tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 1, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
something, blend in. >> one of many stories beginning to come in after this harrowing ordeal this morning at l.a.x. obviously our hearts, prayers going out to people in los angeles right now. we will continue covering this breaking news of course with my colleague, jake tapper. thank you so much for being with me on this friday. "the lead" starts right now. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." we're continuing cnn's breaking news coverage of the shooting at los angeles international airport at roughly 9:20 a.m. pacific time, 12:20 here on the east coast. air traffic at l.a.x., one of the biggest airports in the nation, is at a crawl this hour after a gunman opened fire in terminal three. he unleashed chaos inside. the transportation security administration confirms that one of its agents was killed in the shooting. another tsa employees were injured. police list a total of seven people wounded. it's unclear exactly how that breaks down. the gunman is believed to have acted alone according to lapd. according to police, this
individual, the suspect, pulled an assault rifle out of his bag, that's the words of the police, assault rifle, and opened fire. he charged back into the screening area and walked well inside the airport terminal before security ultimately caught up with him. an intelligence officer briefed by the lapd says the gunman was shot in the chest multiple times. now that shooter is said to be in custody. two sources tell cnn the shooter is not, repeat, not a current or former tsa officer, despite reports from other media. airport officials say l.a.x. is technically still open but it's only accepting flights at less than half the normal rate. any flight coming out of l.a.x. or through l.a.x. will be significantly late. officials are hoping passengers just stay away from the airport at this point at least for the rest of the afternoon. as for the passengers already inside terminal three, many are trapped for now in other terminals. they will all have to be rescreened before being allowed to leave. we want to bring you the very
latest live from the scene. let's go right to stephanie elam who is standing by outside l.a.x. what's the latest there? >> reporter: jake, it is still a place of a little bit of chaos, little bit of fear as patients -- not patients, but as travelers are starting to feel better about things. we are seeing people in their uniform, men in uniform, women in uniform, walking around with guns exposed. that said, they do believe the shooter was acting alone. also, as you look around at the other terminals, hundreds of people just standing there, sitting in chairs. they are able to get into some of the other terminals as they figure out what they're going to do. as i got to the terminal today, i actually walked here from off of the streets. century boulevard is a major artery into the airport. that's completely closed still. so people were having to make their way around it. i encountered a few people who had landed here at l.a.x. and were allowed to get off of their
planes. the ones who had their bags with them, they were fine. they just kept making their way out into the hot southern california sun. lots of people sweating, lugging their luggage off the property here. that's what they were just trying to get away as best they could, hoping to be able to find a cab further away. other people are just waiting here to see what happens but they are making it very clear they do want travelers to get away from the airport, to try to book their travel for another day because they're saying it's going to be hours before this airport is reopened. a lot of the terminal space around here is still blocked by police cars. there's a lot of news vans. it would be very difficult to open back up the terminal at this point. so it's still very much feeling like a lockdown area and on top of it, they are extra heavy on security, even with my badge and credentials visible, they are still asking me several times. they're not taking any chances at this point. >> stephanie, thanks. details are coming in about what happened leading up to the shooting at l.a.x. deborah feyerick has been tracking down her sources and joins us live from new york with
some new information. what can you tell us? >> reporter: we want to paint a picture of exactly what happened for you. apparently this gunman approached the screeners, pulled out what police say was an assault rifle from a bag. the weapon had been concealed. he walked over to the screeners and that's when he opened fire. now, we are told that he shot one fatally and then another was injured in the leg. tsa has now confirmed that others were injured but it's not clear whether in fact they were injured in the pandemonium. now, jake, before you just held up a shot of l.a.x., and you can see it's sort of shaped almost like a long lollypop. we are now being told that the shooter was able to breach the security checkpoint and then he was able to run all the way down that long jetway basically to that circular area and that's when lapd and l.a.x. police officers confronted him and an lapd officer was able to shoot him multiple times center mass.
