tv The Situation Room CNN November 1, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT
will to the government or to another person, and also buying guns, also taking steps in furtherance of their bad thoughts, that's a danger sign and they need to alert someone. >> thank you so much. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. he is in "the situation room." he will continue with our live breaking news coverage. wolf? we're continuing the breaking news, as you say, chaos in los angeles international airport. a gunman opens fire, storming the terminal. hundreds running for their lives, hiding under benches, fleeing on to the tarmac. at least one tsa officer is dead. multiple others, injured. new pictures coming in now, including a weapon at the scene. face-to-face with the shooter. we'll speak live to a witness who saw the gunman inside the airport. he calls the scene mass pandemonium. who is this suspect? breaking details from law enforcement sources on the ground and here in washington
about a possible motive. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is a "situation room" special report, shooting at l.a.x. you're looking at live pictures from los angeles inrn are on the scene at this hour. the investigation, an intense investigation, is certainly under way. they are trying to piece together what happened when police say a man pulled an assault rifle from a bag and began shooting -- a shooting rampage at a security checkpoint. this was the scene inside the airport. crowds of people taking cover in a bathroom stall. lots of shattered glass and a screening area torn upside down. outside the airport, a makeshift triage center and victims being loaded into ambulances. cnn has team coverage of this developing story. our reporters are fanned out from l.a. to washington.
let's begin this hour with casey wian, who has been breaking details over at l.a.x. >> reporter: the very latest, four and a half hours ago, a gunman walked into terminal three at los angeles international airport, pulled what authorities say is an assault rifle out of a bag and began open firing at a tsa checkpoint, a tsa officer was hit and killed, according to law enforcement sources. as many as seven folks injured, taken to local hospitals. flights here at los angeles international airport were stopped for some time. some of them have resumed, though at a much, much slower pace. law enforcement authorities say they are continuing an investigation that could last hours, perhaps even into the next several days. airport authorities say it may be some time before that terminal gets back to full operation. there has been what has been
described as terror inside the airport. outside the airport, chaos continues hours later. you can look over here and you can see people who are walking to the airport and we're still about a mile or so away from the terminals. people who can't get their cars because you can see down the road there, police have stopped traffic. they are walking to their flights, not knowing whether their flights are going to take off, not knowing when their flights are going to take off. we're also seeing people coming from the airport, trying to rendezvous with family members outside the airport because they have been unable to get taxis. again, i want to stress that airport officials say there are some flights that are taking off, some flights that are landing but it's going to be quite some time before this airport returns to normal while this investigation continues. >> do we know when local authorities, the mayor, the police, they will be holding their next news conference? >> reporter: we do not. we have not heard an update since that news conference at
around 11:30 local time. we do know the los angeles police department just a few minutes ago sent out a tweet saying that as soon as terminals one, two and three, those are the terminals right behind me, are cleared by law enforcement, flights will be allowed to depart. you can see these trademark planes, southwest airlines over there in the distance, those planes have been sitting there all morning long not allowed to move, though there is more activity on the other side of the airport. we should also point out that loretta sanchez, congresswoman loretta sanchez from california, a member of the house homeland security committee just said on cnn not that long ago that the shooter, the suspect, is a 23-year-old man, contrary to some speculation that's been out there throughout the morning, he is not an employee of the tsa. >> casey wian, stand by. i want to bring in our national
correspondent, deborah feyerick. she is getting new information from law enforcement sources. what are you learning? >> reporter: so what we're learning right now is that apparently, this individual was indeed targeting tsa agents. we're told by law enforcement official that they're looking into eyewitness reports in which he said, as he was making his way down the terminal to the gate, that he was asking people whether they were tsa and then when they responded no, he would simply move on. we are told that he entered the airport, he had a concealed assault rifle in a bag. he took it out, went directly over to the screeners and began opening fire. one tsa agent was fatally shot, another injured in the leg, according to an official statement by the head of that agency, there were at least or about five, less than five tsa agents who were hurt in this particular incident. we know of two who were shot. we don't know whether the other injuries were as a result of the ensuing stampede. but he did make his way down the
terminal, he got to the gate and that's when officers, both from the lapd and los angeles airport police, were able to open fire. they hit the gunman three times in the chest, center mass. he did have on him three magazines, one of them was actually in the firearm. the other two were in the clothing that he was wearing. he did go down quickly. he was taken to a local hospital, where he is being treated. he is officially in custody. we do not know his condition yet. but again, they are looking into the possibility that he was specifically and deliberately targeting tsa agents. >> as you say, search warrants are now being executed in two locations, one in los angeles and one in new jersey, is that right? >> reporter: that's exactly correct. we are being told by a law enforcement official that in fact, he was linked to those two locations, los angeles and new jersey, and just so you're aware, standard operating procedure right now is for any
agency to send in a bomb squad first because they just don't know what the threat is. so the areas have to be cleared before investigators can actually go in to see what is there. but again, we are being told that he was apparently looking for tsa agents. >> deb feyerick working her sources, thanks very much. joining us on the phone right now is tom lagos. he was there, a passenger, an eyewitness, and saw the gunman. first of all, how are you doing? >> little shaken up. it's been a long day. my wife and i were on a flight, we were delayed on a flight trying to get back to new york for the new york city marathon this weekend. when this whole thing erupted. >> so tell us what you saw, because i understand you actually saw the suspect, the shooter? >> yeah, that's correct. at first it was difficult to know exactly what was going on, but there was just a mass, a
stampede of people coming towards our direction, towards the terminals. and at first people started hitting the ground, it wasn't clear what was happening. my initial gut reaction was maybe somebody had seen a bomb and people were taking cover. then some of the doors to the tarmac opened and people started filing out. i sort of went outside at first, and my wife reminded me hey, i left my purse back there. so i went back and got her purse and i saw the man walking around very cautiously, nonchalantly. >> was he holding his weapon? >> yes. >> that must have been a frightening moment for you. >> yes. at first i thought it might have been law enforcement but then i came to realize that it wasn't and i just kind of walked right out to the tarmac with everybody else. >> what did this guy look like? >> slender, wearing baggy clothes, younger, white.
