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tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  December 2, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm EST

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and he said at first he was pretty sure it was gunshots but he waited and then he start today hear more rapid-fire shots. he said it sounded to him like it was coming from an assault-type weapon because the shots were so rapid fire. he heard 10 coming immediately, one shot after another after another. he said he was with a customer, they went inside and then they saw and heard police vehicles, sirens, ambulances, fire trucks, all heading in that direction. he said it's about less than a mile from where the shooting occurred. he said then a couple of hours later the police entered this gas station and asked for the surveillance camera video. and the people at the gas station were told the police were doing this because they were want to go look through this footage to see if perhaps the cameras at this gas take may have caught a glimpse of this black s.u.v. that police say they are looking for. >> jennifer, is there a sense
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that the black approximated suv was at that gas station before the shoot something in other words, they were filling up their tank for their get away or the suspicion that perhaps the black s.u.v. was there afterwards? >> reporter: it's not based on this employee's story. who he told us he witnessed first happened. i didn't say he saw the black s.u.v. there before or after. he said the police went there for the footage you can and said they were collecting footage to see if perhaps -- this gas station is located on the corner as i said of water do the man and orange show that maybe one the exterior cameras caught that intersection and perhaps could see the black s.u.v. i think it's safe to say that any of the local businesses in the area that do have surveillance footage, that the police will be collect that go and lacking through it. >> okay. in other words, yeah, great
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point. all the surveillance camera in the area if a hopes that one of the cameras caught a glim little of the black s.u.v. to figure out if there are any identifying script tour oscript tours on th. you mentioned you are there, what is the move and the atmosphere given that police say as many as three suspects are at large? >> reporter: well, the mood inside this gas station was -- the employee was calm but described feeling very, very anxious and feeling very concerned that this was happening in his neighborhood. we have heard people talk all day that, you know, you see what happens in paris and you see what happens at the very shootings in colorado, but you don't think that it ever going happen in your city in, your town, perhaps to one of your loved ones or friends. and that seems to be a feeling
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within the city, that people living in san bernadino, 60 some miles east of los angeles, just didn't think that they would see a mass shooting happen in their city. >> jennifer london reporting from san bernardino. jennifer we'll let you go and do some more reporting from as close to the inland regional certainty as the media is being allowed. and jennifer is talking to people and terrific information there about police trying to collect security camera surveillance from a nearby gas station in the hopes that perhaps that security camera may have caught a glimpse of the s.u.v. as it was leaving the scene. maria inning he is fa ray is here at the al jazeera head quarters in new york to give us a break downtown layout which becomes increasingly significant as we learn more about this. >> i want to give you a close-up of where this is is located and in fukudome we just zoom in right here our guest earlier
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warm talking about the three buildings. this is the golf course here and over here is a more industrial area. this is where the media is being staged right here. south of here is is where one of the hospitals are where some of i can victims were being taken and just north of here is about two miles north is where family members are being told to go and gather. i want to show you also a screen shot of their website saying that they have been open for more than 40 years. and also serving 29,000 individuals with developmental disabilities. and just to show you on their facebook page, they are being flooded with messages of condolences here. one person writing i am in tears praying for everyone there. praying for you all. and kurt carlson writing from us, we are here, we know your pain. all of these messages of condolence on his their facebook page right now. >> innes, thank you so much we appreciate it. sadly these shootings have become something of a common
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occurrence here in the united states. unlike most developed industrialized nations the united states has far more of its share of mass shootings. al jazeera's jonathan betz joins us more with that. >> this is stunning. these shooting shootings hatch e than people realize. america sees a mass shooting more than once every day. 12,000 people have been killed so far by guns in the united states. now, when you include the rampage today in california, there have been 355 mass shootings in the united states so far this year. keep in mind, there has only been 336 days in 2015. now these mat shootings are shootings where at least four people have been shot and/or killed. the washington post has been tracking these numbers this year. now, a lot of the crimes don't make big national headlines. but the numbers from today, 14 people killed in california, that would make this shooting the deadliest in more than two years since the navy yard shooting in washington, d.c. in
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2013. now, since friday, alone, just friday, the country has seen three mass shootings. that includes that rampage we reported on on a planned parenthood clinic in colorado on friday. america is the most armed country in the world. there are enough guns for nearly every person in the u.s. and even the president says it is happening so often america is becoming numb to it. now, earlier he spoke with cbs news soon after the first reports of the shooting came in, clearly frustrated by what is happening, here is what he said. and we hope to have that sound bite in a couple of minutes, but he repeated a phrase that he has said repeatedly, david, he's very frustrated by the amount of mass shootings this country is seeing and frustrate booed i the lack of action by congress, despite the bloodshed and all of the outrage from these mass killings, the script is becoming very familiar and it's a conversation that will likely be repeated after today's shooting.
