tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 14, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
happening now. breaking news. stand-off. police are facing off with at least one gunman in philadelphia right now. we're told multiple police officers have been shot. stand by for new details. nosedive. stock prices tumble as a reliable single for a recession flashes. is the trump economy going south? blame game. as the president was watching the markets fall, he was trying to pin the problem on his hand picked federal reserve chairman. tonight, we're told mr. trump is frustrated as he may be losing his economic argument for re-election. and courting moscow. as the house speaker embraces a nickname for the senate republican leader, a nickname the president hates, a new report shows how mitch mcconnell helped boost a russian backed project in his home state. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer.
you're in "the situation room." we're following breaking news on a very dangerous confrontation between police and at least one shooter in philadelphia. it is unfolding right now. police now say five officers have been shot. there are reports that at least six or seven shots rang out just a little while ago. also breaking, a major stock sell-off. the dow closing down 800 points tonight after a now warning signals that has been accurate in predicting recessions. another jolt of anxiety for investors already shaken by the u.s. trade war with china. tonight president trump is destroying to shirk any blame in a series of new tweets. he's claiming the fault wlis the federal reserve chairman he appointed. this hour, i'll talk with democratic congresswoman val
demings. she's a former orlando police chief. and our corns and analysts are also standing by. first let's go to our senior justice correspondent, evan perez. first of all, what are you learning about the stand-off in philadelphia? >> this is still a very dangerous stand-off just north of center city, philadelphia. here's what we know at this time. five officers have been shot. we don't know their conditions. it appears to be nonlife threatening injuries. in the last few minutes we saw just from some of the video that we're seeing from the scene, we saw that it appears that at least one or multiple suspects are firing from inside this house. dozens of officers have converged near temple city hospital. this began according to police as a police call as a result of narcotics activity. and then it appears that police
were opened fire on by one or more suspects still inside this house. just a few minutes ago, we heard and we can see that shots were being fired just from video that we were able to see from the scene. right now we're showing you a wider shot in order to frequent lives of these police officers who are at the scene. they're hiding behind shields, behind cars. they're trying to hide behind anything that could protect them from the shooters that were very much still firing at these police officers. we can tell you that right now, that the scene is still very much active. we can see the police officers are trying to figure out how to approach this house. we have armored cars. ? police officers crouch behind cars trying to figure out exactly how to get control of this situation which is still very much a dangerous active shooting scene, according to police. >> let me get shimon. what are you hearing? >> reporter: it appears the
officers were ambushed. an ambush situation. the officers responded. they were fired upon and the firing has just continued. even now, police warning in a tweet just moments ago that the suspect is still firing. telling people to stay out of the area. and you can see officers. in video that we're not showing because we don't want to reveal the tactical positions of officers. you can see the officers still hiding behind cars. trying to take cover. trying to figure out how to get to the suspect in a situation like this. officers will have to go in and try to figure out how to stop him. it seems that officers are just taking cover. trying to figure out, they're coming up with a plan. the atf is there, the s.w.a.t. team is there.
you're seeing different agencies working together to come one a plan. there are several officers injured. it appears one officer was shot in his arm. you can see officers rushing that injured officer out into a police car and driving him to a hospital. at least six officers have been injured. five of them shot. so still very much developing. officers still taking cover. now the big thing is how will they stop the shooter? there was concern that there may have been more than one shooter but that's unclear. police saying there are still gunshots and they're urging people to stay out of the area. you can see this is a massive, massive response that i the philadelphia police department and other agencies there in philadelphia. and one witness listening to the local news there said they heard about 100 gunshots.
so that's certainly ongoing. police urging poem to stay away. stay inside as the gunman continues to shoot at the police officers. wolf? >> the mayor of philadelphia, the philadelphia police commissioner, richard ross, they're heading to temple university. to temple university hospital right now a little while ago. temple university tweeted this. lockdown is in effect for health sciences central campus. seek shelter. secure doors. be silent. be still. police are responding. it's been going on for at least an hour. >> there are six officers that have been shot. this is still an active dangerous situation.
