, d.c. navy yards killing and injuring multiple victims and forcing parts of nation's capel toll to go into lockdown mode. part of the collapse that landed the u.s. into a recession, president obama will address the state of the economy from the rose garden. hundreds of homes have been destroyed and thousands are yet to be accounted for. u.n. inspectors say there's convincing evidence chemical weapons were used in an attack in syria.
we continue to follow breaking news coming out of the nation's capital, washington, d.c. police are saying at least one gunman have been contained in the building on the grounds of the washington navy yard in southeast washington. as many as three shooters including one in military fatigues is on the scene, according to a report by "the washington post." shortly after 8:20 this morning, there were shorts fired inside the command headquarters building on the grounds of the washington navy yard you see there on the banks of the river. there are conflicting reports as we see the scenes live coming in of the number of people shot. a spokesman for the police is confirming that maybe four victims were shot, including one who was a police officer. other reports are suggesting as many as ten people were shot.
by the way, the police saying as many as four fatalities may have taken place, and 10 people shot and possibly 12 and a second officer. once again, those reports have not been independently confirmed. by numbers, there are about 3,000 people that work inside the massive fortress which is called the naval sea systems command headquarters. emergency teams are on the ground working right now to provide shelter to all of those personnel. six local schools in and around that area now said to be on lockdown. we turn now to our white house correspondent, mike vicar ra. we're supposed to hear from the president this afternoon from the rose garden. what are they saying about this event that's unfolding across town? >> reporter: well, as far as the white house is concerned, we understand that the president has been briefed several times on the situation here. as you can imagine, this having ripple effects across the security environment across washington, d.c. being that it's the navy yard, i'm turning from m street and
looking north at the united states capitol five blocks away. del, we have covered situations like this for many years. often conflicting information. i don't know that i've seen one more than two hours into this now. 8:20 a.m., two hours and 40 minutes ago, these shots were fired from what we understand from the police. still information extremely sketchy, extremely conflicted, and i think it's wise for us at this point to wait for the police. we're standing here on the corner of m street southeast and third. we're about three blocks west of the navy yard waiting for a briefing. we understand that could come at any moment. you mentioned many of the conflicting reports, information swirling around out there about the number of shooters, the number of casualties. let's just say -- let's just stick to what we know at this point. there were shots fired at the navy yard in southeast washington, the home of the
naval sea systems command. some 3,000 people work in that facility. a massive police response here in washington. the metropolitan police, fbi, park police, any number of jurisdictions here coordinating the first response to this situation. you can see helicopters and park police hovering above the navy yard now. the situation is very chaotic. there are individuals wounded here. we've heard reports that among them are law enforcement office officers. the initial report says a security guard, again, let's just sit tight here and wait for the information. we do know that this is a situation that the police, obviously, are responding to with full force here in washington. >> mike viqueira, please stand by. we have received word from the united states capitol police coming in moments ago. this is what they had to say. the united states capitol police
continues to monitor the confirmed active shooter incident that they say is confined to the navy yard. it says that there is no known threat to the capitol complex by way of positioning, the navy yard understand far from the building -- that iconic building you know as the u.s. capitol. they say that out of an abundance of caution, the united states capitol, police will continue to conduct enhanced security operations on the capitol complex as a proactive measure related to the navy yard incident and enhanced efforts maybe be consider and reserved on the capitol grounds, in other words, protecting the men and women in congress. this is a statement that we got in moments ago from the white house. as mike viqueira mentioned, they're watching the events taking place in southeast washington, d.c. very closely. this from the white house. the president has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation at the washington navy yard by an
assistant to the president for homeland security. the president directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners including the navy and fbi as well as local officials. they go on to say, we urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders at the site. mike, as i know that you know, unlike many cities when something like this happens in washington, there are a plethora of law enforcement agencies who are involved. i'm looking at a number of them right now where you are standing. >> reporter: that's right, del. as the helicopters continue to hover above, there are some 27 separate police organizations, police departments is the best word within the confines of the district of columbia. the military, obviously, has its own police branch. the metropolitan police here, the park police. obviously, we're on federal property. technically, as you know, del, as police continue to whiz by us
on m street. there's a coordinated response here. these are the sorts of things, the sorts of situations that have been rehearsed over and over again, particularly over the course of the last 12 years since 9/11. the security, obviously, beefed up considerably since then, and obviously, the level of coordination between these law enforcement services has beefed up considerably since then. obviously in a situation like this with so much chaos, so much swirling about reports of a shooter or shooters on the loose within the navy yard, this is something you can never plan for any particular situation, certainly not something like th this. in terms of communications and chains of command, things of that nature, this has been rehearsed before. you never know how it will work out, del, until a situation like this arises, however. >> mike viqueira, stand by. there is a local s.w.a.t. team located about a block away from that particular location.