that means right in the chest. and they were able to take him down and stop the rampage from continuing. now, we are told that he was wearing sort of camouflage, he was wearing a gray kind of camouflage gear. he also had multiple magazines for this assault rifle, we're told by a source. he had one that was actually in the firearm and he had two in wearing. he was taken to a local hospital. he is being treated -- excuse me, doctors have said that there is one person in critical, others in serious condition. the nature of his injuries, shot several times right in the chest. we're trying to get an update right now. we are being told also that atf is going to be tracing the gun to see how it was purchased, when it was purchased along with those magazines to see when he came into possession of those as well. they have not yet released any identity on the gunman but one
tsa agent killed, another shot in the leg that we know. others injured, but we don't know the kinds of injuries they sustained, and right now, a lot of witnesses who saw this shooting, who saw him run down that jetway. they are being questioned. surveillance video is being pulled to see how he got in and where he went. so right now, a very active investigation as they try to determine who this man is and what specifically he was doing. jake? >> deborah feyerick, thanks so much. we are seeing pictures right now of passengers walking en masse from the airport. a calm scene that's not anything like how witnesses are describing what happened when the shooting was actually happening. witnesses are using words such as panic and mayhem to describe the scene moments after the shooting. now i want to bring in witness vernon cardinas, an l.a.-based chef. he was at the airport when this all went down and joins us by phone. we're so glad that you're okay.
tell us what you saw. >> pretty much, i don't know, we were sitting in our terminal and, you know, normal day as usual. flight's delayed and all of a sudden, we hear like some commotion and before you know it, people are like running right past us but the weird thing is, we're at the end of the terminal, the gate 33b, so it wasn't like they had anywhere to run. so it quickly filled up in our terminal at the end of the terminal, and then that's when we heard a couple of pops and somebody just kicked open the only exit door there was which led down to the tarmac, and people started running on to the tarmac downstairs. >> and they were running from where? from the security checkpoint? into that area? >> yeah, from the center -- the terminal is sort of like, if you can picture a spider with legs,
and we were at the end of one of those so all the commotion came from the middle and people were running towards us, towards the dead end. >> you saw the shooter? >> yes, i did, actually. >> when did you see him? >> it was near the end, because all the commotion was going on, people were like going out the door and i was next to the door but i didn't want to quite go out because my bag, i left my bag, you know, where i was sitting and i wanted to keep an eye on it. so i was, you know, looking around, making sure i was safe, but at the same time, keeping an eye and then as everybody's going out, it started emptying out and before you know it, it was me and another guy with a blue shirt were the only two people left in there, and then that's when i saw him walking in the middle of like the center part of the terminal, you know. at first i didn't see a rifle.
i saw him holding something but right when i first saw him, he walked behind like some kind of advertising billboard in the middle of the room and then when he walked out from behind it, that's when i saw the rifle. >> do you know guns at all? do you know what kind of gun it was? >> you know what, like, you know, the guy, i was talking earlier, said he thought it was a shotgun but he didn't see it. i think he heard. but i saw it and it had a narrow, you know, narrow nozzle which is not, you know, a shotgun. >> so it was a long gun, though? perhaps a semiautomatic rifle of some sort? >> yeah. that's what it seemed like. >> what did he look like and how was he dressed? >> he was dressed -- he was dressed in like navy blue dark clothing. almost looked like he was an employee of the airport. and then -- and then, you know, he was a tall white guy, like
dirty blond hair but more darker. and we pretty much -- he was like around 50 to 75 yards away from me and it was just me and this other guy with the blue shirt and once -- i didn't feel i was in immediate danger because he wasn't pointing the gun, he was just walking around sort of dazed but once we sort of like looked into -- you know, he looked in our direction, and that's when i just left. i didn't want to stick around after that. >> how soon after you saw him did you realize that he was the shooter, that he was a bad guy? >> you know what, as soon as i saw, i thought so because i mean, he wasn't running around with a sense of urgency like a police officer would be. he was just like roaming, and the terminal was empty so it wasn't like if he was searching, he probably would have been running some place. >> was he clean-cut? how old do you think he was? >> you know, my guestimation, because i was like 50 to 75
yards, like i said, he looked like anywhere between 21 to 28 years old. i mean, he didn't seem too old. >> did you -- did your eyes meet at all? did he just look in your direction and you scooted out the door? >> yeah. i mean, just too far to see if we got eye contact but yeah, he looked in our direction and me and the guy with the blue shirt who was, you know, looking for his wife and children, we just went out real quick. but i mean -- >> did he approach anyone? did he look like he was out to kill a lot of people? >> no. that's the thing. he was just roaming around. if he was like looking to kill, as soon as he looked in our direction he would have raised the gun and it didn't look like he raised the gun. >> after you went outside, apparently he was shot and i don't -- i'm not sure of the status of him right now.
