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tv   MSNBC Live With Richard Lui  MSNBC  October 27, 2018 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. all right. i'm richard louie at msnbc headquarters. i want to bring you up to date on what's been happening on the breaking story in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. 4:00 p.m. eastern time, 1:00 p.m. pacific, and we're
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watching this very location. these are pictures from a little bit earlier during a mass shooting where at least 8 people were killed, this from a shooting at a pittsburgh synagogue during a ceremony today. and at least 12 were shot including four police officers. these numbers are still in flux, but we expect to get an update within the next bunch of minutes from the authorities on the ground. we hope to also hear from those at the hospital. because we're watching to see the very latest of those who have been in the operation room for many many hours. and this is the man police say is a live picture of the very location that we will be going to as soon as the authorities make it to the microphones. i was mentioning a picture. we got this picture of the suspect. robert bowers, 46-year-old. he's from pennsylvania. we are also going to potentially get more information from the briefing on him, and here's what we know in terms of timing, of
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what happened just about six hours ago. 10:30 a.m. eastern time, morning, the suspect enters the tree of life synagogue, sources telling nbc news that bowers brought with him an ar-15 style rifle. he began shooting. he also brought several handguns along with that rifle. authorities categorize this mass shooting as a hate crime. the fbi at this hour leading the investigation on the ground of the crime scene. this as potentially there are those who are dead still at the synagogue as they try to put together the story. now, for a sense of the area and what it is like, this quiet neighborhood normally, here's what some of the residents told one of our affiliates. >> unfortunately there's nothing much i can do right now.
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i feel horrible for all those people inside. >> they heard the shots and they all, her mom and dad, her friend's mom and dad and son, they just all ran downstairs, i guess, and barricaded themselves in the basement. >> just moments ago, president trump commented on the attack while speaking at an event in indianapolis. here's a look at part of what he had to say then. >> this wicked act of mass murder is pure evil, hard to believe, and frankly something that is unimaginable. our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief. this was an anti-semitic act. you wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past. >> vice president pence also offered his words on this tragedy. >> what happened in pittsburgh today was not just criminal, it
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was evil. the attack on innocent americans and an assault on our freedom of religion. there is no place in america for violence or anti-semitism. and this evil must end. >> that a little bit earlier joining us now onset wnbc investigative reporter, jonathan dienst, also with me, michael balbon balboney, when we look at the top of the hour and the latest information, we're waiting for pictures on the lower right, and when that does happen we're going to go straight to the information. it has been at least two hours since we have gotten an update on what is the situation. from what you have been hearing from your sources, jonathan, you and i were talking about 15 minutes ago. michael what have you been
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hearing in terms of what has happened during this mass shooting and what might we expect the authorities to tell us? >> sure. so the time line has been that they have gone in, they have eliminated the threat. they now have the individual in custody. then they go to removing individuals who have been wounded. they are now trying to, this is now a crime scene even though there are still remains in the building itself. it's a very difficult situation. they're going through those steps right now to see what is the universe of issues that could be in that building itself. there are possibly, it's probably too early to do any interviews with people on scene. they want to know what people saw when they first came on scene and also try and take a look at, well, so what were the actions of the individual. they really want to lock down the time line from the minute he walked into the building to when he was arrested. that's what they're doing right now. in the meantime, they're making sure the people who need help are in hospitals and getting the help they need. >> of the reported dead we understand, eight at the moment, jonathan was reflecting on this
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earlier, this is a grueling process in a place of worship, potentially that they are still there at the location as law enforcement, fbi investigators, investigative reporters, potentially as well, they are looking at this situation. >> the most difficult aspect of this is obviously notification of the families involved in this. everyone has been really reticent to say anything about the number of dead, and that's because they want to give the chance for the authorities to go and talk to the families ahead of time, so they don't hear it on tv. >> right. >> and that's the process that's going on now. that probably explains the period of time when our last update and where we are now is they are really focussing on the families of the victims and everybody involved. this was a sabbath day. the synagogue was full, and they're trying to get ahold. >> a happy moment. >> a celebration of life, and so cruelly destroyed. >> you remember this because of your dhs experience here,
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unfortunately it reminds me of when i was reporting at bataclan on the ground where it took an inordinate amount of time for the families there, the number of those who were killed and the identification process, we have an assault rifle related to this. this may not be an easy or slow process at all. >> the challenge is the advent of social media. the minute anything gets out there, it's out there like wildfire, and they want to try to prevent that as much as possible because you don't want to get that wrong. you don't want to tell someone they're alive and they're not. those are the issues, you got to get that right. >> jonathan dienst, we expect as michael and i were just starting the hour with talking about the lower right-hand side, and many people want to know the most they can. that is acceptable, right, based on the protocols and the processes that you know so well that law enforcement is going through, and you know so well, michael, what do you expect to hear and what is the safe stuff, the safe space, i mean to say that michael is talking about