kind of like camouflage -- he wasn't wearing camouflage, more like a darker flannel type clothing. very baggy. >> did you have any sense what kind of weapon the rifle, the weapon was? >> it just looked like a long rifle. i couldn't tell if it was, you know, one barrel, two barrels. just a long rifle. what struck me was how calm he was walking around. nobody was really engaging him at that moment. he was just kind of slowly walking around the terminal. >> and had he already fired his shots when you saw him, or was that going on later? >> well, i would have to, knowing what i know now, i would have to assume he already had because he was way inside the terminal. he was way past security. one of the first waves of people i saw running towards us were tsa agents. >> how were people reacting when
this was going on? there were hundreds of passengers there. >> yeah, there was a couple delayed flights. there was one flight to philadelphia, so there were a lot of people in the terminal, and everybody just took for cover until the tarmac doors opened and everybody started filing out on to the tarmac. >> what did you do then, after you saw this guy and you saw the weapon, what did you do? >> i just got out of there. just got out of there as soon as i could and went out to the tarmac. >> was it an organized departure for everyone or just sort of mass pandemonium? >> it was mass pandemonium, you know, lot of frightened people. there was a lot of families with kids but you know, once everybody got to the tarmac, i think there was a little bit more calm and the airport did a good job of getting the buses out to everybody to get us to another location. >> are you still at the airport
right now? >> yeah. we're still at the airport. in fact, i'm waiting at another terminal, the international terminal, where they kind of kept us up until about 20 minutes ago, then law enforcement is just now gathering us. there's about 50 witnesses and they're separating those who saw the shooter, those that saw him actually fire the gun and those that actually saw him get shot. >> you didn't hear him say anything, did you? >> no. not at all. when i saw him, he was a good maybe 50 to 60 yards away from me. >> all right. you're okay now and everything is hopefully going to get relatively back to normal. i hope so. >> yeah. hope so. i'm just trying -- hopefully we'll get to new york soon. >> tom lagos, thanks very much for that eyewitness report. good luck to you. >> thank you so much. >> we're following every detail of the breaking news. we'll bring you all the new information as it comes in to "the situation room." we have our correspondents from all corners of the network working their sources right here. stay with us. much more right after this.
bullets flying inside los angeles international airport. one witness built a wall of luggage to try to protect himself and his family. we will hear him describe the fear and the panic when we return. [ man ] look how beautiful it is. ♪ honey, we need to talk. we do? i took the trash out. i know. and thank you so much for that. i think we should get a medicare supplement insurance plan. right now? [ male announcer ] whether you're new to medicare or not, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. it's up to you to pay the difference. so think about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans,
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like all right, cool. we heard the second one and that's when we all ducked. at first, the first shot just kind of caught us off guard. second shot went in and i started making walls and walls out of luggages, and i could see the guy as he's walking towards the escalator and he's just pointing down past us. >> the guy with the gun? >> yeah, he was just pointing down the escalator. as i'm looking towards that person, then that's when i grabbed my wife. when he's not looking at us, that's when we ran. next thing you know, there's six other people holding my wife's hand and we ran. >> what did that guy look like? did you see him well enough to give a description? >> he was wearing all -- like description, it was like one of these people that work here. like you know, couldn't even tell. >> let's bring in our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto. he's here in "the situation room." i know you're working your sources. what are you hearing? >> a few things on whether this is tied to international terrorism, no indications of that. but in light of the words that he said about government
employees, tsa employees, they can't rule out a form of domestic terrorism. couple other things about the victim. he's the first tsa officer killed in the line of duty and just to give you a sense of the level of security at an airport like l.a.x. which has been the target of terror attacks in the past, there are 2157 tsa officers just in that one airport there. to give you a sense of the level of security required to keep an airport safe, tsa officers are not armed, they haven't asked to be armed. they like to have that responsibility taken over by the other armed officers in the airport. you'll have airport police, you'll have the department of homeland security has a force called homeland security investigations, they are armed in the airport. they prefer to leave that job to the armed officers. they have lobbied for the power to arrest, however, which they don't have at this point. so you're getting a number of details about this and they often talk about how they are in the front lines and this is proof that the tsa officers are very much on the front lines. >> we just got a statement from the acting secretary of homeland security saying this act of violence reminds us of the risks
the brave men and women of tsa face every day as they work to protect the traveling public and it ends by saying as always, our security posture which at all times includes a number of measures both seen and unseen will continue to respond appropriately to protect the american people. a lot of folks don't necessarily recognize how brave a lot of these tsa officers at airports are. they think they're just patting us down and making us take off our shoes. >> exactly. and they are the first ones to face that threat. they're the first line of defense. it's something that we checked out earlier today to see, are they armed, are any of them armed and none of them are and in fact, they haven't asked for that power. so they really do face that risk together and they face it with a good amount of courage. >> let's thank them for all the good work they do. thanks very much, jim sciutto, for that. let's bring in brian todd. he's over at the magic wall along with our cnn law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes. guys, you're mapping out how all of this went down. >> that's right. according to patrick shannon,
