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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  September 16, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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>> the best information we have is there's only one. it's understandable why these other reports are out there. the best information we have is one man, one man in his 50s, all dressed in black, entered the washington navy yard this morning. the shooting started inside or moving inside, heavily armed carrying three weapons, handgun, shotgun, military-style assault rifle, ar-15-type rifle. he is now dead. we don't know the precise number of casualties. that figure has been difficult to get a handle on, as multiple agencies are reporting. we'll have to wait before we can use figures definitively. there have been reports of more than one shooting scene. that's what gave rise to this report of more than one gunman
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because there were so many suggestion shots were fired. several officials tell us no shots have been fired at the navy facility for the last several hours since shortly after the shoopgt began. tactical teams were dispatched, went inside. that may have been a cross communication because police were clearing buildings, going through the buildings looking room by room. if they couldn't get the doors open either by knocking or with keys, they would shoot them open. so that could be the best reason why these reports of multiple shooters. that seems to be fading now. we only can confirm one shooting scene. one shooter, one gunman, this man came this morning intent on claiming as many victims as he
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could. >> pete, understanding this is, of course, a fluid situation, there were earlier supports from the department of homeland security floating around on the internet, one of which said the suspected shooter has no known connection to terrorism. we don't really know anything about him other than his age, presumed age, and a physical. is that right? >> no. we have heard information we're still checking out that would certainly suggest there's no connection to terrorism. this sounds more and more like the unfortunate -- another in an unfortunate string of workplace shootings. someone who has a connection to the facility either because of a relationship with someone who works there or a past employment relationship who comes with a score to settle. it's sounding like it's going to turn out to be that rather than some type of terrorism, some ft. hood-style shooting. >> nbc's tom costello is live at the scene.
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tom, pete williams was making the point a few moments ago, given how long this has gone on we have few details, the number of shooters, place of the shooting. has there been any more information in terms of the breakdown of events as they happen this morning, in terms of what happened where? >> reporter: not yet. i expect we're going to get that shortly. d.c. police chief and mayor are expected to hold a press conference within the next 20 minutes or so. i can tell you we've seen a lessening of tension here in this area just in the last 20 minutes or so. behind me we have started to see police units, as well as ems units, fire units starting to pull back from the scene, which would suggest things have stabilized at the scene. about 30, 40 minutes ago, we had a flurry of activity with just a huge number of police resources, s.w.a.t. teams rolling out of here at a very high rate of speed. on that report pete mentioned of
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a possible shooting at another air force base. that turned out not to be the case. since then things have calmed down just a bit here. i would point out that the d.c. area schools are on a lockdown. those schools in this nearby area. the department of transportation, which is next door to the navy yard also in a lockdown situation. the navy is telling the relatives of the employees, people who work there at the navy yard they can start to reunite with loved ones nearby at washington national stadium, which is a block to my left here. we don't know when that's doing to happen and we're not sure whether the scene has been released enough that those people sheltering in place at the navy yard can, in fact, go home or leave work for the day. this has clearly been just a dramatic police response in southeast d.c. involving multiple agencies, city agencies, federal resources, of course. this is a military base which may speak, of course, also to the fact it's going to take a little bit of time to get more
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facts forthcoming on exactly how it all went down, alex. >> tom, it is worth noting we are waiting for that press conference from the d.c. police. since you're on the scene, if you can give us a sense of the layout of the complex and sea systems command headquarters, what happens there, vis-a-vis the larger complex. >> reporter: it's going to be a little difficult. you're going to have to bear with me. i'm going to ask john to shoot down the sidewalk here. it literally is about four blocks, five blocks down the street now. the reason they are keeping us where we are, they have multiple rings of perimeters here, as we arrived on the scene, this was still very much an active incident in which they were hunting this shooter. they didn't know if there might be more than one. they established a very wide perimeter. we're now about four to five blocks away. if you would come back out, john, let me give you a better sense. washington national stadium, the baseball stadium, is a block to my left. i can see the score board where i am.
