tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN August 3, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
thafr thank you for being with me. police in el paso say they are responding to an active shooter situation, they are warning people to a vow hawkins and gateway east. ro rosa flores is joining us with this. this is a shopping strip. what more do we know about whether there is one potential gunman or multiple? >> we have limited information at this point. but what we do know and this is gist into our newsroom, at least one person has been injured and this is at el paso walmart. like you said, this is a the area. actually one of our center and they says on a normal weekend, there is a lot of people shopping at this shopping center. we've also learned that three
businesses are on lockdown and these three businesses are reportedly around this shopping center, around this walmart. these businesses are a seafood house, hooters and also red lobster. we're getting reports from witnesses on the scene who say that there were people running around, they could hear helicopters overhead, police responding to the scene. of course very active scene and very active situation and police and fire asking people to avoid this area because it is still an active scene. and police of course responding. we don't know anything about the potential shooter or shooters at this time, but we're asking those questions hoping to learn more. but again, the learned here in the cnn newsroom is inthat at least one person h been injured. he we're trying to get more information. >> and just looking at that
aerial shot, that google map, difficult to discern whether that is an enclosed mall. you know, it certainly is a collection of a variety of stores there. you mentioned the three rather sizable restaurants that are on lockdown. do we know anything more about this mall, whether it is open or a closed mall? >> you nknow we don't. but we're trying to learn more information. and just thinking about the time of year, fred, we're very close to start of the school year. so some of the things that could be happening at walmart, families going to this shopping center, and others around to get school supplies. that of course is a huge concern. but again, the latest report that we have into our newsroom is that at least one person is injured. >> all right. rosa flores, keep us posted. thank you so much. let's talk further, with mimi now, jonathan, first, given
us an idea of how law enforcement approaches situation like this. >> and these are very dynamic and unpredictable situations. when police first get report of an active shooter, right now el paso police and responding law enforcement have a very wide area of operation that they nee threat immediately. so they stop the active shooter. terminology here is key. active shooter means that there is a suspect or multiple suspects that are engaged in the act of shooting a weapon. and causing destruction and harm to individuals and property. so it is key here that they are still utilizing the word that it is an active scene and active shooter. so that means that law enforcement has yet to address at threat and mitigate it. so the public should heed the warning that is being put out to
stay away from this area because you could be put in harm's way. >> and some of the businesses are on lockdown. help folks understand the strategy involved there when you have a lockdown situation, you still have an active shooter and people might be worried about, you know, being more vulnerable when they are asked to stay put. >> so just picking up on what jonathan said in terms of how to read at least what we know now coming out of the police, i think given the amount of time that it has been since the first tweet to now, one has to assume that there is something in terms of their inability to get the shooter or shooters. so there is a variety of options that we tell the public. when you are in law enforcement, one is run. but in this case it appears that because they don't know where the active shooters are or the people or person are isolated to say the walmart, everyone else is much safer barricading inside, not being vulnerable to stray bullets or any sort of
shootings that mayo did your. and that is what the police are asking them to do. the fact that the walmart seems to be a focus and jonathan knows that you have workplace violence issues and family issues that may get a little bit violent. i don't know about the walmart rules in he wiel paso. but there is a lot of variables right now. but in terms of protecting the vast majority of the public, you got to stay put. and if you think someone you know is in the area, just stand back for now unfortunately. >> and jonathan, you know, talk about the resources. for local authorities to be able to handle and how they approach something like this, and at what point do federal authorities get involved? >> i'm sure federal authorities are going to be immediately involved. but first responders are the el paso police.
