tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 8, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
electorate to their benefit. that's something that has a long history in the united states of america. once upon a time, it was democrats who were violently trying to restrict the electorate so republicans couldn't vote. but you see republicans trying to ensure that the electorate is older and whiter so they can continue winning elections, even though the majority of the people in a given state don't actually support what they're doing. part of the way they do that is they run on white identity politics. when you look at progressive initiatives, medicaid was expanded in three red states yesterday. it's not that americans don't like -- don't like those kinds of things. it's that -- >> okay. i've got to cut you off there, adam. thank you both for joining us. that is "all in" for this the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight, jeff sessions is out of a job, fired. the morning after voters put democrats back in charge of the house, his replacement, the
acting attorney general, has already said the mueller investigation needs to be reigned in. then the president showed up at a combative news conference. the president ignoring the morning-after reality, calling the midterms almost a complete victory. then he depose after his fellow republicans who didn't support him and tonight he's punished a network correspondent. and about those potential house investigations. democratic leaders say they know what they're doing and they'll do it right. "the 11th hour" begins now. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters. what's left of our election headquarters here in new york. we have a lot to catch up on tonight. this was day 657 of the trump administration. and just hours after democrats gained control of the house, the president forced out his attorney general, jeff sessions. if the president was looking for a distraction after the election, he got one. and this could have serious ramifications. earlier tonight, the now-former
attorney general, jeff sessions, left the department of justice to a round of applause. he was famously the first sitting u.s. senator to support donald trump. he was then relentlessly attacked by the president for taking himself out of the russia case. >> i'm disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons. and you understand that. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. >> he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself. and we would have used a -- put a different attorney in. >> but sessions' replacement who will oversee robert mueller's russia investigation instead of rod rosenstein is viewed as a trump loyalist. matt whitaker, sessions' chief of staff just saw him saying good-bye to sessions at the car tonight, will serve as the acting attorney general. whitaker is a former u.s. attorney. he ran as a republican for senate in iowa in 2014, but lost out to joni ernst in a primary. whitaker has been publicly critical of the mueller investigation, writing in an op-ed, august 2017, quote, it is
time for rosenstein, who was the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation to order mueller to limit the scope of his investigation, to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel. if he doesn't, mueller's investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. this would not only be out of character for a respected character like mueller, but also could be damaging to the president of the united states and his family and by extension to the country. whitaker also appeared on cnn in august of 2017 and said mueller would be crossing a red line by looking into the trump organization finances. >> if bob mueller and his small u.s. attorney's office, as i've heard it described today, does go beyond the 2016 election and get into trump organization finances, unrelated to the 2016 election, and really unrelated to russian coordination, if it even exists, i think that would be crossing a red line. >> peter baker of the "new york
times" reports today, quote, mr. whitaker's ascendants to the top of the justice department shows how much loyalty means to mr. trump. the president has long-regarded mr. whitaker as his eyes and ears inside a department that he considers an enemy institution. baker also points out that under normal circumstances, rod rosenstein, as the number two guy at justice, after all, would be in line to become the acting attorney general. earlier today, whitaker released a statement that read, in part, quote, it is true -- it is a true honor, rather, that the president has confidence in my ability to lead the department of justice as acting attorney general. i am committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards that upholds the rule of law and seeks justice for all americans. no mention there of robert mueller's investigation. earlier today, frank figliuzzi, the former fbi assistant director for counterintelligence offered on this network a blunt assessment of the sessions' firing. >> i think we're watching obstruction of justice play out
right in plain sight. i fear there's a quid pro quo, you do this, i name you acting attorney general, or i nominate you for attorney general. you take care of the special counsel investigation. and that's public corruption. >> that gets your attention. so does this? phillip rutger, robert costa, and josh dawsey wrap up the last 24 hours this way, quote, washington plunged into political war on wednesday in the wake of a split decision by voters in the midterm elections, with president trump ousting his attorney general and threatening to retaliate against democrats if they launch investigations into his personal conduct and possible corruption in the administration. the rapid shift to battle stations signaled the start of what is likely to be two years of unremitting political combat as trump positions himself for re-election. as we said, it gets your attention. and let's brick in our leadoff panel on this post-election wednesday night, jeremy bash, former chief of staff at cia and the pentagon.