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the capital building is a mile, mile and a half as the bird flies that way. capitol police went into a very proactive state of alert when this happened. reagan national airport is about two and a half, three miles behind the camera man, behind the camera right now and they went into a ground stop with air traffic inbound and outbound as they were dealing with police helicopters, medevac operates operating in and around southeast d.c., navy yard. about 3,000 people work at the navy yard. this is a busy part of rejuvenated southeast d.c. in which national stadium, navy yard and department of transportation and a whole bunch of new buildings and developments have come up here in southeast d.c. in ten years to make this an up and coming part of the city. >> thanks for the update. tom, hang with us. joining us former police commissioner bill bratton. commissioner, one of the things that's surprising and something
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that gripped our attention is the amount of police presence and security officials, s.w.a.t. coming in and out of here. as tom explains geography, setting, proximity to the airport and the capital, one would think part of that national security presence is due to the fact those high-priority locations are in close proximity to the navy yard? >> it's all those things, the navy yard flying into d.c. is part of the flight path into reagan. the idea of somebody armed with a significant weapon, the concern would be certainly the ability to shoot plains coming in. lets face it, the nation's capital, there has to be in excess of three dozen agencies there that all have significant police capabilities, s.w.a.t. teams. it is the nation's capital. what you're seeing is literally everybody going on high alert, although the incident is not occurring on the majority of
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their properties, they are going to effectively going to lock down, going to emergency coordination with each other. it's not surprising to see all of you recounted and all that we're seeing on the screens. >> commissioner, we're hearing word the atf was dispatching the same team that was used after boston marathon bombings to come down here and deal with the situation. was that surprising to you? >> not at all. keep in mind that's a navy facility, ncis, very popular tv series for many years, has extraordinarily good investigative capabilities of their own. so there will be no shortage of agencies that might have a part in this investigation retrieving evidence, very large crime scene from the sound of it within that building. it's not surprising literally every one of the alphabet agencies is going to be involved at some point in time in this investigation. >> it's certainly an aggressive and swift response. i want to go over to the white house now where nbc's peter
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alexander is live at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. peter, what do we know as far as the president. he has been briefed several times on the situation we've heard but still intends to speak to the american public in a few moments we're hearing. >> we know those remarks were supposed to take place half hour or so at 11:40. we do not know exactly when they will take place. we do expect the president will come to the podium. it's at the eisenhower executive office building. these were remarks about the five-year anniversary of the fiscal crisis initially set to take place in the rose garden. it's because of weather new york city concern of security, that this event was moved inside. obviously this shooting has garnered so much attention not just in the washington, d.c. area but nationwide. i would expect that the president will address what took place at the washington navy yard just a short time. we don't know exactly when he will speak. they are certainly breathing a sigh of relief in and around the district of washington,
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specifically district of columbia in washington. specifically as our colleague pete williams has been reporting, it now appears there was only one shooter who is now dead. as awful as this is right now, it also appears it may have been a workplace related event more than it was a terror activity. nonetheless, the president continues to get briefings, as we expect he will as necessary from his counter-terrorism adviser lisa monaco at the white house. >> we know that the vice president was briefed on this as well and may be speaking to the issue or making comments. he has unfortunately been almost a designated point person from the white house as far as gun violence. do you have any intel on vice president biden and his involvement in this in briefings and engagement on this event? >> we know that the vice president is traveling today in south carolina where he is supposed to make remarks that are not on the topic as guns. he was, as you noted, briefed by phone, by his national security adviser jake sullivan.
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one of the people you would expect to be most out front on this very topic would be the vice president. he was the one the president tapped to be in charge of his commission following the awful shootings that took place in newtown. i imagine you'll hear a tag team of comments from both the vice president in charleston as well as the president in the nation's capital. >> i believe the washington, d.c. police are about to give a briefing on the shooting. let us take a listen in and hear the latest on the navy yard shooting. >> all right. good afternoon. we obviously have had a terrific tragedy here at the navy yard and the immediate area beginning this morning about 8:20 a.m. a shooter entered the building
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197, which is naval sea command and began shooting. removed from the scene and taken to the hospital. we're still trying to confirm the number of fatalities involv involved. we'll have to do that later. as far as we know this is an isolated incident. we don't know of any other installations involved. we would ask people to stay out of the area. this is an active investigation that is going on. of course because this involves the military and the federal government, we have been actively and directly and continuously involved with the white house about this incident confirming what we know at this stage. i want to call upon our police chief to provide additional
