tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 5, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT
situation? so just to clarify for our viewers here, where are you now? >> i'm in washington, d.c. i'm in maryland. i'm actually in the sikh community here in rockville, maryland. >> you're the chairman of this council. >> the first person who was shot after 9/11, two days after 9/11 tragedy, in mesa, arizona, his brother is here with me and we were just talking about issues and this happened. it just -- sikh -- the sikh killing was the first killing after 9/11 as a reaction in the aftermath of 9/11 tragedy. and this was after so many years we have the same point. so that means that there is so much ignorance. i just talked to the white house -- >> mr. singh, i understand that and i think what you're saying is very important. >> we are asking the president to make a statement and come out
and create awareness that -- >> so mr. singh, i imagine he can't hear me. i think what he's saying is very important but i want to stick to this particular incident because we don't know if it has anything to do with that. >> the bottom line is we don't know who did it, why it happened. >> if he's still there, i would like to speak to him about where he is because he is the chairman of the council of religion and education. they contacted him to get in touch with the people who are inside, the family members. that's why we're speaking to him and he is contacting those family members trying to get them information and trying to help out. what he is saying -- i just want to break this down for our viewers because there's so much information going on. this guawara is this large lunch, 300 to 400 members he said shows up at this temple usually on a sunday morning for this event. that number had not shown up yet. they were in the process, rob, of showing up. it could have been more people at this -- >> the women and children were already there.
>> women and children were already there. these people were getting ready and apparently there was this gunman, this hostage situation as they are getting ready to prepare for this large lunch. in this event, at least three people we know were shot and we heard from the hospital. three are in critical condition at this point. and they're saying that an officer approached a gunman inside and took the gunman down. that's all they will say about it. our affiliate wtmj is on the scene here and they're in continuing coverage. we'll listen in for a bit with them and then we will get back to our coverage here. >> is this a situation where it's just so overwhelming right now that it's difficult to fathom just how terrible this is? are you still in shock right now? >> yes. yes. terrible shock. this -- you can even imagine anything like -- just little bit can happen like that -- okay. an we just heard that there was
a sikh priest visiting from new delhi, india. and he shot. >> we want to be careful because it is not confirmed by law enforcement, perhaps the religious leader among the victims inside. let's be careful about what we say. representatives, any last thoughts from you? >> like everybody else here, these are my brothers and sisters. i've known so many of them for so many years. regardless of my personal connection, this is completely senseless, tragic violence. it's just -- it's mind boggling. we just had this thing in colorado. there's been other incidents around the country. obviously we don't know what the motive was, if this was a target of some signed of religionousre racial hatred, but the last thing you expect on a sunday afternoon that a place of peace,
love and spiritual worship would be torn to shreds by gun violence. >> we had heard that possibly some people were being brought to the classic lanes bowling alley across. street. is that what you heard? >> no. we got news on the phone from india immediately and from new jersey. i just came last night to 1:00. and my friend who foreign policy of punjab, he supposed to come late sunday. we got call. we shocked. first time in america. i've been in this country for the last 21 years. he is injured and in the hospital. >> your friend is injured. i see you grabbing your leg there. >> yeah. he was for guawara here. he shot and my other friend, we
just came there and we are waiting hear how many, we have relative inside, how many people inside or something because security people, we are waiting for some kind of answer. we had hindu sikh community. all over the world we are very peace loving, business class people. even i am federal job. means we have given people lot to give and take love and affection to everybody all over the world. we are only hindu sikh. any christianity, any muslim, we would give all human beings. so mixed up like other exampl communities, we all family
members. we all share american views. we are all -- >> you're emphasizing that you're a peaceful people -- >> very peaceful people. >> you have a friend among the wounded. go yeah. wounded. and we believe in non-violence. even the -- i was talking to my friend, he assembly speaker from new york city. they come here also but we are totally shock and very shocked. we cannot speak too much. this is just like listening from other people, all friends are here. we are very, very shocked. >> sir, thank you so much for sharing that information. >> going back to the bowling alley across the street -- >> you're watching continuing coverage of cnn's breaking news here out of milwaukee, wisconsin just south in oak creek. that's our affiliate wtmj.