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>> thank you, jonathan, very much. official washington has been paying attention to this mass shooting in california with the news break big 3 1/2 hours ago. and on the heels of the mass shooting in paris and the planned parenthood clinic in colorado. certainly a lot of anxiety in the nation's cap pal about the vulnerability says that the united states may be facing and the rise perhaps of domestic attacks like this. president obama, of course, has been briefed again on this latest mass shooting. lisa stark joins us from washington with that. lisa. >> well, david, lisa monaco is homeland security adviser enveloped the president about the shooting earlier today. we are told he is getting regular updates and as we know, there are federal authorities involved. the fbi, the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms very involved in this investigation in san bernadino county and if it turns out that it is a terrorist attack of some sort, the fbi will then take the lead. as jonathan mentioned, the president spoke earlier today to
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cbs news this was an already-planned interview but when the shooting occurred he was asked about what happened in california and here is what the president had to say. >> my hope is, is that we are able to contain this particular shooting and we don't yet know what the motives of the shooters are. but what we do know is that there are steps that we can take to make americans safer. and that we should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to, you know, make these rare as opposed to normal. we should never think that this is something that just happens in the ordinary course of events, because it doesn't happen with the same frequency in other countries. >> and the president also said that he hopes that folks come together to pass what he called common sense gun laws. such as stronger background checks. now, as you can imagine we have also heard from a number of
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members of congress today, tweeting out their sympathy, their horror about what has happened. i want to flag particularly two of them, because these are the senators from connecticut. of course, that is where that horrific shooting took place at sandy hook elementary back in 2012 with 20 children and six teachers losing their lives. senator blumenthal says congress is effectively complicit for its inaction. complicit in these shootings. and chris murphy said, oh, god, not again. and just in october after the shooting at the community college in rose berg, oregon, after that shooting chris murphy and blumenthal both said we will try again, try again to introduce some sort of legislation. they want legislation that would expand background checks and tighten regulations for illegal gun purchases and also close any background check loopholes. they have been unsuccessful in
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getting any legislation through congress since sandy hook, which many folks thought would be a defining moment, enough of a defining moment that legislation would pass, but, in fact, it has not happened. and there is no indication at this point that there is any appetite on capitol hill to do this. and, david, you know, we should point out there was a poll done by -- a pugh poll in 2015 that showed a shift in the american public and showed according to that poll that fewer people support stricter gun control than folks who did not support it. congress is mindful of that, too, that the public has been shifting i little bit and there is a slight majority in favor of not tightening up the gun control laws. so we do not expect to hear from the president later this evening at this point unless he -- there is more information. but, again, he did talk to cbs news and he did, again, say that we need to come up with laws, common sense solutions some way
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to stop what has become all too normal here in the united states. david. >> lisa, the president also, of course, referred to hoping that the shooters can somehow be contained. given the fact that police in southern california say that as many as three, that they did not exchange gunfire with police, that these three may have fled in an s.u.v., is there anything in particular that's been triggered say at the fbi or the department of homeland security as they monitor what's going on given the possibilities that are still out there about what is essential a staged assault? >> the fbi agent who did speak at the press conference earlier today said we will do everything in our power to find and locate these suspects. and you can imagine that is exactly what they are doing. as jennifer said, where the gas station she is located at near the scene of the shooting, they are already asked law enforcement has already asked for the camera footage from there. the sheriff was asked about