the reason being back in the late '80s all the way up to the year 2000, that was a very active crack zone, and there were multiple arrests and multiple shootings that took place there on a nightly basis. we're joined right now by manuel gomez. he's a former fbi officer, and he also worked here in new york. mr. gomez, are you there? >> yes, i am. thank you. >> an active shooter situation. what exactly is that? >> an active shooter situation is a situation where you have a confirmed, armed individual in the premise, and this individual is still at-large, still has been undetained, not arrested, and is still out and very possibly off being a danger to the public at-large. >> mr. gomez, as i watch these images from the nation's capital, it appears to me -- correct me if i'm wrong -- this situation seems to be growing more concerning by the hour.
at first the first reports were that there was an initial gunman. now we're receiving reports that there may be two gunmen with multiple injuries and multiple fatalities. what does that tell you? >> caller: that tells me that we're now over two hours into this event, and we still haven't even determined how many gunmen we have. what that tells me is we don't have a lot of information. that is the first thing we need. we need to ascertain specifically how many gunmen there are, what type of weapons they're carrying, and ultimately where they hold out and what their motives and intentions are and to stop them as soon as possible. >> does it tell you this is not somebody that's a disgruntled ex-lover going in to take out the frustrations on a husband or wife, that this has escalated into something far more serious? >> certainly if there's more than one person, the chances this is just a disgruntled employee is slim to none. if it's more than one person, it's a collective effort to harm
people for whatever reason. again, we don't know. it certainly piques the danger level, because now we're dealing with multiple individuals, which we don't know who they are or what their motives are. he wants to take as many with him, and they could be very, very dangerous individuals. >> there is that shot of that helicopter airlifting someone out. that seems to indicate to me that the active scene itself is not safe for the emergency responders we see gathered on the perimeter to go inside. is that the way you interpret that particular image? >> yes, that's a correct analysis of that. at this point if our forces haven't gone in in force and what's usually done in these situations, after the place is
deemed safe enough for a s.w.a.t. team and law enforcement to go in is a room by room clearing. so apparently it appears that we don't even know where these individuals are held out. next, i'm sure, at this very moment they're trying to ascertain again how many individuals and what kind of firepower they have and what their motives are and where they are so they can pin them down to get the required firepower in there to stop the threat. >> mr. gomez, please stand by, because we are going to go by phone right now in a second to jim arkades. he can give us the best description of what theed ins of that particular complex looks like. it's a massive structure. in fact, it is built like a fortress because that's what it was. it was built in the late 1700st. it's perhaps best known as the place where the lincoln conspirators were housed after the assassination of then president abraham lincoln. to give you an idea of the
situation unfolding from a law enforcement standpoint there, you heard mike viqueira refer to some of the law enforcement jurisdictions in the nation's capital, 27. think about this. the park police responded. the marine corps barracks is just up the road. the fbi is on the scene. of course from television fame, ncis, the secret service and the capitol hill police we heard from. once again, we are hearing that ten people were shot, four people dead on the grounds of the washington navy yard. all of those jurisdictions affected. each one now assuming their role, being an ambulance from the washington, d.c. fire department all working in concept to find out exactly what is going on. we're joined by phone now by jim arkades, a fellow at the security program. more importantly jim worked at the naval yard for five years. jim, are you there? >> yes. thanks very much for having me. >> can you give us an idea of what is going on inside of that particular building? i ask you this because federal
bureaucracies work in practice to make sure in the event something like this happens, they know exactly where to go. is that true? >> sure. so there have been various media reports, suggesting, i believe, it was building 197. i worked on the navy yard from 2002 to 2007 as a counterterrorism analyst for the naval criminal investigative service of television fame, but i worked for the actual agency. so i was located in building 211, if memory serves. off the top of my head, i cannot tell you precisely which building 197 is. i know that there are several massive buildings throughout the navy yard. it's very much like a college campus in a way. buildings sort of look like big classroom buildings. they house everything from ncis where i worked, which decades ago was an old armament factory,
to command like naval sea systems command, which is where they design a lot of the submarines and destroyers and things like that. they work on the government contracts for them. so when i say it's like a college campus, you know, between these buildings are basically long avenues. it's kind of like an urban campus where it's integrated with office buildings and then pedestrian streets. there's a large green area where they perform, you know, ceremonies and things of that nature. then importantly there is access to the anacostia river, which the u.s.s. berry, which is a museum ship, an old decommissioned destroyer that sits on the river there. it is tai-- it used to be named something else and it was rename the u.s.s. berry in monor of