after you went outside, did you hear any more gunfire? >> no. not outside. but you know, yeah, we were out on the tarmac so we couldn't hear anything. >> vernon, we are so glad that you're okay. that must have been terrifying. you sound quite calm. >> yeah. yeah, it was pretty weird situation. >> all right. i guess you're not going to be able to get to philadelphia necessarily any time soon. i know you want to audition for "master chef." >> yeah. well, i worked for the tv show and i'm auditioning people. they're going to try to get me out there either way. >> all right. thank you so much. we appreciate it. we're so glad that you're okay. >> all right. thanks so much, man. have a good day. >> you, too. bye-bye. you're now looking at live pictures from l.a.x. of law
enforcement around terminal three courtesy of kcal, kcbs in los angeles. we will get in a quick break here and pick up our breaking news coverage right after that. we are getting new information on a possible motive for the shooting. i'll talk to a former fbi agent about the investigation. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
we're back with cnn's breaking coverage of the shooting at l.a.x. you're looking at live shots from ktla of passengers and some law enforcement outside terminal three at l.a.x., where there was a shooting earlier today. just to catch you up, at roughly 9:20 a.m. pacific time, 12:20 a.m. here on the east coast, a shooter shot a tsa guard, tsa agent, then went through the terminal. he ultimately was shot as well. police say that he is in custody. we're not sure about how he is doing. seven other individuals were wounded at least, according to law enforcement officials. i want to now go to senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen for the latest on the condition of individuals.
elizabeth, we know from ronald reagan ucla medical center that three individuals were admitted there. what do we know about them and what do we know about the other wounded? >> right. those three who are at ucla ronald reagan, there are two in fair condition and one in critical condition. all we know about these patients is that they're adult males. that's all we know. one in critical, two in fair. they did note the patients in fair condition usually go home within a day or two so it seems like those injuries really aren't terribly severe. as you noted, three were sent -- three patients were sent to other area hospitals. we don't know anything about those patients right now. >> and we were told from law enforcement officials, deb feyerick was, that the shooter was shot multiple times in the chest by law enforcement, presumably if he is still alive, he would be in critical condition but we have not yet heard any official notification about where the shooter is. is that right? >> right, jake. that's true. so it is possible that the
shooter is the critical condition patient at ucla ronald reagan. it's also possible that it's not him and it's someone else. but yes, someone who was shot multiple times in the chest would very likely be in critical condition. >> all right. elizabeth, we'll come back to you when you have more information. thank you so much. we appreciate it. we will go to deb feyerick in new york. she has been calling all her sources getting information about the shooting. deb, what is the latest? >> well, we can tell you there's now a photograph that is coming out of both the firearm that was used by the shooter as well as what's believed to be an item of his clothing. you can see it right there. that is the assault rifle that the shooter allegedly used. next to it you can see a magazine. there was one magazine that was actually in the gun. there were two taken from his clothing as well. he was wearing gray camouflage. he made it deep into the terminal, according to the police chief, who responded to that. he made it deep into the terminal and that's when officers from the lapd and
l.a.x. responded. one lapd officer opening fire. you can see the heavy police presence there. they had to make sure that he acted alone because they just weren't sure. it all happened so fast that they had to check other terminals but you can imagine that an area that was so secure all of a sudden there was just total pandemonium that ensued. they clearly have that firearm. i am told that the atf, alcohol, tobacco and firearms, they are going to be running a trace on that weapon to see where it was purchased and when. jake? >> deb, thanks so much. i want to bring in two individuals i have in the studio with me. tom fuentes, cnn law enforcement analyst and former fbi associate director, i believe? assistant director. and mary ellen o'toole, former fbi profiler and former fbi special agent. thank you both for being here. first, i'm sorry to even put you on the spot. can you tell from this angle what kind of gun that is? what kind of semi -- it looks like a semiautomatic rifle of
some sort. >> the monitor is a little small. can't quite make it out. >> tell us the fbi obviously involved in the investigation here. what is the fbi likely doing right now? >> right now, they're trying to find out everything they can about the shooter, his identity, friends, associates, co-workers, family members, anybody that could shed some light on what the motivation was for doing this, whether or not he sent out e-mails or text messages to others saying he was going to do it and why. and whether he might have been involved or had help from other people. so they're trying to piece everything together about that person from e-mail records, from phone records, business records, credit card records, everything that they can get as soon as they can get it to try to assess the motivation here, which would then play into mary ellen's specialty about why he would do it. >> what kind of motivations would law enforcement be looking at right now? what would they be trying to figure out? >> motivations could be multiple and usually with a case like