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details. she'll be followed by the park police chief teresa chambers. we have other law enforcement officials here with us. again, i'm sure you all understand an investigation and we will reconvene later this afternoon as more information is available to us. chief. >> so obviously at this point, it's still very preliminary. i'll give you what it is we do have right now, and there's still a lot of work to be done. we won't be taking questions right now. we'll be doing another briefing within the next two hours. we'll give locations for that briefing. right now what i can tell you is our initial call came in for a shooting on the navy yard. it came at 3:15, request for metropolitan police department assistance. our units were on the scene, shooter teams deployed and deployed on base within seven mince of the first call coming in. multiple active shooter teams from the metropolitan police
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department, park police, u.s. marshals, eventually also fbi have been inside the base since that time. right now, and this is very, very preliminary, we have one npd officer shot, an engagement with the shooter inside of the navy yard. we have one shooter that we believe involved in this that is deceased. we also have other casualties. i will not give a confirmed number at this time but i'd say we have multiple victims inside that are deceased. we'll give numbers once that is confirmed. the big concern for us now is we potentially have two other shooters that we have not located at this point. so right now all we have on potential other shooters, this is not confirmed, we potentially may have two additional shooters out there, one being a white
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male who was last seen around 8:35, 8:40 this morning in a khaki tan military uniform, short sleeved with a beret hat, and to be like a naval uniform. that white male was last seen around 8:35 this morning with a handgun. we also have a lookout potentially for another shooter involved. that was a black male approximately 50 years of age who may have been in possession of a long gun. that person was wearing an olive drab colored possible military style uniform. we have no information to believe that either of those folks are military personnel, but we do have information though those individuals are wearing military-style uniforms. so anybody that has information, may have seen somebody matching those descriptions, we are asking them to call metropolitan police department on
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202-727-9099. so in terps of the investigation, it is still very active. we have asked our members of the community to please remain out of the area and in their homes until we finish doing a search. obviously we have a larnl area we're actively engaging in a search on. with that i want to thank all the other agencies that have been here. this is a very active ongoing unified investigation at this point. the fbi has been here, fully engaged from the very beginning along with park police, metro transit police, d.o.d., naval criminal intelligence. so we've had everybody here along with us all along. as soon as we get additional information we will push it out. i will give her an opportunity if she has any information from park police. police, dod, naval criminal
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intelligence. we've had everybody with us all along. as soon as we get more information we'll push it out. i'll give her an opportunity if she has information from park police. our officer is in stable condition in surgery. >> the only thing to add, we were with npd very quickly on the scene. that happens a lot in washington, d.c. of course we have our aviation component that is helping with still eyes in the sky as well as medevac. again, we'll be part of this ongoing and fluid investigation and we'll be back with you later today. >> is there any indication this was an act of terrorism? >> wait. we're not prepared to answer questions. we'll be back in a couple hours as we gather more information. we certainly don't want to provide information that hasn't been confirmed. please bear with us as we continue this investigation. in a couple of hours i'm sure we'll have more. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> that was d.c. mayor vince
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gray and d.c. police chief speaking on the police shooting in the d.c. naval yard. we're learning two additional shooters on the loose. pete williams joins us now. sweet, we were talking a few moments ago there was perhaps a consensus there was one shooter, as the police outlined they are looking for two other suspects, one black male, one white male, one in some sort of uniform. this is obviously a fluid situati situation. >> reporter: i'm sorry, i'm not hearing you, someone else is trying to talk to me. i think you're asking about the police saying there's two other shooters. eyewitnesss have told police, one of the descriptions of one of the potential shooters sounds a lot like the person who has been killed, the single shooter. so i think out of an abundance
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of caution they are checking all this out and they want to make sure they have eyewitness reports that describe them having guns. it's a naval reservation, military facility. a lot of people have guns. obviously it's something they are trying to shake down. what we've been told, d.c. police is in charge of this. this is something they want to check out, something they are investigating but they can only confirm one shooter. >> i want to turn to clint van zandt, nbc analyst and former fbi profiler. clint, as we have said and will continue to say, details are emerging, getting information sporadically through the morning. we do know teams were there, s.w.a.t. teams were there. given the location of the naval yard, given what goes on there, are you surprised at the aggressiveness of this response? does this seem about on par?
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we know atf agents kicking down doors in some cases. they wanted to clear the area. there are five d.c. schools still on lockdown. is this business as usual insofar as there is a plan of action one needs to put in place in a situation like this? >> well, i think along with new york, washington, d.c. is obviously a major target for terrorist activity. in washington, d.c. you find more armed federal law enforcement officers who carry a badge and a gun, obviously, than any other place in the country. so this multi-agency response is always going to be there. i think everybody in d.c. kind of leans forward in the saddle if they have a law enforcement response waiting for the next terrible shoe to drop. it appears that one did today. i think the issue today is we don't know. is this an incident of violence in the workplace, normally is