we don't know if they were there to serve a search warrant or a drive by. it spiraled out of control. now we have six police officers shot. it appears they are nonlife threatening injuries. police are wearing armor. none of the officers that we can see are unprotected but you can tell, given the depth, the breadth of the situation, now you have the federal agencies responding to the scene. the atf are all trying to see what they can do to help this situation. you can't have someone inside a home, in a residential neighborhood, firing on police officers for again, for over an hour because just a few minutes ago we heard, we can see that there were shots being fired from inside the house. we don't know whether it is one suspect or multiple suspects. the police still have not been able to determine that. they have not been able to get
close enough to the house to get to the suspect or multiple suspects. we know there are six officers who have been shot as part of the police response in this area north of central city, philadelphia. >> the concern is there may be a police officer or more holed up in that house. >> there were officers in that house. and they were communicating with the officers, dispatchers were. they were the ones we saw being carried out. help into police cars. right now, this is a big danger for police officers. they have blocked off the streets. the residents are staying in their homes the concern is that more police officers could be
shot as they do not have this situation under control. it's not even entirely clear that they know where the gunman is. he was moving around. at one point they thought he was in the back or the second floor. it wasn't even clear if officers knew where he was in the home. what they do know is that he is continuing to fire at them. he is continuing to shoot. they've moved in these heavily armed vehicles. vehicles that can take gunfire, when the suspect fires at the officers, he'll be hitting these steel vehicles. and the bullets cannot penetrate. so we've seen some of those arrive on the scene. officers are inside of those vehicles. some are taking cover behind those vehicles. then you're seeing officers fanned out, making sure to keep people out. a lot of them are keeping people out as they allow the officers,
the s.w.a.t. team officers, to deal with this situation. that's how dangerous this is as the shooter continues to fire at the officers. really, this has been going on for now over an hour. but this shooting, with the shoot-out, it has continued. we're still just now getting reports of officers being shot and officers being injured. so still a very dangerous situation. still very much ongoing as police are still trying to get inside this house to get to the shooter. >> and either you or evan remind me, you're reporting that at least so far, they've heard 100 gunshots? >> well, witnesses at the scene told our local affiliate that they heard about 100 gunshots. at this point it is probably a lot higher. witnesses at that time said they heard that 100 gunshots.
perhaps anticipating that the police would be arriving. it doesn't appear that there were heavily armed officers on the scene. the s.w.a.t. team was not on the scene. at least from initial indications and reports. this could have been police responding to a 911 call. perhaps a narcotics call. a buy and bust situation where officers, undercover officers may have been conducting an operation. it is uncher if this was a search warrant situation. then you would have seen heavily armed officers on the scene. it is rare that they do search warrants at such an early hour but it does happen. so a whole host of things that could have happened. these are officers in regular patrol cars, responding to 911 calls, patrolling the
neighborhoods. this appears to be the officers who responded to the scene. they're not heavily armed necessarily as they go into these buildings. they have bullet-proof vests. so perhaps that could have saved their lives. we're seeing a lot of arm injuries. officers who have been injured in the arm. so whatever this could be, it appears at least right now, that the officers were ambushed. that whoever is doing this was prepared for this and has a lot of fire power and a lot of bullets. we continue to hear that the suspect is foicontinuing to firt police. >> i want to bring in val demmings. she also served as the chief of police in orlando. congresswoman, thank you for joining us. you served in the orlando police department for nearly three
decades. so what is your reaction to these initial preliminary details we're getting out of this if i if i will shooting? >> well, you know all of our focus is on philadelphia and the men and women of the philadelphia police department. i know chief rawls personally. we web through the executive ings institute together. and while we are not exactly sure, i've heard a lot of stories of how this call came about. i'm not sure if this was not an ambush call specifically set up for this very purpose. if this gun fight, if you will, has been going on over an hour, there is no doubt that the shooter was well prepared. he knew multiple officers would respond. and he, as i've already heard earlier, he's heavily armed and going on for more than an hour now. >> if you look at the images,
we're not showing very close views. what are your major concerns right now? >> you don't hear very often of six police officers being shot. what i try to help the community understand as we debate, have this debate about gun violence, how we reduce gun violence. if a person is bad enough to shoot, have a shoot-out with a police officer, or an entire department of police officers, they wouldn't hesitate to have a shoot-out or shoot or take life of our family members any place in america. so the first concern is to really make sure that the officers are able to stop this threat against themselves. we don't know, are there any
hostages in the house? i know the officers and detectives will be going out, ringing door bells to try to get as much intelligence as they can about who lives in the house. if anyone saw anything unusual, either today or the last few days. they'll gather as much intelligence as they can. as they make every effort, calling on other state and local officials to stop the threat. >> if you were there, if you were the police chief in philadelphia, what would be your biggest concern? >> the safety of our police officers. because we respond to protect others. protect the well being of others. 23 police officers are under fire and in danger, it certainly impedes their ability to do the job. what i do know about the men and women in blue, they will not stop. they will not retreat. they will stay there. they will bring the armored vehicles and specialized teams