former u.s. attorney, joyce vance, who spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor. and the aforementioned robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post" and moderator of washington week on pbs and what a week it's been already. robert, i would like to begin with you. what is the book on whitaker? what's the book on how the president sees him? and i know you talked to rudy in the last 24 hours. what did you learn? >> brian, i've known mr. whitaker for about a decade, going back to his time in iowa politics. moderated his first debate when he ran for u.s. senate. lost the republican primary then in 2014 to now senator joni ernst. he's a conservative, he's an ideologue, he's someone who's migrated towards the trump wing of the republican party. he's close friends with sam clovis, someone we know because he's been interviewed by robert mueller's grand jury. he's migrated to trump's wing of the party and is known for taking a tough line on the
mueller probe and now he's running the department of justice. >> joyce, i have so many questions for you. as a former u.s. attorney, would this have been an organic choice, if you searched through the government payroll, to name this guy in normal times, as acting attorney general, first of all? >> if we were only talking about just generic roles. the attorney general's chief of staff wouldn't be a completely unprecedented choice to take over, if you anticipated as president, naming another permanent selection in the not-too-distant future. but what takes this out of the realm of the normal, brian, are matt whitaker's clear stands, clear enunciation of his view that the mueller investigation should be limited. that makes this extremely abnormal and something we should all be concerned about. >> now, that's my second question. is that grounds for recusal?
if you have issued an opinion, made it public, and you are suddenly then appointed to something overseeing that, is that normally grounds for recusal? >> so, recusal can be complicated, but it looks like whitaker has real problems. and one would expect that the professionals at the justice department would advise him that he must recuse, if not because of an actual conflict of interest, then because of the clear appearance of impropriety in taking over this investigation. and a big part of that would be the fact that he had made pronouncements about how that investigation should be handled, before he was privy to all of the facts. in essence, prejudging it. there's no reason that we can believe at this point that he can give the investigation a fair shake. and what the american people here deserve is not an outcome predetermined by an ideologue, it's justice. it's the search for the truth so at the end of the mueller investigation, we have a high comfort level that we've reached
a correct outcome. we can't get that with this attorney general at the helm. >> jeremy bash, i've got to read this to you from politico. democrats are even prepping a break-glass scenario in case there's a nixon-era saturday night massacre in which trump fires his current doj leadership and tries to shutter the mueller probe in the process. if that happens, senior democratic officials say mueller would likely get an immediate summons to capitol hill for nationally televised testimony about his firings. jeremy, how would washington reaction if that is end game here? >> well, if whitaker moves against the mueller probe, i think it is quite literally obstruction of justice. and in that case, i think what immediately shoots to the top of the agenda of the new house majority is calling whitaker to testify under oath to explain whether he has had any conversations with the president of the united states about shuttering the mueller probe.