marion berry. it was named that because it sits there and does nothing, as some would you say mayor berry did during his tenure in washington. there's a lot of history. there's a lot of character for the navy yard. it's probably, i would guess, approximately six blocks by eight blocks or so and fully fortified. there's an approximately 10-foot brick wall all the way around the outside guarding it from m street southeast. >> right. if i might, one of the reasons that i want you to brief us on this -- i know that our former fbi agent is listening as well. so that the public understands, you do not walk into this complex. it is a very secure complex, which raises the question, how did gunmen get inside? what was your routine just going into that building each and every morning? >> well, there are two ways to
get in. you can either get in by car, via car or via vehicle. there's a pedestrian gate, but there's approximately three to four vehicular gates. if you're going to get on with your car, you have to pass by a security checkpoint. there are -- you know, there's quite often a substantial line of, you know, ten vehicles. they try to move them through as quickly as possible, but they demand to see everybody's badge as you get on as well as your car has to be registered either with a permit saying you work on the navy yard or that you're a temporary visitor. if you are a visitor, you have to go into a hut. if you're a pedestrian coming from the metro, which is five or six blocks away, the navy yard metro, which is also the metro station that serves the washington nationals baseball stadium, you have to still show
your i.d., your badge that says you're registered to work there. that's usually the common access card, which is a department of defense license. >> so loosely translated, it is secure? >> yes, yes, yes. it's difficult to get on. i don't want to speculate. i don't want to make any assumptions, but if the gun would seem to either know someone who works there or works there himself. >> mr. gomegomez, are you still listening? we do not have mr. gomez. >> yes, yes, yes, i am. >> yes, mr. gomez. this suggests that if a gunman walks into an installation like this, it requires some degree of planning, correct? >> absolutely. this is a federal installation. all federal installations have a very high sense of security, especially post-9/11 and all the other incidents including the recent boston bombing. somebody can't just simply walk
on there, especially with a firearm. >> you mentioned that post-9/11 security changed. i know it's changed similarly in washington. it changed similarly in new york city. in a building like this, you're talking about an outside perimeter of security where you could not breach that particular building with a car bomb. there are huge, metal stations outside of the building that make it impossible to drive a car or truck bomb inside. there's also the metal detectors. you heard jim talk about the little hut visitors have to go through, and that's just the tip of the iceberg, correct? >> that's correct. also, i would assume and expect that they would have a checklist of people that go in there, whether they're the employees, that they have the precise i.d. necessary to enter the facility. visitors, contractors that are doing work in the facility. i expect that they have all kinds of features where they have their pictures or certainly
their names left at the gate so that whoever enters there belongs there and there's no wandere wanderers. >> if you look at the images, it appears that the officers are relaxed, but those could be deceptive because they could be several blocks away. do the images tell you anything? >> it indicates to me they still don't have a concrete game plan. they're still trying to ascertain it. this facility is huge as jim attest attested. it's miles big, it's literally miles big. to pinpoint one or more gunmen in that sort of space is extremely difficult. so that's why the helicopters are in the air. right now they're trying to formulate a game plan as to how they're going to attack that. eventually they have to go in there. make no mistake about it. it's going to eventually be a
building-by-building search. right now they're trying to get their game plan together, what agencies are going to go in and how they're going to do this and to try and get as much intelligence as possible to keep everybody inside as well as the law enforcement authorities safe. >> stand by. we're getting our first information from eyewitnesses inside the building. this is what one had to say. >> i was on the phone, and somebody came up to my desk and said, this is not a fire alarm. somebody has been shot in the building. we went around to get people out of the building. as we were exiting the back door, we noticed him down the hall and he stepped around the corner and we heard shots. he aimed his gun at us and fired two or three shots. we ran down the stairs to get out of the building. after we left the building, there were still shots in the building. >> he was far enough down the hall we couldn't see his face and he had a rifle. he aimed and raised and fired and hit high on the wall as we were trying to leave. >> once again to reset just in case you are tuning in, it's
called an active shooter situation there. they are calling it an active shooter situation in the nation's capital in washington, d.c. shortly after 8:20 this morning, a gunman or gunmen walked into the complex of the washington navy yard and opened fire. you heard the witnesses just moments ago. there are reports of at least four people dead, as many as 10 to 12 people shot. among the dead said to be a law enforcement officer. we're standing by for a news conference. we will have more coverage from washington right after this. >> just to be able to defend the title for once will be awesome, and i've done so well here the past few times i've played, getting to the semis or finals. it's been really, really exciting. i'm happy that i've been able to consistently do well here. >> australian cricket captain michael clarke led his team to