the police chief of l.a.x. airport, the shooter made his way in at the beginning, at the lead here of the terminal. he could have come in through the front area, could have come in through an exit. they're not quite sure yet. began opening fire after he opened up a bag and pulled out an assault rifle according to the police. then shot his way past tsa passenger screening. tom, i will bring you in here. tom is also, we should tell viewers, a former s.w.a.t. team member with the fbi who dealt with airport security. first of all, you heard jim sciutto mention just a moment ago tsa officers are not armed. obviously if he's shooting, he gets past here easily and should they rethink this rule? should they be armed at this point to be able to stop someone here? >> tsa's position over the years is that leave that to armed police officers who have the training and the shoot/don't shoot firearms training. it's an expensive proposition to train thousands of people to shoot firearms, be armed and they also worry that a crazed
passengers might jump on them and take the gun away. so they don't want that either. but where are the armed police? if they're not armed, why aren't they backed up right here. so this individual blasts his way through the checkpoint, comes down through the terminal this way, hasn't fired on other people yet and by the way, backing up for a second, if the motive is to kill tsa people because he has something against them, why go past, why not stay and finish them off? >> you're saying the tsa officers will not be down into these areas? >> they're not likely to be. not compared to all the ones at the checkpoint. some are checking your i.d., passport, boarding passes, then manning the magnetometers. frankly, if you have already wounded, killed one and wounded others, why wouldn't you stay and finish off all the tsa people? but he doesn't. he moves down. >> to the food court here, where there's a burger king here where, according to the police, this is where he's disabled, in this area. hundreds of feet from there. >> correct. >> first, how does he get that
far? >> well, he hasn't encountered anybody from armed law enforcement up to that point that could stop him. certainly passengers aren't going to take the role into their own hands if they're unarmed, which they are. now, he gets to this point. he finally encounters an armed police officer and fortunately, the officer is able to stop him, to shoot him and get him down right here. >> a much more daunting scenario if he's not stopped here. >> if he's not stopped there, how many of these gates, 31 through 39, how many of these gates have aircraft sitting there? of the aircraft sitting at those gates, how many have doors open because passengers are boarding or disembarking? of the ones with doors open, how many already have the flight crew and the pilot sitting in the seat while passengers -- i just went through l.a.x., i just boarded aircraft there a week ago. when i boarded, you know, i get on the plane, sitting in my seat, i look up the aisle and i can see right into the cockpit and i see the pilot and copilot doing their preflight list with the cockpit door wide open. so if this guy comes storming
down the way, is not stopped by a police officer, goes through the first gate, the first open jetway, the first open jet door, and the first open cockpit, he's in the cockpit of an aircraft and this is the first time since 9/11 someone has done that. >> say he gets in there, there could be service vehicles attached to the plane, the flight crew may not even be in there. can he still successfully hijack the plane? >> he puts that gun to the head of the pilot, the pilot radios in that i'm being held at gun point with a gun to my head, take away the baggage and food carts, disconnect the gas trucks, he wants the fly this plane or he's going to kill me and possibly 50 or 100 people that have already boarded that aircraft. once he's on that aircraft and has access to the cockpit, you have another potential 9/11. if he wants to put that plane in the air, what could happen. >> one more crucial question. as he's making his way down here, you have been responding law enforcement officer, how do you take that person down, disable him, when there are hundreds if not thousands of
people all around here? >> as we talked about in earlier shooting incidents, the woman in washington with the car, an officer which this officer made that decision. when he opens fire on him, he knows there's passengers all up and down this passageway. but he realizes at that point he has to stop this person at all cost, even taking the risk that he might miss and kill someone that's a good guy down range. he just has to -- this has to be stopped. >> tom, thanks very much. wolf, back to you. >> good discussion. lots of information. coming up, passengers at l.a.x. ordered to keep running as the gunman moved closer. we will hear from a witness who says she was scared, she started crying, she panicked. all of our reporters at l.a.x., indeed, around the country, are watching this story. search warrants now in effect both at l.a.x., at the suspect's residence there, as well as new jersey, a search warrant under way there as well. we've got teams of reporters, analysts watching what's going
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the shooting at l.a.x. sent witnesses running for their lives. listen to this. >> we heard like the first shotgun and we were just looking at everybody, trying to figure out what was going on, and then the rest of the shotguns came and then my husband just grabbed me and put me on the floor, and i was really scared and crying and i was panicked, and then he just told me okay, when they stop shooting, you need to head out the door. we started running out the door. we left all of our stuff behind. we were already outside and then we just heard like the security people saying you guys need to keep running because like he was coming toward us more this way. >> powerful story. let's bring in cnn justice reporter evan peres. evan, i know you're working your sources as well. what's the latest? what are you hearing? >> well, the focus of investigators at this hour is what's the motive here, what was