and if he says he has, that opens an avenue of investigation from mueller to determine whether or not there has been an obstruction of justice. and once mueller is a witness, i think he would have to recuse himself from any further oversight of the mueller investigation. >> robert costa, what do you hear? what's going on behind the scenes in this investigation? and are we ignoring a critical word? and is that acting? are there lists of permanent candidates being drawn up in the west wing? >> there are lists being drawn right now, brian. the president is looking through some names, thinking about possibly some u.s. senators who could be on that list. thinking about retired and current federal judges, people who could get confirmed. for the moment, matt whitaker is there. a former federal prosecutor in iowa, who he sees as an ally, but he has to pick someone who could be the attorney general. maybe it could be whitaker, but it's probably going to be someone with a bigger name, a bigger profile, who can get senate confirmation. he's thinking also talking to mayor giuliani today. he said that they need to make a decision after the president
gets back from paris after his weekend trip about the interview with robert mueller. are they going to do it or not? and if they do, will they just provide written answers by mid-november? >> joyce, i have to say, this got our attention today. preet bharara, former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york who was fired by the president just put this out on twitter today. three words, "it's danger time." do you concur with that? >> i think preet's absolutely right. we're at -- i heard neal katyal call it earlier today the beginning of a constitutional crisis. and it certainly seems like this sets it in motion. it is a very dangerous time. we need to protect the mueller investigation. this new acting attorney general really needs to strenuously be encouraged by everyone who has the ability to encourage him to recuse from this investigation. otherwise, we're in dangerous territory. >> joyce, i must say, i also heard john dean today, and i'm going to ask you to explain this
in lay terms. he theorized that mueller has done some trump proofing of his own investigation, including but not limited to potentially delivering sealed indictments to a senior federal judge and saying, in effect, hang on to these in case anything happens to me or us. can you speak to that? >> so that sounds a little bit nefarious. the process is really a little bit more pedestrian. it's not unusual for federal prosecutors to seal indictments. there's a lot of reasons. sealing is just a mechanism for keeping an indictment secret until you've actually been able to arrest the defendant. so a lot of the time, we'll do that for safety considerations. here mueller could have had the grand jury issue indictments, sealed them. they would then be in position of the clerk of the court, but not made public, not unsealed until such time as defendants were arrested or mueller's prosecutors directed the clerk
that it was time to unseal them. that seems like a very likely possibility to protect the investigation. but also, there are 93 u.s. attorneys offices out there. they may have pieces of this case. and once those cases are out in the wild, it's very hard for main justice to put a complete stop to them. >> yeah. well-put. jeremy, i'm old enough to remember a about a year ago, i'm going to play this clip from lindsey graham and we're going to talk about what happened to lindsey graham since then. >> if jeff sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. any effort to go after mueller could be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency, unless mueller did something wrong. >> jeremy, what happened to lindsey graham, do you think, in the intervening months? >> i think he's auditioning for jobs. i think he's potentially auditioning for the job of attorney general and maybe even for the job of secretary of defense if there's a vacancy over at the pentagon.
and he's clearly decided that he's going to cast his lot in with trumpism and president trump and he's abandoned the principles that he took that you noted in that interview, in which he said that if the president fired the attorney general, which is exactly what happened today, that would be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency. >> and jeremy, this is a question i'm going to ask other of our guests tonight. can you think of republicans who would be willing to cross the aisle and work with democrats if they feared an effort to come after mueller, to come up with something that, again, trump-proofs the mueller investigation? >> i think it depends how it's crafted. i think something that explains that the mueller investigation is a national security investigation, requires a full and complete assessment of the facts, then perhaps there are some republicans of conscience who would do that, who would join with the majority in the house and pass a bill, pass legislation along that lines. but honestly, brian, i'm not too optimistic that any such bill would pass and i don't think the president would sign it. >> robert costa -- yeah, go ahead.
>> the person to watch, brian, senator-elect mitt romney of utah. he was one of the rare republicans who issued a statement today in light of the attorney general's firing and he said, you have to protect the mueller investigation. does it become more than a statement in the coming weeks from senator-elect romney? does it become an actual statement, talking on television, talking to his colleagues in the upper chamber? does he become someone who could be a counterweight or the same way as senator graham, a republican who's on the trump train and going along with the president. >> romney was almost alone among prominent republicans in saying that on social media today. it's why we had these three guests start us off tonight. our great thanks to jeremy bash, to joyce vance, and to robert costa. we really appreciate it. and coming up, before president trump fired sessions, he held the longest solo press conference of his presidency. it was over the top and off the rails and has tonight resulted in the punishment of a cable network correspondent.
and later, about last night, the wins, the losses, the surprises. and two folks who had the good sense to get out of congress while the getting was good. we'll deliver their verdict with us here this evening, as "the 11th hour" is just getting started on a wednesday night. you've had quite the career.