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because we have to be careful. >> i think they'll come out and they will provide some clarity on the numbers of casualties to start with, and i think they probably will come out and name the suspect since he's in custody, and we are expecting charges to be formally filed this afternoon so that should come at this briefing, if not, certainly at the next one, but we certainly know it's robert bowers, according to multiple sources, 46 years old, who had apparently on social media for some time now been expressing allegedly expressing anti-semitic, and hateful views toward jews and jewish organizations and refugees, in general. >> you have been looking into that since the story broke this morning and all afternoon, and nbc news able to confirm one of those items that you're just alluding to. i just got this note that it appears to be what is bowers, the suspect's, gab profile page. and also it's his final entry prior to the shooting this
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morning. we're talking like just this morning before he went in, and i'm quoting exactly what he said in that post. screw your optics, i'm going in. and potentially that line providing some insight into his plan of action. and therefore, when we look at this, along with all the other posts that you have been reviewing here, a sense of i'm just going to do this. >> premeditation is what it suggests. >> right. >> and there's elements that you're obviously not reading that are extremely hateful and hurtful that we are not reading and broadcasting at this hour. and there's, like i said, a whole litany if all of this matches and all of this does link back to the suspect, there has been ongoing rants and hate online, again, it has pierced the -- >> is it ca--
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>> it looks like this press conference is about to begin, and that rants began back on october 20th in earnest, but let's listen in. >> yeah, let's listen in.
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>> good afternoon, my name is wendell hissrich, to my left is scott shoe bechubert, chief of politics. on behalf of the city, our hearts go out to all of the victims that were involved in today's tragedy. these incidents usually occur in other cities. today the nightmare has hit home in the city of pittsburgh. as you're well aware, a tree of life synagogue at 5898 wilkins avenue at 9:44 this morning, calls were received that the allegheny county emergency operations center that an active shooter was inside the building. at 9:55, officers were dispatched. apparently initial confrontation between the subject and the
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officers occurred injuring two of the officers. two additional officers were injured during the altercation. those were s.w.a.t officers. multiple agencies responded to this incident this morning, and without their courage, this tragedy would have been far worse. those include numerous state, county, and federal agencies as well as neighboring ems services along with the city of pittsburgh. additionally, the dispatchers, the physicians, nurses, that assisted in this incident should also be commended. there were 11 fatalities as a result of the shooting incident. there were no children. there were additionally six injuries to include four of the
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police officers. that does not include the suspect. chief schubert has visited several of the injured officers. he will update you as well as the doctor will update, give you a current update on the victims that are currently being treated. personally, i would like to thank every agency that responded today as well as the dispatchers, the fbi, as you are aware, this is a federal crime. and both s.a.c. bob jones and u.s. attorney scott brady will discuss that. i would like to take a few minutes and allow scott schubert to discuss the officers, what they encountered when they arrived at the scene this morning. chief? >> thank you, director. as the director said first and foremost, our hearts and thoughts and prayers go to the
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victims of this, and to our officers who responded, i can tell you by the time i got there, they were already starting to extract people, is watching those officers run into the danger to remove people and get them to safety was unbelievable. and for the s.w.a.t officers, our s.w.a.t officers and the s.w.a.t teams from around the region who were there, who went into that active shooting and were able to apprehend that actor, i can't speak more for the courage that they have. two of the officers that were hit as the director said were the first responders to the scene and were engaged and they're both in stable condition and as the director said, too, from our s.w.a.t team, during the engagement inside the building we're struck as well,
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they are in stable condition. i was able to talk to two of the four and as soon as we get out of here, we're going to go back and see them again and see their families and thank them for the job they did and for saving lives, but we can't not forget those victims inside that synagogue who lost their life. thank you. >> good afternoon, i'm bob jones, i'm the special agent in charge of the pittsburgh office of the fbi. thank you, wendell, thanks chief. certainly the actions this person took today were hateful. we are in the early stages of this investigation, and over the next several days and weeks we will look at everything in the suspect's life, his home, his vehicle, his social media, and his movements over the last several days. at this point, we have no knowledge that bowers was known to lawmak-- law enforcement bef today. i want the people of pittsburgh
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to know that the fbi will work around the clock to get them the answers to why and how this happened. that said, we ask for the public's patience in the coming hours and days as we work through this investigation. this is the most horrific crime scene i have seen in 22 years with the federal bureau of investigation. members of the tree of life synagogue, conducting a peaceful service in their place of worship were brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith. the suspect's full motive is unknown, but we believe he was acting alone. at this time, the fbi has significant resources in and deploying to pittsburgh from our laboratory division, our critical incident response group, our office of victim assistance and our operational technology division. i can't say enough about the actions of the pittsburgh police, the pittsburgh police s.w.a.t team, and the allegheny county police. had it not been for the quick and heroic response, this would