we've been tapping in for information and footage. this isa arerial footage taped earlier. because of tactical strategies that are ongoing with the police right now, we're not showing you live footage for obvious reasons there. >> and this situation, rob, we don't know exactly what's going on especially when it just happens and we had the gentleman on talking about what happened after 9/11 and muslim and all that. we're not sure at this point. there will come a time when we can figure that out but right now we're trying to figure out what went on inside of that temple and what caused three people, at least for now, to be put in a hospital in critical condition. the what, when, why the shooter did it will happen later but we're just trying to get a grasp on the situation and we'll be able to analyze it in full as details roll out on this very horrid situation. >> waiting on another police briefing from the oak creek police department at 30 minutes after the hour. that's not a fluid situation with a fluid schedule.
incoming information that we want to confirm before we bring it to you as fact so we're being careful with our reporting, we're being careful with the footage that we show you. tense, frightening situation unfolding and happening for the past three hours in oak creek, wisconsin. our breaking news coverage will continue app after this. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's four course seafood feast, just $14.99 start with soup salad and cheddar bay biscuits then choose one of 7 entrees plus dessert! four courses, $14.99. offer ends soon. come into red lobster and sea food differently.
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back now with our breaking news coverage of a temple shooting in oak creek, wisconsin. you can see the police officers getting ready to hold a press conference there shortly to update us on the shooting. >> the information has been changing as we get it in here. we want to be careful how we report things. we do know that at 9:25 central time, a 911 call came in to the local police department there, a suburb of milwaukee, called oak creek. the caller said that at least one gunman had entered the sikh temple there and just started shooting. multiple people were reported shot at that point. people trapped inside. some may have been children. now we want to go to the police chief giving a live briefing right now. >> my name is brad wentlandt. police chief for the city of greenfield. i'm currently functioning as a public information officer on
behalf of the city of oak creek. obviously they're very involved right now and very busy. around 10:25 a.m. the oak creek dispatch center received multiple 91 calls of a shooting at the sikh temple here in oak creek. the first officer on the scene is a 0-year law enforcement veteran, an experienced tactical officer. when he arrived on the scene he engaged an active shooter outside of the temple. multiple rounds were exchanged. the officer was shot multiple times. he is currently at froedtert hospital and being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. he is in surgery. his condition is not known at this time. the suspect, the shooter, was also shot. he is down on the scene and presumed deceased. tactical officers have made multiple search runs through the facility, through the termle at
this time. the best information we have now -- and this information may change -- is that two individuals were transported from the scene by various local fire departments for gunshot wounds. one being the officer, the other a civilian. the emergency medical personnel, the tactical personnel who have gone through the scene have initially identify what had they believe to be four deceased inside of the term mple and thr deceased outside of the temple, one of whom is the shooter. that is the best information we have available at this time i do not have any additional information to share with you. as you see behind me, there are multiple agencies involved here, both local, state and federal. we're all trying to coordinate the response here. make sure that everybody's safe, anybody who may be wounded is taken care of and that the investigation gets under way forward.