like s.w.a.t. that they need. i'm sure they're moving crisis negotiators in as well to try to make contact with the person, the shooter. but they will not stop until they can stop this threat and restore the safety of this community. >> you're a former police chief in orlando and you're following this conversation that we're all having about gun control in america. what is missing from the conversation that's going on right now? >> what's missing from the conversation is that every poll shows you the overwhelming majority of the american people are in favor of background checks. for example. the question is, why is the senate refusing to move legislation that we passed in the house months ago? the other part of this conversation, i doubt very seriously, if this shooter in philadelphia was armed simply
with the handgun, that this gun battle would be going on well beyond an hour. i think we can assume that he is heavily armed about high capacity rifles or with thats and has high capacity magazines. while we look at passing legislation that requires every gun sale, every person involved in a gun sale has to go through a background check, we need to have a serious discussion about getting these weapons of war, and dog gone it, today is a clear indication of that as the men and women of blue are under fire in philadelphia. we need to get these high capacity weapons and magazines off of our streets. >> eyewitnesses say they've already heard more than 100 gunshots that have been fired and presumably, a lot more. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> i want to go back to evan perez. he's getting some new
information including new vi that we're seeing. what are you hear? this is from earlier. we are showing it because we don't believe it shows any of the tactical positions of the police officers. but this is the scene earlier from around the block where the police say the suspect was shooting at these officers. you can see these officers in shorts. some of them in shorts. running around the corner. trying to take cover. it appears that they were running from gunshots that were coming from the house that the police have now surrounded. just a few minutes ago we heard still that the gunshots were coming from this home. it appears the police have that been able to get any closer. have not been able to get to the suspect who is still firing at them. the police tell us that six police officers have been shot at this point, it appears that these are nonlife threatening injuries. it is still very much a dangerous situation. the video again, we show it is
from earlier. we're not showing you the current vi we have because we want to make sure that no police officers' lives are in danlts from showing their position. the suspect or suspects is very much harmed. there were reports of 100 this shots fired. whoever is in this house, has an arsenal for just this moment. we don't know whether or not they were waiting for the police to come or perhaps arrive drug dealer. we don't know. police tell us this began as a call about narcotics activity. so it appears that's the reason why the office here's went there perhaps were not as protected as one would expect in other scenes. but it appears that's the reason why some of these officers were injured or shot.
earlier in this incident. it is still a very dangerous situation there in this area north of center city, philadelphia. near temperature many university hospital. police are still trying to figure out how to get control of this situation. >> and i want to go back to shimon. you heard from the former police chief in orlando. since it's been going on for an hour, this may have been orchestrated by the shooter or shooters. >> perhaps. that's always a concern that this was an ambush. that this person knew, was prepared and anticipating that the police would be coming to the house and was prepared. certainly it seems based on some of the video that a lot of officers were surprised by the number of give up shots. by the fire power coming from this house. you're seeing officers running
from the shorts. running injured. one officer is holding on to his hand. running into a police car. presumably being driven from the house. we saw an officer shot in the arm. and you're seeing a lot of this. video of police officers running from the scene. running away, trying to take cover. i believe there was an officer injured and that officer ran from the scene. so we were seeing early video of all of that. we're also hearing from local news reports that some of the reporters on scene initially, they themselves were running from the scene trying to take cover after responding and trying to report on what was going on. and the gunshots had continued. so still a very dangerous situation there. it's not yet entirely clear why the police were responding to this home. to this location. it's either that they were trying to serve a warn or there was a 911 call that they were
responding to. certainly a lot of officers were on the scene. other officers are being called in. the s.w.a.t. team, the atf is this. now the big thing is how do the officers get inside to get to the shooter to stop him? that's the big thing now. so you're seeing a lot of s.w.a.t. team this. they're gathering around the hoe indication, coming up with a man. we're not seeing that video live right now for obvious reasons but there is a plan. the police officers are gathered outside this location. anticipating they'll have to go in and take this person down. so that's the big thing. that officers are concentrating on and destroying to make sure no other officers are injured. and we're seeing a lot of officers that are not part of the s.w.a.t. team here. they've pulled back. they've pushed back where they can take cover. in some cases, to make sure they
don't get injured. for the police, still a very dangerous situation. it is not under control. >> and i want to point out to our viewers, this is video that we got earlier. and it represents, we're told, no ongoing threat. we're showing to it our viewers. you can see the drama unfolding. so many police officers have gathered at this scene. what we're showing our viewers is the tip of the iceberg. you can see officers hiding behind, wearing tactical gear. hiding behind ballistic shields. a few minutes ago we could see that there were shots still coming from inside that home.
