tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC June 14, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
whether today was random shooting at a political figure or was it an attempted assassination of a very specific republican person. >> we do not at least one lawmaker spoken to at that time, didn't know was the shooter. but one lawmaker a was leaving the field early and had been asked by the bystander, those out in the field, are they republicans or democrats. we have been able to confirm that two victims from the shooting who are at gw hospital are in critical season. steve scalise from the state of louisiana is at med star hospital. he's currently in surgery. prior to surgery he spoke to his wife. he was in good spirits. mo brooks who was on the scene at the field who used his belt as a turn kwitt is in the field right now. i want to turn it over to brian
williams. >> certainly an unpleasant story we're covering. for this baseball diamond across the potomac river all in preparation for an annual baseball game. garrett haake has been standing by at the location for the last 90 or so minutes. what can you tell us? >> reporter: brian starting at the beginning here, we've got witnesses, members of congress who describe a gunman carrying a long gun and a handgun opening fire on this congressional republican baseball practice here around 7:00 this morning. by 7:09 someone had called the police but by then there was a shootout going on between the gunman and capitol police officers who were there to protect the highest ranking member of congress this morning, who was here this morning, the whip, steve scalise, who we know was one of the peoplenjured in this shootout, really about 15
minutes this was over. five people shot according to the police chief in alexandria, virginia. we shad senators and congressmen coming out to describe the chaotic scene on the baseball diamond. here was senator jeff flake this morning. >> we were doing batting practice and all of the sudden we heard shots and it was clear pretty quickly that there was a shooter there was a high powered rifle. and we -- many of us dove in the dugout. steve scalise, one of the members of majority whip in the house was hit in the hip and dragged himself out of the infield into the field and he was down the whole time. most of us -- 12 of us got into the dugout and then there was return fire from behind or dugout from the capitol police who were here as part of steve scalise, the whip's, detail. it went on for about ten
minutes. a lot, dozens and dozens and dozens of shots fired. just going overhead. i got a look at the shooter. he came over behind the backstop but he had a clear sight into the dugout so i couldn't stay up for long. and then when we heard an all clear that the shooter was down, then i ran out to steve to put pressure on the wound there. >> reporter: where was he shot? >> in the left hip. >> reporter: what did he say? >> he was coherent and he was asking for water. he was obviously -- he laid out there on his own for ten minutes. and we cut away the jersey and put pressure on him. he was bleeding quite a bit. >> >> reporter: so you've been members of congress describing
battlefield medicine here on a baseball diamond. as for steve scalise, he's gone into surgery. he had spoken to his wife. he was in good spirits. he eve gotten an update, they've taken in two patients who are in critical condition, at least were when they came into the hospital. police and tlrts are being tightlipped about who the five people were who were injured and the extent of the injuries of the individual people who were shot on scene or the health of the gunman at this point. still one of the things this we're hoping to have cleared up by the chief of police when he comes out to speak to us in 25 or 30 minutes. >> that is apparently our next event here, the police briefing. at the risk of repeating the known set of facts, which i'm sure we'll be repeating throughout the morning, the reason there was fire pow tore bring to bear against the gunman, scalise is a member of the congressional leadership. so he had with him a detail of u.s. capitol police.
we don't know if alexandria police were just on post knowing this was an unusual event for the baseball diamond? >> reporter: well, brian, i've heard from people who said they got an active shooter phone call. so it's not clear that the alexandria police were there sort of watching the baseball practice. but we know they got here within three minutes of getting the call. as you said, the whip, really the only person who would have had any official security detail here. it's a regulation that's been in place since 9/11. we've heard from a number of members here praising the capitol police being thankful that scalise was here. if he hadn't been, there would have been 15 or 20 men on the baseball diamond no cover to take, simply waiting for alexandria police to get there in a situation that even those three minutes could have been critical. >> we're getting some idea of the confine of the real estate
in the upper rightha-hand corne. we want to share some video that was obtained from cbs after they arrived on the scene. that is steve scalise, the majority whip getting taken to the helicopter for transport out of there. again, the scene looks rather grim but the good news, and it is good news compared to what could have happened, is he apparently was hit, as you heard, in the left hip. he is in stable condition, was last reported to be in surgery. scalise is a married father of two. a new or leanian. a high spirited member of the house leadership and a loyal ally of the speaker and the majority leader kevin mccarthy. so again, cbs news video shows
him getting loaded up for transport. kristen welker on duty for us this morning at the white house. kristen, what can you report from there? >> reporter: well, brian, this is president trump's 71st birthday, but no celebrations here at the white house. instead a very somber mood as they monitor these developments. and i can tell you we just got some breaking news mere, which is that the president canceled his speech that he was going to deliver later on this afternoon at the labor department. vice president mike pence had a speech scheduled at 9:00 a.m. this morning which he canceled, instead coming directly to the white house so they could monitor the developments. just to set the scene here behind the scenes a the the white house, sean spicer started this morning meeting with stop staffers in his office. that is not unusual. there's typically a morning meeting. but this morning meeting focused on these breaking developments. and how to respond. i can tell you that that meeting has now broken up. i spoke with one of the top