this, they are most often, it's not a singularly motivated crime. it could have included targeted victims. he could have had someone that he was angry with, a former boss, a spouse, a girlfriend. usually, however, these individuals, of course they don't snap and they don't develop this global hatred of the world where i'm going to take a gun to l.a.x. and start shooting. this behavior evolves over time so the motivation could be personal in one way but again, it takes time to develop the idea that this is the way for me to handle my problems, it's appropriate, it will work very efficiently and i'm very comfortable with it, and unfortunately, when people get to this point in their thinking, all those people at l.a.x. were more than likely viewed by him as objects. he really couldn't control how many he killed. it probably didn't matter if he killed as many as he could. >> although you heard an eyewitness we just interviewed earlier who was one of the last people to see the shooter before the shooter himself was taken down by law enforcement, and he
said he and another gentleman who were there to get a plane were standing by an exit and they saw him, the shooter, about 50 or 75 yards away. he saw them, could have shot them if he had wanted to but didn't make a motion to do that. they escaped before he could do anything. but this witness said very clearly he didn't seem to be just trying to kill as many people as possible. does that jibe with what you've seen before? >> it does. they don't have to annihilate everyone but they know that they have only a small amount of time before law enforcement is going to intervene. if they wanted to shoot just one person because they had a personal vendetta with them, they could choose a non-public place to do it. this individual chose a public place to do it. there was going to be collateral damage and that was okay with him. that's what i'm referring to is that if there were other people injured or killed on top of the targeted victim, if there was a targeted victim, he was going to
be okay with that. >> all right. we will take a very, very quick break. stick around. we will keep talking to you in a second. we are getting new information on the shooter's motive. we'll have that next. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger.
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welcome to cnn's breaking coverage of the shooting at l.a.x., los angeles international airport. at roughly 9:20 this morning, pacific time, 12:20 here on the east coast, a shooter shot and killed a tsa agent, got through and was walking through the terminal when a law enforcement officer shot him in the chest. there you can see the semiautomatic rifle that is believed to have been his weapon, the shooter's weapon. there's more law enforcement inside the terminal. president obama asked about this just minutes ago said that he is
concerned about the shooting, he's been getting updates from local authorities. you can see right now that is a shot from kabc outside los angeles international airport, which is just a mess right now in terms of traffic and no one being able to get in and only being able to get out on foot. i want to now bring in sean henry, former executive assistant director for the fbi and president of crown strike which provides security technology services. thanks so much for talking to us. last time we spoke, it was during the navy yard shooting. we have been talking here with two other former fbi officials about possible reasons why this might have happened. it was raised perhaps the shooter was targeting a specific individual. is it also possible the shooter may have been targeting the tsa in general? >> yeah, you know, jake, the police go through a very methodical process when there's an incident like this. first they want to make sure they mitigate the threat and i.d. co-conspirators and in
trying to piece this together, that is absolutely the question they will be asking is what's the motivation. you'll typically go through a list. i think terrorism has been ruled out, at least initially, based on the incident here. this doesn't seem to be a disgruntled employee, having no prior history of working there with tsa. i think that you've got to look at potentially somebody who may have some concerns about tsa security, they may have some issues previously about being treated unfairly at the airport by tsa officials. that's got to be one of the motives that has to be taken into consideration. we certainly have all heard people with outrage. certainly nobody that might take it to this level, but that has to be a motivation to look at. >> all right. stand by, shawn. president obama just commented on the shooting at l.a.x. moments ago. let's take a listen to that. we're not ready with that sound yet? apologize. so shawn, an individual who had problems with tsa seeking to
target, is it also possible and also tom and mary ellen, i want to talk to you about this, is it also possible this person may have had the intention of getting on an airplane, if he was walking down the terminal? >> well, you certainly don't know. you've got somebody who stopped at the initial checkpoint, pull a weapon out of their bag and certainly that's something, talking about a long gun, that would have been identified going through the magnetometer. it would have been identified through that initial security check. so i think that gives further rise to believe that this individual may have been targeting individuals, particularly when you look at specific tsa officials who were shot. that's got to be something law enforcement will focus in on. >> we know one was killed and a few were wounded. we will go to president obama. >> obviously we have been monitoring and we're concerned about it, but i'll let the law enforcement folks talk about it directly. all right? thank you, everybody.