we're told that six police officers have been shot. they have nonlife threatening injuries. there were other officers injured also at the scene not from gunshots. but they're receiving treatment. this is something that is the worst nightmare for these police officers. you can see, wolf just a wrong or so away. some of them appear to be undercover officers. they're not wearing the tactical gear. they're ones who will be charged with a plan to take back this situation. perhaps take down the suspect or suspects firing at the police. they don't know where it is one person or multiple persons who are responsible for this.
this began as a narcotics call. it is not clear what the details are. so it appears that's the reason why. perhaps police officers did not respond with the full force of, say, we have a s.w.a.t. team or so on. very quickly, those officers arrive at the scene and that's the situation we have. a staboff with a very dangerous gunman or multiple suspects. just north of central city, if i will if i and the police are trying to handle a very dangerous situation. >> i want to bring in the former police chief in d.c. this is a very disturbing development. we see six police officers, chief ramsey, have been shot. we've just been told a minute ago that the suspect or suspects are still firing at police officers. this is still an active and
ongoing situation. you know this area around temple university. tell us what you're hearing and what we should anticipate. >> well, i have spoken to some people. there are six officers shot. i'm told this is a sergeant that may have been assaulted near seep as well who was struck in the head. not by gun fire but by an individual. it my understanding, there may be a couple officers trapped inside the building itself with prisoners. the shooter is still very active. they don't know if there is one or two. the person could be moving around. i was told they think it could be two firing at officers. s.w.a.t. is on the scene now. they brought in the bear cat and the heavy equipment for added protection and they're developing a plan.
one of the issues they had early on. i'm really, really glad to hear the way cnn is guarding against showing locations of the officers. that was a problem early on with some of the local news choppers that were there. that were given away the tactical locations. that's all cleared out. it looked like they'll to have make a forced entry. you still have a couple police officers inside. >> are they, as far as you know, chief ramsey, are they hostages? or just hiding out? >> no, no. i did not hear the term hostage being used. i don't know all the circumstances there.
they're just staying put. >> apparently some officers from the narcotics strike force are part of this. whether or not they were executing a warn or responding to a call, i'm not quite certain. i don't want to say. that's what they do. i heard shimon say they were bike force officers. many of them are on bicycles frequently. right now you have everybody there. the fbi is probably responding. i know atf is there. my son is an atf agent in the philadelphia field office and he's on the scene spoifl to him. he's fine. so there will be overwhelming response. you can almost have too many people there. they have to cheer it out. so we can keep people back away
from the scene. they get ambulances in and out. right now there is someone taking care of that as well. so you have a lot of moving parts and the two hospitals where people are gathering. >> so give us some perspective on how extraordinary this is in philadelphia. you were the police commissioner there. give us some perspective on the nature of this attack. >> it is extraordinary. six cops shot. in my definition of mass shooting, that would probably fit right in there. i was picks police commissioner for eight years. five shot to death. they have in auto related crashes bombeding to scenes.
it's terrible. this department has gone through an awful lot. thank god, none are life threatening as of now. according to what i've heard from people there at the scene. but it's just very unfortunate. we're going crazy in this country with all those shootings. where you're talking about a walmart or an entertainment zone. now you know, open season on cops. something has to happen. >> stand by, choief ramsey. i want to go to jim acosta. he's with the president in new jersey right now. what are you hearing? give us an update from your perspective. >> reporter: just a broef update from the white house. the white house spokesman has just told the travel pool here, the report here's are monitoring the president's movements here in new jersey, that the president has been broefd on the
situation. they're monitoring the situation at the white house. of course, as we were talking about a few moments ago. the president and the white house monitoring this situation in philadelphia. as the administration is trying to grapple with what to do about this issue of gun control. the president has expressed an interesting in tight yepping the nation's background checks. that has not happened. there are people inside the white house, in the republican party who are concerned that the president making these kinds of statements so it is unclear what had happen when congress comes back into town in a couple of weeks. when the president gets back to washington. whether or not they can document some sort of compromise to get
gun control. we've seen this before. this is moment zplum then it goes away. in the meantime, the president has been broefd on this. they're hockey at the situation and of course they'll let us know if they learn more about it. >> okay. we'll get back to you. >> you heard choief ramsey say the atf is this. >> yeah. it's becoming all too common. these are law enforcement officers conducting law enforcement duties. we don't know if they were conducting a search warrant but clearly something happened and this scene unraveled very quickly and dangerously. the six officers shot.