staffers here who told me they're trying to determine next steps. i of course asked if the president had reached out to steve scalise, any of the other victims, congressional leaders. that is all still being worked on, as is whether we will hear from president trump about all of this. in terms of the scene outside the white house, brian, pennsylvania avenue shut down to all pedestrian traffic earlier this morning. that has sense opened up. lafayette park had been shut down. all of that out of an abundance of caution, of course. that has opened up. you can tell how somber it is as this administration monitored this breaking news. >> and that phrase kristen used, abundance of caution. we're probably going to be hearing that and using that through the first part of this day. and a lot of that is until we learn more about the gunman in this case. is it a lone, in police parlance
edp, an emotionally disturbed person who acted alone for whatever motive he might have felt. because the fear is that there is more than one, that's it something perhaps larger. and so you want to keep your prote protectees, the bigger members of washington out of marm's way until we know more about that. a former congressional aide is with us who saw the shooting. david, take it from where you were first aware that something was going wrong. >> i live about a mile and a half west of the field in alexandria. was on a run going down monroe and i was basically right next to the basketball court, which is here adjacent to the baseball diamond. i happened to glance over and notice that folks for playing baseball. and noted it was unusual that they were baseball this early in
the morning. took a few more steps and herd a dozen gun shots go off, took a few for steps and heard five or more shots and at that point realized we before in the midst of a shooting understand accident. there with is an apartment complex here that i ducked into their parking garage and called 911. judging by the fact that it took me several times to get through, a lot of other people were calling as well. i sheltered in place five or six minutes until almost it seemed like all of alexandria pd descended on the area. i could look out and awe two members of congress that i recognize and worked with. ant at that point i recognized and realized this was the baseball team practice. i went over and spoke with them, asked them if they needed anything. they were clearly shaken up, s
distraug distraught. we agreed it was a terrible day and they went back in and were meeting with investigators and talking with them. and members of congress had only left a few moments ago. >> david, this has already -- this has arrived in an era where washington, d.c., to people visiting who are used to the old era, the pre-9/11 era, it's already changed so much. you see so many kind of hulking weaponized vehicles, motorcades of two or three vehicles, usually suvs. and it seems like every member of congressional leadership obviously cabinet secretaries, deputy secretary level, this can only heighten that kind of aggressive law enforcement stance if we now have to worry about a baseball practice field
in alexandria, virginia. >> you're exactly right. and what's frustrating and what's troubling is flankly these members of congress were really doing what a lot of vote eshs want their members of congress to do, which is to work across the aisle, develop a rapport, get to know members on the other side of the aisle. it's a great old tradition when republicans and democrats get together and take to the field which really makes this tragedy just that much more frustrating. and really i think we're all in an absolute state of shock, the fact that 20 or so members of congress and young dedicated staff seemingly can't get together for a ball game without something like this happening. i will tell you being very familiar with the ball diamond here, this is the home of the tc williams varsity baseball team. this is not a small little league park that's open.
this is completely fenced off. a number of witnesses and number of members of congress have been crediting the presence of steve scalise's detail to keep this from becoming a much more worse event. if those folks weren't there, this tragic situation would have been far far worse. >> and good for you for making that point. this is exactly what the people keep telling pollsters, they would like to see some activity between parties, some method of reaching out between republicans and democrats and this is exactly what people are talking about. nothing bad about this event at all. >> indeed i worked for a member of congress a number of years ago who had the honor of playing on this team. it's an opportunity to build relationships with members of congress again from across the aisle, members not from your delegation or from your state,
members that aren't on your committee. it's really a highlight on the calendar every year. it's a great, great, great event. and to be able to see it marred this morning in such a tragic way is really heartbreaking. >> david woodruff, a veteran congressional aide. thank you for getting in touch with us by telephone and telling us -- >> thank you brian. >> -- what you witnessed about this. we want to replay remarks by joe barton of texas who was interviewed after the shooting about what he saw and experienced. >> we were at batting practice, we have a congressional baseball game. we play every year. a shooter came out to practice, started shooting, he shot at trent kelly, our third baseman, he shot at steve scalise, our second baseman, he hit steve scalise. scalise's security detail and capitol hill police immediately
began to return fire. and alexandria police also pleadly came and began to return fire. they shot the shooter and i think the security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter. the heros are the capitol hill police, alex andria police and steve scalise's security detail. >> reporter: do you remember what the shooter looked like? diyou get aook at him? >> he was a mide-aged man, blue jeans and a blue shirt. i think he was anglo. and he had a rifle and i think he had an automatic pistol but i wouldn't swear to that. >> reporter: congressman barton can you tell us what it must have been like in this idealic setting to have this kind of thing -- >> look. there's going to be all kinds of -- i'm the manager of the team.