this gunman looking to do. we know he entered the terminal and started shooting. it seemed to be focused at shooting tsa employees. we're told that in his bag, in the bag that he was carrying where he took the gun from, took the rifle from, that authorities recovered a letter of some kind with a rant against the government and specifically against the tsa. we don't know exactly what the cause of this was. we don't know whether there was some beef he had with the tsa previously personally, but we know that authorities believe that he went in there and he was looking to kill tsa employees. and again, at this hour, we're still trying to figure out, the authorities are still trying to figure out where that came from, what is the cause of that. >> i assume they know his name, they know his address. >> correct. >> i assume they're going through social media, trying to determine if there is more
evidence there showing that there was a specific motive, if you will, to try to go ahead and allegedly kill tsa officials. >> right. that's exactly what they're trying to do. they're trying to determine whether he belonged to any groups that are known or perhaps that they didn't know about in the los angeles area. we know that he lived in los angeles area recently, but they are also doing a search of a previous address where perhaps he had some family members in new jersey, and also looking to interview people who know him. now, again, this is all early information that the authorities have recovered and they are still trying to piece it together as to what exactly motivated him to carry out this shooting today. >> evan, i know you will continue to work your sources. we will get back to you. thank you very much. let's get some more now. joining us, rafi ron, a security expert who has worked at boston logan airport, also the tel aviv airport, el-al airlines as well. thanks very much for coming in. jim sciutto will help with the
questioning. is there really anything that can be done, if someone shows up at l.a.x. or any other airport before you get to the security perimeter, if you will, the tsa checkpoints, has a bag, has a weapon inside, and then just opens the bag at the tsa checkpoint, starts shooting people, what can be done about that? >> first of all, we have to be realistic and understand that this cannot be completely avoided. buthe questns here what can we do in order to prevent on one hand and respond very quickly if it occurs in order to minimize the damage. >> what should the tsa, for example, local police authorities, fbi, others, be doing? obviously there was a hole here. i don't know what you would recommend. >> well, i think that we have a problem that since 9/11, we have been focusing on passengers and the threat that they present to the flight. we have paid relatively little
attention to the airport as a facility that needs to be secured. keeping in mind that way back in the '70s, at the peak of the attacks against international aviation, most european airports from munich to athens to paris to rome and vienna and almost every single major airport in europe was attacked on the ground by terrorists. this time, we may have a single shooter which is a relatively limited event, but imagine that instead of that, we would have had an attack, a mumbai style attack with a group of trained terrorists that have prepared themselves well, the result would have been very, very different. >> jim, the tsa, i assume, they are going to be looking at this, studying it to see what they can do maybe to make some changes in their procedures to prevent this kind of activity. >> no question. it is something they prepared for. just three weeks ago, they did a
training situation at the airport for an active shooter situation. at l.a.x., this is the kind of airport i imagine they would know they have to do that kind of thing. i want to ask you, l.a.x. has been the target of attacks in the past, it was part of the millenium plot, they were going to bomb the airport in 2002. there was a shooting at the el-al counter. we don't know if it's terrorism yet, but it doesn't look like international, possibly domestic terrorism in light of the targets. terrorists like to go after spectacular targets, targets that attract attention. i imagine when you look at l.a.x., major airport, one of the busiest in the country, one of the busiest in the world, does that add value when terrorists are choosing targets? >> of course it does. but we have to understand the dynamics of terrorism. when you protect well the top priority target, they move to the second level targets. think for example what happened in europe or in israel, to be more specific. aviation became difficult, they
started attacking buses. so you can expect on one hand, the high profile of some of the airports to suddenly become a motivator or factor in the decision whether to select this target for terrorism or not by terrorists, of course. but at the same time, that doesn't mean that second level airports are immune against them. >> one question about arming, when we have these shootings, often the question comes up should you arm more of the players around there so they can fight back. the tsa officers not asking to be armed. they want to leave it to the folks who are trained. do you think it would be better if tsa officers were armed? >> the first thing we need to do is look at the structure of responsibility and authority for security of the terminals. right now, it's not always 100% clear. there's the local police that eventually have to deal with situations when they occur, but they're not necessarily extremely well prepared always at every airport, because this
is a local decision. it is to some extent regulated by tsa but i think that that regulation has to go much deeper and has to create stronger standards and has to set performance standards, and the nation has to respond to that at the federal level. >> rafi, we will have you stand by. jim of course will be with us. all of our team coverage is in place right now at l.a.x., all around the country. we are trying to figure out what happened together with all of you. president obama, he spoke out today about the l.a.x. shooting. we are going live to the white house when we come back. we will also go back to los angeles, to the hospital where three of the victims are now being treated. [old english accent] i doth declare that thou have brought overmany discounts to thine customers! [old english accent] safe driver, multi-car, paid in full -- a most fulsome bounty indeed, lord jamie. thou cometh and we thy saveth! what are you doing? we doth offer so many discounts, we have some to spare.