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have been much worse. thank you very much. i'll turn it over to governor wolf. >> thank you. i'm governor tom wolf, pennsylvania. and today words simply, i can't express the sadness that all pennsylvanians feel for what happened today. i'm going to give me condolences first of all to the victims of this tragedy, their family and their friends and to this community. the shooting is being investigated by the fbi as a hate crime. my heart breaks for the members of the jewish community. today all of pennsylvania mourns with you. anti-semitism has absolutely no place in our commonwealth. any attack on one community of faith in pennsylvania is an attack against every community of faith in pennsylvania. and i want the jewish community across the commonwealth and across the country to know that we stand in support of you as we
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together mourn this senseless act of violence. the shabbat is a time for reflection, a time for finding peace, not for violence. pennsylvania's jewish community is strong, vibrant and resilient. now is the time more than ever to come together and to support each other. i have spent today with first responders, with local leaders and i am in awe of the bravery displayed by law enforcement, those folks who help to keep people safe, to aid victims and to prevent further tragedy. federal, state and local law enforcement are working in concert to investigate this tragedy and to maintain public safety. at the state level, the pennsylvania emergency management agency and the department of health are in contact with local officials to assist any unmet needs. the pennsylvania state police have been on the scene already and are coordinating with federal and local law enforcement. pennsylvania state police's
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s.w.a.t team, the helicopter, k-9 units and bomb technicians have all responded and are all assisting. my thoughts right now are focussed on the victims, however. their families, their friends, and making sure that law enforcement has every resource that they need. in the aftermath of this tragedy, we must all come together. we must take action to prevent these tragedies in the future. we simply cannot except this violence as a normal part of american life. these senseless acts of violence are not who we are as pennsylvanians, they are not who we are as americans. thank you. >> good afternoon, i'm scott brady, i'm the united states attorney for the western district of pennsylvania. today is a tragic day for pittsburgh. and it's a tragic day for our brothers and sisters and the jewish community. on behalf of the attorney
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general and the entire united states department of justice, we wanted to express our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their loved ones, the jewish community and everyone who is affected by this terrible and unspeakable act of hate. i spoke with general sessions today, and he wanted me to also express his condolences and know that he stands with pittsburgh, and with pittsburgh's jewish community. the actions of robert bowers represent the worst of humanity. we are dedicating the entire resources of my office to this federal hate crime investigation and prosecution, and we expect to file criminal charges shortly, perhaps as early as today. please know that justice in this case will be swift and it will be severe. i want to echo the comments of chief schubert and the bravery that was exited by the s.w.a.t teams, pittsburgh police, and allegheny police, they ran toward gunfire to keep people safe and they exemplified today
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the best of all of the traditions of law enforcement and of the pittsburgh police. know that we're working together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to gather all the facts. the cooperation of law enforcement has been outstanding. i was at the scene today, which as we stated by special agent jones was a horrible scene to witness, and yet, all of the federal, state and local partners stood together in concert and are working together to solve this. we deeply appreciate the response of the pittsburgh police, the fbi, allegheny county police and all of our law enforcement partners who are working so hard. know that we will workday and night for justice for the victims of this crime, and please know that we'll continue to update you as we are able. thank you. >> good afternoon, i'm dr. don
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kneely, i am a professor of emergency medicine and i oversee emergency medicine for upmc and the university of pittsburgh. at about 10:00 this morning we became aware of the incident and very quickly were able to put together the resources that we have available every day at the level one trauma center, as that includes upmc presbyterian, and upmc mercy, and we notified allegheny general. we were able to dispatch to the scene three physicians who have expertise in ems, working with peace officers and our outstanding ems providers to help assess the scene and to help accomplish triage. we're blessed here to have the finest ems providers in the country and we're blessed because people have invested in people and resources over decades to make sure that we have that type of excellence. the patients were all transported to one of three facilities. four patients came to upmc presbyterian, one to upmc mercy, and the final patient went to allegheny general hospital. i can give you a listing of what those particular patients were,
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i obviously cannot give you personal information. first patient was a 61-year-old female who had extremity soft tissue injuries that required cleaning in the operative room. she's doing well now and recovering. next was a 70-year-old male who had gunshot wounds in his torso, involving major organs inside of his abdomen. he underwent what we call a damage control laparatomy to get the initial injury under control, where we expect to have to do a second or third operation later. he's having that second operation now. hooe obviously in -- he's obviously in critical condition. a 55-year-old officer was seen who has multiple extremity wounds, went to the o.r. for repair and cleaning of those wounds and finally another officer had essentially soft tissue injuries, and grazing and was having a complete evaluation. looks to be doing fine now. those are the four patients at upmc presbyterian. another officer went to upmc mercy, had an extremity injury