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one person, although people will challenge you on the ft. hood shooting, whether that was an act of terrorism. but now we have two different people. and realize i agree with pete, the police chief just gave a description of two potential suspects they are looking for. the one described as a black male. that description is a dead ringer for the person who was killed in the shoot-out with law enforcement today. but we have this white male in a khaki uniform, beret, armed with a handgun who was last seen at about the time this incident went down. law enforcement is going to have to account for that. if there are two or three people, that normally would suggest something entirely different than just one aggrieved person taking out his anger, frustration and rage on innocent people in the workplace. >> clint, i want to just pause this for a second. washington hospital center is now giving a briefing on the shooting. lets hear the latest from their
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end. >> the patient was dead on his way to the hospital. >> can you tell if they are semiautomatic weapon. >> i do not know what type of weapon this was or the caliber of the bullet. [ inaudible ] >> i don't know if the bullet is still in the head because we did not obtain an x-ray. [ inaudible ] >> the body is with the medical examiner. >> when did you expect to see these initial -- >> i do not know. operating room and staff at stand by but we haven't heard yet. thank you. >> clint, to continue on our conversation where we left off, in terms of this type of violence if, in fact, we should definitely caveat we are getting details, this is a fluid situation, if in fact this is an example of workplace violence, given your work as a profiler, you're saying it seemed unlikely
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the suspect is working in conjunction with anyone else. is that right? >> yeah, it does to me, especially two other people. we see acts unfortunately again of violence in the workplace all over this country where one aggrieved individual builds up and builds up and builds up to this emotional volcano where they take a firearm into a workplace and kill people and wind up committing suicide. to have two or three people, that suggests some type of conspiracy they would all buy into, all agree to, and all make this terrible decision to attack this facility based perhaps on the agrievement of one person. it doesn't sound like anything we've seen before. so there's a lot of answers that still have to come again, i
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wouldn't be quick to throw away the one lone gunman until we have 100 people two other people who actually participated in this event today. >> thanks, clint. i want to turn to nbc news, casey hunt joins us by phone. casey, there was a massive law enforcement presence at the scene of this moments ago, hours ago. it seems like it's receding to some degree. is there a sense the situation has been dealt with as far as the shooter? what is the sense of alarm at the scene right now? >> it's definitely a little bit of a different sense than we had a couple hours ago. the presence is receding instead of building. for hours this morning you had first responders just absolutely flooding these few blocks here. fire trucks from all over the city. most of those fire trucks have departed at this point and we're sort of moving into the phase of trying to figure out exactly what the latest information is about these two potential shooters who police seem to
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indicate may be at large, which is cause of some alarm among those who are watching on the streets here just because the information is still very uncertain. the police chief also mentioned there are several deceased still inside they are still trying to remove. we do have ambulances still here. you do see medical personnel. one ambulance is back up near the gates right now. the element has not diminished, the medics and aftermath kind of thing. you're seeing fewer -- the atf team here earlier has departed and dmand centers have moved onward. clearly a different phase at this point. >> casey, we believe this started about 8:20 this morning. do you have a sense whether most folks were in the building? we know somewhere around 3,000 people work in this complex. do you have any sense of how many folks were at their desk,
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whether they were still filing in for work? >> reporter: i've talked to a number of people who were inside and witnessed it or actually on their way to work and sort of arrived to find police cars blocking them from entering. remember, this is a military installation. sometimes their days get started earlier than most of us or most americans sit down before 9:00, the workday still well under way. one of the women i talked to who actually caught a glimpse of the shooter in the same room but managed to escape say a number of people were at their cubicles, she and a number of employees were standing in the parking lot and trying to account for all of their friends, colleague s, people thy knew. it's true while they arrived waiting to go inside, a significant number of people they knew had, in fact, been inside the building already. >> thanks, casey. joining me now, nbc analyst jim calf na, retired special act in
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charge and former hostage negotiator for atf. jim, we know atf dispatched a team of locally trained agents to the washington navy yard. we're also hearing some of the same folks who worked on the boston marathon bombing may have been called into this. sort of what is the designation of duties in a situation like this given the number of different law enforcement groups that are on the scene? >> well, all the major law enforcement agency, alex, have s.w.a.t. or special responsibility teams called srt. some call it s.w.a.t., other police or agencies call it srt. what affirm tf dispatched was their full tactical team. also the park police would have dispatched tactical team, metropolitan police, fbi. so when you see a lot of agencies there, and it looks a little confusing, really the tactical units are very tight. they work as a unit. they come in a sprawling complex like this.
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you're not really going to have enough of them. so what happens when they get there, their commanders say can you clear those buildings on the right. we've got this building here. can you do that one over there. they just plug in as a tactical unit. they are full negotiators. they have dogs, they have gas. they are all ready to deal with active shooters what chief lanier said about two other suspects needs to be ferreted out. the possibility remains these could have been plain clothes offices responding as well like ncis, other naval personnel responding, pulled out a sidearm or long gun from their car. i'm not really sure. i've had that happening on active shootings, someone spotted with a gun and it was a detective or agent or plain clothes narcotics officer. i don't think we can really say. the witnesses did not say they were shooting just that they saw them with a firearm at the scene.