several people, the security people were hit. one of our staffers were hit. scalise was hit. i've talked to the speaker, i've talked to capitol hill police. i'm sure there will be a general statement later on. luckily no one appeared to be killed and again i just want to thank the security detail because they saved our lives. >> reporter: how long did it last? >> ten minute, five to ten minutes. there were dozens if not hundreds of shots fired. it was scary. >> reporter: did you take cover? >> of course we did. >> reporter: where did you take cover? >> some of us were in the dugout, some in the ground. my son jack got under an suv and he was very brave. my own son brad was in the batting cage and he also was very brave. thank you guys. >> just take a second to take that in. that's joe barton of texas. as you heard him saying.
manager of the team. he was wearing the r, the red r uniform and hat for the republican base team. had his 10-year-old son jack with him. the kid, instead of enjoying a morning of baseball practice with members of congress ends up with this lasting memory of all these rounds being fired, of a scramble, of friends of his dad getting hit and hiding under an suv from a gunman who apparently came out of nowhere. unbelievable turn of events. kelly o'donnell is next up for us on capitol hill. kelly? >> reporter: well, brian, one of the things you really sense here today is how the schedules are changing, there's a sense of rare bipartisanship in the sense of a collective trauma to this place. at about 11:15 we expect all members of congress will be invited to a meeting with the sergeant at arms. each branch, the house and the
senate has a sergeant in arms, the chief law enforcement officer to protect all things related to the capitol. as you've been talking about this morning, only those in leadership have a detail of u.s. capitol police officers. the vast majority of members of congress interact in the world, go about their daily lives without any security. when they have events in their home districts we've learned painfully since the shooting that affected gabrielle giffords, there's often local police who will assist. but in this kind of an event, recreational event early in the morning, there wouldn't be that extra security. it is rare to have a detail with members of congress who are not directly in leadership. that's what we've been talking about with steve scalise. here on the capitol grounds, it's interesting to put into context how the u.s. capitol police is viewed. many law enforcement branches around the country interact with their communities for sure. but it is a rare thing that you have u.s. capitol police who interact with tourists in great
numbers. there's a friendly quality to their interactions but at the same time they're trained at the highest tactical level to respond to these sorts of threats because they're not unusual. i've been covering the capitol for a dozen years and there have been incidents here that have taken people's lives, there have been prior to my time here, two police officers of the capitol police department who were killed in the line of duty. it is a threat zone. there's always an awareness of the danger and yet there is a friendly interaction. it's rare among law enforcement agencies to to have such direct contact with the civilian public. so there is a real sense from members in both the house and senate and staffers here of a deep appreciation of the u.s. capitol police and what they do. obviously today you can imagine the situation of a baseball practice where you wouldn't necessarily expect anyone to feel a particular threat. and yet at the same time, that's an open air situation, one of the most dangerous circumstances for any kind of protectee.
that's why we never see the president of the united states in an open air situation since ronald reagan's assassination attempt, there's always the practice of a tent being erected to protect a president or vice president going from a vehicle into a building. so many layers of security learned by difficult circumstances over time. so here today on the capitol grounds we will expect to see a few different things. most of the business of the house of the representatives canceled for today. we do expect that the senate will convene in 20 minutes. it would just be my guess that is always done by the chaplain of the senate, who offer as prayer every day. today i would imagine that prayer takes on even greater significance. it's part of the daily routine and yet at a moment like this especially appreciated. and also we'll hear from different members around the campus here who are commenting on what they have seen offering prayers, reaching out to the family members and so forth. so as this community of the
capitol is waiting for additional word on those injured, there is a balance of trying to keep things moving and going forward, canceling certain events where appropriate and at the same time reeling from the shock. there's always a heightened awareness of the risk that the members of congress face interact in the world and yet when it happens, it is still such a surprise. and as we've talked about, this is a bipartisan tradition, one of those things that is a part of old washington in a much more hardened difficult time of our national discourse about politics where things are so much uglier frankly. that's a throwback to a nicer simpler time when coming together was considered something good for the institution. so from here, brian, a sense of a real sadness, a sense of weariness and also that balance of trying to figure out how to conduct the business of the day and at the same time pause, catch their breath collectively and offer prayers and support for those affected by this.