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that required intervention and evaluation in the operating room. again, that officer is doing fine. happy to answer any questions if you have those. >> reporter: did it seem like perhaps any sort of special type of bullets may have been used that would create any extra damage or something to that extent? >> i don't have any direct knowledge about that, but not from the injury pattern, it did not appear that way. >> reporter: were they generally shot multiple times or one wound? >> some with multiple injuries and some with singular injuries. again, this is something we're prepared to take care of every day. i'm very proud of the team. we had extra physicians available, nurses available to take care of whatever could happen. when we first heard of this, we knew that there were a few patients injured, some dead. we did not know the size and the magnitude of this, and so we were prepared to take care of as many as were necessary. >> reporter: do you know about
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the patient at agh? >> i do not. >> reporter: do you have the age of the other two officers? >> the officer that went to mercy is 27. and the fourth one at presbyterian, i don't know his age. he's younger than me. >> reporter: are they all male officers? >> yes. >> reporter: can you give us a break down of the patient conditions. >> i would describe two in critical condition. they are in the icu, one of whom returned to the operating room. the others are doing well. we would not, they're obviously seriously injured but i would not describe them as critical. >> reporter: the second patient who's in critical, you mentioned the 70-year-old male, is the other, the 55-year-old officer? >> yes. >> we'll take a few other questions. one at a time, please. >> reporter: question for the special agent. can you talk, sir, about the caliber of ammunition and perhaps the weapon that was
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involved? >> i don't know the calibers at this point. we think one was an assault rifle and we know that the suspect had at least three handguns on him at the time. >> reporter: what? >> an assault rifle and three handguns in the facility. >> reporter: is it clear how he obtained them? >> don't know at this time. >> reporter: do you know whether he had any specific connection to tree of life or to that location. >> do not know that at this point. >> reporter: how old is the suspect and where is he from? >> he's a pittsburgh resident, i don't know his age at this point. >> reporter: what sort of precautions will you take in entering his apartment right now? >> we would take all precautions as we would with any search warrants, we don't know if other weapons are in there. but we would proceed with caution. >> reporter: is the bomb squad part of that process? >> we would put the bomb squad in any scenario like this where we would anticipate the devices, but we have no information at this point that there are ieds present. >> reporter: how long was he in the synagogue before he was
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brought into custody? >> approximately 20 minutes. >> reporter: what sort of condition is the suspect in, and is he speaking with law enforcement? >> i'll turn it over to wendell. >> i will not get into whether or not he's speaking with the authorities. however, my understanding was he was transported to the allegheny general. he's in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds. >> did he have on any body armour? >> i do not have that answer at this point. >> reporter: does anyone? do the investigators have that answer? >> don't know at this point. >> reporter: can you tell us a little bit more about the service that was going on inside? >> i know a service was taking place. i'm not quite sure of exactly which kind. >> reporter: there have been reports it was a baby naming. >> we heard that as well. >> reporter: but you can't confirm that? >> i can't confirm that at this time. >> reporter: was the gunman shot by police or self-inflicted gunshot wounds? >> we believe it was police but definitive determination will have to be done with the investigation being conducted by
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the fbi. >> reporter: do you know the ages of the people who were killed or any information about them at this time? >> we do not. we're hoping to have a follow up press conference tomorrow and at that time, a representative from the medical examiner's office will be there. >> reporter: children were killed? >> there were no children among the deceased. >> reporter: were children among the injured at all? >> i don't believe so. >> reporter: were they present? >> we are still talking to the many witnesses at this point. >> reporter: did the gunman shout anything before he opened fire? >> we don't have that information at this point. >> reporter: are local synagogues in pittsburgh on lock down at this time? >> i don't know about lock down, but we will make sure the information is passed so they can take necessary precautions. >> reporter: should people of the jewish faith in pittsburgh be worried or on alert or do we think the threat -- >> we think the threat has been eliminated. we don't think anybody is associated with this gunman. we'll continue to look at all angles in the conduct of the
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investigation. >> if i could follow up on that. pittsburgh police have been notified of numerous services that are being conducted including a vigil tonight and we will have adequate police protection. >> reporter: was there security at the synagogue this morning? >> not that we're aware of. >> last question. >> reporter: what can you tell us about the suspect's movements inside the synagogue and what he actually did when he went in there? >> after he entered the synagogue, it looks like at that point, he murdered the 11 parishioners, i believe he was exiting or in the process of exiting the synagogue when a pittsburgh uniformed officer engaged him. that pittsburgh officer was subsequently wounded. he withdrew, and as he withdrew, the defendant or the suspect went back into the the synagogue in order to hide from s.w.a.t officers who were moving towards the scene. and that's all we know at this point. >> reporter: and what's his status medically, is he injured? >> he is.