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>> thank you. i want to turn to nbc's peter alexander live at the white house. peter, we know the president is supposed to make remarks any moment now. any idea how it will be focused at the shooting on the navy yard? >> we know for sure he's going to continue with comments about the economy, the crisis. we do know we expect to hear from the president pout what happened in the washington navy yard. a lot of teams like this when it's been delayed, almost an entire hour from when the remarks were supposed to begin, the white house works closely with local law enforcement. they don't want to step on the message of the local police department. you heard from the police chief, chief lanier a short time ago. the expectation is the president would come out there as those remarks are finish any time soon now. one thing very striking, since we heard electric that police chief suggesting there are unconfirmed reports of potentially two other shooters out there, you would think in this area in and around the white house there would be a
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change sort of security situation. even from our post at the white house north lawn it doesn't appear anything is different. the street in front of pennsylvania avenue remains open as it was before. i'm getting word from our colleague, dennis, the president has walked over to eisenhower executive office building. alex, we should expect to hear from him very shortly. >> thanks, peter. as soon as we get word the president is taking the stage we'll bring you those remarks. i want to speak with former commissioner bill bratton. in terms of security here, we're hearing word there was no meteorologist detectors, no bag upon entry into the naval yard. does that surprise you? this is not the first time we've had a mass shooting. there's been a dramatic uptick in mass shootings since 2009, i believe. in terms of public official securing workplace, do you think we'll see more security at the
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washington navy yard in the future? >> one of the things that will occur after this event will be an exhaustive investigation into the event itself. investigations going for, do things need to change. if, in fact, they have metal screening capacity or routinely, that may change as a result of this. this is a navy security that has private contract personnel but active duty military police personnel on the site. it has a lot of security. the particular building that was involved in this incident, building 197, i haven't heard any comment about security at that particular facility, whether the security personnel in the building stationed. >> it would seem strange to have armed folks in the buildings and with weapons and no security screening. obviously a fluid situation. we're getting details, they are rolling out. as you know, as you see, we are
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determining exactly what went down in the chain of events. we are still waiting for the president to take the stage. he's expected to make his remarks. he's coming out right now. lets listen to president obama speaking on the economy and presumably the navy yard shooting. >> before i begin, let me say a few words about the tragedy unfolding not far away from here at the washington navy yard of that's part of why our event today was delayed. i've been briefed by my team on the situation. we still don't know all the facts, but we do know several people have been shot and some have been killed. so we are confronting yet another mass shooting. today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital. it's a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. these are men and women going to work, doing this job protecting all of us.
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they are patriots and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today the faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home. so we offer our gratitude to the navy and local law enforcement, federal authorities and the doctors who have responded with skill and bravery. i've made it clear to my team i want the investigation to be seamless, federal and local authorities are working together. as this investigation moves forward, we will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible. in the meantime we send our thoughts and prayers to all at the navy yard who have been touched by their tragedy. we thank them with their service. we stand with the families of those who have been harmed. they are going to need our love and support. as we learn more about the courageous americans who died today, their lives, their families, their patriotism, we
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will honor their service to the nation they helped to make great. obviously we're going to be investigating thoroughly what happened as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened and do everything we can to try to prevent them. now, in recent weeks, much of our attention has been focused on the events in syria, the horrible use of chemical weapons on innocent people, including children, the need for a firm response from the international community. over the weekend we took an important step in that direction towards moving syria's chemical weapons under international control so they can be destroyed. and we're not there yet. if properly implemented, this agreement could end the threat these weapons pose, not only the syrian people but to the world. i want to be clear, though, that even as we've dealt with the situation in syria, we've
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continued to focus on my number one priority since the day i took office, making sure we recover from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes and rebuilding our economy so it works for everybody who is willing to work hard, so that everybody willing to take responsibility for their lives has a chance to get ahead. it was five years ago this week that the financial crisis rocked wall street and sent an economy all right into recession into a tailspin. it's hard sometimes to remember everything that happened during those months. in the matter of a frightening through days and weeks, some of the world's largest investments banks failed, stock markets plunged, banks stopped lending
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to small families and businesses. our auto industry, the heartbeat of american manufacturing was flat lining. by the time i took office, the economy was shrinking by an annual rate of more than 8%. our businesses were shedding 800,000 jobs each month. it was a perfect storm that would rob millions of americans of jobs and homes and savings they had worked a lifetime to build. and it also laid bear the long erosion of a middle class that for more than a decade has had to work harder and harder just to keep up. in fact, most americans who have known economic hardship these past several years, they don't think of the collapse of lehman brothers when they think about the recession, instead they recall the day they got the gut punch of a pink slip, or the day a bank took away their home, the
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day they got sick but didn't have health insurance, or the day they had to sit their daughter or son down and tell him or her they couldn't afford to send their child back to college the next semester. so those are the stories that guided everything we've done. it's what in those earliest days of the crisis caused us to act so quickly through the recovery act, to rest the downward spiral and put a floor under the fall. we put people to work repairing roads and bridges, to keep teachers in our classrooms, first responders on the streets. we helped responsible home owners modify their mortgages so that more of them could keep their homes. we helped jump-start the flow of credit to help more small businesses keep their doors open. we saved the american auto industry. as we work to stabilize the economy and get it growing and creating jobs again, we also
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started pushing back against the trends that have been battering the middle class for decades. we took on a broken health care system, invested in american technologies to end our addiction to foreign oil, we put in place new rules on big banks, rules we need to finalize before the end of the year, by the way, to make sure the job is done, and put in new protections that cracked down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. we also changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest americans. we locked in tax cuts for 98% of americans. we asked those at the top to pay a little bit more. so if you add it all up, over the last three and a half years, our businesses have added 7.5 million new jobs. the unemployment rate has come down, our housing market is healing, our financial system is safer. we sell more goods made in
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america to the rest of the world than ever before. we generate more renewable energy than ever before. we produce more natural gas than anybody. health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. just two weeks from now millions of americans locked out of buying health insurance just because they had a pre-existing condition or have been sick or couldn't afford it, they are finally going to have a chance to buy quality affordable health care on the private marketplace. what all this means is we've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity. and in our personal lives, i think a lot of us understand that people have tightened their belts, shed debt, refocused on the things that really matter. all this happened because ultimately the resilience and grit of the american people. we should be proud of that.