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law enforcement is here. they're doing everything to try and fix it. it's the nerves coming in with shots happening within a facility they're in. >> they're hunkered down, they're safe is your understanding. >> the individual i talked to was with her group of friends was separate from it whether it be in bathrooms. i've heard people being in attics. >> it sounds like they're good for now. pray it stays that way. you've been most helpful. we've found a lot of really good people having what feels like their worst night in their young lives. we're waiting for updates and will share them when we get them. i'm beverly white. >> now we want to go back to the command center where robert kovacik is. >> there's been a lot of speculation what went down here tonight in thousand oaks. we're finally now going to get answers. with us is eric from the ventura county sheriff's department.
as well as brian mcgrath. eric, i'm going to let you start. tell us what happened about lek 20, our department received a report of shots fired. our deputies entered to confront the suspect. i can tell you right now that we know of at least 11 victims. there are multiple fatalities. one of the victims is one of our sheriff's deputies. >> when you say victims, how many are we talking about? >> right now the count is 11 that i have. >> how many fatalities? >> i don't have a breakdown on that. my understanding is 11 total victims. but there are multiple fatalities among those. >> among those, among the 11 so we're not talking about a larger number than 11 at this point. >> no. >> and one of victims is a member of the ventura county sheriff's department.
has that person died? >> he's been transported to a local hospital. i don't have specs on his condition. >> are we looking at these victims to be young college students, as well? >> i don't know the break down. typically that would be the crowd. there were at least a couple hundred people inside at the time of the shooting. > what is the status of the shooter? >> we believe he's down inside the business. >> down injured? down killed? >> down and i don't have any further details on that. >> a solo shooter? >> yeah. >> did the suspect say anything when he went into this bar and started opening fire? >> i don't have any details on that. all i know is we responded to essentially what is an active shooter. that there were shots being fired inside the club. >> you get a call there's an active shooter. you make a quick response here. s.w.a.t. team goes in and surround. were there a number of shots fired an exchange of gunfire
between the shooter and law enforcement? >> s.w.a.t. responded later. that's not the initial response. the initial response was our patrol deputies. >> how many people are estimated to be inside of the restaurant? >> at least 100. >> several hundred people. >> yeah. >> how long did this all go on from the time this man walked in and hoping fire? >> i don't have the details yet. this is really early in the investigation. we have our homicide investigators obscene. a lot of people are helping us out right now. >> is there any concern there could be another shooter, an accomplice, could be someone driving a car to allow the shooter to have gotten away? >> at this time, there's no indication of that. >> what about the people still inside? >> all of the people inside have been evacuated. we've been interviewing witnesses. that's part of the ongoing
investigation sneegs where have they been taken? >> the witnesses people evacuated from the bar are at the corner of rolling oaks and moorpark road. >> why this bar? why this location, eric? why would someone walking inning there tonight on college night and open fire? >> those are questions we still have to figure out. >> you must be reeling with a member of your own department that a male is fighting for their life. >> what can you tell us about the experience? >> its a rough night. >> is it someone you know personally? >> yes. >> what can you tell me about him. >> not much at this point only because we haven't had a chance to connect with his family. that's being done right now. i don't have details on his condition. but it's a rough night for of.