>> and when these first reports came in, people didn't quite believe it. the pieces didn't make sense, that this could have been at a baseball practice across the potomac in alexandria, that this might have involved members of congress. >> reporter: one of the things, having covered this body for so long. i'm aware of the game, i'm aware that they practice. sometimes when you get to work early in the morning you see members dressed in casual attire. you know they're doing other things before the business day pe begins. how was this known to a presumed outsider to know the location and the timing of this. it's not something that gets advertised. the game itself is highly advertised. i've been to a number of these games, both this particular one and then there's one on the women's side where the women media and the women members of congress play a game, a soft ball game and there's always
enormous security because you have numbers of principles, even supreme court justices who attend. it is highly, highly secure under those circumstances. but a practice, that's something very very different. how was it known. one might imagine that they have practiced at this same location before. perhaps it had been observed before. but again the timing and all of that would not be something that would be readily publicly available. and i'm sure that is a part of the investigative process that they're looking at. so many events relating to congress are in fact advertised. they're tweeted about. come see your member of congress at an event. that's what happened with gabrielle giffords when she was at a public event in the parking lot of a grocery store when a number of people were killed and she was gravely wounded. so it is that balance of being accessible to the public, protecting those involved and the very difficult security situation we live in these days. brian. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you for that. and we want to hear from yet
another witness to this, a woman named felicia peoples, a teacher in the area this morning when she witnessed the shooting going on. >> reporter: didn't look like what you might think a shooter would look like. >> no. >> reporter: no body armor? >> no, just walking and shooting. and then he stopped and he was kind of going up and down because they were exchanging fire. and then i was like, oh, this is actually happening. >> reporter: what did his face look like? >> he was calm. he was shooting back and they were shooting at him. >> reporter: middle-aged man. >> yes. >> reporter: any hair? >> yeah, short hair but very nice looking demeanor, just quiet and he wasn't saying anything. it was very quiet. the only thing you could hear out there were the gun shots. >> i can't explain to the audience how quiet and residential this part of
alexandria, virginia is. you hear it so often it will become a cliche by mid morning. and that is the last thing you expect is violence in a setting like this. with us in the studio as we prepare to talk to a member of congress when he's ready, clint watts a member of the fbi and darren, a 20-year veteran of the nypd. and darren, you first. you've been listening to our coverage for a while. what are your thoughts given what you know? >> it amazes me that you had ten-plus, a number that competed ten-plus v.i.p.s in that area and you didn't have fortifications. just back to my experience in the nypd when we had a large number of v.i.p.s that were meeting in a certain area, we generally had proper fortifications. we take into consideration, we had a few capitol police, but that was primarily based on the whip being present.
let's take into consideration, senator rand paul was there. there should have been greater fortifications in place. granted this capitol police were heroes but there should have been more fortifications. and we have to take into consideration the entrance and exit strategies in the case of an emergency. and i don't think that was drawn out in this situation. >> and this is the end of innocence. this is the last time it will be like this. and you want to insist that this is just a baseball practice, part of a game that's been a tradition. of course, nothing is just that anymore. clint, hang on one second. i have got a member of congress, congressman mark meadows, republican from north carolina standing by to talk to us. i ruunderstand you were not the, part of the baseball practice. tell us about your friends and colleagues who have been involved and what you know about them. >> well obviously it's a tough day, brian, as we look at this.
security protocol wills be changed as a result of the events that unfolded this morning. but additionally, now you know talking to some of my colleagues that were there, they're rattled as you would expect. but i think the other part of that is, is that any time you have this, with you see the worst of humanity and the best of humanity. reporters from all over the country calling to check to see how members of congress were. i got multiple texts all the way from florida to california and in between as the story unfolded. but i think the key for this is that a real shout out to our capitol police. i know when i came through security this morning i made a point to g to each one of them to thank them for their service. it is truly their job to protect. but they're in harm's way each and every day. so there is a somber mood here in capitol hill as we look at that. but there's not a mood of fear
as much as there is vigilance to make sure that we keep everybody out of harm's way. >> and congressman, i assume that you feel protected day in and day out by members of the capitol police who, as you mentioned, you've become close to over time. and i hope that that protection also extends to event when you go home in your district where it's really crucial to have a direct interface with your constituents. >> it does, brian. and you hit a key point. already this morning we've reached out from our staff back in the district to make sure that we're going over those security protocols. even though this is hopefully just an isolated incident here in northern virginia, you can't take anything for granted. and maybe as we look at this, we have to put it in perspective. it's the safety and welfare of those who work with us, members of congress may be a target but i'm probably more concerned about our capitol police, law enforcement officers, staff as they look at it.
we sign up for this. sometimes they don't really understand the ramifications. and the other part of that is a real shout out to our men and women in the military. each and every day we see this as a one-off event. but 365 day as year they put their life on the line. and so it's a time to refocus, brian, to look at this. obviously the reports are good just because of the heroic efforts of capitol police it looks like there's going to be a full recovery on everybody's part. but i can tell you that we're laser focused on trying to make sure that everybody remains safe. >> we join you that that goal. we join new in celebrating the good news that it looks like everyone will recover and pull out of this. congressman mark meadows, republican of north carolina. thank you very much, sir, for joining our coverage. >> thank you, brian. >> and saying what you did. i've just been handed something
that was to -- the congressional baseball game was to honor the british victims of terrorism. and now it was -- of course, will take on a different meaning. we're watching the officials coming to the mikes. you see governor terry mcauliffe there in the center of your picture. they're coming to a microphone stand there that's been set up in the street not far from where the incident was. they should be coming around the police cruiser and we should be hearing from them. this will be a mix of state and local law enforcement probably led by the governor of the commonwealth of virginia. let's listen in to this.