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on this five-year anniversary we should take note of how far we've come from where we were five years ago. but that's not the end of the story. as any middle class family will tell you or anybody striving to get in the middle class, we are not yet where we need to be. that's what we've got to focus on, all the remaining work that needs to be done to strengthen this economy. we need to grow faster. we need more good paying jobs. we need more broad-based prosperity. we need more ladders of opportunity for people who are currently poor but want to get into the middle class. because even though our businesses are creating new jobs at appear rate, top on10% took
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home while the average worker didn't get a raise at all. that underscores the problem. most of the gains have gone to the top .1 of 1%. in many case the trend of winner take all economy where a few do better and better and better, some do well and the rest tread water, those trends have been made worse by the recession. that's what we should be focused on. that's what i'm focused on. that's what i know the americans standing beside me as well as all of you out there are focused on. as congress begins another budget debate, that's what congress should be focused on. how do we grow the economy faster, how do we create better jobs, how do we increase wages and incomes, how do we increase opportunity for those that have been locked out of opportunity.
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how do we create better retirement security. that's what we should be focused on. the the stakes for middle class and everybody fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher. in today's hyper competitive world, we have to make the investments necessary to attract good jobs, that pay good wages and offer high standards of living. and although ultimately our success will depend on all the innovation and hard work of private sector, all that grit and resilience of the american people, government is going to have a critical role in making sure we have an education system that prepares our children and workers for a global economy. the budget -- >> president obama speaking from the eisenhower executive office building addressing the three major news stories of the day, the shooting at the navy yard in washington, the crisis in syria, and the fifth anniversary of the financial collapse.
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picking up on the breaking news out of washington, a shooting broke out of the naval yard headquarters this morning. nbc news has confirmed one gunman, one suspected gunman is now dead. the d.c. police chief cathy lanier is saying there could be two additional other shooters wearing military style uniforms. at least six people were killed and six woupded. we're getting breaking news out of the united states of new york today. they have released conclusions from its inspectors, weapons inspectors in syria and can confirm chemical weapons were used against civilians on a large scale in syria. the reports cite samples at the scene which has clear and convincing evidence that rockets with sarin gas with you used in the area of damascus. expecting a briefing by ban ki-moon later today. as a testament to the news cycle today, all of these stories happening at the very same time. the president is not deterred.
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he's not deterred for giving his case for stewardship of the american economy, perhaps prestaging a very big battle with republicans in the fall. clearly a priority for the white house given the news the president is still speaking to the issue. >> he had to be a double pivot today. the hope was to pivot from syria to the economy, instead he had to pivot from washington navy yard to syria to the economy. it underlines the vast burdens this president, this white house are presently facing. the issue of guns, foreign policy issue regarding what's taking place in the middle east. as the president said it has been my number one focus on the economy. this is intended to be a week long push that coincides with the trip to the assembly plant trying to highlight progress that has been made within the american economy. as evidenced by those remarks,
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alex, i think it's clear this president has been forced to spend so much capital on other topics, capital many would suggest hasn't necessarily been wasted but hasn't gone to the ends they are hoping for. that's certainly the eyes with guns and in many cases with syria as well. he has a lot of work ahead of him as well as he tries to make his case about the economic successes. >> if anybody is asked what happened in august and in early september as far as the white house, they will say syria. that is the dominant narrative, the thing the white house is most focused on whether by necessity, he had a similar rollout campaign prior to getting so deeply involved in syria. the question is now how much syria continues to take up the airspace the president would like dedicated to the economy. this as much as anything is a public relations campaign with the american people to build up
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political capital in his fight against republicans, wouldn't you say? >> that's exactly right. recognize, what is it, the 16th day of september. the year ends the end of this month. not the calendar year but the fiscal year ends at the end of this month. that means two weeks for the government, for the white house, for democrats and republicans to figure out exactly what they are going to do to continue paying their bills for some period of time. you've got the budget battle, the debt ceiling. there's so many issues this president was hopeful he would be able to spend time on right now. i think you put it best when he indicated this an effort to rebuild that political capital. i think that's striking, remarks he made today are remarks made to people. given the fact so many networks, including our own, we're watching closely what the president said with his remarks on guns and the navy yard, many will tune in to hear the remarks about the economy as well.
