tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 31, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
things like that later on down the road. >> we are going to leave you here with these images as hopefully we begin to get more information as to what happened in lower manhattan on this halloween afternoon here in new york city. who was injured, who might have been killed and what was to blam blame. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. breaking news out of new york city. the nypd confirms they're responding to reports of shots fired in lower manhattan. it's a chaotic scene not far from the world trade center right now. what appears to be victims on a bike path along the west side highway. police say one person is in custody. this is a developing new situation. it's breaking right now. we're trying to get all the details as well get them. let's get right to cnn's jason carroll in new york. jason, what more can you tell us about the incident? >> reporter: well, apparently,
jake, this started 20 or so minutes ago. that's when we first started getting reports from the nypd that there were shots fired in the downtown area you mentioned there, the area around chambers street and the west side highway. a very busy bike path. a very busy running path not far from the freedom tower as well as the world trade center memorial down there. apparently what we're hearing is that there were shots fired. there is some video there of a truck that has appeared to have crashed near the scene. you can see one of the injured people there on the video being taken away. we received reports from the nypd that one person is in custody with no others outstanding at this point. also received a report from the nypd that the -- nypd that there were multiple people injured, but at this point, jake, it's unclear about the extent of their injuries, what condition they're in at this point, but you just saw that video not too long ago of a man being sort of carted away. once again, one person in custody.
no others outstanding. reports of multiple people injured. still trying to get confirmation about how all of this started. what was the motivation for this? down there at the scene there is a school down there, a high school down there, a college down there. and once again, you can just see it right there, a very busy what's normally busy bike path and running path that's at that scene as well. the mayor has been notified about what's going on down there at the scene, and at this point just trying to verify and get some more information for you. >> all right. we've been bringing you live images from wabc, a cnn affiliate. jason, are there any indications as of now, again, this is breaking news right now. we're just getting information in. are there any indications of how many people might be injured? >> reporter: good question, jake. what we've been told, multiple people injured at this point. once again, multiple people injured, but once again, unclear as to the extent of their injuries, how they were injured. the reason i say is that, once
again, the nirinitial reports t came in from the nypd were reports of shots fired down there at the scene. it's unclear how those people were injured, for example, injured by gunfire, injured by perhaps a vehicle. again, at this point nypd working to confirm that. >> all right. jason carroll, continue to work your sources. we'll come back to you. right now i want to go to cnn's alison kosik. she's in new york city. she joins me now by phone. alison, tell us what you're seeing. >> reporter: i am standing, jake, at the corner of west street and one street in downtown manhattan. we are pretty close to the 9/11 memorial. even closer to the new york stock exchange. where i used to do a lot of reports from. i am looking at crime tape surrounding a huge radius of the area. i'm seeing at least a half a dozen ambulances. at least a dozen fire trucks as well. just the street is really cordoned off. it's hard to see exactly what the crime scene looks like.
>> alison, have you gotten -- i don't know if other people are getting the same tone that i'm getting in my ear right now, but, alison, are you -- are you -- >> reporter: i'm here. >> are you getting any witness accounts of what's going on? >> reporter: so far the people who i've talked to say said they haven't seen anything or they didn't see anything. i am working my way around the area, though. i got to a different vantage point from before when i talked with brooke. the shooting happened just down the street from at least one elementary school. each corner of the street was crowded with people, just bystanders watching what has happened. you look at the time of day, you know, today is halloween. a lot of people getting off early from work to take their kids trick or treating. it may be more crowded than it usually is. i saw a lot of young faces on either corner simply because it was time for school to get out. so a lot of people just looking and curious about what happened. overhead, we still have helicopters flying overhead as
well. >> alison, tell us what kind of neighborhood you're in right now. is this a largely commercial part of the city? is this a residential? is it a mix? >> reporter: it's definitely a mix. as you know, much of manhattan is, but this is definitely a mix. a lot of apartment buildings, a lot of restaurants around here. that particular street where the crime scene is cordoned off, i saw at least two schools on that one street. jake? >> and we've heard conflicting accounts from different witnesses about what might have happened. one account had the driver driving some sort of pickup truck perhaps into a bike path hitting people on bicycles. we've seen some scenes. but, again, this is preliminarily information from -- and there is conflicting information. what's your understanding of what might have happened? >> reporter: i haven't been able to confirm any of that, jake. i don't want to certainly say any of those details before i confirm them. like i said, there is a lot of fear. >> how many police are there?
you said about a half dozen ambulances? go ahead. >> reporter: yeah, dozens of new york police. we've got crime tape surrounding a giant radius of downtown manhattan right now. it's truly amazing. and i'm being pushed away. >> all right. alison kosik, we'll come back to you. let us know when you have new information. we are getting some new information in. again, i would remind you this is a breaking news situation so there are preliminarily reports, and as always we caution you sometimes authorities share information and it's not accurate. we will bring you the best information that we get the moment we get it. right now, new york police department sources are telling us that there are fatalities after a truck drove the wrong way down the west side highway bike path for self blocks. striking several people. we have cnn's brynn gingras on the phone for us. also in new york city. brynn, what are you learning? >> reporter: yeah, jake, have some information confirmed by the nypd sources who are on the
scene telling me that this truck, like you just mentioned, started going the wrong way on a west side bike path. that's a major bike path here in new york city that runs along the hudson river here. and continued going for several blocks before stopping at west and chambers, which isn't far from the 9/11 memorial here in the city. i'm told from my sources that that person then exited the vehicle with what looked like to be a gun and then was immediately shot by police there on the scene. that suspect then was taken into custody, is somewhat injured, not sure the extent of the injuries, but now being taken to the hospital. so certainly is still alive. now, there are fatalities in this incident i have confirmed from authorities there on the scene. the extent of those fatalities is unclear at this point, but they are from people who were on that bike path either running or biking. they did not happen after that person exited the vehicle.