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>> reporter: i'm sorry, one clarification on the weapons, you mentioned an assault rifle and three handguns is there evidence he used all of those weapons. >> i don't know that at this point, we'll look at the crime scene in details and update you in the morning. >> reporter: was there a target or did he walk in and open fire? >> i don't know at this point. >> reporter: was there a reason he stopped and surrendered? >> surrendered >> we just got the very latest coming out of pittsburgh, pennsylvania, from authorities there on the ground. and you can certainly tell just the quiet before they began as they were waiting for others to come in, this is a very difficult time for these that are now leading the investigation. they're in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. the latest information, you can see on your screen is that we are hearing 11 dead now, they are confirming that number. that is up from the number of
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eight, which we were operating under earlier. however, understanding that all of these pieces of data were going to change. jonathan dienst still with us. i know that you have a couple of jobs tonight but i wanted to get your first reaction, and of the information that we learned of, your thought? >> my thought, the 11 fatalities is a new number. >> up by three. >> no children. somewhat of a relief, and a bit of awe in terms of when you hear the stories of how law enforcement went and confronted a heavily armed ar-15 holding suspect, who's blasting bullets at innocent people and at them, and they're risking their lives, and going in there to save as many people as you heard, some of the folks at that news conference saying, it would have been a lot worse if not for the actions of those officers who went and first confronted that suspect and when they were risking their own lives to stop
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them. >> let's underline that. because of the injured, four of the six were officers. >> that's right. and they are all going to be okay. they're all stable. >> doing fine is what the doctor said. >> right. questions for that one of the victims sounds very severely injured. >> a 70-year-old man. >> shot in the torso and has multiple surgeries ahead of him. along with we now wait to learn who are the 11 deceased as we wait for more, not much said about the suspect during that press conference, which i found a little surprising. there was a lot of focussing on the tictoc of what went on. they didn't get to or questions about him, but what we have been told, robert bowers, 46, and again, his apparent rantings online, anti-semitic attack, hate crime, reiterated by the fbi and u.s. attorney, clearly that appears to be the motive and that they are going into his house now to do a search and they're going to proceed with caution to make sure there's no explosive devices as would be
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routine in any case like this. >> right. >> nothing to suggest there are explosives, but they're very, they're going to enter that building cautiously, and the other highlight, as of now, they say lone actor, does not appear to be any part of any wider, broader part, this is a lone gunman who took it upon himself to target jewish people during a religious ceremony at 10:00 on a saturday morning. >> jonathan dienst, wnbc investigative reporter, thank you, sir, for your help on this story. been watching throughout this afternoon. i'll see you and talk to you very very soon. over to you michael balboni. of the what 20 minutes that we got to listen to the authorities there, what stood out to you, reflect also on what jonathan was saying. >> i think they have been trying to be very forth coming and a lot of information. obviously we didn't hear any of the names of the deceased, nor of any of the victims. and again, they're trying to be very cautious so they can notify the families first.