that's a serious matter. and now law enforcement is surging. coming to the scene. they're setting up a safety perimeter. they're evacuating citizens as far as possible. and they want to take control of the scene. setting up the perimeter. accomplishing a command post. they'll get all the resources they need. they're on site. s.w.a.t. team officers, hostage negotiators, whatever it will take to try to de-escalate the situation. >> what does it say to you, this has been going on. it is ongoing. we heard that shots were foird a little while ago for what? at least an hour and a half? >> well, as we know, the shooter has an advantage. he's in a building. able to take cover. law enforcement can't exactly pinpoint him. they're trying to get a glimpse of the shooter from an elevated view. this is way the situations
unravel. unfortunately for law enforcement, they never know what they're walking up on to. >> and a couple police officers in that house, that further complicates the situation. >> absolutely. if that is the case, then absolutely. that elevates this to a very serious matter and that will really be passed off to the hands of the crisis negotiator. >> sabrina, it comes at a time when there is a significant debate in washington about some gun control legislation. the president said he wants background checks. he refuses to bring it back until mid september. recess. what are you hearing right now? presumably, this development in philadelphia, el paso and dayton, it will intensify. >> it will. and the senate majority leader
mitch mcconnell said when congress returns from its august recess, he anticipates there will be a debate over some form of stricter gun laws. he said he expects background checks and the so-called red flag bills will be part of the conversation. the reality is that there's no indication that the two sides are any closer to some kind of agreement to actually expand background checks or put any new laws on the books. especially when you have fairly intense opposition from the nra and the president himself, despite saying he wants to see strong background checks, has been in daily consultation with the nra and has not spelled out what exactly he wants to see. absent the president putting his political capital behind, a real push for some kind of gun control legislation, i don't think you're going to see any meaningful action on capitol hill.
>> the senate is in recess. there is real pressure to bring them back to start deliberating on some of these legislations. he said it is not happening. >> right. until now, coming out of dayton and the el paso shootings, it seems pretty clear that republicans in the senate were waiting to let the recess play out so that the issue would sort of fade from view. i don't know yet if this incident that we're seeing will put more pressure on him to bring the congress back. i do think if it turns out we find out that the weapons used in this incident were purchased legally, then you will hear more comments from democrats saying, look. this is another example of our gun laws not being sufficient. if they were purchased illegally, i'm not sure how that will change the debate. this is definitely ratcheting up the attention.
>> what do you think? will this put enough pressure to come back and deal with this? >> i think mitch mcconnell is focusing on what the president may end up doing. has the president who says he stands with the police officers that blue lives matter. when he was in ohio, sherrod brown was talking about how he had a conversation with the president when the president asked, what can we do? he said let's try to save and protect our police officers as well. and here's an example when it comes to the gun prices in this country. the first responders are first in the line of duty here. so mitch mcconnell focusing on the president. the president seems to be dragging his heels this issue differently than say, the trade war and even immigration. and so if anything is going to be done, i firmly believe it would take a republican president to do it.
? it is coming at a time, given the internal scandal within the organization. that having been said, congress isn't coming back. these headlines keep coming back every single day. police officers, whether it is people at a nightclub. people at a walmart. so until this issue is handled in a priority type manner, we're going to see it. >> six police officers have been shot. we're told, maybe not life threatening situations. they've been taken to two hospitals in philadelphia. this may have been some sort of drug bust or something along those lines. it is obviously a very, very disturbing development. in the city hall of philadelphia is the move bombing in 1985. there was a stand-off with a
fringe group in philadelphia that ultimately led to the police dropping an incendiary device. just an enormous firestorm there. literally. and then afterwards, in criticism. on the gun issue, i think guns along with climate and immigration are the three issues that most show how the geographic and demographic divergence prevents majority opinion from being executed. there's no question that there is an overwhelming majority in support of universal background checks. we're seeing 90% in polling. and even the assault weapon ban that was allowed to lapse under bush is up to 60% or more. 67% in a poll out today from another network. republicans are, represent constituencies. you have a lot of senate
republicans from rural states without urban centers where they are most pointed and where there is a strong culture that makes them. you go back to 2013 when the senate last voted on these universal background checks and you assign half of each state's population to each senator. the senators voting for the background checks represented 195 million people. the voting against it represented 129 million people. you can't get more decisive. and yet the 120 middle carried the day. >> back to shimon. i believe you have new information. we're seeing some police cars puck back. >> they want to move vehicles as far back as possible.