this person -- at this point, rather, we've also confirmed that part of this investigation which you've already mentioned to your viewers is fluid. authorities are looking into if this is a terrorism-related incident. obviously too early to tell, but it certainly has some of those factors that we all think about with this truck going the wrong way and exiting, again, what appeared to be a gun. not sure if it's a real gun or a fake gun, but certainly that is now part of the investigation. big news here, though, is that there are a number of fatalities there on the scene on the west side highway here in new york city, jake. >> if you're just joining us, you're looking at live images from cnn affiliate wcbs from manhattan where there has been an incident with an individual driving a truck, looks like a white pickup truck, the wrong way on a bike path near the west side highway. brynn gingras just reported that according to the nypd, there are fatalities. but, brynn, just to reiterate, the driver was shot but he is
alive? >> reporter: yes. that's what i'm hearing. is alive. is in police custody and is being transported right now to the hospital. so i'm not clear on the extent of that person's injuries, but i do know that, again, the fatalities did come from this person actually driving on the west side highway bike path and not from any gun. i also know, jake, that no cops are injured in this incident either, so it does seem like the only shots that were fired were at the suspect. >> and we're told that the mayor of new york city, bill de blasio, and the governor of the state of new york andrew cuomo have been briefed and are both heading towards the scene of this incident. brynn, you said that police are looking at this potentially as a terrorist incident. we don't know obviously what it is. it could be any number of things. but we also know, having covered this now for the last several years, especially in europe,
that one way the terrorists have been told they can reek havoc and kill people, they no longer have to try to use guns or knives. they no longer have to try to come up with elaborate schemes. they can just get a car or a truck and drive it into a crowd. that unfortunately is the new normal and one presumes would be one of the things that nypd will be looking into. >> reporter: absolutely. and that's exactly what investigators know, of course, is what we have also been seeing. they know sort of the markers of what could be potential terrorism incidents. and so since they're hearing about this truck, which appears to be a rental truck, that went down this bike path, an area that, of course, people are running, they're biking, they're active at this time of day in new york city. all of these types of things adding up. obviously do raise some red flags and investigators immediately, that is one of the questions they're going to try to answer, is this terrorism-related?
that's really just a confirmation of something they're looking into but no confirmation yet as to whether this was actually a terrorism incident, jake. >> you're looking at live images right now from wcbs, a cnn affiliate in manhattan, where nypd officers tell cnn that somebody driving a white truck, it appears to be some sort of rental van, rental truck, drove the truck the wrong way on a bike path. right next to the west side highway. there are fatalities. the nypd is telling cnn the driver then got out of the truck and has been apprehended. he may have had a gun. he is in police custody right now. he is, we are told, alive. again, i could caution all viewers, all listeners, this is a breaking news situation. we just learned of this about a half an hour ago. a lot of times in incidents like this a lot of the information
the authorities have that they share with us turns out not to be completely accurate. they are doing the best they can and we are sharing with you what we are getting from law enforcement and other authorities. i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst james gagliano. he's on the phone. he's a retired fbi supervisory special agent. first of all, james, thanks for joining us. tell us about this area of manhattan. >> so, jake, i come at this two ways. one, i spent about 20 years of my 25-year career stationed at 26 federal plaza. the streets that we're talking about here, so we're talking about west street and chambers are right just outside the office and that's the route where people in lower manhattan generally head out when they're going to head north on the west side highway, which was my commute home. at this time of year with the weather still nice, there is going to be a heavy pedestrian population out on foot. we know that the city has done a great job of expanding the biking lines so a lot of the major thoroughfares have these bike paths on it. to your point aiearlier, we wan
to be careful about what we say this was with the limited information we have. but from the fbi perspective, the law enforcement perspective, we always assume the worst, we assume it's a terrorist act and work backwards. right now the police are trying to get more information. it looks like it was just one suspect or one subject. that person is in custody. the first thing police put out, which is responsible, is that they're not apparently looking for anyone else. that obviously questions people being disconcerted about whether or not there is somebody else on the move. the fact that there was a weapon involved and the fact that a lot of the bystanders there did exactly what we teach in these situations, which is run if you can, hide, fight and then tell. and a lot of these folks scattered and came back and they're sharing information with the new york city police department. and, jake, i can tell you having worked with them for two decades, finest of police department in the world. there are 35,000 of them. and, unfortunately, as you
pointed out, this is the new normal. when you can't attack hardened targets, if that's what this is, you go after softer targets. that's what this appears the the outset to be. >> right. very early, as you cautioned. as i said earlier. we heard alison kosik who was not right on the scene but close enough and she was getting pushed back by police. obviously they are trying to secure the crime scene. what does law enforcement do now? what are they going to be doing in these beginning stages? >> sure. well, initially the first thing you want to do is you want to prevent any more injuries, death, destruction, destruction of property. it appears the police responded very quickly and were able to put the gunman down very quickly. so that's number one. then number two, you want to build out in concentric circles basically the crime scene there. you don't want to lose or miss any evidence or the harvesting of that evidence that might be critical to a prosecution down
the road as well as determining whether or not this was a conspiracy or as we pointed out and there was conjecture before, just one single person or a road rage incident. all of those things are critical and you can only do that by collecting the evidence, which is going to be human intelligence, talking to people on-scene and saw it as well as harvesting the video footage from the cameras. we know manhattan is one of the most heavily photographed place places in the world. collecting all of that information and trying to piece together this puzzle. >> james, stay with us. i want to bring in cnn's shimon prokupecz. you have some breaking news, shimon. what is it? >> that's right, jake. i'm hearing from two senior law enforcement officials on the scene there in manhattan. they're told there is a briefing that is ongoing now that up to six people are now dead. this is, again, preliminarily as they're still working through all of the injuries. my understanding, jake, from