>> eric, when you bring up families there are so many people that want to be reunited with those inside tonight. is you said, a couple hundred. how can that reunification process take place and when should we expect that? >> there are a lot of people scattered around near the scene. i don't know how many of those people left the bar and how many of those people are from the surrounding area to cop and watch. pretty chaotic in the initial response. our first role is to get in there abdeal with the threat. so now we're backing up from that into investigative mode and trying to piece it all together. so we don't have a spec teenagi specific staging area for people who left the bar. i'm assuming some people left and went home at this point. >> tell us about the severity of the injuries to those right now the that have been transported and how many you guess have been transported? >> i'm going to let fire take
that. >> before i let you go, i know you've got a lot of work to do, we've been in this together for a long time and known each other for years. for people watching there across the country, when we say this doesn't happen up here in thousand oaks, that really is an understatement. we're talking about every single year considered to be one of the safest cities in country. this is really a sucker punch to this community. >> in a big way. that sums it up. >> eric, thank you very much. once again, i want to confirm we very 11 people injured. among those people that have been injured we are saying among that number of victims rather, there are fatalities. >> that's correct. >> we woechb give out that number at this point. >> we're still sorting through the details. as time goes on, we'll have more information on that. >> we're going to be firmly
planted my friend brian mcgrath. i know you've been trying to get whatever information you can. what can you add to what you know right now. >> the share is confirming there are 11 people involved in this. we're assessing how many we have tras ported right now and how many are walking around have minor injuries. we can't confirm the number of fatalities right now. we do have fatalities. >> when it comes to the injuries from what understand, are most of them gunshot or perhaps some of them because people were trampled in the rush to get out? >> i'm not able to verify what type of injuries they have right now i just fellow that some are minor and some wie do have some fatalities. >> have all been transported to the hospital? >> i'm working on that number right now. that number is an actively moving flub. i can't confirm if all have been
transported. >> brian olympic grath, brian, do we have a triage area set up for people that are not seriously wounded to go and see you all at some point? >> yes, right now we do have equipment staged behind me. we have equipment from l.a. city and arrived on scene to support the evolution. we activated rtf which is active shooter trained firefighters to go inside and work with law enforcement. and we do have ambulances staged closer to scene and working ob parrishs directly at the scene. >> black you tell me about the official response of firefighters here? >> initial response we upgraded right away with the mess acwe had coming in on the scene immediately upgraded more equipment to get here and asked for surrounding agencies for support. they reached out immediately and
-- >> what surrounding agencies boo sides l.a. keep the fire. >> l.a. county. >> what is the process pore you? >> right now, we have so many, so much engines and firefighters on scene that they're preparing to back fill our stations and make sure we still are providing the best possible service to the best citizens of venture raw yo.
another witness account a young lady who was with a clutch of students who came through this and lived to tell and, obviously, holding no grudges against the establishment nor do they have any reason to. they are just shattered and kind of freaked out and who can blame them. innocent night, mid-week, college students getting their party on and something went sideways. they are upright and talking and we're welcoming their stories. we'll share more as soon as they become available. reporting live at thousand oaks. >> right now it's a little bit past 1:30. let's give you a brief recap of what happened. the the initial call came in at 11:20 this evening of shots fired. came in. shots fired borderline line bar and grill. ventura county sheriff's department has confirmed that there are multiple people have
been killed and in that number we are working with there's about 11 people either injured or killed tonight, including a male deputy. >> we understand from the deputy pio there that the shooter is down inside the bar. that's all we have. we heard they were searching in and around the area presumably for evidence. we know borderline was holding a college night event when the shooting went down. the shots came in at 11:20. several hundred people we understand were inside the there are bar at the time. josh is in news chopper 4 over one of the medical centers
lot of these victims to be young people. are you familiar with this establishment? >> i am familiar with it. not that i frequent it, but i know having been there and also knowing that it does draw from college students around the area for a college night like this, not only across the hill from thousand oaks and malibu with pepp pepperdine but cal lutheran and other nearby schools. it's considered a safe place and h low key. there were about a hundred-plus people. we're still trying to get estimates of how many people were there. that contributed to the chaos,
people packed in there and then having to just scatter when this guy opened fire. apparently according to witness statements, it was indiscriminate. >> can you tell us everything that you know so far about this alleged gunman? >> that's one of the things. we don't know a lot at this point. we have a description that he was dressed in black, that he had some kind of potentially semiautomatic pistol. it's been described as an uzi type pistol by witnesses. witnesses also said a security guard was shot when he came in and opened fire. a ventura county deputy was shot. there's no word on the condition. we don't know in the terms of the injuries. they're setting it right now at 11 with multiple fatalities. those numbers could go up given the chaos at the scene. and if people were wounded,