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whether there might be camera footage from inside the building, he said there probably is. so the fbi is definitely up and running, so is the atf along with local authorities to start checking every lead they can. obviously it's very concerning that these shooters, potentially up to three, are on the loose and that their motives are unknown. the businesses, hospitals, schools in that area have been informed and obviously are taking precautions, but it's quite worrisome. and i am sure i can guarantee you that the fbi has a lot of agents they have put on this already. and that the white house is being kept informed on a very regulation us. >> lisa stark reporting from washington. lease a, thank you very much. before we take a break, i want to get some reaction from lou who is a retired detective from nassau county here in new york. lou, you were just telling me a little earlier, you are confident that law enforcement will identify who is responsible for this and do it fairly soon. explain why? >> because of the sophistication
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of our fbi and our intelligence community. and the one thing i do think that is important to note is an investigation of this scope or scale goes well beyond the resources and the ability of the san bernadine county sheriff's office. this will take legs. it will be a domestic investigation. it could be rooted with contacts on the other side. country. potentially foreign. this is going to be a very substantial investigation. i know from my relationships with people in this organization, the fbi has their hands in many things, as does our intelligence community. i am highly confident they are going to identify who did this. and i am confident even further that they will apprehend them. one of the things that they haven't really spoken to, is the forensic information that is left at a crime scene like this. >> shell casings and what type of bullet, gun. >> and finger presents that are
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on them. when you have to load them in to a magazine, for example, there is a lot of information, there is dna there the minute you touch this. this thing is just started out. it's already running. it's in dear right now. and it's gone well beyond the jurisdiction of san bernadino. the county of san bernadino and the state of california. they are on this everywhere at this point. >> and so by now, 3 1/2 hours in this to this, you are co you ary confident they would identified what type of bullet, what type of gun it would be. they would have picked up the dna off the shell casings, they might as we are already heard collecting surveillance video from nearby business to his see if there was a glimmer of anything about this s.u.v. take us through the next couple of hours in terms of what happens in law enforcement? >> they'll continue to, panned. they'll tap in to their resources, tap in to informations that may have been communicated through the internet, through tweets and i am not that computer literate so you have to indulge me.
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>> even something about why was there anybody inside this conference center who may have been a target for whatever reason personal, professional. >> you know, based on the nature of this facility, it's really hard to wrap your arms around the fact that someone in there may have been the focal point of this type of assault. you know, especially with three people. you know, and to speak to the conference center versus the other buildings that are contiguous to it, obviously the other buildings had offices. and they conducted business. the conference center lends itself to exactly what it says, it's a conference center. it's where people come examine congregate. now, in doing their advance reconnaissance on this thing, the people that perpetrated this, they may have very well and very easily discovered the fact that they were going to have a large group of people there. this was an indiscriminate shooting. it didn't appear as if they singled out any one individual. if we go back a week or so in
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chicago where we were mate privy to the fact that people involved in gangs and drugs execute aid nine-year-old boy. they were specific in the target and mission. this was off the departure from what we consider to be even our new norm. our new norm doesn't lend itself to this domestically. we normally have one individual as a rule, emotionally attached to something or a clear-cut motive as we just experienced in chicago. i am confident the fbi, they are on this far more than the public could even imagine. they have come so far and they continue to evolve in their information techniques and the community in which information travels. >> so given, let's suppose that by now they have identified the weapon. they have come up with perhaps a list of who was inside this conference center to check off whether or not somebody might have been a deliberate target or whether it was random. maybe they picked up something on a surveillance video. just with that information in terms of the type the bullet and the weapon, what foreig forensit
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information, where does that take them as far as the investigation goes. >> where they acquired the weapons. they'll have informants. this is no question, do you want have to go in to a gun show, there is a whole discussion to be had about gun legislation, we need intelligent gun legislation, you don't have to go to a gun show and buy through a loophole of failure to provide identification, a mechanics niche to buy weapons weapons . >> presumably this evening they would have a good idea where they weapons might have come from and would be talking perhaps as early as this evening with whoever might have sold the weapons or produced the weapon to his get a better sent of who these shooters may have been. >> absolutely. and the thing about the firearms industry, you can buy the guns on the black market, but as a rule you don't buy ammunition off the black market. you have to go to a retail outlet. they'll hit every retail outlet. they'll go in to every distributor and create -- >> they'll look at credit card slips and receipts and find out surveillance video. >> they will leave no stone