the police tonight have the situation under control. the gunman is still shooting. still very active. it could be an opportunity where he runs outside of the building and maybe there is concern that he starts firing as he's running out of the building. because police don't have the entire situation under control, they need to move vehicles further back. this could be other s.w.a.t. teams. heavily steel vehicles. vehicles where police can go inside and take cover the if they needed to so we could be seeing more of that responding. we're not seeing live pictures so we don't know. as we see police move back, it is for precautionary reasons. they could indicate that they wanted to be more cautious. the other thing is the officers inside. there was concern for some of
these officers. they were communicating with officers outside of the home and they seem to be okay. it appears that they're stuck. they're trapped inside this home because of the continued gunfire. there may be people who have been placed under arrest by officers still inside this home as well. but the main point is that you have a number of officers that have been injured in a very serious situation that is clearly not under control by the police. they keep saying in tweets that they don't have the situation under control. they're telling people to stay away. so we could be here for quite more time. do they go inside? do they set it up where they try to get him? or wait this out a little and see if the gun fire continues? perhaps he took his own life. they could be at a point where
they weigait it out. as long as no civilians are in danger, the officers may wait it out and then determine if the shooter is alive. right now, they're very concerned about everyone's safety and they're trying to figure out what the plan is in terms of trying to get the shooter. >> we want the write in the d.c. police chief. our affiliate in philadelphia. he says the active gunfire is still ongoing right now. what does that say to you? an hour and a half into this? >> well, one, he's heavily armed. obviously. this is something that is very troubling. either this was planned. i heard the word ambush. i don't know if that's true.
clearly he was well armed with a lot of ammunition. to still be firing after all this time. it is very much an active scene which is why people are being moved back so far. i'm sure they've evacuated homes in the area to keep people as safe as possible. and they're developing a tactical plan. whether or not they go in or wait this guy out to try to get an advantage. if they do have to make entry. certainly all those things are being discussed. right now, the main thing is making sure no one else gets hurt or injured. they do have all the heavy equipment on the seep. if they need more, they can always get more. that's where we're at. >> is it your understanding that the beat cops are being called back to make room for the swat tae teams, the atf, fully protected with body armor?
>> they would be making sure the media stays back. everybody stays out of harm's way. they don't have the protective gear they would need depending on the with thats he's firing. if he has an assault with that. you have to have a higher level vest in order to be really protected. what you don't want is a lot of people sitting around because you're just a target. what they would do is keep the people back. they're setting up a perimeter. keeping everything within that perimeter clear so that the s.w.a.t. teams can do what they do. >> we're told by temple university in the area, and you know this area well. you were the picks for eight years in philadelphia. shots were fired at the health sciences central campus at temple university. tell us about this area. >> well, it is an area that does have some issues in terms of
crime. drugs being one of them. it is better than it was but not as good as it ought to be. temple is very nearby and you have some students that move off campus. within a block you may have two or three houses that have students living there. it is mixed in that regard. there are some challenges there in north philadelphia. >> we're told it is going on at least an hour and a half. at least six police officers have been shot. at what point, would they start, to try to negotiate with the shooter or shooters, to get some sort of thing that the individual may be responsible for the shooting.
