tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 2, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EST
and a very good evening, everyone. we could be witnessing the final act in a massive manhunt in southern california, following the latest mass shooting to impact this cotry. a short time ago police cornered an suv and engaged in a shootout with at least one individual inside in the streets of san bernardino. it is about two miles away from the scene of the massacre hours earlier at afacility that houses those with developmental disabilities. at least 14 people were killed. several others were wounded, sparking a massive search for as many as three
suspects. we have more from pete williams. pete? >> lester, authorities tell us they believe these are the three gunmen who carried out the shooting. that is the working assumption. when police encountered this suv just a short time ago, the suv fired at the policemen. one person rolled out of the car and is now believed to be at large in the area. police are searching for him. a second person in the car was killed. and now they believe -- and this is why you are seeing the very guarded approach to the vehicle -- a third gunman still alive in the car holding a weapon. and police have also been concerned about the possibility of explosives. it does appear that one body is lying on the street there between the suv and one of the armored vehicles. although, we can't confirm that, that does appear to be the person that was killed. we have some pictures that show a closer view of the suv to see how much gunfire was directed at the vehicle. these were still pictures taken from
the helicopter, the knbc helicopter, just to look more closely. this is a side picture of the vehicle. you could see that the front window -- the front door, which is open, the window of it is catching the light. you could see that it has been virtually blown out. so that is just a little closer view. this is from overhead. you could see the bullet marks on the windshield. police tell us that they were firing at the vehicle as well as the people inside firing back at the vehicle. so this just gives you a better idea of the very active exchange of gunfire. and it appears that the rear window is the one that the gunman -- that we were told that the gunmen were firing from. so the rear window is appears to be shot out entirely if not the frame around the window as well on this suv, lester. >> do we know who these individuals are, pete? >> not yet. still waiting for information about that. i think that that will start to come in here shortly because they've got one -- one of them is dead. they'll immediately begin to -- as much as
they can approach that person, try to get fingerprints. search the body, try to see if they have any identity on them. so that is what we're waiting to hear, lester. >> and back near the scene of the original shooting, police holding a news conference. let's listen. >> at 4:45 with sheriff mcman and again do a press conference so you could speak to him directly and he could update you with any information. >> what about the pablt of a third -- the possibility of a suspect? >> i don't know. i believe there are two at this time. being dealt with. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> if there were originally three suspects, there is still possibly one outstanding. but again, i don't know. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't have that information. >> is there another suspect not in custody? >> i don't have that information either. i don't know.
the investigation just took them in that path. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't know. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't know. that's information i've not been given. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't have any of those details. the chief will provide those at 4:45. he's being briefed on that as we speak. we're just speaking here because we committed to talking to you on the hour. and i apologize, we don't have all of the information. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> that, i don't know. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i don't have that information either. i just know it is not life-threatening.