there are takctical units. they have mandatory raining around these protocols. and so they take a public/private partnership in terms how do they address and respond to these critical incidents of active shooter situatio situations. so immediately the first responders on scene, first law enforcement officer that arrives, their duty is to go in and address that threat to try to put that threat down immediately. that is a challenging situation right now. we are talking about a very large area, whether it is walmart, the mall that is next door, reports that where coming into 911 and other sources, also that can lead to some sort of chaos or confusion for responding officers. so right now in the immediate action, it is command and control, containment and addressing that threat. >> and so our affiliate is responding too that multiple
victims are involved here. we don't know the extent of injuries or status, but that many have been injured. democratic presidential candidate and former texas congressman beto o'rourke is responding to this tweeting out truly heartbreak, stay safe el paso. follow all directions as we continue to get more updates. julia, what are your thoughts and concerns based on very thin information that we have, just that it is active? >> and we'll be super careful about what we know now and just reminding people last sunday, the original reports were that the police had killed the shooter in -- at the garlic festival and we've learned a few days later that it was actually a suicide. so these first reports really tend to be -- not that they are always wrong, but something that is part of the information -- >> and julia, as you are talking, we're seeing video just
now coming in. it looks like someone's cellphone video running, moving. you can see now what appears to be one shopper running. and we don't know in which location this is, whether it is one of the lockdown locations. oh, now we're seeing them in the parking lot. they are running. i don't have anything more to tell you about these image as, but you can see it puts us in the moment. the shear panic of what happens after people hear gunfire or that there is an active shooter. >> right, to run away obviously is good. the right response at this stage. and as jonathan was explaining, only priority of the police is to get the shooter. it is not to get people out of the building right now. they need to get the shooter or shooters. and we're hearing multiple reports of injury, so it means that either -- let me put this
way. the fact that the el paso police have not provided anymore information says to me that this is an active shooter case and they do not have anything more to tell the public. these are lessons learned after columbine and all the active shoot eer cases. best police can do is just say stay put and don't go to that area. i know it is hard if you have family members in the area. >> and let's me ask you jonathan, we've seen the image, we see the dillards department store. there is a walmart there. and other big restaurant chains. so now that gives us a better idea about the size of this shopping mall. and these are large establishments which means that lot of people on a saturday. talk to me about the approach from law enforcement to deal
with something, you noerkts geographically so large on the map. >> so again, it questions to containment. law enforcement has to set up a perimeter and try to contain this threat, ensure that if there is an active shooter, that individual, that threat doesn't try to put theweapon down and i fleeing individuals. on this is a challenging moment for law enforcement as they are trying to address this threat. kompg complicating the matter further as we hear that there are injuries, emergency medical responders won't go into an active shooter zone, a hot zone. so that makes it much more difficult where the responding law enforcement is there, their primary mission is to put the threat down. there is a psychological effect that, you know, law enforcement officers have to overcome. because their natural instinct is to go and address people who are injured, wounded, take care of them.
they have to by pass those individuals to address the threat to ensure that they mitigate any other people getting harmed. >> hard choices to make. all right. we'll take a short break. of course we're continuing to follow this breaking news out of el paso. let's see, aleve is proven better on pain than tylenol extra strength. and last longer with fewer pills. so why am i still thinking about this? i'll take aleve. aleve. proven better on pain.
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out of texas. we're seeing image as now of people frantically running out of a shopping mall in el paso where police say that there is an active shooter. look and listen. >> run, mika, run. >> hands up, hands up! hands up! let's go, let's go. hands up. [ speaking foreign language ] >> let's go, let's go, let's go. run. >> what happened? >> i don't know.