>> good morning, everybody. i'm mike brown, chief of the alexandria police department. b-r-o-w-n. we're here today to give you an update on the incident that occurred this morning here in alexandria. let me repeat if i can some of the facts that we do know at this point. before i start, though, i want to say that this is an incident is not an active incident. the city is safe. we have an active investigation going on for the incident that took place this morning. but i want to reassure the kmeent here in alexandria that the city is indeed safe. we'll continue to work with the investigation as it moves forward. the facts as we have it this morning, again, at 07:09, nine
minutes after 7:00 we received a 91 is call of an active shooter at simpson park here on monroe in alexandria. our units responded and were on the scene within three minutes. the officers received fire from a suspect and they returned fire, and that part of the investigation is ongoing as we speak. we came to find out that at this event was a practice session for a baseball team involving some representatives from congress, or some employees from congress. there were capitol police individuals on the scene, and they also engaged with the subject and i'll let the chief of the capitol police respond to that. the emergency medical personnel that responded to the scene from the alexandria fire department as well as officers from the alexandria police department provided treatment to a number of individuals on the scene. five of them were transported by
public emergency medical services to hospitals within the area to deal with a variety of injuries and treatment. at this point the alexandria pl police department, because this case involves the assault of a federal officer, the federal bureau of investigation will be taking over the investigation and we'll work with the fbi. we are embedded and assisting the fbi along with other agencies that are trying to deal with this particular scene and the investigation of this incident. that said i would also like to say our gratitude to the allied agencies that responded to this scene. we had individuals from the alexandria sheriff's office, the alexandria fire department whose initial response helped us a great deal and i couldn't be more proud of the men and women involved from the alexandria police department. they did an outstanding job in
my opinion from what i've heard. i would like to introduce the chief from the capitol police to come up and talk about their efforts in theis area and what they're doing. chief? >> thank you, chief. i would like to first start out by thanking the alexandria police, sheriff's office, fire department, the fbi, atf and all of our if federal law enforcement local partners who assisted in this response. certainly it's a very large response. it's going to take a while to sort through all of the details. my units of our dig that tear protection service was on site when we had -- when the incident occurred. they did engage in gun fire with the suspect and were assisted by the alexandria police. the officers, the united states capitol police officers who were injured are in good condition
and have not suffered in life-threatening injuries at this point. as we get more information we'll be working through the fbi and our local partners with the alexandria police to provide more details as they become available. but at this point i would like to turn it over to the fbi. >> good morning. tim slater. i'm the sac, the special agent in charge of the washington field office. and i want to reiterate what the chiefs have said. this is a secure community at this point. an active nfths investigation. but the secure of the community is paramount and i want to reassure you that that is the case. we got involved around 9:30 this morning. initially we responded with our national capitol response squad from the jttf per our protocol and they assisted by sate and local partners.
once it was confirmed that we had a member of congress that was involved in the understand accident, we have taken the lead. however, this is a joint command and this is a joint investigation with our state and local partners to include who's been at the mike phone already and our partners from atf and alexandria county and alexandria the city and capitol police as well. i'll take a couple of questions in a second but i want to turn it over to the governor for a second for a couple of comments. >> thank you. first of all, thoughts and prayers to everybody affected by today's incident. i want to congratulate the effort of the state, local and federal. we're all here together. early this morning state police were activated. i want to thank everybody's involvement. i want to thank all of the first responders. members of the neighborhood and the community came out to be of assistance. this is truly an extraordinary effort and i want to compliment
the u.s. capitol police for their quick action and through their heroic efforts and others they saved a lot of lives today. we do everything we can to keep our community safe. and i want to thank all of the personnel and first responders who were involved today. >> reporter: is it your feeling at this point that what you see, number one, a deliberate planned attack and are you investigating this now on the basis it could be an act of terrorism by an individual? >> ma'am, it's too early to say. it's really raw at this moment. we're just at the initial part of the investigation. so it's too early to say. we're work in both ways right now. >> reporter: so is one of the angle you're exploring investigating that it could be an act of terrorism. >> we're exploring all angles. >> reporter: it is said that there may be a tentative id. even in you can't say specifics, are you beginning to narrow down on the identity of the shooter?