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>> yeah. >> the fact that it's 13, you know, in such a short period of time, the tragedy glorows. >> yeah. >> you know, the weapons they used, the ar-15 is a high capacity weapon. it typical can have a magazine that has 30 rounds in it. we don't know if we had extra magazines. there are also, you can buy accessories to the weapon that you can bring it up to as much as 50 rounds. we have no information there was any type of accessory there. the weapon, the handguns is the one thing we don't know. we don't know if the weapons were fired. typically if you have any type of semiautomatic handgun, they can have as much as 15 rounds in that magazine as well. you can have a lot of fire power in the bag he brought in with him to go into that synagogue this morning. >> a little bit about the time line here, right, because this is something that folks like you understand so well. the speed that law enforcement
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can get there, according to what we're hearing, 9:54 a.m.! right. >> is that call. something is wrong. there is an active shooter incident at a synagogue, and what we understand based on what the fbi from job bones saying is -- bob jones saying is 20 minutes. i'm paraphrasing, in the synagogue for 20 minutes before being apprehended. this could be later after he ran back in. they were all consistent in saying after that 9:54 a.m. call, things happened pretty quickly in terms of law enforcement. >> what struck me there is that the rapid pace in which the s.w.a.t team was put into play. that typically the s.w.a.t team needs to be assembled and get into the transport, get to the scene itself. do some kind of coordination. it normally does not happen that rapidly. we have evolved in this country from law enforcement in terms of responses to active shooters. you know, it began with columbine where no one's going
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to stand outside. they're going to go in, they're going to confront the shooter. typically it's the line police. it's the patrolman who shows up who's going to be the first to engage. what we have here is a very rapid insertion of the specialized units, the s.w.a.t team, which of course bring to them not only the protective gear of the vests and helmets, but also the weapons, whether it's long guns or it's their own high capacity weapons as well, to bring as much fire power on the target, on the threat as possible, and eliminate it as soon as possible. the other aspect is that we're going to speculate as to what happened, but what it sounds like is that for some reason, when they pulled up, this gunman decided that he had to go out and engage the officers outside. that's basically what they said, there was an exchange of gunfire outside, and then he retreated inside and they came in and we don't know when the officers were injured, whether they were injured when they were sitting,
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you know, when they were arriving on the scene or whether they were injured exclusively when they came into the building itself, but maybe, just maybe it was the sirens that tipped off this guy, and it stopped the carnage. he went outside to engage the officers. we don't know the time. that really is speculative, but that could have been what they were referring to. >> and they're putting it together right now. >> they're putting it together right now. the time line is really important. that's what they're doing but they keep referring to the honor and valor, and the speed with which the law enforcement officers came in. it is extraordinary, and we don't know how many lives were saved. >> the range of casualties, always hoping to be low but unfortunately from recent experiences they can grow in numbers quite precipitously. let's bring in pete williams, nbc news justice correspondent who has been following this story all day, and of course talking with his sources and was watching the briefing just now, and pete, what did you take away from what they were saying, the time line is something that michael and i were just talking
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about? >> reporter: well, i would just expand it out a little bit more. in the days leading up to this, he had, robert bowers, the suspect natioin this case, had repeatedly been posting comments that were full of anti-semitic remarks, vile remarks and saying that he was upset that a jewish organization was helping to bring in refugees, a jewish organization that has been doing this for over a hundred years, and he said these were invaders that were come to go spoil the country. just shortly before the shooting, about two hours before, he said something like forget about the optics, screw your optics, he said, i'm going in, and then a short time later, he arrives heavily armed and opens fire in that synagogue. i thought interesting points today that they say he was not on law enforcement radar. they had no knowledge. they had not come across him at any time before, and the
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neighbors that have been talking to our reporters say that he seemed to spend most of his time in the house. it is not someone who got out very much. apparently his life was lived largely on social media. also important that they say they believe he was acting alone. as you heard, he was shot multiple times. they say he has several gunshot wounds and is in fair condition in the hospital, and they wouldn't say whether he's been cooperative with investigators or not, and who knows whether he's in any condition to be. but one of the things they would want to do is question him just as quickly as they could just to make sure that he had no associates, that nobody else was planning to do anything like this, and he didn't know of anything else about to happen. that would be an urgent question for him, in addition to building the criminal case. as you heard the u.s. attorney say, i'm not sure he said it explicitly, but the plan sias i
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understand it, the federal government will be filing hate crime charges. you heard them say they will be filing them as early as today, and hope to have them by 4:00 but they are working very hard on them now, and i would expect them to be filed at some point today. again, underscoring the seriousness of this case, and the urgency with which law enforcement wants to move. >> pete william, nbc news justice correspondent. thank you as always, sir, thank you for your context of what we watched just moments ago. again, just finishing a briefing from authorities there in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, the latest numbers, in case you're just joining us, 11 fatalities, no children, six injured, of those injured, four officers, plus the suspect himself also injured. we'll have more on this breaking and developing news story coming out of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. 11 dead at a synagogue in that town. n that town hey!