what i'm being told is that this vehicle drove from lower manhattan to chambers street. for anyone who knows manhattan, that's probably up to 20 blocks if not longer along this bike path. so clearly that is leading investigators to believe that this was a deliberate act. the person it seems, the driver who is now i'm told in custody, seems like he got on the bike path at houseton street and drove downtown towards chambers street, striking bicyclists, other pedestrians who were on that path, which is investigators now believe there are perhaps as many as six dead. >> what a horrific thing. just if you're joining us right now, you're looking at pictures from wcbs, a cnn affiliate in manhattan. there is -- there has been a horrible incident. we just heard from shimon prokupecz who said that two law enforcement officials on the scene are getting information right now and everybody needs to understand and shimon cautioned, i cautioned, gagliano cautioned,
all of this information is preliminary. all of this information is the law enforcement officials telling us what they're hearing right now and it could change. but we are being told -- shimon is being told that up to six people have been killed in this incident. where somebody was driving a van or a truck of some sort on a bike path, just taking down cyclists and runners and pedestrians in manhattan. cnn law enforcement analyst art roderick joins me now. art, formerly with the us marshals service. when you hear a vehicle was going on a bike path killing cyclists and pedestrians, what goes through your mind? >> well, especially based on shimon's report that it travelled, you know, 20 blocks down that road, that is obviously a deliberate act. and i know it's still early on and in early stages, but law enforcement's going to respond to incidents like this as if it was a terrorist event and work
backwards from there. so they came out fairly early and said that they believe that this individual acted alone, but, you know, in other parts of the city, other parts of that area, there are also other law enforcement calls going on. law enforcement is responding to those also, but also checking those off the list and making sure they're not particularly associated with this event here on this bike path. but you can see there was a huge law enforcement response which you're going to get in this area. nypd probably the most experienced in the world at doing this. you heard them take down this individual very quickly, so now it's just a matter of sorting this out and making sure that this individual acted by himself. >> and obviously this is the nightmare for anyone in law enforcement, no matter what you do, no matter what nypd or the fbi or anyone else tries to do to make cities safe. at the end of the day, there are always going to be soft targets and people are always going to have access to cars or trucks, and for that reason this is the
kind of attack, and we don't know exactly what this was yet except a horrific incident, but this is the kind of attack that we've seen theoretically in new york. but more importantly, we have seen in action in europe where individuals seeking to do harm have -- have not had to worry about complicated schemes involving bombs or airplanes. they've just gotten their hands on trucks and driven them into crowds. art? >> yeah, no, you're exactly right, jake. again, we go back. we look at the terrorist attacks that we've seen over the past two or three years and we know that al qaeda and other terrorist groups have put out a call to use whatever you can, whether it's a bicycle, a vehicle, a bus, a truck, whatever, and try to take out as many people as you can. and, again, i know this is early on, but when you have a relentless truck it looks like from a rental company that drives that many blocks down a
bike trail and we have so far initial reports that six people have been killed, obviously it sounds like this is fairly -- this individual did this purposefully. now we just have to figure out exactly what the motive is. >> i want to bring back cnn's brynn gingras who is still on the phone with us in new york city. brynn, you have some new reporting. what is it? >> reporter: we just, you know, learned about the suspect. talking about what his condition might be. as we said earlier, the suspect upon exiting the vehicle, i'm told by sources he was shot and brought to the hospital. i've been told by sources that he was shot in the leg and brought to the hospital in police custody. so we do know obviously not a serious injury, which hopefully will help investigators, you know, in the future figure out exactly what happened here. also want to stress preliminarily reporting from my colleague shimon prokupecz. he's in d.c. talked to two law enforcement sources. again, very preliminarily, as many as six people were killed in this incident. i'm hearing from my sources that
that number was up there as well. so we are talking about multiple injuries here on the west side highway, jake. >> if you're just joining us, you're looking at live pictures from new york city where there has been a horrific incident in manhattan. where it appears somebody rented a truck of some sort and drove that truck for several blocks on a bike path just mowing down cyclists and pedestrians and runners. shimon prokupecz is here with me and said two law enforcement sources told him recently that according to the latest information they had, six people had been killed. six innocent people. >> that's what they had. that was preliminarily info. they were basing that off of some of the emergency medical service teams that were on the scene. this person told me -- one of the people told me he was in a briefing so we couldn't really talk for long. then i spoke to a second official, a more senior person, who said he was hearing up to six dead. again, you know, we're still trying to definitively confirm,
but this is what law enforcement is hearing. and what struck me was when this source told me where the vehicle, where this pickup truck appeared to have gone on to the bike path and how far down it went. that is quite a stretch for anyone who knows new york city. to go from houston street almost to chambers street. >> for those who don't know manhattan, it is in the southern part of manhattan. it runs roughly east to west. and you're saying it went all the way on the bike path all the way to chambers. >> that's what witnesses are telling police. along that path, there were various injured people so that's what's leading officials to believe that this was a deliberate -- a deliberate act right now. >> if we can get the picture of the truck back on the screen, it appears to be a home depot truck, unless i'm reading that incorrectly. and there it is. there is a side view of that
truck. we don't know exactly what caused the crash, but apparently the driver came out of that truck and we're told, according to witnesses, fired shots and then he was shot by police in the leg. he is alive, the shooter, the driver of this vehicle. i want to bring back cnn law enforcement analyst james gagliano. he's a retired fbi supervisory agent. what more can you tell us about now that we have more information? >> so, jake, we know that the fbi's joint terrorism task force is on scene now and the way these things typically happen, obviously we assume the worst, right? we assume it's terrorism until proven otherwise. the nypd will handle this as an assault or a vehicular homicide case, but the fbi will work in concert with them, and that's all due to a presidential decision directive 39 from back in 1995 that basically gives counterterrorism matters the authority over them to the fbi.