i don't know if the suspect has died. we have not been given that. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> i couldn't tell you that. but if you are back here at 4:45, chief and t and the sheriff will be here and they'll have many more answers for you. again, it is very active. it is not far from that -- from here. stay here and let's be vigilant because there may be a suspect still out here and we all need to be careful. >> but again, the officers came in contact with that suv because they were doing follow-up investigation? >> that is correct. it led them that way, correct. >> and they saw the vehicle? >> i don't know who fired first. i don't know. all right. again, at 4:45. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the san bernardino police department offering what information they could, promising we'll hear more from the police chief there as we watch another scene
unfold here and frankly don't have a lot of information right now as we see officers working their way down the street. but miguel almaguer is near the scene of the shooting. what could you tell us. >> clearly this is a very fluid situation as the officer mentioned. you could see on your screen that some officers are moving through the area in what looks like a residential community with intensity, looking as though they appear to be looking for a third suspect. the officer said they are still looking for more suspects. so it sounds like, lester, the situation is still very, very fluid. we are two miles away from where the shooting -- we are two miles away from the active scene that you are seeing here. police are asking everyone to stay back. they have the community on lockdown, lester. they are telling neighbors to shelter in place. businesses that are a few miles away have been told to shut doors. schools have been shutdown. thankfully schools are out and government buildings are shut down. and officers now seem as though they are taking cover behind a vehicle as they fan
out across what looks to be like a home very close to where the shooting happens. officers again are using extreme cautious because as they said, three masked men entered the building where this all began with high-powered rifles. so they are certainly concerned if they are looking for a suspect, or suspects out there, they may certainly be armed and very dangerous. you could see these officers moving together as a team in a clump. it looks like they are sweeping this neighborhood, going from one home to another. you could see some of the officers have their guns raised. so this is clearly an active situation. and lester, it is getting to be around the 5:00 after. just after the 4:00 hour. so folks are returning home some people may be in the community and that is a threat and concern as offers more door-to-door. >> i want to turn to clint van zandt, a former fbi profiler. we've been watching this all afternoon. as i see them go door-to-door, i noted in the fuse conference, they were -- news conference, they were following up on a lead
when they spotted this vehicle which makes me wonder if they traced back the neighborhood of where the suspects came from and if we may be looking for a search for additional accomplices that weren't part of the shooting. >> as pete williams suggests, there is either a third shooter on the street, or as you and i have discussed before, there may be other individuals involved in this. what we know is that that suv and the occupants could have gotten much further out of town had they chosen to just drive a straight course. they are still in the local area. so even after the shooting, they either went someplace and left or hid that vehicle and then somehow thought it was safe to move again. whichever it turns out to be, there is a strong possibility we still have at least one of the three shooters on the street. and maybe accomplices. now as you suggest, this may be a neighborhood. this may be where that vehicle came from. but, again, this is nowhere close to being
over until they get that third shooter in custody and anyone else that had supported them in this terrible event. >> we're less than two hours after the event, the police chief jared berguon announced they have active leads even then. so whatever happened, it looks like it unraveled very quickly. >> and those active leads, as we discussed earlier this afternoon, could be anywhere from someone inside the shooting scene recognizing the victim or hearing something said that would have been a key to law enforcement. or it could have been a picture that was taken of that vehicle by a store-front surveillance camera that would reveal the license plate. whether it is a perm vehicle or rental vehicle, law enforcement could run that down very quickly. and again, we know they had an all-pointed bulletin out for a vehicle by that description.
they may well have had the license plate too. and that appears to be the key, lester, that they were able to zero in on this vehicle and then everything started to break down after that. >> we're watching the scene play out here. it is hard to get a perspective how far this is from where the suv was cornered. clearly, heightened sense of alert but not extreme urgency here right now as these are not s.w.a.t. officers. they are just kind of working their way through the neighborhood. and it almost looks like a group of individuals there at their feet. it is hard to -- it is hard to make out from this advantage point. but if these individuals can be traced to a neighborhood, if there are tips then, is it fair to say that police probably have a good idea what this was all about and what this shooting was all about by now? >> i think they are putting it together pretty quickly. again, if they have a vehicle, a license plate, a registration or identity on one of the two people inside of the vehicle, they