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we just heard from authorities there in pittsburgh, pennsylvania at the synagogue shooting, and the numbers unfortunately have gone up, at least within the last ten minutes, officially coming from the reporting in the briefing. 11 fatalities, no children included before, in the previous briefing, the number was eight. that did go up unfortunately. also six injured in addition to
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the 11 fatalities. of those six injured, four were police officers. first responders, that got to the scene within minutes and certainly mitigated the outcomes there. in addition to all of that, the suspect also injured, and we, again, just getting the information within the last ten or 15 minutes. i want to go to ron mott who's on the ground in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, in the very neighborhood, squirrel hill neighborhood there in pittsburgh where the synagogue is at. and you heard the briefing there, too, ron. anything new there on the ground at the site itself as they continue their investigation? >> reporter: well, richard, they have cordoned off, as you can see, a block radius around this synagogue where this awful carnage took place early this morning. the suspect walking in, apparently just after sabbath services got underway, scheduled to get underway at 9:45, and as we understand it, there was a group of people meeting in a third floor classroom which normally would have a class
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taking place at the time, but that class had been cancelled, but there were still people meeting there, we believe, perhaps, carrying out services there, and we also understand that there may have been a baby naming ceremony going on as well today. as you heard officials were saying that there were unfortunately no children who were injured or killed in this incident today, but there were 11 people, sadly, who have lost their lives and a couple more who were severely wounded and are in critical condition. i can tell you that a couple of neighbors here from the community, andrew and moore, you guys live here. you're not members of this synagogue. you tell me you have friends who are, what have you heard from them? >> fortunately our friend were not there today, and they are grateful for that, and they are terrified to find out that people they know and care about may have been wounded or killed. >> reporter: this has to be obviously very upsetting for you guys who live in this neighborhood to have this sort of violence. tell me bha you're -- what
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you're feeling tonight? >> it woke us up. we were still asleep, maybe ten after 10:00, we're used to hearing sirens, but it was just siren after siren, maybe 50 sirens and then i woke up andrew, and i said something is wrong, and we went and we looked out the window, and we saw people running with guns, so s.w.a.t teams were running down our street, and then we really started to panic. and then a friend of ours texted us and said it was happening at tree of life which is just a few blocks away from our house. >> it's an awful way to start a saturday, and as we mentioned, 11 people have been killed, four police officers among the six who had been injured. thank you, guys, very much. >> reporter: the word has gone out around pittsburgh, areas have stepped up security, and questions richard will be asked about this suspect is how long he had perhaps cased this particular synagogue, how well did he know the layout of the building or was this a
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spontaneous target where he just went in and basically started shooting the first people he encountered. richard. >> a much appreciated place of worship for all the residents in that community, no doubt. ron mott, on the scene there for us in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, thank you, ron, let's go to nbc's ally -- ali vitali who's in indianapolis, who's at a rally. >> reporter: these remarks ran over an hour long. we are here at the future farmers of america conference. he did lead off with a strong condemnation of the anti-semitic attack that happened in pittsburgh. the crowd here, many of them weren't necessarily even aware that any kind of mass tragedy had happened. the mood here before the president arrived was one of celebration. this is an annual conference for young people. when the president got on stage, he of course led with those somber remarks but quickly moved on to an agriculture focussed
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pitch basically of his administration and the kinds of efforts that they have undertaken, that includes deregulation, that includes trade with china, some of those tariffs that we've covered so much on this network, and then it also extended into a little bit of a political pitch because he brought two congressmen over here, up on stage, and said i'm not going to even mention their opponents, and the fact that they're aligned with nancy pelosi, we have seen him do that at the last few rallies, says he's not going to say something, and basically says it anyway by saying he's not going to say it. that happened here today as well as a quick mention of kanye west, which elicited attacks, and attacked elizabeth warren, those were some of the things we heard from the president who started with the attack, and ended pretty much with what we're probably going to hear from him later tonight in illinois. richard. >> thank you so much on the campaign trail. ali vitali. i would like to bring richard cohen, president of the southern poverty law center.