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we're continuing our special coverage of the shooting today at l.a.x. kyung lah is on the scene for us. a lot of passengers are still stranded there as this investigation continues. set the scene for us. what's it like at l.a.x. right now? >> reporter: well, let me tell you exactly where i am. i'm right outside terminal one, we're standing -- and you can see for yourself, wolf, a sea of passengers here. and these aren't just passengers who have recently arrived. the shooting happened five plus hours ago. a lot of these folks are international travelers. you can see that they're carrying their bags. there are even some children who are here. they have been stuck here. there hasn't been a lot of
information so yes, this is a very important federal crime case but at the same time, this is also a story about hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people being impacted by one of the nation's largest airports grinding to a halt. i'm going to walk over to this gentleman over here, and you just -- we were just chatting a second ago. how long have you been waiting here, sir? >> we got to the airport about 10:30, 10:45. it's been about four hours. >> reporter: about four hours. four hours. this is not that unusual. if you go through and talk to people in this airport, wolf, they're all very concerned. many people are staying calm because they know that something very serious has happened here, but at the same time, they're very confused. they don't know if they should leave, if they do leave, they don't have any car so they have to walk, so people are walking up and down main thoroughfares in los angeles carrying their -- wheeling their bags. so it is also a very confusing situation for people here. one thing, i also found this quite interesting. i actually talked to a man who told me that united airlines had
perhaps thought he should pay for his change of flight fare and he had to fight to get that removed. so there's a lot of confusion here for the people who are still waiting for l.a.x. to come out of grid lock. >> there are some flights taking off, some flights landing, but it's going to be awhile before that airport gets back to some semblance of normal flight schedules, right? >> reporter: absolutely. we can't hear, you know, i've been here many, many times at l.a.x. you normally hear this echo of planes taking off, leaving, arriving. you're not hearing any of that. the planes that were in the air were allowed to land. it's a little questionable right now as to what the faa is going to do as far as all of this sort of coming unlocked. >> kyung lah on the scene for us at l.a.x. thanks very, very much. we will have more breaking news ahead. we are also going to hear from one eyewitness who hid under a plane for safety.
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the shooting at l.a.x. sent passengers by the hundreds fleeing for safety. some were whisked out of the terminal and on to the tarmac. listen to this. >> i was in the terminal when the shooting took place. i was just waiting. i was actually -- we had been delayed. we had a flight at 8:00 and we got delayed until like 10:30, then all of a sudden i heard shots. it didn't really register until
everybody started like flying down the hallway and they were just like jumping over chairs, jumping over people, hiding, and we were kind of trapped at the end of the terminal. i never saw the shooter but we heard the shots, and then we were kind of trapped at the end of the terminal and it seemed like an eternity, but finally the security came, opened up the door and we all piled out on to the tarmac and just kind of hid underneath the plane. >> what a terrifying moment. let's get some more from mary schiavo, the former transportation department inspector general. thanks for coming in. what kind of training, law enforcement training, weapons training, if any, do these tsa officers at airports receive? >> well, the tsa agents have great law enforcement training but they are not armed so it's a different level of federal law enforcement agent, to have an agent that's trained and that has the weapons qualification,
they have to undergo much more intensive weapons training and they have to requalify on that weapon every 30 days. so it's just a different level of a federal officer, and a much more intensive training. that the tsa does not have. do you think they should be armed? >> well, i think some people have to be armed. some law enforcement has to be armed at the airport. i'm old enough to remember the airports that others were talking about back in the '70s and '8s, with so many attacks in europe. it was very common to see officers armed in the terminal and in the sterile areas, but the whole thought of the tsa was security was so bad on september 11th, 2001, the idea is the tsa would be better, better trained and they are, but they would be the line between the non-sterile areas and the sterile areas. the idea with the sterile areas, the gates, is there would be no weapons except on federal law
enforcement agents or local police. i think we need to rethink that, because we do need a please presence at the l.a.x. i was there any 2002 shooting, and the same questions were asked. so it's probably time we ask those questions again. >> i assume thule be automatically reviewing procedures. apparently the shooter here showed up at the checkpoint, the tsa checkpoint and took this weapon out of a bag and just started firing. the tsa officers were sitting ducks. >> yes, they were. it's a very interesting situation, because the tsa knows, they have a press release every month. this year they have said report levels for taking guns off passengers. these are passengers who forgot that the weapons with are in their bags, but there are a lot of weapons at the airport. they all converge on the checkpoint, so the tsa needs to reevaluate. remember, the shooting in 2002 was a lone gunman, three people died, but the fbi did rule that
was terrorism, even though this was a disgruntled individual. in the wake of that, for not changes procedures, i think this time they'll have to ask harder questions, saying, look do we leave them as sitting ducks or give them more powers. they have more powers than the security in place in 2002. so the tsa is far better, but they are sitting ducks. >> the first line of security is that tsa checkpoint. if you go to other airports around the world as you have, there are always checkpoints as you drive into the airport. they stop your vehicle. is that something we should be considering here? >> well, folks, at least as old as me will remember that we did that in the wake of september 11th, 2001. we did have those kinds of checkpoints. l.a.x. is particularly difficult, because we have so many different terminals.