i have to say, in new york city, as you pointed out earlier how this paradigm is shifting, it's so difficult with the hardened targets and the great job that the nypd does as well as the fbi. they've got 1,200 agents that work in new york city. it's very difficult to do something on the scale of a world trade center attack or an attack on a hardened target. this really is the new paradigm we're seeing, where folks are looking at these vehicles and in these places that we have that don't have concrete barriers established that basically can separate vehicular from pedestrian traffic, it just makes these places enticing targets, and i fear that's probably what this is going to turn out to be now, a soft target attacked by somebody with a vehicle and armed with a handgun. >> shimon, you have some new reporting. >> some more details here that i'm getting. i'm told this happened just after 3:00. and as we've been saying, this pickup truck with appears to be from home depot, according to
information that i have now, hopped on into the -- on to the curb, into the bike path and then drove south on the west street bike path where it appears at this point that the driver struck several people, hitting them from behind. he then keeps driving and at some point hits a school bus where you'll see this is how this vehicle gets damaged, which you can see in video now. what i'm told is as he was driving he eventually perhaps tried to get away and struck a school bus. at some point police encountered him and shot him. so now he's at bellevue hospital. police know who he is. they have a description of him. i'm not going to share that at the moment, but they know who he is. he is alive at the moment. and basically looks like, you know, they're going to try to talk to him. i'm going to stop right there in terms of all of the information, but that is what we can report
at this moment. >> we are expecting a briefing from nypd at any moment. we're told that mayor de blasio is in lower manhattan approaching if not at the scene of this horrific incident where up to six people have been killed by a truck driving on a bike path in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to take life by an individual in such -- in the white truck that you see right now. james gagliano, formerly of the fbi, one thing that i know from reporting on some of these police incidents is that if that suspect, if the person driving that truck was shot in the leg, he got lucky because cops are not trained -- it's not like in tv or movies where they try to, like, shoot you in the leg. they are trying to department you, they go for the body mass, the torso. if they hit him in the leg and departmented h disarm him, he got lucky he didn't get hit somewhere more
lethal. >> absolutely, jake. that's a common misnomer about cops being trained to shoot to wound or warning shots or shoot weapons out of people's hands. that's just not the case. you an trained to shoot center mass. obviously some of the incidents of recent where people are armed with body armor on, then you have to follow up to another part of the body afterwards, something that is not covered by the body armor. in this instance, i have no doubt that the nypd folks that confronted him were aiming center mass. very difficult if he's getting in or out of the car or moving, it's very difficult to hit someone in that situation. we're just lucky he's in custody. the good news in this, if there is any good news to be gleaned from this, is they now have the intelligence they're going to be able to harvest from talking to this individual and if he was doa, that would not be the case. >> art roderick, let me bring you back now that we have new information with this truck plowing into bike riders and joggers and pedestrians in new
york city on this bike path on the west side. your thoughts about where the law enforcement investigation will go from here? >> i mean, it's obviously moving very quick and information is coming out rapid pace at this particular point. if you remember what we just went through at the horrific event in las vegas, it was -- it took a long time for information to come out. with this individual being alive and the nypd and the jttf, the joint terrorism task force, debriefing him now at this point, this should move very rapidly. they should come up with a motive and find out if he acted by himself, what was his reason for doing this, but, i mean, it has a lot of hallmarks of what we've seen in the past, both here in the u.s. and overseas as far as some type of terrorist attack goes. obviously that has not been confirmed yet, but they are moving very quickly on this investigation and with the individual being alive, they should have intelligence coming
in very, very quick. >> and, james, i'm told that there is a halloween parade every year in greenwich village. how close is that to this area? >> it's merely blocks away, jake. the area down there, i mean, post-9/11, the nypd kind of reconfigured and reconstructed they're area down there which is known as tribeca. for folks that are not new yorkers, that stands for the triangle below canal street. canal street runs west to east and then you've got the triangle in lower manhattan. that's essential where this happened, a few blocks south of canal street. jake, you know the area well. i worked down there for 20 years. at this time of year, it's heavily congested. obviously being halloween night, you mentioned the parade that is going to be in greenwich. there are a number of parades and parents out trick or treating with their kids. it couldn't have been a worse time for the good guys. >> yeah, no, if you're just joining us, there has been a
horrific incident in lower manhattan where an individual got behind the wheel of a white truck. it appears a rental truck of some sort and drove on a bike path parallel to west side highway. drove for several blocks. apparently, according to witnesses and according to law enforcement, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians and runners. shimon prokupecz, you tell us that your law enforcement sources are telling you that at least six people have been killed and the shooter is -- the driver is not one of them. he apparently has survived, although he's in custody. >> yeah, he's in custody. police know who he is. they have identified him. let's just say they know a lot about him already, based on what i'm being told by several law enforcement sources now. >> you mean by that, somebody that was already on their radar? >> no, now they have his identity. they are talking to him. so i think they have some suspicions about motive at this point, and that's really as far as i think we can go at this