there is a concern about multiple gunmen based on information heard over the scanners. i will tell you that at this time we have not identified any additional gunmen. it's possible in these types of incidents, as i said before, they're extremely fluid and we get multiple calls and multiple reports. it's possible that those multiple reports were of the same person. we have not identified additional shooters in the temple or on the scene. at this point we're not sure if there was additional shooters. that will be part of this ongoing process of tactical follow-up, ensuring that everyone is accounted for, ensuring that the scene is secure and accounting for all the victims and witnesses. i cannot take any questions at this time because that's all the information i have right now. we will schedule a briefing at 3:30 p.m. at this same spot where representatives from the various agencies will be present and we hope that we'll be able to answer some more of your questions at that time. thank you for your patience and
just please sit tight until 3:30. thanks. >> okay. that is the police chief, fred wentlandt, from the greenfield police department. according to him, at least seven people are dead. he says four people are dead inside this temple, three people are dead outside the temple, one of them believed to be the shooter. 10:25 a.m. he says that they got the first calls, 911 calls in to the police department. first officer was on the scene. a 20-year vet of the police department engaged that shooter. the officer was hit multiple times. they said multiple shots were exchanged. the officer eventually when help arrived taken to the hospital. is in surgery. the shooter was shot, they said the shooter is down, and they believe the shooter is dead. the shooter is outside the building. 1 of the 3 people they said they found outside the building. four people inside the building. that would make a total of seven people. they say a tactical team has
done a sweep of the building several times an they believe that is it. as far as reports about another shooter, they don't believe that there is another shooter. they say but when you have the situation, a number of people are calling 911 and it could be because of multiple reports, the same report from a number of different people. >> he certainly didn't say that the situation, the scene, was cleared or safe. so that search of that large facility, 17,000-foot temple there, certainly has to be done inch by inch while also attending to victims. the scene that's happening inside there, we can only tell you what police are telling us and what we are hearing from some of the victims that are allegedly held up inside there or at least inside there right now. we'll reset things after this short commercial break. our breaking news coverage continues in a moment.
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people died inside the temple, three died outside of the temple. a police officer, we know, has been shot, in the hospital as well. according to one hospital we know that's getting victims, they are saying they have three people there who are in critical condition, multiple gunshot wounds to the face, gunshot wound to the abdomen. and also to the extremities of their bodies. it's important to point out that this officer engaged with the gunman when he arrived on scene. officer was shot. the gunman was shot. and in this press conference that just happened, the police chief said he believes that this officer's dead. he said "he's down," down but presumed dead. so as we get this new information, we don't want to rush, we don't know the motive, what happened or why this gunman did this, and so we had one person on the air who was talking about is it possibility of terrorism, what happened after 9/11 and minorities in the country how they're treated, we don't know that yet.
it is too early in the investigation and once police start to talk about who this shooter is, who this suspect is then we can get that but right now we're concerned about the people that were shot and family members of those inside the temple. we're awaiting word. deb feyerick has been getting information about what's going on. has a bit of a timeline, too, and to talk about the people who were there and what are you hearing from the people, witnesses and people, family members who are at this temple. >> this is what i can tell you right now. what appears to have happened is about 10:25 the first 911 calls started coming in to the police department. a police officer, heroic police officer, responded as people inside that temple taking cover, hiding, texting, calling, trying to get people to that building to help them. well, it appears that when an officer arrived on the scene, a
20-year hadn't veter 20-year-veteran, the shooter was outside the building and he engaged fire. veteran of the police department started shooting at the gunman. the gunman fired back. it appears the gunman hit the officer multiple times but the officer struck and kill, it appears, the gunman. that gunman, we are told, is presumed to be dead. according to authorities, four people were shot and killed inside that building. you can imagine the mayhem that was going on as children began running, women, men just trying to get away from this gunman. three people were then killed outside. one of those who's dead is that gunman. he is presumed dead. tactical units right now going through that building. this is a very large facility. it is about 17,000 square feet. they've got to search every single inch of it. the police chief earlier saying that the tactical teams are attending to victims as they go forward, as they sweep this