sometimes in a mass casualty scene like this they show up later. so it's fluid and we don't know for a little while exactly what the scene is in there. our viewers remember with the pulse nightclub shooting, when you have a contained area, until you can go in there and render everything safe, you may not know exactly what you have in there. but at this point we're talking about a dozen shot, multiple fatalities at this point. >> the specific words used were the hot zone is still not secure, and it was described as the gunman is down inside the building. what does down mean? does it mean that he is injured or just in there hiding? >> it tends to mean when they use it in that way that the gunman would be injured, but it could also mean that they have been shot and killed. they usually like to use broad
terms at the beginning of any kind of incident because one of the things is to get in and ascertain tactically what they're dealing with. even if he's wounded, they're going to have to figure out how they get in there. and the other piece is rendering it safe so people who may be injured or wounded could be treated. that's the other piece of that. you have the tactical piece with the officers trying to go in and neutralize the gunman. then the next part of that is in a contained space like this restaurant, how do you go in and get the medical attention to the people that need it. >> as for the multiple victims, do we know where they were taken? >> no. i mean, there's area hospitals in the thousand oaks and also west hills hospital in the western san fernando valley. thousand oaks sits near the
border with los angeles. it's eastern ventura county, so there are hospitals both in the western county and eastern ventura county. but it's not clear exactly how many people have come in or have been treated or are walk-ins. and we haven't gotten a clear idea at this point exactly how many people may have been transported. >> as for the people who are fortunately not injured, we are looking at crowds. are they being taken to one specific place? are they free to go? >> well, with this kind of a chaotic scene, you tend to try to interview witnesses who are right there and have kind of stayed. but sometimes people leave the scene. that's part of the challenge for investigates, is you're trying to piece together a timeline and the chain of events, is to try to get as many people who were in proximity to the shooting to be able to talk to them about
what happened. and i think some of that is you can even see with some of the knbc coverage, some people have stayed around and there was one person interviewed earlier, a young man who seemed to be pretty close to -- >> let me just interrupt you for just a second. andrew, please stay with us because knbc does have another witness they're speaking to right now. to say -- i don't know for sure. i'm pretty sure i saw him. i'll never get that picture out of my head. we dropped. we heard the gun shots. a lot of gun shots. a lot of gun shots. lots. i was laying there. kind of not -- everyone was under the table so it was hard to get under there. which was my friends. i looked behind me and there was a smoke bomb going off, like see sparks. i see smoke every where.
my friends got up and we ran. by the grace of god i got to the front door. i don't know how. it's all kind of -- but i got to the front door and i ran. there are stairs over there. ran down the stairs. i fell in the parking lot. >> you were rattled by what you experienced. your generation, i'm told, comes up through active shooter drills at school. had you ever experienced a drill like something like this before? >> recently on halloween my campus kind of ran an informal lock down because a woman was in the bath room a gun. and i don't know, i hadn't heard much on it but it's awful and i mean i graduated high school in
2017, so i kind of -- i never had to practice those in high school, but i know -- i'm scared. i'm scared. >> i don't blame you. you mentioned seeing, you believe the shooter. you didn't get a great description. i won't ask you. you're rattled enough. did you see a barrel, sparks, a gun? >> it was kind of where the people go like where you pay. but i don't want to like fully, you know -- i don't want to give false information or anything like that but i know what i saw and i confirmed with my friend she saw the same kind of guy.
i've been through something so traumatizing. >> the place was well lit when this happened. >> it was not well lit. it's always very, it's kind of dim in there because it's a club. i didn't see his face or anything like that. i dropped to the floor pretty quick. but, yeah, i was able to get to the parking lot and i found some people and i was like can i get in your car? they let me in and my friend came up to me and i found her and we had her keys, and got in the car. we circled around this whole place. i was yelling her name out. she was hiding in the bushes. but, you
i'm going to step back to respect all the other reporters who want to speak with this lovely young lady. her willingness to share just takes your breath away. so others will take advantage of her kindness. i'm glad she was able to share with you and with me for the first time what she's gone through tonight. it sounds like she's ready to go home after of course debriefing with law enforcement. we'll be here for all that and
more. >> you watch that as a parent of someone who's about that age and you think to yourself, that could have been my child. i hope her parents are watching and she's contacted them and they know she's safe. she's so traumatized. she talked about hearing the gunshots, dropping to the floor, trying to find space under a table there. there was a smoke bomb. she ran out the door. she fell in the parking lot. she's a student at channel island. she was there for a fun night with her friends. >> what really got me is the fact when she said so many of 20-year-olds like sarah there, active shooters are now a part of their life. they take drills in school about it. we've come to that point.