point. >> with the giant caveat that everything is preliminarily right now, is -- are they looking, are they suspicious? we've already been told by two former law enforcement officials that they always assume the worst, in that case this would be terrorism. is that what your sources are telling you? >> essentially, yes. at this point, you know, absent any other information, i think it's safe to say that. in terms of this is always the suspicion among investigators initially. this is the hallmark of an attack, this type of terrorist attack. it's a hallmark style. so undoubtedly it would lead investigators to right away assume that this is terrorism. >> and, james gagliano, formerly of the fbi, you couldn't even think of a softer target. you're talking about a bike path where there aren't even -- there isn't even access for a police car to drive on. >> sure. and, jake, i wrote a piece for cnn opinion a couple of months
back and it was related to the proliferation of these vehicle attacks on soft targets in europe. and i stressed and said we can harden all the targets that we want. we can make it impossible to get on planes with a weapon, we can make security screenings at events or any kind of arena or stadium around the country, you know, basically unbreachable, but until we're in a position where we're going to be able to separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic, this new paradigm, that's what's it is, a new normal of folks saying, hey, plin listen, i can go rent a vehicle. and then drive it into pedestrian traffic. we're going to have to relook at how we separate pedestrians from motor vehicles. i think concrete barriers are going to be the answer. if this turns out to be a terrorist attack, that is
something that new york city and other major metropolitan areas are going to give great consideration to, jake. >> we're being told right now, shimon's sources, that the nypd, the new york police department, is going to have a briefing about this horrific incident at 5:15. so in roughly 45 minutes. obviously cnn will bring that to you live. art, what else is going through your mind as you -- as we cover this story, this horrific story. somebody, it looks like renting a truck with the expressed purpose of driving it to mow down as many people as possible on a bike path on the west side of manhattan? >> well, i mean, just to add on to what jim had talked about about soft targets, i mean, we cannot harden every single soft target in this country. but jim is right, as far as bike trails go, there are ways to somewhat harden those. and unfortunately every time we have one of these incidences, we look at, okay, how do we harden this particular area?
how do we harden that particular area? you know, just a couple of weeks ago we were talking about vegas and how to harden these venues where there is a large gathering of people. this is just another area where there is a large gathering of people. luckily this happened at 3:20 to 3:30 in the afternoon. granted there are a lot of people on the bike trail, but luckily it wasn't at 6:00 or 6:30 at night when the parade was supposed to kick off when you've got thousands of family members out there trick or treating with their children. >> cnn's alison kosik in new york city for us. she joins us again. alison, what are you learning? >> reporter: i did talk with oneone witness, jake, who said he did see two -- a pickup truck that slammed into at least two men. he also saw then the pickup truck slam into a school bus. he said that the bus didn't seem like it was full at the time, but he said his first thought was, you know, he was so scared
for the kids. and of course people were on the ground. he also said at some point during the chaos, he heard at least two gunshots. jake? >> alison, just to clear it up for us, you night not have the answer, was anybody in the school bus? was it a school bus with children in there? >> reporter: he said there were some in there, but it was not a full school bus. he couldn't tell exactly how many were on the bus. interestingly enough, around the radius that has been cordoned off by the crime scene tape, there are a lot of schools. at least two elementary schools. there is a community college and a middle school as well. parents are literally standing outside of the windows of at least one of these elementary schools and talking with their kids. these parents tell me they got e-mails around 3:00 that the schools were under lockdown because of the shooting. jake? >> do we know if any of the kids were hurt? >> reporter: the ones in the
school hurt, they're under lockdown. >> i mean the ones in the school bus. >> reporter: i don't know about the condition of the children inside the school bus. i don't know how many people were actually on that school bus. it was one of the smaller school busses, it wasn't one of the real large ones. >> i'm sorry to put you on the spot, but did the witness say anything about whether the drive purposely drove into this school bus? >> reporter: yes, he says that the pickup truck driver did purposely drive into the school bus, jake. >> another gruesome detail. alison kosik, thank you so much. brynn gingras has a witness. let's listen in. >> -- and that's when i got interested and i turned around to go see what happened and at that point i saw a man laying on the ground who appeared to have been shot, and right next to him there was another man who was being arrested. he wasn't putting up a fight. he was on his knees, had his hands on his head, and right next to him was the white pickup truck. it had home depot logos on it.
the front was entirely smashed in and it had smoke coming out of it. at that time is when another police officer announced there was another suspect who ran into the park and they began to chase after him. the rest of the police officers that were there knowing there was an active shooter gathered everybody up and made us go across the street so we wouldn't be involved or couldn't get hurt. so that's everything that i was able to see. >> reporter: what was it like on the street, on the west side highway as this was all unfolding? >> it was a lot of panic. everyone was on their phones, you know, just scared, trying to call people and tell them what happened. there was a lot of chaos, but everyone seems okay. everyone -- a lot of people were worried because they were right by the school. there were a lot of kids around, but it seems like everything hopefully is doing all right right now. >> did you see -- >> was there any sort of warning? take me up to what led to all the chaos. >> it happened out of nowhere. i was walking down the street.