>> president obama briefly commenting on the shooting at l.a.x. saying he's monitoring it, they're concerned about it but he's going to let law enforcement speak to this. tom fuentes, cnn law enforcement analyst and former fbi assistant director, let's talk about the fact that this is the closest that somebody like this has gotten to a cockpit as far as we know, i guess there was a shooting at l.a.x. in 2002, but that person didn't get past the ticket counter. the closest a person like this has gotten to the cockpit since 9/11. >> the question here would be, the police officer that shoots him and stops him, therefore stops the attack, what happens if that officer's not there or that officer can't shoot straight or this guy kills the officer before he gets shot, and moves on, where was he going. looking at a diagram of the cluster of gates that he was approaching, typically if aircraft are at those gates and they are disembarking passengers
or loading passengers, as that's happening, the cockpit is sitting there open. all that security that's designed for a plane in flight is not yet in play because the door is open, the pilots are going through preflight checklists, the crew is helping passengers get on or get off the aircraft. again, maybe he was just looking for his 15 minutes of fame, but he sure would have been even more famous if he actually gets his way into the cockpit of an aircraft. then you can theorize all beyond what could happen if this person gets on an aircraft. >> mary ellen o'toole, former senior fbi profiler, former fbi special agent, he seemed very mission-oriented, you were saying. >> he did. and that's really a new term, that's a new phenomenon that we've seen. a mission-oriented shooter is someone who is almost like on a military mission. they come armed so that they can carry out if necessary maximum
lethality and they take very high risk to carry out the shooting so your listeners may say that's crazy to think that you could go through security at l.a.x. but he's not being logical. he is committed to carrying out whatever his mission is, which again, i agree with tom, the multiple -- the likelihood of multiple motives is very real here. >> we will take a very quick break. i will get the latest details on the shooting from congresswoman loretta sanchez and we are also learning more about the shooter. stay with us. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're continuing cnn's breaking news coverage of the shooting at los angeles international airport. because of the homeland security measures put in place after september 11th, airports are considered to be some of the safest places in the country and yet, there you see on your television an image of after the carnage, a policeman, a still photograph of a policeman and what appears to be a semiautomatic rifle used
allegedly by the shooter on the top there and on the bottom on the left-hand, images from l.a.x. obviously not so safe today. what, if anything, could have been done to stop what happened today at l.a.x.? that's a question that a lot of members of congress are going to be asking in future days. joining me now is california congresswoman loretta sanchez, a democrat who represents the orange county area. she's also a senior member of the house committee on homeland security. congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us. i understand you have been briefed. what have you learned? >> well, we know that the shooter was this 23-year-old american citizen, resident of the l.a. area, paul ciancia is the way you would pronounce his last name. that he went in, that he had -- was armed when he was stopped at the first initial place where you go to show your boarding pass to the tsa person and your i.d. that's when he pulled out the weapon.