will very quickly be able to use electronic means and just shoe leather on detectives and fbi and atf agents banging on doors of the neighborhood where anybody they have been able to identify so far in this may live. so as you and i talked before this whole shooting situation, as far as the suv is concerned, all it takes is that one bit of information that will break this case wide open. and fortunately, whether it came from the public or just good police work, a combination there of, two of the shooters are down. that third shooter, and his accomplices, that appears to be the mission of law enforcement. and if they had a direct house they were going to right now, lester, you and i know that you would see s.w.a.t. on the scene that would be taking that house down. so right now it appears to be more of a general neighborhood canvass, did you see anything, as opposed
to a specific house or building where they think a third suspect might have run to. >> they do seem to be going from building to -- house-to-house in that residential area where that vehicle was cornered. we'll go back to pete williams now. our justice correspondent. pete? >> lester, we still believe that what the lower part of the screen says is accurate, that one suspect was killed inside of that suv. one was hurt. and one apparently got away. and that is the best information that we have. we don't know where that person went. obviously that is a key question for police, in which direction he ran. but no one we've talked to indicates that anything other than they believe that this suv, that was the focus of all of that attention, is, in fact, the one driven by the gunmen who attacked the building in san bernardino earlier today. that is their very strong feeling. but the investigating still has a long way to go to figure out, all right, who were
these people and why did they do that. well still have no better answer to that question yet. but it does seem, putting two things together, lester, it did seem like the stopping of the suv was more than a mere coincidence or response to the police all points bulletin put out to look for this black suv. and i say that for two seasons. at the initial press release, the police officer chief said he did have positive information but he wouldn't disclose it. and at the brief news conference you saw a few moments ago, the deputy there said they were pursuing a lead. and that is what led them to this suv. so that sounds like more than just a chance encounter based on the all pointed bulletin. >> and they are working now from house-to-house in this neighborhood, in san bernardino, just a couple of miles from the scene of the -- shooting. and near that site we find miguel almaguer again. miguel? >> reporter: lester, let me gave you the lay of the land from
where i'm standing. the shooting happened a few blocks behind me. that suv that you saw with the windows shot out, there was two -- that was two miles from the crime scene. this door-to-door hunt on your screen that is roughly a few blocks away from the suv. so it is all in a very close couple of mile radius from where this all began. we could still hear the police helicopters hovering over the scene looking for a potential third suspect. so this all taking place earlier this afternoon. some 14 people shot dead. 17 wounded. and then of course this massive search for the suspects. it appears as though about an hour or two after this incident began they cornered one suspect in that suv. there was a gun battle with police. that suspect appears to have been shot. as pete wings has been short -- pete williams has been reporting, there could be two suspects in the vehicle. but it does appear police are looking for a third suspect and that is what we're seeing here tonight, lester. >> and we're monitoring our colleagues at knbc in los angeles providing these pictures.
gaudy swartz is on the scene, let's listen. >> gunfire erupted. >> let's go back there. it looks like from now the threat in this area has definitely subsid subsided. but this is going to be the area where it all came to an end for some of the suspects. it was a shootout. steven was telling us that there were thousands of rounds that were fired, right? >> thousands. >> thousands of rounds. he also heard explosions. and it was right back here. there is going to be some tactical officers that we'll see here. but this yard was possibly -- i mean they heard ricochetting. we won't show you right over here but there is a dead duck. we're not sure if it was hit by a gunfire or died of fright. it definitely died a little while ago. this is the area that officers are surrounding. it is all right there next to that blue home. >> it happened right there where that blue