>> that's why i asked her that question, because it did occur to me looking at all of these young people sharing these agonizing stories, that they come from a different generation. they had in my generation coming up in texas, tornado drills. those in florida, hurricane drills. in this generation coast to coast, it's active shooter drills. it's a new day. i'm not sure any of us are ready for this, but these kids are holding up. the young lady sarah rose, for the record, is a communications major. i think it's shown through tonight. >> she talked about the fact she's been through this lockdown at school, channel island school a couple of weeks ago on halloween. we remember the story. it was a woman who was in a second story with a gun in a bathroom and they locked down the school. that was considered an active
shooter. it's so sad when you think about it. >> she's out with her friends having a good time and then this happens. >> beverly, the area where you are, is that where they're keeping some of the people who were inside the club? is it a place where they're congress gra congregating to find loved ones? it is about 4:45 eastern time, 1:45 on the west coast where we are getting some breaking news a short time ago of a shooting that has taken place in thousand oaks, california, at about 2:20 a.m. eastern time is when we got the first reports of shot fired inside of this bar. we've been hearing some of the accounts from eyewitnesss.
we've been hearing a brief comment from some of the local officials responding to the scene who are describing it still as an active shooter situation, but nonetheless a very tragic situation unfolding there in thousand oaks, california. >> this is at the borderline bar and grill. this is a place that was hosting what they're calling a college country night. in the thousand oaks area of southern california, which sits about 40 mile s north of downton los angeles along the 101 freeway, there are four colleges in that community, all of whom may have sent students to that borderline bar and grill college country night. those four colleges are california lutheran, pepperdine. this is nothing that was a sponsored event by any of the
universities or colleges there. this is a very typical wednesday night evening at the borderline bar and grill. it is a very active social event. weeknights they have two step dancing. it's very much a country bar and grill. the place was supposed to be packed. they believe at least 200 were inside that bar. at this point l.a. county sheriff's department, which would be the supervising officers there on scene because it is part of ventura county specifically, they're saying there were about 30 shots fired and 11 injured in the melee here. there are reports that the shooter may be down inside. there was a young woman who was saying she eyeballed the gunman, described him as a male, didn't give any descriptions further than that. but we have yet to find out where these injured have been
taken. i do know there is the los robles hospital, an acute care hospital in the region. can you imagine, these kids go for a wednesday night, many of them probably having just gone through the election. it's been such a passionate thing with the young people around this country. and they were maybe out celebrating any number of things or just going on a wednesday night to take off the chill from their studies and have a little fun and this is what happens. >> we are still getting more information trickling in here throughout the course of the hour. one update we do have from our affiliate in los angeles, knbc, they have spoken to the ventura county sheriff's department who confirm that the shooter is down inside the bar, that he has been neutralized. not clear if that means he was shot and killed.
he may have shot himself, but we know he has been neutralized in the bar there. a witness described the sounds of smoke bombs, saying she ducked for cover under one of the tables, but saw that the assailant came in. this were smoke bombs. she saw the sparks of what she thought was gunfire. unfortunately mass shootings have become a tragic part of life here in the united states. but hearing the accounts and hearing some of these individuals that managed to get out of there, they are describing a harrowing scene. >> again, this borderline bar and grill, a couple of hundred mostly college students reported inside gathering for the theme night, college country night. >> this is a pretty safe area.