a lot of airports you have one main entranceway, like atlanta, that gets you into all the areas of the airport, but it's much easier to secure it. airports like l.a.x., dallas/ft. worth, kansas city, there are so many portals, areas to secure that they're tough. l.a.x. is one of those tough airports. they have decisional issues that maybe some other airports like heartsfield don't have. >> mary coffee, thanks for coming in. >> thank yskaufo, just as it wa happening, we are our correspondents and analysts standing by. much more as our special coverage continues. she loves a lot of the same things you do. it's what you love about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready.
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nationwide. sleep number. comfort individualized. we have chilling witness accounts, from the first moments of the rampage. look at this. >> this is going to be a major, major incident working here at l.a.x., and this will be ongoing for the better part of the nebs couple hours, at least. again an active shooter is what the initial report is at this point. >> where are you now? are you still inside? >> we are under lockdown in the international terminal. we just -- waiting for word from anybody. we have no idea what's going on. >> they just moved you to terminal 2, which presumably is secure, right? >> i feel very secure. is the officers all have their
guns drawn. >> there is a lot of fluidity to this situation here. there's just a lot of unfolding minute by minute action that's happening. >> downstairs they started shooting, one guy fell down. panic erupted, he was setting up through the security check. >> just three loud pops and everybody started panicking. >> i heard a couple popping noises, just turned to look. people were running interest the bathrooms. people were screaming run into the bathroom, get behind something. we ran top speed, carrying our luggage. it might have been more prudent to leave it where it was, i suppose. >> someone from security told us to sprint and make a run for it. and we got -- i got pulled into a hallway. my friend started didn't get
pulled in. i started screaming her name. we got pulled into a room. >> you could hear him yelling while he was shooting. >> reporter: what was he yelling? >> i couldn't make it out. it was real angry. >> it didn't really register until everybody started like flying down the hallway. they were jumping over chairs, over people, hiding, we were kind of traps. i never saw the shooter. it's probably the worst experience i've ever been in. i kind of imagine what would you do? when you hear about these horrible instances, and you ask yourself what would i do in a situation like that? happening now, breaking news. we have new details and firsthand accounts of terror at the terminal. a gunman shooting his way past security screeners into the los angeles international airport. with panicked passengers running for their lives.
>> i heard a couple popping noises, turned to look. it just sounded like somebody banging on something, but there was a stampede of people coming my way, and i realized something was wrong. >> a tsa officer is dead, others are wounded, a suspect is in custody. we have new information about the shooter, the victims, and how this happened at one of the world's busiest and biggest airports. plus gridlock on the ground and in the air. we're going to tell you what's going on at l.a.x. right now and low delays are being felt all across the united states. we want to welcome our viewers around the world. this is "the situation room" special report, shooting at lax. blood-stained crime scene right now. we're learning more about the suspect. law enforcement sources telling
cnn he's 23 years old and has addressed both in los angeles and in new jersey. we're looking into the possibility he was specifically targeting transportation security officials. the tsa confirms one of its officers is dead and others are wounded. our correspondents are in the field and here in "the situation room." and they're cover every angle. casey wian is standing by with the latest. what do we know, casey? >> there was terror and chaos, confusion outside in the aftermath of today's deadly shooting. >> an individual came into terminal 3, pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to
open fire. >> just three loud pops, and everybody started panicking. >> reporter: the panic becoming a stampede. >> people were running, people we are getting knocked down. luggage everywhere, and mayhem is the best way to describe it. >> reporter: the gunman keeps firing. >> he proceeded into the screening area where tsa screeners are and continued shooting. >> reporter: even as traveler panic, police go into action. >> the officers didn't -- i repeat, they didn't hesitate. they went after this individual and confronted this individual in our airport. unfortunately it involved an officer-involved shooting, but that's what's needed to be done. >> it ends in a final shootout. still photos of the scene show the gunman's rifle on the floor. >> the suspect got very far into a terminal. there's a burger king that's quite a ways away.