>> i'm sure they've already done some communication to try to get him to come out peacefully. if he's still armed, they'll do what they have to do to reynoldter situation safe. i'm sure that negotiators have been reaching out. whether or not they've been able to make contact, i don't know. i'm sure they're reaching out, trying to get this person out any way they can. see what they can do about getting him to put down the gun. >> at what point would they start to try to negotiate? >> sadly, the fbi in federal and state law enforcement, they practiced this many, many times. they have plans. right now they're getting together. there is a command post. they're making decisions. they're collecting plans for the house. the shooter has the advantage
because he knows the house. where to hide. where not to hide. where walls exist. the fbi is trying to get the latest blue prints. and it is common to evacuating the area, to set it up. you don't know what will happen. you asked, will they send in a s.w.a.t. team? absolutely. the s.w.a.t. team trains every single day. when the s.w.a.t. team goes, they'll say very few words and they'll execute and clear that house and render it safe in a matter of minutes, ideally. of course they need clearance from leadership. first they need to take control of the scene. establish the perimeter. yes, they want to make contact. yes, law enforcement wants to de-escalate without any more
injuries. especially deaths. that's really up to the shooter. they need to make a decision. do they want to walk out in hand cuffs or not? >> everybody watching right now, i'm sure they're making phone calls if they have friends or family in philadelphia. okay. make sure everyone is all right. >> my brother-in-law is a police officer. it is good news that we're hearing that the officers who have been shot are not facing a life threatening situation. i'm not an expert in this but when i've talked to my brother-in-law about these situations, he was in the military at one point. he described two things. every situation, you're trying to de-escalate the situation. and i heard chief ramsey talking about this, and shimon. law enforcement is trying to be patient. he's been in a few situations where he diffused life
threatening situations and he said the key is not to rush and be patient. and then act when it is time to act. >> at what point does the picks in philadelphia, or the i would imagine that's going to happen within a relatively short period of time, probably from the hospital, more than likely. once they gather all the facts and have something to really tell you. but it's really an ongoing situation. so they're not going to say anything at all about the police activities at the scene. probably simply give you a rundown as to the time that the shots were first fired, how many officers have been injured, those kinds of things like that. but they're not going to want to give away anything in terms of what they're doing at the scene. bad guys watch tv too. they're going to be cautious about that. but i would imagine they'll be doing something within a relativeliable reasonable period
of time. i won't say short period of time. because i know how chaotic it gets especially when you have something like this going on. >> and the other factor that we have to consider, chief ramsey is it's approaching 7:00 p.m. on the east coast. it's not long before it's dark over there. the sun sets. how does that impact all of this if this situation is ongoing. >> well darkness can help. i mean less visibility for the shooter that's for sure. but, again, they'll be patient. wait as long as they can. if they believe this individual is about to try to attack the officers that are trapped inside that changes the game. so right now the way things are, at least as i understand it to be, they'll wait and come up with a good tactical plan. and, again, they'll try to take this guy alive if they can. i mean, thaeps -- we don't know if it's guy or guys. we don't know how many people are in there right now. but they'll do everything they can to keep it from, you know, becoming one where they have to resort to deadly force. but they also won't hesitate to
do it if lives are being threatened. this guy is clearly a danger to the people in this area and to the police. >> evan perez is getting new information for us. what are you learning, evan. >> wolf, right now, police at the scene told an affiliate that it appears the shooter or shooters had a rifle. and you know judging from some of the video we could see at the scene, the rapidity of some of the shots, it does appear that perhaps it's a semiautomatic, again that's something we can guess from looking at some of the video we saw of some of the gunshots we saw just about in the past hour or so. police even in the last half hour or last 20 minutes have been saying that the suspect appears to still be shooting from 199the house. it's not clear wolf that they've pinned down exactly where the suspect is. and again that's one of the reasons as anthony was pointing out, the suspect has all of the advantages. he knows -- he or she knows or the suspects know exactly where to hide in this house, where
it's safe to shoot from inside this house. and so the reason why one of the things the police are still trying to grapple with is exactly how to approach in-house. the s.w.a.t. team is trying to figure out a plan of how to get in there. as chief ramsey pointed out there is -- it appears at least one or maybe more police officers who are inside the house, perhaps they were part of the team that went there as part of in narcotics call. that information is still we're trying to get more information from the police as to exactly how that unfolds. but of course that makes things even more complicated for the s.w.a.t. team. they want to make sure that anybody that they -- any shots fired obviously when they try to enter the house that those police officers if they are still inside the home that those people are kept safe. right now we still know that there is six police officers who were shot. again, we still are trying to figure out the -- police trying to figure out exactly where the suspect is how they can try to