i don't know. >> you can hear, you know, the breathi breathing, the near panic, you can hear in the background the "hands up" and programs the one holding the phone, let's go, no, no, no, let's go. ktsm is reporting that multiple people are injured. rosa flores is back with us. that is palpable. you felt the fear. >> and as you and i were talking during the break, because people have that instinct to take these videos, that is how we're able to be there on the scene at this moment in time. and here is what we're learning from police. we know shots rang out at a walmart in el paso. police responded to the scene. we did know that this is an area that is a shopping center, that is called the vista mall based
on the video we've seen, we have seen that it is a big establishment. we saw that there was people running by a dillards. again, we're learning bits and pieces about this area and also about what police are learning from social media, from witnesses that are on the scene. we also have learned from a manager of one of the restaurants that is nearby that there are three establishments at least three establishments on lockdown. and that includes the landry's, hooter's and red lobster. people are hunkered down for safety and of course other people running as you are seeing in this video at the moment. and like you were saying, fred, you can hear the desperation in the people and yet again here in america, another active shooter on this saturday at a time when a lot o mall to get clothing for back to school or walmart
for back to school. >> and that it is a saturday, you know, early afternoon/late morning when that is typically when people flood to big shopping area, stores like this. you mentioned the dillards. we know there is a walmart there. and the restaurants. these are big restaurant chains. and this is el paso, central to a very sizable population. all right. rosa, we'll check back with you. someone who just happened to be in the area who is a frequent analyst on our air, he was there in el paso. in fact in the airport when he heard people responding to this breaking news. and hearing and watching people who were starting to call home. mark, are you with me now? you are about to take off, you are on the plane. describe to me what people's
concerns have been. >> we were sitting in the airport getting ready to board the plane, we got a text message from our children who live in el paso, he is a soldier in the army at ft. bliss. and they said all of us are safe. we didn't know what they were talking about. a few minutes later, an alert message came on saying that there was an active shooter. as we were loading the plane. well, sitting in our sas safe, we then started hearing other people on the plane calling home saying hey, are you okay. so it is one ofof situations where again as you have reported so many peop these things can happen anywhere. and it certainly is happening now here in el paso, texas. a beautiful and very large city. >> are you familiar with this mall, the shopping area? >> i am. it is close to the airport. it is on airway drive. you know, i'm not real familiar with it, but i know that it is one of the many malls that are in the el paso area. >> is this like an open mall
with these anchor stores or is this an enclosed small in do you recall anything like that? >> yeah, it is and anchor mall s. some are in a major building, but i think the walmart is separate. but i'm not 100% sure on that. but i have passed by there is a couple times and, you know, it is just one of the bigger shopping centers within the el paso area. and as you said, a lot of people are out today because school starts on the 12th of august in el paso, so a lot of people are thinking about that back to school shopping. >> lieutenant general, thank you so much for calling. so glad this your family members are okay and thanks for also helping to paint a picture of that shopping mall. again a very popular shopping mall, sizeable one, as the general was just describing. it is kind of both, an enclosed mall and other stores nearby and
one that many individuals and families would be in today with just a week to go before back to school. we're continuing to follow the breaking news out of el paso, texas. we'll be right back. don't miss your golden opportunity to experience our most advanced safety technology on our full line vehicles. now at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 es 350 for $379 a month for 36 months and we'll make your first month payment. experience amazing. a cockroach can survive heresubmerged ttle guy. underwater for 30 minutes. wow. yeah. not getting in today. terminix. defenders of home.