they tracked the individual through the airport, and engaged him in gunfire in terminal 3, and were able to successfully take him into custody. >> reporter: all the while terrified travelers pour out any door they can find. authorities september up tremendousage areas for sorting and treating the most to least severely wounded. they remained empty. new helicopters overhead see a man in a tsa uniform, these hand bloody. back inside, authorities count seven injured, six are rushed to hospitals. just an update on conditions outside. you can see over my shoulders roads in and out remain closed. travelers having to walk to and from, just in the last few minutes several flights have come overhead at the northern
runway of l.a.x. you can hear one of them going over my head right now. that runway has been shut down all day long. the fact that flights are beginning to land may be the beginning that airport operations are starting to get back to normal. >> they're landing. are flights taking off some. >> reporter: some flights have been taking off on the farther, south, runway. nowhere near at the pace you would expect on a friday afternoon. so we're still a long way away from normal, but some flights are handing, and some are taking off. a bit change from a couple hours ago. >> casey, thank you. deborah feyerick has been working her sources all day. what are you learning? >> we can tell you the gunman is in surgery. he was shot three times in the chest, he was stopped by officers from l.a.x. and also
the l.a.p.d. who confronted him as he reached the gate. he walked in with a conceal weapon. he took it out and began opening fire. we're told by law enforcement officials they're working on the suspicion he was specifically targeting tsa agents. now, he was able to get down a very long terminal to the gate area. he was wearing what happened to be camouflage clothing. and as a standard operating procedure, officials will send in the bomb squad just to make
sure that the area is safe. he's apparently a 23-year-old man. we're not releasing his name, but a lot of people now searching anybody who knows him. >> since a tsa officer, a federal employee was shot and killed, is fbi taking the lead right now? or local authorities? >> the fbi is actively involved in this as are a number of agencies. lapd is also involved, because clearly the officers were the ones involved in the shooting, as well as lax. it's a joint effort. they're interviewing about 100 witnesses, wolf, who were actually there at the time of shooting. they're also pulling sir vailance video. there's a lot of work to be done. >> investigation is clearly under way. thanks, deb, very much. witnesses used social media to share the horror stories, brian todd is joining us. he's been looking online at some of these images.
>> very dramatic images, as you mentioned from social media. this one from an elevated standpoint, a weapon on the ground, possibly an assault rifle items over here appear to be clothing. a wider shot of the same scene, dozens of law enforcement officers here, that's the weapon in question. there was a passengers name leslie, who took they pictures. she was in a women's bathroom when the shots rang out. she said men and women rushed into the bathroom, hid in the stalls until the situation subsided. she said when she heard shots fired, it was one of those horrifying moments where your life flashes in front of you. she took this picture of broken glass by one of the digital ads. overturned tables and chairs in what appeared to be some kind of security area. another passengers named natalie
marin was in terminal 1, when all of a sudden a crush of people came in. but look. just thousands of people crudding into the terminal, as terminal 3 was being evacuated. more pictures from terminal 1, and natalie. she's a student at the university of southern california, just kind of captures the sense of chaos she did say overall the crowd was surprisingly calm, then a lot of people started exiting going into the tarmac areas. these are some of those pictures. one thing that our consultant tom fuentes said as a laws enforcement officer, you don't necessarily want a lot of people outside. because a lot of them piece could be potential witnesses who you will need to interview later
on. so getting them outside not such a great thing, because people tend to disperse after that. so some of these images very powerful, wolf. >> thank you, brian, for that. still ahead, we are watching the story unfold, and we're watching all angles. there's new information coming in involving the l.a. shooting incident, the suspect, all our correspondents and analysts are standing by. much more of our special report right after this. ly in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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selsun blue itchy dry scalp. we're continuing to follow the breaking news out of the los angeles international airport, where there was a shooting. one tsa officer has been shot and killed. others have been injured. the suspect, local authorities say, is in custody. he was shot as well. there's lots of stories coming in, eyewitnesses that were deeply affected by what they saw and heard. lucas jensen, you landed hours and hours ago at l.a.x., but they wouldn't let you off the plane because of what is going on. is that right? >> yeah, it was kind of a moving situation. we were on there for five hours. we landed about 9:45, and my mom's text said there was a shooting at l.a.x., we saw helicopters outside and we sat for a few hours, and they said
we'll move you here or here. they got people on buses off other planes, but we just sat there. everybody they bussed to the terminals can't leave. we just deplaned at terminal 1, but we're still here, i guess because it's a crime scene. >> what are they saying? even if you find a taxi? >> no, there's no -- they said no ground transport, no leaving. they're letting us stretch our legs, which is nice, but probably the quietest that l.a.x. has ever been. everything is closed down, most of the restaurants except for a few bars, are closed. >> you and your fellow passengers, you spent four, five hours on the plane on the runway as you waited for permission to get to a terminal? >> yeah, we spend five hours on the plane, and then just deplaned to wait again. we had to donate diapers, and they brought water, because people needed it.
you know, it's not so bad for me, but there were elderly and children on there. they had to cake care of their needs. >> what i don't understand is why, if you were coming in, why they still are holding you in terminal 1. are they giving you an explanation? >> i have to be honest, we haven't got a lot of explanations. nobody seems to know what's going on. certainly even the police here, or law enforcement people i talked to, they don't know what's going on. southwest airline that i rode, they threw up their hands and said this is the best we can do. everybody was nice, but we just sat. >> just waiting and waiting. >> five hours. >> did you check luggage? >> yeah. we don't know what that situation is and rental car. there are also people heading to the next flight, but they're still on the plane even.