that most likely, he was aiming at some of the tsa employees. remember that our tsa employees, they're our officers, they are not armed. you can imagine if they were armed as angry as people sometimes get at these entry points, these security points, so we don't arm them. usually behind them, especially at l.a.x. which is the airport i use every week to fly back and forth to washington, d.c., we generally have an officer back there. it is usually of the particular airport, we have various law enforcement there, we have lawa, the airport police, we have lapd, who have a pod there, we have sheriff once in awhile there. of course we have our tsa officials and we also sometimes have fbi or special agents because of other things going on. in this particular case, he not only shot and killed a tsa employee, but he also wounded at least two other tsa employees
who are at the hospital now and of course, probably anywhere between two and four others who are at various hospitals. we also know that this young man was never a tsa employee. >> that's been reported in other dia outlets and you say and we have reported earlier today as well, this iidualas not a tsaemployee. congresswoman, one thing i heard from people who fly in and out of l.a.x. a lot is that it's very easy to get to the security checkpoint and there isn't as much security, it wouldn't have been that difficult for the shooter to get to that checkpoint. i'm not exactly sure what the complaint means. maybe you can shed some light on it. do you think this airport is fortified enough? do you think it is safe and secure enough? >> well, at some point, you have to start the entry process, if you will, into being a passenger
on a plane. now, i fly quite a bit and i have flown to many, many airports internationally as well as our domestic ones, and i will tell you that almost everybody does it the same way. in other words, to get to the terminals, you generally must enter the security point where you have somebody checking your i.d. to begin with and then you get to the place where you check your belongings, et cetera, that you're carrying on. there are very few places, there are some places that check you first, put you on a bus and then take you to a terminal, but usually the entry point is done pretty much the same way in almost every airport i've been to. so i don't know how much more fortification one could have, in particular when you do have especially at l.a.x., at least in the terminals i have accessed, you generally have a police officer right beyond the point where you go through after you've put your luggage or your
carry-ons through. i don't know how much more people want us to fortify at the same time as the traveling public is telling us we're spending too much time there, we don't want to be in line, why are you checking me all the time. so it's always a balance of how you do commerce and how you try to keep people safe. >> congresswoman, i just want to have you repeat what you were briefed on by law enforcement as a senior member of the house homeland security committee. you were told that the shooter is a 23 -- was a 23-year-old male or is a 23-year-old male and his name again was what? >> paul ciancia, i believe. c-i-a-n-c-i-a, as i -- as it was described to me. and he is an l.a. area resident and obviously, we're trying to track down what will happen now and the fbi is heading the whole investigation even though there's, as i said, a pod of different law enforcement, they are now trying to figure out
what he was doing before that so that we can have some information as to the intent and motive of what he was doing. >> i'm about to bring in evan peres, our reporter at the justice department who has more information. before i let you go, have you been told during your briefing or from any other of your sources in your capacity as a member of the homeland security committee, have you been told about any possible motive and have you also been told about whether or not the alleged shooter, 23-year-old paul ciancia, whether or not he is alive, whether or not he's in the hospital, his current status? >> not allowed to comment on his current status, although we have been told, and secondly, as to motive, we don't know other than the fact that at least the person who is dead, the victim, and at least two others were tsa employees. i don't know if that's because that's the barrier you have to get through before you can enter
terminal three down into the actual hallway of the terminal, or whether in particular he was advancing towards tsa employees. we don't know that yet. >> all right. congresswoman loretta sanchez, thank you so much for joining us. good to see you again. we will talk to you soon. i want to bring in evan peres very quickly. give us this information you have. we will take a quick break after that and come back to you. but what is the information you have about possible motivation? >> reporter: well, jake, right now, the fbi is still looking at the situation. they did recover some materials from the suspect and trying to figure out whether or not that perhaps describes some motivation. we understand there was some material that expressed some anti-government views, anti-federal government views, i believe shawn henry on the air just a little while ago also described some anti-tsa expressions, perhaps. again, this is all from the scene there and this is all early information. as with the name of the suspect which the congresswoman just
said on our air, this is again, they haven't done fingerprints, they haven't gone through everything to make sure that it is indeed that person. as you know, sometimes this early information is often incorrect. but that's what we have to go on right now. >> all right. evan peres, thank you so much. we will sneak in another quick break. our breaking news coverage will continue. stay with us. mine was earned orbiting the moon in 1971. afghanistan in 2009.