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we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. we're following breaking news out of el paso, texas. and right now you are looking at live pictures of law enforcement, police reporting that there is an active shooter, a situation at a shopping mall there in el paso. just a little more than a week ahead of back to school. you see there is a walmart, a sam's there as well. our reporting earlier when we saw some images from someone's cellphone, you could see a dillards department store. this is both a strip mall as well as a shopping mall area. and all we know right now according to our affiliate rep are multiple people who are injured. the extent of the injury, we just don't know. again, el paso police sending
out a tweet earlier saying they have multiple reports of multiple shooters in an active shooter situation. but of course we want to caution you that early reports are often incomplete. there are still just bits of information that we're getting. and of course as the investigation continues, some of the information becomes a bit more con dreets. concrete. so with me right now, a former assistant secretary from department of homeland security. and so jonathan, now we're looking at the image as. unclear is this is a command post area that has been created. perhaps you can see the images too as you see a number of officers walking. describe for me what you are see. >> actually we're seeing a
convergence of various different law enforcement entities. we just saw members of the u.s. border patrol who were ipicking up post, the task cal tekts ca teams. and we he wisomewhere el paso p there as well. and you want to make sure communication is accurate and timely to all the units that are involved. i see some fer where i am tperi has been set up. there seems to be a more relaxed posture, so that could be a signal that the immediate threat has been put down. and now we switch over to assessing the damage. basically allowing medical personnel t set up a perimeter and switching over into a crime scemode. >> so what tells you relaxed
posture, because of the red tape, b there you see law enforcement are gathered, they are not tactical positions. they are seemingly more -- you are allowing press to obviously set up in close proximity. so again, signaling that this may -- you know, the immediate active shooter situation may have concluded. but we have yet to receive confirmation of that. >> and jujulia, give your asses 37. >> and this is what>> and this incident command. pretty rote in terms of crisis. you will have so many agencies coming to the facility, some invited, some just show up. you just have to get command and control because you are also worried about friendly fire. someone hears a gunshot and it is actually law enforcement. second, you know, this is the
tough love part of me. i know people in el paso are watching. you absolutely -- whoever you can't get a hold of, you will have to wait it out because the more people who come to an area even if it seems relaxed -- >> let me interrupt you quickly. former congressman now presidential candidate beto o'rourke is speaking in las vegas. and he is talking about the shooting right now. >> -- so i just, you know, i'm thinking about el paso. i want you to be thinking about he will pass so he el paso. i called my wife amy to talk to her, she is with my daughter molly, just to talk to her. just a real he reminder of what is most important at the end of the day for all of us. and just that any illusion that we have that progress is inevitable, or that the change that we need is going to come of its own accord, shattered in moments like these.
and that is upon every single one of us. there is no luxury in this democracy of sitting this one out. whether it is gun violence, whether it is many of the issues that we discussed today about economic inclusion and the right to organize, whether it is the ability to see a health care provider, whether it is confro t confronting the fact that we have kids in cages on the u.s.-mexico border, this is not the decision of one person no matter how much power he may have. it is on every single one of us to make this right. >> you can hear it in his voice, beto o'rourke there, this is close to home, this is personal. he did reach out to his wife amy and daughter to see how they where doing. this is his home. and he has his close connections there. and talking about how you cannot sit this out, this is very real and happening right now. and we also have a new tweet coming in from the texas
governor, greg abbott saying that department of public safety is assisting to bring this tragedy to the swiftest and saeche safist conclusion. we urge all area residents to remain safe. so again, if you are justactive situation at the cielo vista mall. it has anchor stores of dillards. you are looking at cellphone video from shoppers. and you can see their response. if i were to stoptalking, you would hear someone is this the background saying hands up. and you would hear what appears to be the person holding that phone saying let's get out.
and you see people walking rather casually out of the mall. jonathan, you were talking about the police oiffficer casual kin of posture. so describe to me what you think this represents right now. >> again, this is another signal that the immediate incident of the active shooter situation may somewhere conclu have concluded. we have yet to receive confirmation of that, but it seems that everyone is now -- of of what we saw earlier where people were running away, now they aare system atticly departing the scene. by the fact that they are walking, you knonoknow systemic away from dillards again an indication that the immediate emergency may be over. >> and julia -- >> two things are l. happen now.