>> yes we are. >> reporter: was this an assassination attempt? >> reporter: do you know who he is. >> it's not an assassination attem attempt. we're working on it. >> reporter: is he former military? >> we won't confirth. >> reporter: was this an intentional attack >> tooarly to tell if they were targeted or not. >> reporter: can you tell us about the condition -- >> everybody was transported to the hospital, receiving medical treatment. just don't know. >> reporter: a member of congress, the shooter asked if these were republicans or democrats. can you say yes, whether there is a political motivation in the smooth? >> not at all. >> reporter: are you saying it was random? >> i don't know. >> reporter: how do you know you it's not an assassination. >> i don't know either of those.
it's too earlier. >> reporter: done the condition of the suspect and the general condition of the officers who were shot? >> i think the officers are doing better. i'm not sure of the suspect at this time. >> reporter: is the suspect talking to law enforcement? >> say again. [ inaudible ] >> no, ma'am not at this point. >> reporter: how important it is that that security detail was here with congressman scalise here? c >> members of a dig that tear protection, yes, they were here as a protection team. >> reporter: and the difference it made? >> i'm sure it made a significant difference. >> reporter: is the suspect talking to you at this point? >> i don't know. >> reporter: is there anywhere else the investigation is taking place? >> e weawe've secured the scene >> reporter: you don't think this is an assassination attempt and it would appear that members
of congress were targeted. >> we are not sure at this moment. it's early on in the investigation and we're working through it. >> reporter: is your suspect a local man or from elsewhere. >> i don't know yet. >> reporter: i don't know if he's from the region? >> no, ma'am. [ inaudible ] >> say again. >> do you know if he approached lawmakers in the parking lot and asked whether they were republican or come? >> i'm not aware of that. >> reporter: you said earlier was not an assassination attempt. can you clarify. >> if i said that i misspoke. it's too early to say in the investigation to say one way or other. >> reporter: can you confirm his appearance? there are reports that he had white hair others said dark hair. >> i'm not aware. >> a couple more questions. >> reporter: given the fact you've laid out how much you don't know at this point, how much you're investigating, how with all due respect with you and the chief and the governor say that if you don't know, that the community is safe in this area. how can you rule out, sir that there is not a broader threat
situation? >> from early on in the investigation where we are right now, we think we have a good handle on it. we want to run out a couple of details before we confirm additional stuff. fair enough. >> reporter: wcan you confirm te weapon and whether there was more than one? >> no, i cannot. >> reporter: can we get an update on your officers who engaged in suspect. can you give us an update on how they're doing? >> certainly yes. they're being treated at the local hospital and the injuries do not appear to be life threatening. >> reporter: were they in good condition when you listed their condition? zb >> i would categorize they're in good condition. >> reporter: can you describe what they did, how they engaged the support? >> we received the word and coordinated with the alexandria police. from the earliest of this
incident, it was shots fired. >> reporter: where were you officers at when they started fierk on t firing on the gunman. >> it's too preliminary to go into the details of the investigation. the officers acted i believe y heroically today. they're in good condition and we look forward to a good recovery. >> reporter: how many were injured. >> i'm not going to comment on the names, numbers until i'm reasonably sure that next of kin are notified. >> reporter: absolutely. >> reporter: -- dells you anything about the motivation here and whether it was political. >> we're not going into motivation. much too preliminary. >> reporter: indication of who he shot, what he was doing? >> again, it's too early on. when the facts come to light we'll share what we can share. >> thank you.
>> reporter: is the fifth person a victim or was the fifth person the shooter? >> we're not going to comment on that. like the chief said, it's significantly early. >> reporter: the alexandria police department said -- >> reporter: are there four victims 0 are five. >> i'm not going to confirm that. >> reporter: you can confirm there were five people injured. >> i'm not going to confirm that either. >> there were five people transported by public emergency personnel by hospitals. >> reporter: was the suspect one of them? >> i'm not going to skmecomment that. let me comment to the question about the safe community piece. we have several things going on. the police department, after we secured the scene here did an awful lot of work in the community, we walked the community, we looked for secondary issues, brought in additional resources and assets so we could deal with me possible secondary thing. the question that was directed about the investigation, if in fact it reveals something else, we'll certainly respond to that.