on the grounds of the washington navy yard. that is in southeast washington, d.c. as many as three shooters have been identified including one in military fatigues. this according to a posting on the website of "the washington post." shortly after 8:20 this morning, three shots were fired inside the naval sea systems command headquarters building on the grounds of the washington navy yard. it's a massive complex there in southeast washington. there are conflicting reports on the number of people shot. a police spokesman saying there are four victims including one police officer. other reports suggest as many as ten, possibly 12 people were injured and a second officer may have been among the injured. those reports have not yet been independently confirmed. now, there are about 3,000 people who work at that complex inside the naval sea systems command headquarters. emergency teams right now are working to provide shelter for all personnel. they will been told quite simply
to shelter in place, meaning to stay inside their offices until they've been given the all-clear. mcviqueira is on the scene. mike, bring us up to date. what are they saying where you are? >> reporter: we're at third and m street southeast, washington, about six blocks west of the navy yard entrance and about five blocks south of the capitol. we're going to hear from the mayor of washington, vincent gray, and the chief of the metropolitan police department kathy leiner in short order. conflicting reports. we want to be careful here as this situation unfolds over the course of the last three hours. del, the fact this has taken three hours to get the information and there are so many conflicting reports about the number of casualties, even the number of shooters, as you can hear law enforcement helicopters hovering over above our location here. you know, you have to think as this situation unfolded over a
period of time this morning, because details have been very slow coming out, very sketchy. we're talking to eyewitnesses now who have reported various versions of the same thing. they were in that building near the sea systems command, and they heard pop, pop, pop. they sheltered in place. some of them evacuated. some of them remain in the building. obviously, a very fluid situation here. the ripple effects are felt throughout washington, throughout official washington. the u.s. capitol police i mentioned are very close by and tightened their security. the president of the united states has been informed of the situation, briefed several times according to reports from the press pool at the white house. even though as far away as the naval observatory on massachusetts avenue, some, three, four miles from here at lea least, reports of heightened security there as well. even in bethesda, maryland, 12
miles from there, the u.s. naval hospital known as walter reed heightened security there as well. for a time planes at a ground stop across the river at reagan national airport. that's now been lifted, but police and law enforcement helicopters are in the air here across the river still doing the things that they do. earlier we saw an individual apparently airlifted from the site by a helicopter. we see u.s. park police hurling down m street here. we saw an individual evidently plucked from the top of a rooftop above the -- someone on the navy yard grounds on a stretcher hoisted above and then taken away. so, again, to recap, it's been going on for three hours now. there has been a shooting at the naval yard in washington, d.c. some 3,000 individuals work at this particular facility, naval
sea systems command. varying reports of casualties anywhere from 7 to 10 and even higher. varying reports of the number of shooters. we should be very careful. we are being very careful about saying anything because the situation is extremely fluid here. now a series of police cars are speeding down m street past here heading west away from the navy yard. >> mike, i see those. i want to ask you a question about something that you would be very familiar with. those are metropolitan police officers right now that are speeding away from the scene. is the president's news conference at the rose garden that is to take place exactly 12 minutes from now, is that still scheduled as far as you know? i realize you're now away from your base of operations, but is that still scheduled to take place? >> reporter: i have not heard about it. it has been moved inside because
it's raining in washington today. that is moved inside from the rose garden to the eisenhower executive office building just next to the white house. it's hard to know if they will go through that on time. the president was going to mark of five-year anniversary of the beginning of the financial collapse as the campaign in 2008 is reaching its peak. the president is due to tell us many of the accomplishments in his view of his white house years of the economic recovery obviously while still maintaining we have a long way to go on the economy in this country. due to the events and given this is the united states navy we're talking about, a u.s. navy facility, given the uncertainty surrounding this incident, it's going to be hard to think that the president would move forward with business as usual. i have no definitive information there, del. >> mike, we're looking at the images you're seeing right now
from the vantage point, the metropolitan police department is streaming by in a big hurry. have you been given any indication -- in fact, there is a lot of activity there right now. are you being given any indication as to why so many are being told to move so quickly? >> well, i'm watching it with you. obviously some sort of development is happening now. you are seeing it right along with me. there are sirens blaring down m street in washington heading west. >> i'm looking right now at the emergency personnel. i have worked with them on many occasion. it is a guesstimate, and i want to couch it by saying that plain and simple. you see the emergency personnel now starting to move in, which would indicate that the area that was once accessible
Uploaded by TV Archive on