first is family unification. presumably because it is a mall or walmart, people got separated. unfortunately we're just not confirming anything, but whether there was one injured, several injured or any casualties, there will then somewhere to be an i' in that regard. so we don't know yet in terms of numbers, but once the immediate threat is subsided, as jonathan is describing, you then have the two pieces. but most important thing is family unification. get people with facility. >> right. and now grimly we're hearing from the married of el paso warning that there have multiple
fatalities. sadly multiple fatalities from what was an active shooter situation there at the ciel oochlt vista shopping area in el paso. again, we don't know the status of it, but based on the demeanor that you all are reading, we rely upon your expertise as well. according to the mayor of el paso, however, saying that there are multiple fatalitiefatalitie. and you can see at this mall a walmart, sam's club. we saw the pictures earlier, a dillards and we know that there was lockdown of three major restaurant chains. just a sizable shopping mall. it is texas after all, it is el paso, a sizable city. and it is a saturday. when so many individuals and families are at the store. all right. we'll continue to watch the developments here. keep you abreast. we'll take a short break for now. at t-mobile, for $40/line for four lines,
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kids who considwere with the fa and try to help the kids out. of course crews are on the scene and we'll have updates for you. still an active scene, so stay away from the vcielo vista. helicopters are around looking for the shooter. >> and all right. that was moments ago from our affiliate. and according to the mayor's office, there are suspects, flu plural, in custody. also coming from the mayor of el paso, that there are multiple fatalities as a result of what was a shooting situation at the cielo vista shopping mall there in el paso. just over a week from when school is to begin. which means that there are a lot of families in the store, in the shopping malls on a saturday like this at that shopping mall, the cielo vista. you had a walmart, sam's club,
there were multiple chain restaurants this were on lockdown. earlier we had cellphone video of what appeared or what sounded like a mother and her daughter running out of a dillards shopping store. i mean, you could see and hear the panic. you can hear the breathing. let me stop talking and let you hear it for a moment. >> hands up, hands up! let's go. let's go, let's go. hands up. [ speaking foreign language ] >> let's go, let's go. let's go. run. run. >> and you can hear the panic, the worry in their voices. again, we are getting some
information coming from the mayor's office from el paso police, but we also know that many of you are probably relying on your social media accounts to learn a lot of information. we did want to caution you that sometimes some of the early reports where the incomplete information is just that, incomplete and early. and of course we are continuing to work to confirm a lot of information and details that are coming in. we also want to get firsthand accounts. and we'll get that now from juan rodarte who was at a nearby should th shopping mall. not just that cielo vista tha tr 1407i in shopping mall about two miles away. the bassett place mall. underst experienced being evacuated from that mall. what did you experience? >> well, basically we were told to evacuate our store.
there was quite a bit of panic. our managers dntidn't know whato do. we saw people with guns and they evacuated the whole mall. people were rushing out of the store into the parking lot. >> how frightening was that for you? >> very scary. i was shaking. never experienced that in my life. >> were you by yourself, were are you with your family, friends? tell me what your -- >> i was with my colleagues. i was -- we all were told to wait in the parking lot. i saw tactical units approaching, helicopters above. police cars swarming the entire mall, closes the stores. >> so there really was no moment to be in disbelief, you believed it right around as you saw this kind of activity that something very frightening was under way. >> correct. yeah, the sirens, the are car
rushi ru rushing toward the entrance, people with guns already pointed at-46 ready to be used. >> and this is ca confusing tim. you see the activity and you know something big and frightening is happening. how were people reacting around you? >> families were very protect democraticprotective of their kids. i was br prayinging that nobody got injured. and it was pretty scary. hoping nobody gets hurt. >> all right. juan, thank you so much. we are hearing from the el paso mayor that there are fatalities. but again, we are still awaiting
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we continue to follow the reporting out of el paso, texas where there was an active shooter and now the chief of staff from the el paso mayor's office is saying that there are suspects in custody. however the mayor also saying that there are multiple fatalities. you where looking herwhere -- y our affiliate reporting in and they are giving instructions to those inside the stores while they were on lockdown. earlier you saw cellphone video of people actually running out. you heard from our of a fit i can't tell of affiliate talking about how law enforcement of so many jurisdictions who had gone to the area.