approach the house to try to resolve this situation. i mean, it may well be given the fact this has been going on an hour and a half it may be the suspect or suspects knows that this is how they're going to end it. they are going to try to make sure they're taking out as many cops as possible and going to died inside this house. that makes them even more dangerous from the point of view of somebody who does not want to resolve the situation peacefully. given obviously how long this has been going on. so that all enters into the mind of the s.w.a.t. officers who are going to try to go inside this house and try to fix this situation, try to end the situation, which is still very much a dangerous standoff with the police there. >> active gunfire according to our affiliate kyw still ongoing. anthony ferrante we heard about this incident shortly after 5:00 p.m. on the east coast. it's now proechl 7:00 p.m., almost two hours this has been going on. that's a long time for an
incident like this to continue. what does that say to you. >> it is a long time, two hours, right. but as evan was saying, we should expect this to continue, right. because now is the time to set up that safety perimeter zone and for law enforcement leadership to come together with the tools they have available to them and really assess the situation and understand what they need to do. remember, in two -- it's been two hours. but we also have six injured police officers. . that's a lot of injuries in a short period of time. right? and we're also saying thank goodness it's just non-life threatening injuries. we all know those kovl life or death injuries just by a matter of inches or feet there. >> beyond that, philadelphia, let's remember is one of the largest cities in the united states. you can only imagine what the folks there are going through right now. >> one cht largest cities indeed, especially was eas we come upon 9mm in one of the
larmts cities in the recountry. you would imagine the police force is stretched thin to be focusing on this situation ununrafrlg. the city the size of philadelphia that no doubt will need police resources in other parts of the city throughout the night as any major city in in country does. and also, you can't help but think about the parallel to the police shooting in dallas in 2016 where ufrmt five officers lost their lives. and you're reminded that the officers go out there every single day knowing they are putting their lives at risk for these types of situations, wanting to make sure that the general public is safe and putting themselves in harm's way keeping the neighborhood and area in the city as safe as possible. obviously they're trying to wait this out, hoping the shooter comes out and nobody else will be injured but the longer this goes on the more stress it puts on the city the size of philadelphia, no doubt. >> and ron brownstein, you spent time looking at the polls if the
polls overwhelmingly show the american public wants stricter dwun control, a lot more background checks dealing with assault type weapons why doesn't that happen? >> it doesn't happen largely because as i said before, republicans are to a substantial degree insulated from that public opinion. they represent the constituencies where that opinion is least held. certainly in the case of the background checks everybody gun owners are at 90%. republican at 90%. but generally speaking you have a republican party especially under trump has been exisland from the large metros areas it's largelied dependent on small town rural and urban area where the gun culture is prevalent. heavily depend on rural white states with strong cultures and thaefl comfortable opposes the public opinion whereas the democratic party which is now a suburban urban party is more unified on gun control than ever. 77 house democrats as you recall voted against the assault weapon ban in 1994.
only two of them voted against the universal background checks. this time and i suspect virtually every democrat in the senate would vote as well for it. but the spatial and demographic divergeens in american politics has left republicans feeling they can stand up against the majority opinion more urban based. we will see how that plays out in states like colorado, arizona and pennsylvania. and maine, rather in 2020 if this comes to a vote in the senate, the universal background checks. >> hold on one second. chief ramsey, you know, you were the police commissioner in philadelphia, the d.c. police chief. tell us how police chiefs all around the country feel about more strict gun control. >> well, you know, police chiefs like everybody else, you know, you have different opinions about this. but certainly want to see something in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. you want to make sure that responsible gun owners are able to have weapons but then properly secure them, keep them
out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them. now, you know, congress i have no faith in them doing anything quite frankly. but i think the vast majority of law enforcement as well as the public in general want some reasonable form of dwun control. background checks. and other things. >> is sabrina -- you cover the white house is he getting involved and do og is or back offer. >> he has been making private calls to lawmakers on capitol hill but still hasn't used the bully pulpit at his disposal to make the case to the american people and make a stronger push for strict are gun laws. we are relieved that there don't to be lay threatening injuries but in in case. but in 2017 there were nearly 40,000 firearm related deaths in the united states. that was the highest since at least 1968 in any given year. it was the third consecutive year that gun deaths rose -- the
rate of gun deaths in this country and most of the american public does not buy that nothing can be done. >> let's hope it ends and ends quickly, and no more injuries people shot in the process. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. outfront next breaking news. president trump growing more frustrated tonight the you dow drops 800 points in fears of recession. why the president shubd should be concerned plus the 2020 candidates seizing on remarks the president's tom immigration official said on this program that the poem of the statue of liberty refers to people from europe. and republican congressman steve king appears to defend raich and incest what was he talking about? let's go outfront. and good evening i'm erin burnett "outfront" this evening breaking news trump's market meltdown, the president frustrated and concerned, worried about re-election sources say. as he watched the dow in free fall today. you see the number. 800 points down.