it was a normal day and just out of nowhere i see people -- i see people running and screaming. and then just multiple gunshots, one after another. i mean, it was just completely unexpected. >> how quickly did the police come on the scene? >> the police were already there when i got there. >> did you see a school bus involved? >> how are you holding up after all of this? >> i'm doing all right. i'm happy there aren't more casualties than there were. the safety of everyone else is my concern. >> you mentioned a school, did you see a school bus. >> i only saw one man laying on the ground who appeared to be injured. >> did you see the truck actually drive up? >> no, i saw the truck after it was in the accident. i saw smoke coming out of it, but i didn't see the actual collision. i heard it was with a bus, but i didn't see the actual bus. >> what kind of bus, a school bus? >> i'm not sure. i heard a bus. >> did the man looked like he was armed? >> the man who was being arrested was not putting up any fight. i heard that the man who did the
shooting got out of the car with two guns in his hand, but that's something i heard. >> what did he look like? old, young, tall, short? >> the man i saw looked about 30, a larger man. but i didn't get a great view of him. the other man that ran, i never saw at all. >> when you say not putting up a fight, did it look like he was injured? >> no he was on his knees. he had his hand behind his back. it seemed like a normal arrest. >> did he seem calm? what was his demeanor like? >> his face was away from me so i just saw the back of his head, but he didn't seem like he was putting up a fight. he was just, you know, on his knees getting arrested. >> did you happen to see the west side highway after the fact. did you see people, how they looked? >> there were police going on the highway. traffic was completely stopped. i mean, it was a mess for at least an hour, the roads, but that's the least of anybody's concern. >> as far as injuries, though.
>> take us from your perspective. >> i was walking down the west side highway -- [ inaudible question ] . >> on the west side highway, but -- [ inaudible question ] >> roughly 3:30 or so. it's a tough question. >> what did you see first? >> the first thing i noticed was the man laying on the ground surrounded by police officers. and then immediately after that he was right next to the other man who was being arrested. and then after that, i noticed the car that was clearly destroyed. yes, the home depot truck. >> the person who was hurt, how did they get treated? did an ambulance come for them? >> yes, i saw an ambulance rolling up. we had to leave before he was put into the ambulance. i wasn't able to see whether he was dead, alive, anything like that. when i saw him he was laying face down on the street clearly looking severely injured. >> did anybody try to help him?
>> no, there were police on the scene already. i'm sure if samaritans tried to they would have been told to go back. >> how about the people that were injured -- >> i was extremely thankful for the women that -- and children that were running towards me because if they weren't there, i most likely -- the time it took me to get there, i would have been right at the shooting when it took place. >> how about the people injured -- >> yeah, definitely chaos. there was a lot of people seemed very scared. but, i mean, everyone also that i saw was just thankful that they weren't right there. >> did you see a lot of kids around? >> it was right when school was getting out. there were lots of kids, yeah. >> did you see people running towards -- we've heard fatalities on the west side highway. >> i didn't see too many people going towards it. a lot of people were walking past it, just had places to go. that's how new york can be sometimes. >> the man on the ground who was not the perpetrator, the man on the ground who was not the perpetrator, was he injured?
if he was injured, how do you think he got injured? was he shot, was he hit by a vehicle? >> so he was laying face-down on the ground -- >> reporter: jake, if it's okay with you, we're going to go to another witness who saw all of this unfold. sir, what is your name? >> eugene duff. >> reporter: eugene, where were you when all of this happened? >> i was coming out of work. i work on pier 26. i was walking down the world trade center. when i'm on west streetwalking and i'm getting ready to cross the street because the light was taking a long time. i said to myself, wow, this light's taking a long time, all the cars are flying by. when the light finally changed, i hear a commotion, a girl screaming at the top of her lungs. i'm like, it's halloween, maybe somebody's spooked. so when i go back to the sidewalk, i look down and i see a white pickup truck like a couple of more blocks down in the bike path. so automatically i know something's wrong. then as i go down to more towards where the girl is screaming, i see two gentlemen
laying there and they have tire track marks across their bodies. one guy, you know, you could tell -- they both weren't here. so while i'm -- i'm looking to see if anybody else was injured or, you know, maybe somebody needs help. for some reason, i went back that way. i don't know why. i kept walking down and when i heard more people screaming and running across the bridge over here, i started hearing gunshots, nine to ten gunshots. and i had only seen two cops. they were ducked down like hiding trying to get out of the way. so i'm assuming that the guy was driving crazy got out and started shooting. that's the only thing i could think of. >> reporter: so you actually saw the truck coming down the wrong way on the bike path and actually hitting people? >> i didn't see him hit people. >> reporter: just heard the screams. >> i heard the girl screaming. she must -- we were standing this close together. >> reporter: did you see when the truck actually came to a stop? >> no, i didn't see when it stopped. but i went down more and i saw
the yellow school bus in the middle of chambers. the whole middle was smashed in and then the pickup truck hit another car, and that's when he stopped and got out -- i guess was shootings. >> reporter: can you describe that moment can you describe that moment when the truck actually stopped after going the wrong way on the west side highway. >> you hear -- once all the screening stopped, you hear -- the gunshots. i heard nine to ten gunshots. that's when i was, you know, ducking out of the way because i don't know what's going on. then you see all the police, all the undercover cops, esu, all of them running this way because they don't know what's going on. all they know is shots are fired. they didn't know the bodies were there. i was like, look, these bodies are here. they're like what happened? a guy was driving down the bike lane running people over. >> reporter: what happened after the shots were fired? you see the man out of the car. what did you see next? >> all the police ran that way. all the police were there
already and all the screaming and yelling and running stopped. so i was allowed to walk more down west street. when i got there, i saw the bus crash, i saw the pickup truck was crashed into another car. what was happening in the middle? i didn't see the commotion in the middle there. >> reporter: you didn't get a glimpse of his demeanor. >> i didn't see his face. i didn't any anything of him. >> reporter: what are you thinking knowing what's happened all around the world seeing that truck go the wrong way. >> i thought automatically this area it was terrorists. it's 3:00 in the afternoon. it's a nice day. people are in the park. somebody driving on the sidewalk. i mean, i guess with everything going on in the world, everybody's automatically thinks of a terrorist attack. i'm not sure what's going on. i still don't know what happened. i've just been talking to reporters since it all happened. >> reporter: and as far as the people that you saw, commotion i imagine? terrified. >> they've got to be feeling worse than i do. they must have actually saw the people get hit and die. >> reporter: all right. thank you so much for giving us
a glimpse into what happened here. jake, you can see behind me we are several blocks actually now from the west side highway where this all unfolded. police have kept that area clear and it's a huge commotion in this busy part of the city. as everyone like this gentleman is trying to figure out what unfolded. people piecing together an event, series of events that went several blocks. certainly we're going to try to get you more information, but, of course, jake, as we've been telling you, we've confirmed that there are multiple fatalities on the west side highway and we're expecting an updated briefing in about 30 minutes or so from the nypd about what happened here, jake. >> all right. brynn gingras bringing us eyewitness accounts from lower manhattan. i have here with me in studio, former director of national intelligence under president obama retired general james clapper. general, before i get to you, shimon prokupecz has some breaking news that might bear on your take on this horrific incident. >> that's right, jake.