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upturned. that's the one thing i will tell you about them. and sadly, every one of these incidents fine-tunes or hones their skills of investigation. >> lou staying with us, thank you very much. jack thomas served as deputy assistant secretary of homeland security for intelligence and analysis operations he joins us by phone from philadelphia. jack, first of all, what is going on in the department of homeland security right now, given that we know that according to police as many as three shooters involved? that they are at large, that there seems to be what we would describe as a soft target. how does the department of homeland security react to this? >> well, right now the department of homeland security is probably taking a second seat. local law enforcement has got the con on this so to speak. of course the fbi is involved. dhs. my old department they have people obviously that are involved, they are probably
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local to that area. but right now, what is happening is california has an intelligent center in northern california, there is one down in southern california. that inning testimony jenks fusio --intelligence fusion cery has probably gone to general head quarters and trying to get any information on who the alleged shooters are. right know we don't know that. the apparatus as your earlier guest was saying, the apparatus is working at full speed to determine, "a," who these guys are, where they are to catch them. >> tell us more about this intel general center in southern california. a man a representative of the fbi homeland security, as the information is coming in from police and detectives on the scene about the type of bullet, the type of shell casing, the type of weapon that then gets fed in to this intelligent center and what happens at that point? >> it's the joint intelligence regional center in the los angeles area. as you said there are newspaper
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was federal agencies, local agent is is, lapd. certainly the la county sheriff's department all these local agencies are involved in addition to feds and they are working right now to look at all tips and leads related to this particular shooting in san bernadino the idea of the function of an intel jenks fusion associate analyze that intelligent and look at the fusion, fuse the intelligence. what is important, what is white noise. those are the things that they'll look to to try to solve this horrific crime that's been perpetrated today in san bernadino. >> the san bernadino police chief said the they have no mot. they do not know if firefighters a terrorist incident but said that the shooters came prepare. what does that add up to you in your mind? >> the first thing that i heard when i heard -- first thing i thought when i heard about this was certainly i thought about
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paris. and i thought about about the possibility of a copycat type of crime or a wannabe type of crime. when you have one shooter you can say it might be a deranged individual, that might be a former employee with a grudge. that might being a domestic situation that's spilled over in to a workplace, but when you hear about three shooters, all of a sudden you are thinking conspiracy, you are thinking support network, you are thinking weapons being bought. you are thinking operations, and this is an operation, this was, again, a -- whether it's a terrorist operation, whether it's a link to isis or al qaeda or any other group, we just don't know. but the first thing that came to my mind was this was a terrorist type of operation with three shooters. >> would you expect then that if it was that type of operation that there might be some internet claim of responsibility that d.h.s. would be able to track and verify? >> well, that be one of the things that not only d.h.s. but
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also n.s.a. and other organizations of our national security apparatus will be looking at. certainly if there is a claim and there often is after these things a terrorist group claims responsibility. that often gives us some clues and some signatures as to where these people are, who inspired them, how they got inspired and who supported them and who funded them. >> do you have a sense about how quickly that information would come in? >> it's really hard to say. certainly, you know, we are -- we would be looking for that right now. we are looking for all chatter, as you have heard that term many times, what is the chatter, either close to or prior to an incident? so those -- those known individuals who are out there as potential supporters or sympathizers or even operators either domestically or overseas that are actually now involved in chatter, they are being monitored. and we are looking for clues