building. they've got to search closets, they've got to search bathrooms, they've got to search over and unthings because they don't know whether in fact it was that lone gunman, the one who was shot outside the building, or whether there was a second gunman inside. one of the things that the police chief clarified, he said, look, there was so much chaos, there were so many 911 calls coming in, witnesses sort of exchanging different stories, that it is not clear whether it was just that one person who opened fire and then ran from the building or whether it was one person, plus others, who were inside. so all of that right now very fluid. the police chief does say the situation is contained, but they won't say yet that it is over or whether it is under control because they need to make sure that there's thoeb else inside that building who has a gun. don, just from the conversation you were having with the member of the sikh community earlier, one thing is very clear -- that is, there was a sense of fear,
there was a sense that perhaps something like this could happen so precautions were taken. you can see just how many responding vehicles are there. you've got police cars, you've got ambulances. you've got fire department. all of them there because they don't know exactly how many wounded will have to go to the hospital. initially hospitals were told to ready themselves for at many as 30 people. once the tactical team gives the all-clear -- we're not sure the situation -- then in fact those people will have to be brought to the hospital. so all of that right now very active. units continuing to pull up to the temple and think about it, also, this happened first calls came in at about 10:25. an hour later that temple would have been packed, packed, because there was an 11:30 service, a big festival that they have at 11: 30 and so they wanted to make -- clearly the time difference here and that
police officer right now who is in the emergency room who is being treated. he is in critical condition, as are the other two who were shot and brought to the hospital. but this police officer really taking heroic efforts and taking down this gunman, don, rob. >> it's called a guawara, the gathering for this large meal. women and children arrived first, then the men arrive later. as many as 300 to 400 people can show up on a sunday for this. not that many people had arrived for this event. but it was also interesting. we were able to get live pictures there now before when we weren't sure before the tactical teams had gone in, they weren't -- they said, please, be careful about what you show. they wouldn't let people call. people inside the temple were not calling. and also very careful about what information was being released
to their relatives and to the outside because they did not want to interfere with the investigation and with the negotiation that was going on inside of this temple. at that point they probably did not know whether the gunman was among those who had been taken down. >> and one of the shots that we keep showing is that staging area where all the emergency vehicles are lined up and wait. what we do know is that once those begin to mobilize, and head towards the temple and medical personnel begin to head towards the temple, that is when the scene will be cleared or at least considered to be safe. but with a 17,000-foot facility, square feet facility, that that temple is, there are a lot of nooks and crannies that those police tactical teams have to search through and scour out before they give the all clear. and those victims inside can be tended to. it is hard to describe what's
happening in there. earlier we -- our affiliates were hearing from some family members that were getting texts from people that were inside asking not to return those calls or texts for fear that what they believe to be at least a gunman inside might find them down. but certainly you can imagine if you are a victim in there and you're hiding after this situation took place, there may not be a gunman searching for you but you're not going to go outside to check it out. you're going to wait it out and wait for this scene to be cleared. >> what happens in this situation? of course tactical teams will do their sweeps. they want to make sure that there is not another gunman. they don't believe that there is one at this point. police chief pointed that out. they said sometimes it is the same report from multiple people so you may think that there is another gunman. but according to this chief, no. it is the top of the hour. i'm don lemon, along with debra feyerick and rob marciano.
we're covering this breaking news that's happening in oak creek, wisconsin. it happened earlier this morning around 10:25 local time which is central time. the latest information that we know, seven people are dead, three of them we are told outside of that temple. that was just told to us at a press conference a short time ago by the police chief. four inside the temple. that 911 call came in 10:25 a.m. local time. the suburb we are talking about, milwaukee. suburb of milwaukee called oak creek. >> the caller said at the time that one gunman had entered the temple and started shooting multiple people at that point were shot. people were trained side we presume that they are still trapped inside. many of them may well be women and children gathering before a larger gathering later on in the morning. a short time ago police gave us an update, telling us that police officer engaged with the
gunman that was outside. that police officer was shot several times. 's currently being treated at a local hospital but he managed to get off another shots to that gunman and kill him, or at least put him down. that gunman is presumed dead outside the temple. at this point what we still don't know is if there is another shooter inside that temple. police tactical teams are inside trying to make sweeps and contain this situation. the word that the police say is that they had the situation contained. that doesn't mean that it's cleared or deemed safe. three people, as you mentioned, three men being treated at local area hospitals. >> we don't know anything about the shooter. there were some initial reports. those have not been confirmed. some people have said it is possibly terrorism. again we don't know that at this point. we don't know what the motivation was at this point. as we were saying here, the gentleman was saying -- i think there was a little bit talking about muslims after 9/11.