so what we're told, i'm told by three sources now that the nypd and the fbi are investigating this as a terrorism incident. our understanding is that according to witnesses who police have now talked to, they're saying -- they're telling police that they heard the driver saying, yelling allahu akbar, allahu akbar, during this incident. which is now leading authorities to believe that this is as a result that this is now a terrorism case and i'm just getting an update now that the fbi istakingoverthiscase because it appears now that this is terrorism. >> the arabic chant allahu akbar, god is great. sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances and too often we hear it being said in moments like this. general clapper, when you were director of national intelligence, you had afternoons like the one that the director of national intelligence dan coats is having right now. what goes through your mind? and what are the actions that you're ordering the intelligence
agencies to take? >> well, one incident that comes to mind by the boston marathon attack. and of course the first reports as we've seen here very graphically always some confusion and inconsistency. one key thing, i think, though, will happen is whether this person was on anyone's radar scope, either the fbi and/or nypd. and then, of course, the question is, well, how intrusive should law enforcement and/or intelligence be? whenever we have these incidents, the critique normally is we should have been more intrusive. there should have been more surveillance. this is exactly what happened after the boston marathon. of course, regrettably this method of operation now, a simple thing like a truck which can be turned into a terrorist weapon, and once again, it appears that we're seeing an
example of that. >> and we're looking right now. the yellow on your screen, this is a map of lower manhattan. there is ouston street. the west side highway is on the left part of the island. this stretch, this long stretch. general clapper, trying to mow down cyclists and runners and then according to at least one witness who spoke with alison kosik, deliberately trying to ram into and succeeding in ramming into a school bus. you can't -- i can't think of anything more horrific. >> it's hard to comprehend. it always has been for me. what moves a human being to do that to other human beings. it's beyond comprehension to me and how people become persuaded to do that. >> i know it leaves a lot of people tasked with keeping us safe at a loss and also trying to figure out -- you talked
about should there be more surveillance, should the law enforcement be more intrusive or not? i'm sure in the coming days we'll find out ways in which this person may or may not have been on the radar of law enforcement or perhaps not. perhaps he was self-motivated and nobody had any idea. we don't know at this point. what would intelligence agencies be doing right now? >> well, if they had an identity of him, obviously this would lead, i think, to a search of his residence. any media he had. was he in contact with terrorists that were invoking him to take some action? so they'll spread the tentacles out, the information tentacles to learn all we can about this person, and, of course, was he part of a cell or not or was he acting alone? >> yeah. and then, of course, the other fact is we know -- we've heard that since people were killed in
this horrific incident. it looks like a terrorist attack. but he was not. he has been taken alive. police shot at him. they hit his leg and then apparently, according to some of the witnesses we heard, he did surrender. that could be important, but hold on one second, general, but shimon, you have some news? >> this is -- the news basically is that the fbi's joint terrorism task force is taking over as lead of the investigation. so they will work with the nypd. you know, this will be a joint investigation by the nypd and with the fbi, you know -- it's important to note that the nypd has put all sorts of safety measures in place along that west side highway in anticipation of something like this happening. so they're going to have to go back and figure out exactly how this happened down the line. but this is -- this will be something that they have trained for and obviously something that they have put protection in place to prevent something
happening here. but the lead here now obviously is that the fbi has taken this over because there is evidence that this was a terrorist act. >> general clapper, what is the significance for law enforcement, for investigators, for intelligence that the driver of this truck has been taken alive? >> well, this is quite significant, i think, because for once maybe you'll get some insight into what exactly motivated him. it will also be interesting to see whether or not isis makes a claim of responsibility for this. which is very convenient for them to do when the perpetrator is dead. in this case, maybe we'll gain some information and insight into what led to this. >> hold right there. i want to bring back brynn gingras who has another witness. brynn, can you hear me? if the witness is still there, we'd love to hear from him. >> reporter: yeah, we do have that witness right here. jake, you said you were right in the area of when this all ended,
when this crash happened. tell me exactly what you saw. >> okay. so i just got out from the bncc main building. so i saw a truck is hit by something. i thought it was an accident on west street. so i just went there to see what happened. then i saw a guy with two guns. he is just running in the middle of the street. on the intersection of west street and chambers street. so i thought he was just for halloween or something. i didn't pay attention. so i went to the other bridge to get from the top. so there are students, three or four students that told me the guy is a shooter and cops are on him. so the guy was still in the middle of the street. he was just running around. >> reporter: he was running around with guns out, that you thought were guns? >> two guns in his hand. i was just recording what happened. that time i heard five, six gunshots and i was -- i didn't see what happened because i was scared. so i was just laying down. and the girls they were just shouting did he see the cops
just shot him. and then i looked on the video, he was on the ground and the cops just got him. >> reporter: what did he -- did he say anything? >> i didn't hear anything he said because i -- the bridge is loud so you can't hear what's happening outside. but i didn't see him saying anything. he was just running around randomly. >> reporter: when you say randomly, was he manic? did he seem calm? >> he was scared, too. but he was running like there is no direction. the other guy was just chasing him. he was just a civilian i guess because he had no cop uniform or anything. >> reporter: thank you so much for your account. we appreciate that. jake, he's actually working to send me that video right now so we can get a look at what he saw from his camera lens. we'll go back to you right now. >> all right. brynn gingras in lower manhattan bringing us a live witness account of this terrible incident. i want to pop back in with jason carroll in new york. you have some new reporting. what do you have? >> reporter: i want to clear up some information for you.