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>> thanks, turning to pete williams. we're saying fluid situation, we'll continue to say it. president obama making remarks about the shooting at the naval yard and remarks on the economy. i wonder what you thought about his notation, if you will, this isn't the first time we've seen a mass shooting, perhaps presages the white house taking up the issue again, the issue of gun violence and gun safety reform. we don't know details about the shooting but we know the gunman was armed with a long gun and ar-15. those have been weapons of choice in other shootings in america. worth noting the u.s. has had mass shootings every month since 2009. >> i'll leave that to the political folks what the white house next steps may be. back to the report of the d.c. police, there may be other shooters they are searching for. we have a bit of new information about why she said that. we're told by federal officials,
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this is a combination of eyewitness reports and surveillance video, a surveillance video camera that investigators have looked at shows this white male in the khaki uniform and the beret around the time the shooting starts wearing a holster. that is what caused them to say there could have been a second shooter. now, we have to note this is a military facility and there are many people there who are certified to carry weapons inside the buildings and outside. so there's no confirmation of more than one person firing shots. i think that's the key point here. nonetheless, because of the fact this is such a dangerous situation, they want to make certain they know exactly what happened before they give the all clear and start backing off on security. they are investigating whether
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there could have been more than one person firing shots. the only confirmed gunman is the one who is described as dead, someone who is said to have a connection to this navy facility. unclear precisely what it was. they are still working to identify this person. we're told an id card was found near the gunman but there was some question about whether the id card was the gunman's or someone else's who dropped an id in the chaos of the morning. lots of unanswered questions. in terms of the casualty information, it's undoubtedly going to change. the most recent information we have is 12 people were shot, four of them died of their wounds. this number as well is going to change. i think the point here is that while they are investigating whether there could have been other shooters, the only confirmed -- they only have one confirmed who had a connection to this facility and some kind of grievance. >> pete, do we have any sense of the chain of events here?
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are there any eyewitnesses who described the shooter's path, whether he went room to room? do we know anything about the details of precisely went down this morning? >> no. that's going to take a while to sort out as police interview people there and piece that together. that will take a while. their first priority is to make sure everyone is safe, that there's nobody out there additionally who is firing shots. we've been told there's no report of gunfire now for the last several hours. >> thanks, pete. i want to go now to nbc's luke russert who is on the scene. luke, give us a sense of what the latest is from where you are standing. >> alex, i'm other at the washington hospital center. it's the hospital where some victims were first brought after the shooting. they have three victims here, one of whom is a metropolitan police officer. the good news is the surgeon who briefed us said all victims were alert. they obviously were in severe pain when they came in.
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they were in critical condition. one is in the or but they should pull through and should be okay. as you see behind me there's a heavy police presence at the hospital. we see a ton of d.c. police all walking around here making sure whoever is on the ground is spoefd to be there. they have taken up a little command post, if you will. as well as victims brought here, alex, an all hands on deck. u.s. police chopper as well as maryland state police chopper used in getting the victims here. the doctor said in her conversations with the victims and sheesd dealt with a lot of gunshot wounds before, she believes the weapons to be semiautomatic. that's what the doctor said. we can't confirm that 110%. from her past conversations and she obviously deals with a lot of shootings in d.c. on occasion but that's what she believes of the three victims are here. they are expected to pull through. they are going through surgery as we speak, one is a metropolitan police officer, set off police command at the
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hospital, alex. >> good to hear about victims expected to pull through. thanks for the update, luke. vice president biden spoke moments ago in charleston south carolina about the shooting in the washington navy yard. lets listen. >> our thoughts and prayers are with the military personnel at the washington navy yard. as i was taking off, "there was a gunman, several thousand shot, et cetera. more and more news coming back. i'm not prepared to tell you, although i've been in flight, did get a briefing from the security council on the way down that there may have been more than one shooter. you may know more than i in the last 45 minutes. this situation is unfolding. we know a tragedy has occurred and we're thinking about all the
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people there and praying for the safety of all the military and police personnel trying to bring this under control as well. >> that was vice president joe biden speaking on the washington navy shooting. i want to bring in former police commissioner from boston bill bratton. commissioner, we talk about workplace violence. that's been going on for sometime. the combination of threats and this new age of terror we live in, underscore the difficulty making every workplace safe, every place people congregate a safe place. >> today is a clear reminder, you cannot make every place safe. this is a security base in the nation's capital, a secure military base. indications are you reported earlier they don't have weapons security going into the facility. whether or not they have them in