but right now every indication in this city is that this is an isolated incident. the investigation will indeed be long term. let me also do a thank you to the agencies that assisted us. and as we canvassed the neighborhoods and looked around the community to make sure this was safe, including the virginia state police department, the alexandria sheriff's office and a lot of folks in the neighborhood came out to make sure we were doing the right thing. >> reporter: were there any other minor injuries? >> there were five people treated -- i won't go into that. >> reporter: is it four of five? >> i can't speak to the information that others are reporting. >> reporter: was anybody treated on the scene? >> ya speak to that. i'll refer to if fbi on that. >> reporter: governor -- >> reporter: are any of the other injuries life threatening. >> reporter: from your point of view on a broader level an your knowledge of the national
capitol area, your view of safety of the area, did you have any information prior, any investigatory agencies, there might be a threat in this area, a threat toward congress, how satisfied are you right now that you have handle on what happened here and there that there is no additional threat? >> i can tell you from deputy of public safety, we had no prior investigation to lead us to believe that anything like this was going to occur. >> reporter: do you think anything more needs to be done to protect politicians? >> well let me say this. i think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens. i have long advocated -- this is not what today is about. there are too many guns on the street. we lose 93 million americans a day to gun violence. i've long talked about this. background checks, shutting down gun show loopholes. it's not for today's discussion. it's not just about the politicians. we worry about this every day
for our citizens. >> repter: if it'sot the day for it why are you bringing it up? >> i talk about this every single day. this is a serious issue. recently we just buried one of our great state troopers want special agent with a wife and three young children, needless, senseless. we've got to look at this. i'm not going to get anywhere near the investigation. the fbi is leading this. this obviously, with 93 million people a day -- >> reporter: 93 million is a big number. did you mean to say 93 million? are you sure about that? >> 93 individuals a day. >> reporter: 93 individuals. >> a day. >> reporter: are you planning any other things throughout the day? >> i can just tell you from virginia perspective, we monitor all of this, we had no threats before, we're not concurring looking at this. as it relates to this incident. this is totally up to the fbi. >> reporter: there's so much
acrimony right now, so many back a and forth. are you concerned that that climate in any way contributed to what we saw today or do you have thoughts about the climate we're in. >> i can't answer on today. the investigation is going on. i do think things have become very partisaned, very hardened. we've got to begin to work together to get things done. we're the greatest nation on earth. there's too much pulling people apart in general and we need to work together to bring people together to work together. as governor i worry about economic development, education, transportation, basic things that people here in virginia want. that's what we need to focus our energies on. >> we do not have another briefing scheduled at this time. we'll be communicating with the media and providing another update later this afternoon. at this location. >> so that i appears to be it for the press briefing as you heard. the reason we heard from the
s.a.c., the special agent in charge of the d.c. capitol region of the fbi, tim slater, was because a federal member of congress was involved in this. so this is an fbi matter as we've watched. also the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms has been involved. we've seen video of them kind of run in the background as they are dismounted and gone over toward the scene of the shooting. you have the capitol police, they were there because a member of congressional leadership was involved in baseball practice. and of course you have the home team in alexandria, their police department, as we heard, responded in three our fewer minutes to the scene after a call of an active shooter. before we talk with our guest, let's go to the senate floor. the majority leader mitch mcconnell has just gavelled the senate to order. >> -- of course the capitol police officers on the scene.
we're deeply indebted to their office. we again salute their continuing and unfailing bravery on behalf of the capitol community. the congressional baseball game is a bipartisan charity event. i know the senate will embrace that spirit today as we come together and express in both our concern and our gratitude. >> unique relationship on capitol hill between members of congress, certainly members of the staff and the capitol police department. they see them, interact with them every day outdoors, inside, in the hallways. they of course man all of the check points and in the post-9/11 era, there's a lot of security concentric rings of security around the capitol itself and all of the house and
senate office buildings that surround the capitol complex. quickly reviewing what we learned from the news conference, it sounds like solo shooter. you heard the police chief chiel sa ---al sand dri ya say they moved five people. five were transferred from the scene. they don't believe any of the injuries to police officers are life threatening. we're going to learn more over time about this shooter, and you have to hope that this was an isolated, solo, as they say, edp, emotionally disturbed people who came upon this scene, you know, and was not part of anything larger. we are fortunate to be joined here in the studio by mark kelly, u.s. navy captain,
retired. retired astronaut. retired engineer. notably for the purposes of our conversation, the husband of long-time member of congress, gabby giffords. good morning to you. >> good morning, brian. >> i'm curious where your thoughts are this morning. >> they go back to january 8th of 2011, when i was first learning what happened to gabby in tucson. immediately when i saw this and found out that it was congressman scalise, thought about his family and what they might be -- must be experiencing right now, to find out that he's been shot and then, you know, to just wonder what his condition is. gabby, this morning, we were he here in new york. got up a little late because we're in pacific time. turned on the tv. she wasn't happy about that initially. then she saw what happened here. she's been, you know, paying attention ever since. we've been reaching out to her republican colleagues that she knows and also members of the capitol police, as you
mentioned. these people become very close to members of congress. >> sure. >> we're concerned aboutfamilie >> it is rare the navy names a vessel after a living person, and gabby giffords just received that honor. >> it is the biggest honor of her life. i mean, it is something she's never going to forget. it was an incredible experience. you know, it's kind of hard to explain for me, somebody who served in the navy for 25 years. the fact i now have a -- there is a ship named after my wife is just a great honor. >> and what are you looking to learn about this incident? what will make you feel better or worse as we go throughout the day and learn the details? of course, politics and gun laws will come into discussion. they already have. >> the only thing that makes us feel better is when we find out these -- you know, the victims
have been safely treated and don't have life-threatening injuries. the congressman, his aide, you know. in gabby's case, one of her staff members was killed that day. and the two capitol police officers. i reached out to one of the capitol police officers that was on gabby's detail after she was shot. she had protection for a period of time. we found out that one of her -- the capitol police officers that protected her was there that day, and he was not injured, thankfully. but the thing that makes us feel better is that these folks are on their way to recovery. >> i believe your wife was at a, what was it, safeway parking lot, a meet your member of congress? >> yes. >> couldn't have been more casual or kind of local seeming. now, members of congress will all think twice before their next trip home to meet the constituents perhaps.