a spokesperson from home depot has confirmed to cnn that one of their relentless cars was used in this particular incident. we've seen it on tape. they said their rental truck was used in this incident in lower manhattan and at this point are cooperating with authorities. just to recap just a little bit here, as you know it was a bit earlier when the vehicle entered the west side pedestrian bike path. it's a very popular bike path running north/south. i run that path all the time. every other day. i know exactly where this is. he entered the bike path a few blocks north of chambers street. it continued down south striking another vehicle. the suspect then apparently exited his vehicle displaying some sort of fake firearm. at that point he was then shot by the nypd. as you've heard from our reporting there from shimon and from some others that the suspect is in custody apparently
yelling allahu akbar at a certain point when he got out. joint terrorism task force is on the scene. i know, jake, you also raised the question a little earlier when talking to my colleague alison kosik about some of those who were in the school bus that was apparently involved when there was some sort of a car accident down there at a certain point. we are hearing that four members of the school bus that were removed. they have minor injuries, but, unfortunately, we are also hearing as that truck drove down the west side highway, there were at least six fatalities. jake? >> all right. thank you so much, jason carroll. general clapper, i wonder -- we've talked before about how people like you when you were director of national intelligence, you have to be right 100% of the time. not just you, but everyone who serves under you. the cia, the nsa, the fbi, everybody in the joint terrorism task force, the nypd, et cetera. why is it do you think that
there are more incidents like this in europe than there are in the united states? this is a horrific incident. i don't want to belittle it. but why is it that we haven't seen more of this? >> well, i do think many of the things that we've instituted since 9/11 do have -- have had an impact. and i would compliment the nypd, which is -- has fantastic insight and understanding of, you know, these potential threats. but it's never iron clad. you just can't guarantee that. you know, one is too many. >> yeah. >> and we shouldn't take too much stock in the fact that we have less of it in this country than we do in europe. >> no, but i do note that this has been going on for several years in europe. i guess it was only a matter of time, james gagliano formerly of the fbi, i guess it was only a matter of time that this technique, presuming that this is a terrorist attack, one carried out by a radical islamic
terrorist based on the eyewitness accounts and nypd is hearing of somebody yelling allahu akbar after the incident. it was only a matter of time that we would start to see the incidents that happened in germany, in nice, et cetera, where terrorists grabbed a vehicle and just used that as a weapon. >> also in london, jake. to the general's point, i mean, look at the symmetry of what just occurred here in new york and lower manhattan and what happened on the london bridge. in that instance, the folks that perpetrated that were wearing fake explosive vests. in this instance, the reporting that we just got stated that the subject jumped out of the vehicle with a fake handgun. so we know in these instances the perpetrators of these attacks, they're not looking to negotiate. they're not looking to take time and talk to police and try to work something out. they're looking to either kill themselves or be killed by a police officer. and i know it's too early to say that, but, jake, i've just got to bookend it this way, if this turns out to be a terrorism
attack, and that's what the fbi is treating it as right now, this will be the first successful one that involved casualties in new york city since september 11th of 2001. >> although there certainly have been attempts prior. the times square bomber, for example. art roderick, what's your final thought on this? >> well, i think, you know, we talk about the joint terrorism task force, for people that don't know that out there, this is a task force made up of multiple state, local and federal agencies. it's not just in manhattan or new york, they're all around the country in every state, in every district around the country. i can tell you the minute something like this happens, communiques go out, e-mails go out to all of the joint terrorism task forces all around the country with as much information they can put out initially which puts everyone on alert to look for these types of incidents in other part of the u.s. that's a benefit that we have
that europeans don't have. >> general clapper, i know law enforcement right now concerned about figuring out who this individual is, trying to figure out how many people were killed or wounded by it, but also making sure there are aren't copycats and also making sure there isn't another attack coming. often we see in pakistan and israel, there is an attack and as police and ambulances come, terrorists stage another attack. >> exactly. and to the point just made here about the importance of all of the jttfs, i think there are some 104 of them around the country, all being on alert to look for a similar circumstance. and we have made a lot of progress, i believe, in sharing from the federal, state, local and private sector and particularly between the fbi and police forces. and the jttf in new york is the oldest one in existence and also one of the largest ones. and while the fbi may be in the lead, the nypd