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the independent buildings is not known. this is a reminder even on this secure military base, this incident happened. i'd like to point out going back to the news conference for a moment, we're hearing three victims at the hospital, including the police officer. we have confirmed the shooter dead at the scene. we have the comment from either the mayor or chief lanier that there are victims, homicide victims in the building. early reports were 10 to 12 victims total, wherever that figure came from. that right now leaves six to eight unaccounted for victims in that earlier preliminary report. i think what's going on right now, they are potentially and unfortunately a number of deceased victims in the building. they are going through that building very carefully to determine are there more. as i think back to the comment by the chief or the mayor that
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clearly the worst news is to come. >> the count of the number of vehicles is something we don't have a firm hold on as information is trickling out. i want to turn to clint van zandt, former fbi profiler, do we have any more information as far as eyewitness accounts of what went down? >> i'm aware of multiple eyewitness stories credited to witnesses at the scene. one or more witnesses talked about the shooter. again, this 6' tall, 50ish african-american male in dark clothing with apparently an ar-15 supposedly on the fourth floor where he had the ability to look down from the fourth floor. that witness said he was firing
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down from the fourth floor to the first floor at people walking in the hall. two other witnesses talking about in a hall. the shooter is in the same hall. one has to assume on the third or fourth floor. he starts to fire with this rifle again. shots are going over the heads of these witnesses and they run and get out of his gunfire. we have multiple witnesses but right now they appear to be talking about the same shooter. again, as pete williams suggests, we have nothing to put a gun in a second person's han shooting at someone else other than the primary shooter who we know is dead. >> just to reiterate we know there's one shooter dead. the police chief cathy lanier is dead. there may be two other suspected shooters. clint, as you're saying given the chaotic nature of this,
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given the fact there are people licensed to have weapons inside the building, it is possible those two shooters are not related or involved in this crime in any way. >> yeah. it's very possible those two individuals we have a physical description of may have nothing to do with this or as jim cavanaugh previously suggested when shots start going off, if you're a police officer or you have the authority to carry a gun, when you shots go off, you're going to draw your gun and confront what that situation is. somebody may have been picked up who had a law enforcement right to carry that weapon and they are still trying to confirm who that person is. >> commissioner bratton, we're talking about what happened inside the building, our casey hunt reporting. immediate police and law enforcement presence is receding a lot. part of the job is ensuring the building is secure and dealing
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with victims of the crime, few in number. is the next step notifying families? first would be id, then notifying families and bringing the victims out. >> first would be for the hospital to reach out to the families. the situation inside the building if there are deceased victims in that building, that will be a longer process. they are going to have to do the crime scene analysis extraordinarily comprehensive and attempt to verify identities if there are victims in that building before they do notify cases. there's also the effort under way to identify who was in the building, are they accounted for. some of the witnesses have been discussed earlier by the other commentators who were in that building. they are going to try to ascertain who is in the building, who is a witness. this is an extraordinary complex crime scene with a number of investigative entities involved in the investigation sorting out lead agency, support agency, coordination of information.
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>> and just a sheer number of people inside the building. this is a complex that houses as many as 3,000 workers. that's got to complicate efforts in terms of figuring out who was where, who did what? >> we'd have to hope without knowing at this stage what were the security procedures going into the building. do people check in so they actually have a head count in that building. we don't know that. that's one of the first things they seek to ascertain, if there's an ability to have an accurate head count and start putting it together. the issue right now, it does seem this crime scene is beginning to start contracting. my own speculation, the individual, white male in the uniform with the commentary about shots going off. a lot of people with firearms on that base may, in fact, be one of those individuals authorized to carry that weapon. >> we are following a fluid situation. thank you, commissioner. the breaking news out of the navy yards still developing. nbc news confirming one gunman,
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one suspected gunman is dead. d.c. police say two other potential shooters, at least six people reported to be deceased. that's all for now. andrea mitchell picks up with the d.c. shooting at the navy yard. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports" breaking news, a deadly shooting at the naval yard this morning. talking now about reportedly as many as four dead, 12 others wounded, including a number of police officers. >> you can see a lot of personnel heading to the navy yard. >> it was like pow pow pow pow. then stopped. then pow pow pow pow pow. we just ran. >> how many shots? >> i counted at least seven. >> reportedly as many as four people dead,

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