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welcome back to cnn's breaking coverage. welcome back to "the lead" as well. continuing our coverage of the shooting at los angeles international airport. sources tell cnn that the shooter is a 23-year-old man. we continue to learn more about him. we want to bring in an aviation security expert to talk about some of the recent issues at l.a.x. including today's shooting. he is the former director of security at tel aviv's airport. given what you know about airport security, given what you know about incidents at l.a.x. both recently and in 2002, there was an incident, individuals killed at the el-al ticket counter, are our airports here in the united states sufficiently ready for people coming in with guns? >> i think that we invested a
tremendous amount of effort in protecting aircraft after takeoff and relatively, we invested much less in protecting airports against ground attack. i want to remind you that back in the '70s, when the attacks against aviation were almost a weekly matter, many of those attacks were against airports, on the ground. european airports from paris to munich to athens to london to vienna to rome, all of them suffered ground attacks by terrorists at the time. so there's a lot that needs to be done. we did seem to have a very quick response this time in l.a.x. and i think that this can be contributed to the fact that l.a.x. already experienced an attack way back in 2002 by a
single gunman at the el-al counter and many lessons have been drawn but the question is, are these lessons also drawn in other airports around the country. >> the question of course, why would airports be a target, it would be just because i guess a lot of people in one small confined area. why else? >> i think airports have become an attractive target for terrorists, way beyond the logic. aviation, the aviation system is a central system that we all rely upon, our economy, our freedom of movement. a lot of relying on the way the airports are functioning. if you are able to shut down an airport like l.a.x. for half a day, that is something very dramatic and has a lot of consequences. so airports seem to be much more attractive than other targets at this point in time for terrorism. >> rafi ron, former director of security at tel aviv
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welcome back to "the lead." we're continuing cnn's breaking news coverage of the shooting at los angeles international airport. i want to bring in -- bring back mary ellen o'toole, former senior profiler for the fbi along with cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes, former assistant fbi director. we have heard from evan peres that the 23-year-old suspect was found to have anti-federal government literature in his bag. this fits in with what you were talking about earlier, which is that individuals like this, they don't just snap despite common public misperceptions. there's a buildup to this. >> there's a buildup and it's not -- this is not a rageful act. a rageful person, they're screaming and yelling. this is someone that's ruminated for a period of time and decided and planned it out and took precautions to get as much
shooting done as he could, but i think the important thing is as the fbi goes out and investigates his background, they will identify people who will say yeah, i did see something but i didn't really give it any significance. those are called warning signs. >> warning signs. we've heard that about other individuals who have reacted horrifically, the newtown shooter, aurora,t cetera. what can individuals do if they suspect somebody that they know is in a place where he may cause harm? you can't call the cops and say this guy is saying something mean. >> it's not a matter of somebody saying something mean. it's a matter of someone having almost this obsession with let's say for example tsa, if that's part of his motivation, and he hates them, and he says things like i will get them, i will go in there and shoot up the place, that's called leakage. believe it or not, people will engage in leakage before one of these events. then you factor in does he have
access to weapons. that two combination right there, the two factor combination is enough for somebody to say you know what, i don't care if he's kidding or not kidding, let me call someone in law enforcement and let them vet that. >> we were talking about the challenge of how difficult it is to have situations like this not take place in a country like this, not only because of the fact that guns are considered to be a right in the constitution but also just because it is such a big country and we fly more than any other country of comparable or larger size. >> right. the sheer volume of passengers every day boarding aircraft, going through the security measures, is enormous. and you know, it doesn't take, what, one person with a gun to cause the kind of damage that we've seen today. so it's very difficult. as mary ellen mentioned, the leakage, it's important for the public to know if you have somebody that's a friend or family member expressing bad thoughts, if you will, or ill
will to the government or to another person, and also buying guns, also taking steps in furtherance of their bad thoughts, that's a danger sign and they need to alert someone. >> thank you so much. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. he is in "the situation room." he will continue with our live breaking news coverage. wolf? we're continuing the breaking news, as you say, chaos in los angeles international airport. a gunman opens fire, storming the terminal. hundreds running for their lives, hiding under benches, fleeing on to the tarmac. at least one tsa officer is dead. multiple others, injured. new pictures coming in now, including a weapon at the scene. face-to-face with the shooter. we'll speak live to a witness who saw the gunman inside the airport. he calls the scene mass pandemonium. who is this suspect? breaking details from law enforcement sources on the ground and