house is. there -- by the two cars there shooting, into the blue house or at somebody by the blue house. and it went on for at least, five to ten minutes. they were shooting constantly. gunfire was erupted, automatic fire and it calmed down an then just erupted again, like they didn't get them with the explosions. it was unbelievable. they shot so many shots. and we were ducking down over here. it sounds like there was a war going on. >> what do you think about the fact they still have one suspect outstanding. >> it is spooky. i hope they get him. for innocent people, that is ridiculous. >> and where is the church in relation to where we are standing? >> there is one up here at the corner they were looking at. and then there is another one they were headed towards this way, the seventh day adventist church. i'm not sure which one they were investigating. they went back to the church up here on the corner. i hope they get the guy, if they haven't
already. because they are dangerous people, definitely. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> neighbors out here still on edge. this whole area has been swept by officers but they keep coming back. >> gaudy swartz of a witness explaining a dramatic and prolonging gun battle in the neighborhood. and now the live picture of police seem to be regrouping, pondering where the next move is in the search for the third suspect. on that, let's go to pete williams. what do you hear? >> well, lester, the search for the person comes as they try to figure out who the other people are. we've been told that one of the ones in the suv was killed, a second one was severely wounded. but i would think within a short period of time, we're going to be learning more about perhaps who they were and what the motive was. but none of the law enforcement officials i've talked to tonight say they have any word on that yet. and there is a logical explanation for that. the highest priority now is to try to find this person who is at
large. and there are other officers though who will be working, trying to figure out who they are. because if this person does get away, then the logical thing would be where would this person go that he would feel safe. and so if they could try to figure out who the people are, that will give them additional things to watch for and places to search. that is an important part of the investigation. they want to know if other people were involved. they have these three people but they want to know whether others were aware of this in advance, did others facilitate them. is the threat neutralized once they get the third person is is there -- or is there a larger part of this. they want to get that answered as quickly as they can. >> let's go to miguel almaguer also in san bernardino. miguel, when i came out to set a little after this had happened, i was listening to the scanner in san bernardino and they were already putting out to be on the lookout for that suv. and yet hours later, it ends up just two
miles away. anybody expect that? >> no, lester. that is an incredible fact. as you mentioned. when the shooting happened, shortly after they put out the apb. and police officers flooded into this area. there were more than 100 officers at the scene. and just a few miles away they find the black suv and engage in a gun battle with a suspect and now we are told they are searching for a possible third suspect. lester, one thing to point out to dove tail off of what pete williams was sporting about the intensity of the search of the manhunt, they will lose sunlight here in los angeles in an hour. officers are aware of that. they want to conduct that search in the daylight. concerned that during the night time they will lose visibility here. so that is also a major concern here as officers fan out across this area. we could still hear the helicopters up overhead. they have been here all day long. and now they most like will will be -- will be here all evening. as they step up the search for the suspect. the officers are
heavily arnold. because we are told the three gunmen were heavily armed and may have explosive devices. so police concerned moving through on what looks like a heff ofly armed armored vehicle as they push into the area. lester, more and more offers continue to flood into this area late tonight as that search continues. >> you make an interesting point of the light. we could see the low angle of the sun as the s.w.a.t. officers move through the neighborhood. miguel almaguer, thank you. i believe we have with us on the line -- lenny depaul, a former u.s. marshal who is familiar with these kind of manhunts. you have a lot of departments there. you are fighting darkness coming on soon. how do you go about this sort of thing in a residential neighborhood, especially? >> good evening, lester. it is a difficult scene. it certainly is an active scene at this point. with two people allegedly or apparently are either in custody or they
have them and one at large. law enforcement is definitely doing this by the numbers. they have to take a slow methodical approach and go door-to-door. i don't know if anybody was seen leaving the vehicle or not. but they are certainly trying to put the puzzle together. getting dark is going to be an issue. and i'm sure glad they have the support and the necessary assets needed to continue this manhunt. >> are there any rules of thumbs in these sort of things given that the getaway vehicle is no longer available to this person. do suspects in this case tend to go to where they know? does that make it easier for the investigative part of chasing them down? >> it does. but i'm scratching my head with this whole thing. and i've seen it play out. and this just wasn't part of this morning. they apparently put this thing together, whoever the individuals are. it seemed to be well thought out. they certainly dressed for the occasion and brought the appropriate weaponry with them unfortunately. but are they local?