oftentimes, local police put an officer or two on a detail to go with them, but this will have a chilling effect. it can't help but have a chilling effect. >> things like this are an assault on our democracy. what happened at the safeway grocery store. what happened today to the members of congress just getting ready for the baseball game tomorrow. but, you know, i've got to say, you know, one of the most basic things that a member of congress does in doing their job is to meet with their constituents. they need to continue to do that. i mean, it's unfortunately a dangerous country we live in. there are things we can do to try to make it a safer place. >> mark kelly, thank you very much. i guess until the end of time, when something like this happens, we will think of you and your wife. obviously for all the wrong reasons, but hopefully some good can some out of your advocacy all these many years later.
thank you very much for being here with us. our justice correspondent, pete williams, has some new information. pete, on the suspect here? >> well, we're told, brian, from several federal officials that this is a man from illinois. 66 or 67-year-old man from bellville, illinois, named james hodgekinson. we're told by illinois officials he had an illinois driver's license. obviously, they began to work to try to verify his identification. we had this area before, a suspect that was shot. this person is carrying someone else's id. there's a bit of care, i think, is one of the reasons we were not hearing any names early. now, we're told that that's the preliminary indication of who
this person was. we don't know his condition. we've heard varying reports on the nature of his injuries. they're apparently quite serious. he was shot and was taken to a nearby hospital, but we don't know what his current condition is. we don't know whether the authorities were ever able to talk to him before he went into surgery. or how seriously he's wounded and whether he can talk to them at all, whether he's been willing to talk to them. we have been told earlier, brian, by some of the witnesses, something about what he said that investigators are now telling us they have heard from witnesses, as well. which is, when he walked up to this area where the practice was being held, this baseball field, he asked someone, are these the republicans playing or the democrats playing? so there's some indication here based on that, based on an initial look at his social media, that this may be -- there may be, for lack a better term,
a political motivation here. but how significant that is, his political views, or whether it is a mental health issue or what, i think it is way too early to say. in any event, several officials have told us that based on everything they've been able to determine so far, this is not a case of someone inspired by an international terror organization. and i say that simply because we have seen so many examples here in recent months where isis and other groups have urged people to use whatever means they have, whether it's knives, guns, cars, whatever, to attack people in authority. but this does not seem to be that. that's the best read we have right now. we still don't know what the weapon is. as you know, brian, there now will be several lines of inquiry that are open. atf will be checking the weapon. when was it purchased? where did it come from? many witnesses have said it was
a rifle, a long gun, and that he reloaded it with magazines or ammunition clips during this. all that is one line of inquiry. the second is to try to trace his movements. when did he come here? how long has he been here? looking at gas station receipts. bridge toll or road toll pictures, hotel receipts, all those things to try to trace his movements. also, obviously to get a search warrant, search his residence in illinois, look at his car, get the license number, talk to relatives, see who he was calling on the phone, who he was e-mailing. all of that is going to take a lot of time. >> pete, i was going to ask you about that very same kind of cascading list of events that happens when you feel you have a positive id. it can often, within the hour, result in a battering ram, opening the door of an apartment or house in bellville, illinois,
in this case. as you point out there, so much imagery in our modern life, that you could be able to piece together a story, a narrative, of a guy like this, assuming it's this guy, coming from his home in illinois to washington, d.c. and what his travels have been the last few days. >> if it does turn out to be that, it would certainly not be the first time somebody sat at home, was stewing and decided to come here and shoot somebody. i recall several years ago, there was a man from colorado who was an upholsterer who got upset at the current climate about gun control and came here. francisco duran came here with a weapon and fired shots at the white house. fortunately didn't wound anyone, but he had a rifle and started to shoot through the white house fence. so these things do happen. if that's what it turns out to
be. but they're still a long way from confirming what the motive is. as i say, many people told us they don't see this as an internationally inspired terror act. >> pete williams in our washington bureau. pete, thanks. we're going to be, obviously, in touch with you on and off as we learn more. this is the top of the 11:00 a.m. hour eastern time. the news we are on the air to cover today started just a few minutes after 7:00 eastern time. when, of all things, there was a baseball practice going on on a baseball diamond. municipal field ini alexandria, virginia, a bit of a ways away from capitol hill in washington. this was a practice that featured rather well-known members of congress. both parties were planning on playing in the annual congressional baseball game. one of those en