even a small two miles away were also being evacuated. let's listen in now to the reporting from kvia. >> here is what we know so far. police have confirmed that there are multiple people dead in this attack. now, we're going to hear from the sergeant with el paso police. we have been told again multiple people have died, multiple people are injured. >> you want to move over there? it will be better for sound. get over there because i have some -- i have something to share with you guys. >> will do, sir. sos as you heard, we'll be speaking
with the police and fbi. again, there have been people in ambulances streaming out of the area. and police are still -- they have not still cleared the scene. we'll bring you more after we speak with the police. >> and it looked like indeed police officer was ready to provide some new information. of course when he comes back to provide any kind of update, we'll of course try to take that live. all right. shimon prokupecz is with us. we only have skeleton information. we know coming from the mayor's office that there are fatalities. we know that there are suspectsle suspects in custody. two shopping malls were impacted even though there was an active shooter at one of the malls, cielo vista. know, border patrol and el paso
police. what are your sources telling? >> a lot of resources now heading in to the area to assist the el paso police. this is what always happens in these situations. a couple points to make. significant here that the mayor's office has already confirmed that they have some suspects in custody. i think it is important for viewers to keep in mind that there are always initial reports, the initial reports always say there are multiple shooters. there could be other people on that -- in that mall who were carrying weapons. because they can carry weapons there in that state. and so that could be cause smfgt confusion. >> and i want to interrupt you, let's listen into the officer. >> currently is searching the area so stay away. if you have loved ones that are unaccounted for that were at the mall, there is a reunification center currently set up at
mcarthur middle school. so you have a loved one who you think was at the mall, that is where the place to be is. do not come here. do not approach because you will not be allowed to enter the people require te perimeter. so that is what i have for you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> so you heard there is a reunification center for anyone who thinks that their loved one was at that shopping mall. and perhaps somewhering a hard time connecting with them now. but that reunification center has been set up at a middle school not far from the scielo
shopping center. it looks like employees or even shoppers are being informed that they are in the emergency information. so back to your thoughts about how law enforcement -- >> you can hear from that police officer, it didn't seem that the police have it entirely under control here. the fact that they are moving the media back, there is still some concern, they feel it is still a dangerous situation and they need to move people back. as to police still don't have the entire situation under control. >> and sorry, but we have to go back to that officer. >> and we're still going through the scene. >> one scene or multiple scenes? >> we're searching multiple scenes. primarily the walmart. but we have scenes at the mall also. so the entire area. [ inaudible question ] >> i can't give i any other
details other than what i've giving you. for right now the important thing is reunification center and making sure that nobody comes to the mall. we have plenty of people here. the scene is controlled by officers on thperimeter. we have tactical teams going on with the area here around the mall. >> where we still in danger? >> there is no beingis no activ currently. but we have not rendered the scene safe at this time. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> shimon prokupecz is back with us. you heard the officer say there is no active shooter as of right
now, but they are not rendering it a safe scene. >> right. that is because they still have tactical officers walking through the mall, walking through the walmart. they are dealing with sounds like multiple scenes here. different locations. and obviously this mall, it is a mall, so very large area that police need to search. there is going to be as we've seen video and heard people hiding, hunkering down, afraid to walk out oof some of these rooms. people in the stock rooms, the bathrooms of all of the different shops and store. and we yet don't know how many people were inside, but probably in the thousands. so you have to imagine the panic as well of people that were hearing gunshot, people reacts ending to that. so people will be injured as a result of that, running for their lives. it does seem as we have been told that they have at least a suspect, a subject, possibly the shooter in custody.
and again, there is initial -- those initial reports from witnesses will almost always not exactly accurate. and so therefore just as a precaution, keep in mind that police put out everything that they know at the time and as they work to confirm information. so it is good news that we hear from the police that they believe that there is no active shooter on the loose. nonetheless there is still a lot of concern that there may be still some danger for follow folks there. >> s >> smi monhimon prokupecz, than so much. we'll continue to stay on this and wolf blitzer picks it up from here. rves when i'm worriedt moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance? i didn't know geico helps with renters insurance. yeah, and we could save a bunch too. antonio! fetch computer!
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we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. we're following breaking news right now, gunfire and reports of multiple victims including several people dead. what we're city officials in el paso, texas. >> run, run. >> this video taken inside a shopping mall. everyone ordered to evacuate when shots rang out.