>> everybody i assume is in a relatively good mood? >> geffen the situation, obviously we can't complain when there's a real tragedy happening, but i think, you know, everybody was in about as good spirits as you can be, having sat on a plane for five hours. it was frustrating to see other people taken off the planes on these buses, sort of bussed around, but it's my understanding that even though they got bussed to terminals, they're still stuck here, too. >> good luck, lucas, and your friends over there, and the other passengers, lucas jenksen joining us with that story of what happened, but he's okay. they're all okay. we appreciate it very much. we're just getting in some video. i'm going to share it with you. this is video obtained by tmz. we want to you show you the chaos, the pandemonium that ensued in l.a.x. after shots were fired.
>> where? nchts everybody onto the floor now. onto the floor! >> this is cede. it's [ bleep ]. yeah, you too. everybod everybody. on the floor! >> c'mon, you guys. >> go, go! >> this is crazy, dawg. i got some good video. >> a dramatic video. jim scuitto is watching it together with me. i'm going to replay it and discuss what we're seeing. it starts relatively quiet, but
all of a sudden folks at that terminal 3 at l.a.x., they begin to realize what's happening. let's roll that tape one more time. >> interesting as you watch this. this is the kind of incident they train for in this airport. in fact just three weeks ago they trained for an active shooter incident. many of the officers who might have responded today. in fact the police chief said earlier that kind of was critical. >> you can see people just running, some people falling as thee running, trying to bring that you are luggage around. probably they should have forgotten about the luggage and just gotten out of there, with a lone gunman actively shooting, even as these folks were running. >> the first parts, you can't
see some disbelief. then all of a sudden you see the crowd coming. as we mentioned earlier, this is the first tsa officer to have killed in the line of duty before. you saw some of the officers there. there were 2,000 tsa agents alone in l.a.x., that doesn't even count the armed agents. the dhs, department of homeland security has its own armed officers, so really it's a measure of where we are today in terms of these threats. you have that sort of literal le thousands of officers in the airport to protect and respond. >> even now we just heard one passenger cease they're not letting the passengers who got to terminal 1 leave that area, because it's an active crime scene. >> they're probably taught to compartmentalize. it's interesting. we were talking to l.a. please describing the training they
did, and set up an active shooter situation, so they could give more than 300 officers a taste of what it would be like and how they would respond to it. that's the level of training that is necessary. l.a.x. has been the targets of plots before, so they have to be prepared. is. >> other local authorities said it was a lone gunman. they don't believe there were any collaborators, if you will, but a lone gunman. >> i just heard back from the national counterterrorism center to see if their assessment has changed. the assessment remains no nexus to terrorism at all, though i suppose in light of the fact that he had material on his person talking about how he was angry at tsa agents, you can call that a kind of terrorism, but at least farce the nctc is concerned, not an inns accident of terror at this point. >> hundreds of people in
terminal 3, they were terrified. >> no question. i want to go to deb feyerick. i understand we're now getting the official identity of the suspect? >> we are, as a matter of fact the fbi has officially identified the shooter. he is 23 years old. his name is paul anthony ciancia. he's a resident of los angeles. we're told that they're executing two search warrants on two areas linked to him, both a residence in new jersey, and another one in los angeles. but he is now identified as 23-year-old paul anthony ciancia. the search warrants in the process of being executed. wolf? >> we're also being told by the fbi, deb, there will be a news conference at the top of the hour, 7:00 p.m. eastern, 4:00 p.m. pacific time, the fbi representative will be the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism -- david
boudich, will be joined by the partners. it's significant potentially that the fbi's counter-terrorism division will be represented at this news conference. >> reporter: it's also interesting. i did ask a number of people i was on the phone with, whether there was any sort of connection to international terrorism. right now they don't believe so, but of course because of the kind of attack that took place at the l.a. airport, it could be rule domestic terrorism, for example, specifically because he breached a very secure area. it appeared he was targeting tsa agents, he had some material on him, but eyewitnesses are now telling police that they asked, hey, are you tsa? when they said no, he passed right by them and continued walking. we heard tom fuentes say if he had actually gotten onto an airplane, it can't have been a much different story, so they're
pulling the surveillance tapes, all of this being scrutinized extremely closely. stand by for a moment. evan perez our justice reporter is getting more information on this 23-year-old suspect. what are you learning, evan? >> one of the things that the fbi is trying to figure out right now is, you know, the gun that was -- the rifle that was seized right there is probably something that would be banned in california. so one of the things they're trying to figure out is where he got the firearm. there's a lot of these type of long guns, rifles, are banned in california law. so where did he get it from is one of the thing they'll try to focus on. stand by for a moment. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, we'll go live to l.a.x., once again a tense scene. passengers are okay. and today's "crossfire" hosts van joan and will kay are standing by for a discussion about airport security, security of what went wrong in l.a.
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following the breaking news, the 23-year-old suspect in the l.a. airport shooting has been identified as paul anthony ciancia of los angeles. we're going back live for l.a.x., and bringing you all the news information and new video coming into "the situation room." we have our correspondents and analysts working story from l.a. to d.c. don't go away.
we're back with the breaking news on the deadly shooting at the los angeles international airport. today i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special edition of "crossfire." today's "crossfire" co-hosts van jones and will kay, they're both standing by. we'll get to them shortly, but first the latest on the shoot