>> absolutely. thousand oaks is a really nice community. it's known to be almost sleepy in some ways. it doesn't have a lot of drama, if you will. typically a very nice safe residential community there. it does skirt the edge of the greater los angeles basin. it is technically in ventura county, but you can imagine kids coming from the area from camaril camarillo, ventura, woodland hills, thousand oaks, just making that drive of about six or seven miles through the canyon from malibu where pepperdine university sits. that would be probably normal for these kid to go that far and hit a bar like this, particularly if they're interested in the country theme night. >> let's cross over to andrew
blankstein. andrew, good to have you with us. if you can bring us up to speed in terms of what you are hearing from law enforcement officials regarding what exactly happened and if any details whatsoever that we may know about the shooter, the motivation or the scene there at this time. >> i'll start with the motive. they are saying at this point they don't know. one of the things was trying to really rush to the scene. it was such a chaotic scene. the shooting was reported at about 11:20 pacific time. according to witness accounts, the gunman came up to the bar entrance, may have shot a security guard first, went to the bar area, more shooting followed and possibly as witnesses have said, ignited the smoke bomb and then fired indiscriminately. according to the witness, obviously the next part was
trying to get law enforcement into the bar while you had people just running out and scattering or hiding there. it was very chaotic, fluid scene. even people i was talking to that were getting there even were being woken up or rushing there and had no idea what was going on. what we do know and what seems to be sorting out is that we have 11 people shot, multiple fatalities. we don't know exactly how many. there is a sense that the number may grow in terms of casualties, although that's not clear. and they can't get a solid number on how many people have been transported to local hospitals. there was a local hospital there los robles in the thousand oaks area, but there's also west hills hospital in the western l.a. area along the border between eastern ventura county and los angeles county.
as far as a motive is concerned, that's still unclear. did he target somebody in there? was it the fact that it was college night there? we just don't know. and they're not saying much other than the gunman is down. they're not even saying -- they're using terms like down or neutralized. >> so knbc reporting there were hundreds of people in the bar. we've gone with the report of about 200. can you at all address the numbers they believe were in there and the reported number of shots fired? >> the sergeant for the ventura county sheriff's department gave a number somewhere in the nature of 100 to 200 people. because people left the area
immediately, it's one of the things they'll try to piece together. people said it was fairly crowded. as far as the exact number of shots, they didn't have a number, but the witnesses did say he was firing indiscriminately. when you have that kind of numbers of casualties, you know at least enough to perhaps empty a magazine in terms of the firing when he came in. >> we have reports of a ventura deputy sheriff who is in surgery right now. do you know anything about that? there were reports of at least one officer that had been hit by gun. >> we have confirmed that there is a ventura county sheriff who was transported. they're not giving an exact condition or location of where he was taken. as typical with something like
this especially when it's law enforcement, they try to get their family notified and then we'll kind of get more information after that. >> questioning again the reporting of multiple fatalities, at this point 11 victims but not all fatal, right? >> that's right. expect those numbers to possibly grow. again, when you go in there, even when people are hiding or may be injured, you never know what happens to that number as we go forward. it's not likely to go up very high given there were a lot of people that got out of there, but that's still remains to be seen. >> andrew, i know you know the region well. i mentioned those colleges,
california lutheran, pepperdesipepperdine, channel islands. how far is cal state northridge from that area? >> that's not too far from there. if you were going for a college night or to do line dancing, that wouldn't be too much of a haul to do it. that's the thing. we're kind of tallying who attended which school as the reporters are interviewing them. so there could quite well be others from other area schools as we learn more. >> we're looking at some of the aerial images of the area and the intersection where the shooting happened. i'm curious to know if you are familiar with the area. is this a stand-alone bar or part of a strip mall?
>> typical for the area there's a lot of industrial parks and there are strip malls, but it tends to be a little more open in terms of the architecture there. the thing is that if somebody comes up there, it's quite easy to come in, park. you may not be noticed and then walk in and potentially pull something out of a bag. we don't know that, but in these more wide open areas than l.a. county that tends to be a little more densely populated. but specifically it's not clear kind of what people saw kind of leading up to this other than when he walked in and started shooting. >> andrew, i'm going to ask you to stick around for us for a little bit. we're going to talk to you again in just a moment. it is approaching the top of the
hour. i'm ayman mohyeldin. >> we're following this dramatic news from southern california. there have been a mass shooting at a very popular college town bar. >> so about 11:20 this evening our department received a call of shots fired at the borderline bar and grill. first deputies on scene entered to confront the suspect after they heard shots. i can tell you right now that we know of at least 11 victims. there are multiple fatalities. one of the victims is one of our sheriff deputies. >> pretty chilling there. we have just gotten word that the sheriff deputy is right now in surgery. several hundred people inside at the time, according to the ventura county sheriff's department. they will be taking the lead in this investigation.