i didn't think there was any terrorism involved and i still don't think that because they would have stayed on the scene and shot it out with the police officers, i would have thought. but who knows. it is anyone's guess at this point. but they are interviewing witnesses and talking to people and i'm sure they know more on the scene than we do obviously so hopefully they could put this together and there is no other -- no other injuries. >> that is certainly the hope here. lenny depaul, thank you for checking in. jake on sanderoff is on the phone. what are you seeing there? >> lester, i'm a couple of blocks away from the suv and where the standoff took place. at the intersection of davidson and richardson. what we've been seeing for the past 10 to 15 minutes is heavily armed tactical officers. much like you are seeing from the sky. they are almost going door-to-door in the neighborhood. at first they were at a church when an alarm sounded and then followed the barking of dogs next door. they are searching
every square inch of this neighborhood looking very, very hard for someone. >> and what about -- it is clearly a residential neighborhood. are they telling people what to do or -- or are people out there looking? what is going on? >> there is certainly a lot of looky-loos and you see people coming back and forth approaching the sheriff's deputies and the heavily armed tactical officers. they are being told to step back. there is a gathering of media that has gotten into place here. but they don't seem to be letting people up or down the street, lester, because they have guns drawn. there were ten or 15 people on the back of one of the heavily-armed vehicled running through the streets. and we're seeing law enforcement officers in the back of pickup trucks driving up and down the tree. they are using any vehicle at their disposal right now for this manhunt. >> and as we noted, it will be dark there soon. it is approaching 4:30 and also quitting time and people are going to be coming home. i would think this area must be sealed off for blocks?
>> it certainly is sealed off for blocks. the only reason i was able to get in there was one side street that happened to be open. and i'm looking southbound right now. many people, probably 20 people on the corner of one of the streets that may very well live in the neighborhood or are residences of nearby neighborhoods looking at what is going on. this is happening in the middle of a residential neighborhood. i'm looking at someone peering out from behind a five foot fence surrounding a house in the neighborhood. there is a very, very heavy law enforcement presentation in this residential neighborhood. >> jacob saberoff watching the goings on as we watch another one of these armored s.w.a.t. vehicles moving through the neighborhood. they had been working around a few homes and now they seem to be on the move. and unclear, if that again is following an investigation lead that brought them to that suv. and i'm trying to get a look to see if they are pulling up back to that scene or not. maybe as they make the
corner we'll get some sense. but they clearly have different intersections here blocked off. clearly on the lookout for this individual. if they were in that vehicle, they no longer have a motorized means of escape. there are police departments from several southern california communities along with the california highway patrol who with working this scene. and we don't want to take our eye off of what caused all of this, which was that horrible shooting today at that facility -- that state developmentally disabled facility in san bernardino. and the loss of 14 lives. let's go to pete williams now in washington. pete? >> reporter: well, one question has been, of course, since the beginning of this, lester, was this some sort of isis-inspired terror attack and the authorities don't know the answer to that question because they don't yet know enough about the motive of those involved or even positive identification of those people involved.
but growing indications that it was not. first of all, it didn't bear any of the hallmarks of that kind of attack in terms of the nature of the target, the fact that they didn't say anything when they came in. the fact that they seemed to want to get away quickly without taking any kind of credit. lester. >> pete williams. thanks. as we noted, i think last count was 17 wounded in today's attack. morgan radford is outside one of the hospitals where the wounded were transport transported. what do we know about conditions of the wounded? >> well, lester, there are, in fact, 17 wounded. but there was also a code yell bomb threat here at loma linda medical center just lifted within the past hour. but even though that bomb threat was lifted, the medical center here is still on very high alert. this is a -- especially after an officer was brought here in the past few minutes with nonlife-threatening injuries that were, in fact, related to today's shooting. but lester, as you could imagine, this is a chaotic scene.
there are emergency choppers leaving the hospital as emergency vehicles are coming in. but also coming in are family members waiting to hear anything they could about the loved ones being treated inside. we just spoke to a seek guard who is manning the family entrance at this hospital and she spoke to three or four family members. one of whom was a young man who was waiting to hear any word he could on his uncle. so the family members are still waiting to hear. >> and special some of the most -- certainly some of the most dramatic scenes. watching wounded literally being brought in in civilian vehicles, quick by evacuated from that building and taken to a triage center. we are going to continue our coverage of this story throughout the night. we'll break in as events warrant. and of course full coverage of your late local news and tomorrow morning on "today." and any time on nbcnightlynews.com. for now i'm lester holt, nbc news, new york. good night. ♪
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