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possibly to the identity of the shooters through that signals and intelligence. >> as we talk to jack thomas who is a former secretary of homeland security. i want to bring lou back in a retired nassau detective. you were shaking your head there. >> i don't want to district this gentlemen he's very well informed and held a very subthan position in home land security. i will tell you right now the fbi? the lead. they will not sit back and wait until they determine or san bernadino determines that they are no longer equipped to follow through or expand the scope of this investigation. this investigation is in the hand of the federal government. not just our fbi might note but our intelligence community, they are connecting every link that exists. >> but it's also fair to say that local law enforcement, even local fbi would be complemented by the federal government paying attention to intercepts from over seize, have there been any indications from some of the enemies of the united states
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that they might have been planning something on a soft target in southern california. >> that's all of huh we are looking a right now. they are looking at everything single thing i said to you earlier they are leaving no stone unturned, communications regardless of nature. canvassing neighborhoods, checking retail stores that sell firearms, ammunition, taking out their confidential informants it's a huge under taking no disrespect intended for san bernadino, but this is not what they do. you see, i mentioned something to you earlier about how our law enforcement agents are armed and trained. thethey are really not armed and train today deal with incident of this type. and as a rules with the exception of new york city, for example, they are not really equipped to investigate incidents of this type, you have to defer to the people that have their thumb or fingerer on the pulse of these types of activities and that's our federal agencies. and they are not going to lay back until they are content that san bernadino can no longer carry the mail. that's not how it works.
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>> and as the head of the fbi and the head of the department of homeland security back again with jack thomas on the phone. jack, at what point, what would it take for either the head of the fbi or the chief in charge of homeland security, to then go to the president and say, okay, there is some new information that you need to know and that maybe you want to consider briefing the american people about, can you invention that scenario? >> -- envision that scenario? >> it's a process. it's a process that's very much done through the interagency. when i speak of the interagency, i speak of the fbi, i speak of the heads dhs and other federal agencies, part of the intelligent community working in con center with local law enforcement. so while he said there is probably beyond the scope of san bernadine okay it's still their backyard, they do understand that they know the streets, they know the people down there. and this is an organization that because it happened in their
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backyard they will be involved. now, in a terrorist incidents fbi and the feds have prime is a. so they come in and take this tike primsy of the case. >> i think that's speculation too fast where it goes, the president has been briefed on this. and they are engaged across many, many lines. >> jack, former assistant secretary of home land security. thank you very much. our thanks to lou who i believe is standing with us here in studio. in case you are just joining us, police in san bernadino confirm at least 14 fatalities from a mass shooting earlier today in a facility housing essentially social services for the disabled
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in southern california. police believe up to three shooters were involved that they did not exchange gunfire with police who arrived on the scene, so these three shooters, upwards of three shooters fled the scene, escaped in what police believe is a black s.u.v. you can believe the search that is going on in southern california right now for this s.u.v. is unlike anything california has seen in sometime. law enforcement on edge, the public on edge. we will bring you the latest information at the top of the hour right here on al jazeera america. but, again, the latest news, 14 people killed in another mass shooting here in the united states in san bernadino, california. three suspects, according to police, remain at large. i am david shuster we'll return to al jazeera america after this.
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this is al jazeera breaking news, are you are looking at a live picture from san bernadino, california, where police say four hours ago up it three gunmen entered a facility, a social services building in the city and opened fire on a conference center, police say at least 14 people have been killed, another 14 were injured. police say the gunmen, plural, gunmen, fled the scene before police got there. the gunmen are believed to have fled in a black s.u.v. there was a massive search under way in san bernadino and surrounding areas, san bernadino is about 60 miles east of los angeles. the department. homeland security, the fbi, the atf. all the federal agencies are