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we talked about the trend we have been seeing in recent years and it's unfortunately quite high when we look at anti-semitic acts and hate crimes specifically. i was looking at one statistic from the adl. and they said in 2017, we had anti-semitic incidents in every state of the of the union for tt time since 2010. where are we at in. >> we're in a very, very dangerous situation in our country. we've seen a big increase in the number of hate groups in recent years. we've seen a big increase in the number of hate crimes. as the adl reported, we had a big increase in the number of anti-semitic incidents last year. president trump, unfortunately, has energized the radical right. and you know, fray add soshl nor frayed social norms in our country. when you create the kind of sphere he does, i'm afraid some
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ugly things happen. one thing it's important to understand is that anti-semitism underlies the modern white supremacist movement. you heard it in charlottesville where people were screaming jew will not replace us. this notion of white genocide that jew are behind you know, the browning of america. so it's a complex phenomenon. and we're living in really difficult times, richard. >> all right. thank you so much. i appreciate your time as always for being with us. i appreciate it from the southern poverty law center. all right. now i'd like to bring in john nickles, national affairs correspondent for the nation. you have been and worked in this area of the country before. you now write for "the nation," i was just mentioning and you used to write for the paper there in town. tell us about the area and reflect on -- you just heard there from richard cohen about the unfortunate trend. put that in context of
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pittsburgh. >> well, it's -- it is and you fortunate nat trend and a tragic day. i think people need to understand that squirrel hill is one of the great centers of jewish religious life and communal life in the united states. this is a historic jewish community. and tree of life, the sflin going to we are talking about so much today was a real center within that community, a place where several congregations an met of different jewish traditions but all under the same roof. very active, people coming in on a day like today, for some of the activities you've discussed but also for tore rare study. there's a reconstructionist synagogue that has been housed there along the more traditional conservative synagogue. you know, this was a place where people came together. they celebrated a rich history
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of jewish life in pittsburgh. pittsburgh's been a center of the american jewish community for the better part of 180 years. and squirrel hill for the better part of 100 years, a great jewish community one thing to understand about this, i came to know the neighborhood through the eyes of sophie mazoff, the first jewish mayor of pittsburgh. she lived to the age of 96 in squirrel hill or thereabouts. and was -- she had great joy in the fact that this was a warm and welcoming and humane community where jew from around the world settled, found a home and became leaders in science and education and political life of the city, sophie being the mayor among other things. so to be hit in this place to, have this violence in in place,
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it doesn't just strike pittsburgh. i think it strikes jew across america and frankly far beyond the jewish community. >> when you talk about the roots of tree of life going back over 150 years, what that says is another thing, right? when we look at this john? and that is the resilience of the community. >> oh, it's a tremendously resilient community. and remember, this was historically an immigrant community. and so you had people who came from around the world, settled in this city, made great lives. but it wasn't always easy. these are people who struggled over time. they built something that is very strong and obviously, i can't speak for people on the ground but what i can say is that my experience of this place is that tree of life lan the synagogues there will certainly rebuild and be strong, but this
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moment, this horrible moment will become a part of a awful history of anti-semitism in this country and something that we will remember for a tremendous amount of time. >> and as you know, many hearts across the country they're behind this community and the families there. john nickles, national fairs don't for the nation who also reported there this pittsburgh. >> michael balboni, your final thoughts. >> so rare that the shooter didn't take his own life. that usually happens between five and seven minutes typically, they turn the weapon on themselves. secondly to the last guest, this is the first time since 2010 you've had an anti-semitic incident in every state in the nation with california 380, california, 269 and in the social media post everyone says we knew it was happening. what are we going to do? we go to talk to people, we knock on doors. it takes people who see this to tell us what's going on.
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be part of the engagement of protecting the community. >> michael b app lp booni, always good to have you here on set. stay with us. that wraps it up for this hour. up next, the latest coverage on this deadly pittsburgh synagogue shooting. it continues after the break. reverend al sharpton and "politics nation" picks up on this breaking news story. "politics nation" picks up on this breaking news story today, 97% of employers agree
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synagogue. synagogue. and welcome to "politics nation." we're coming to you on a solemn evening. 11 confirmed killed. plus six injured in today's hate attack on the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh. the deadliest ever on the jewish american community. the suspect is in custody. 46-year-old robert bowers has expressed explicitly anti-semitic views both on social media and when he was apprehended earlier this afternoon by pittsburgh police. >> the actions of robert bowers represent the worst of humanity. we expect to file criminal charges shortly, perhaps as early as today. justice in this case will be swift and it will be severe. >> the president is slated to take the stage within the hour for a campaign


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