tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 28, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
now, we got word moments ago there was a shelter in place order as the u.s. capitol was put on lockdown asking people to shelter in place. they were not allowing people in. now we have an e-mail going around informing people there were gunshots heard at the u.s. capitol on the cvc. how close is that to you, the visitors' center? >> the cvc is directly connected to where i am from the russell center office building underground by a series of tunnels. for me it's literally about a five-minute walk. if i were to go outside, it's probably about 200 yards from where i am, and it's a massive complex underneath the capitol. i'll give you an idea of what it's like when you walk in there. there is a security perimeter in the cvc. if you're tourists and you're coming to the capitol, you want to see the rotunda, what you would do ordinarily is go to the
cvc. you pass through security one and then you get put in line to take a tour of the capitol, go to the auditorium, see the history and whatnot. the capitol is unique, because unlike other buildings, the capitol prides itself on being a free and open campus, meaning that i can walk on the capitol, literally to the door without anybody wanding me or screening me because the idea is that this is the people's house, representative of democracy, that people should be allowed to walk freely on the grounds of people's house. there have been some members of congress that have been we really should establish more of a security perimeter. people should be wanded before they can walk on the grounds. that has not happened even in the isis age that we live in. so presumably, someone can walk up to the capitol vichlt orz
sunday if they ever want to. inside it's a lot more lax. if people were outside on a nice day, they wonder what could happen because anybody could walk freely into the building and whatnot. that's where we stand, thomas. >> luke, we're joined now by msnbc anchor kate snow, and kate spent many years as a congressional correspondent. different network. >> in the same way that luke does every day. luke, i think we're looking at a shot -- if i'm not mistaken, i think we're looking at the other side of capitol hill on our screen right now with the reflecting pool. can you see that shot? >> i cannot. i'm walking freely. the reflecting pool would be the side of the inauguration, correct? >> exactly. if people are familiar with the mall in washington, they're
familiar with the smithsonian, the shot you're looking at right now would be sort of the beginning of the mall. behind us here would be the lincoln memorial. what luke is talking about, just for clarity, is on the other side of the capitol. they spent many years renovating and building this brand new state of the art visitors -- center. it's a wonderful place, it's underground. there is a lot of security, luke, and when you will go in, you're assigned to a tour guide, correct? >> that's right, you are assigned a tour guide -- >> it's underneath that cement we're looking at here in this shaky video. the visitors' center is actually underground. you take escalators to go down to that area. >> uh-huh. i would also add that now i'm
looking out the window. i have the viewpoint of the east front and the visitors centers at the top of it, at least. there is foot traffic on constitution avenue. capitol police are holding back a lot of reporters, but people are being permitted to walk up and down constitution avenue. even though the road is closed, foot traffic is permitted to go up and down the street, just not allowed on the kacapitol side. that's opened up just in the last half hour or so. >> i think on the right side of your screen is video we're just getting in. . >> we're seeing video of officers with guns drawn. >> that was about 10 minutes ago from my vantage point. >> we also saw.
. >> that's a firearm right there. >> if you're just joining us, there is a shelter in place order that's taken effect at the capitol because of. >> the cvc, the visitors' center of the cap toll because they are on break. the senate committee not coming back until the 12th. it is a relatively quiet time on, merrick garland had some meetings scheduled for today, but other than that, it's pretty quiet. >> it is quiet, thomas. this is the height of the tourist season, so there is a
lot of pedestrian foot traffic, a lot of tourist foot traffic. but as far as the business of the capitol give me a quick update. i'm looking at the visit. kept i new see one of those squat team vemz that they don't have dairn. >> luke, can i interrupt just for -- >> i can just say from appearance sake, with the movement on constitution avenue over on my side, the fact they're even allowing that pedestrian traffic to go up and down the street, which was closed off about five to ten minutes ago, that would seem to me that the situation is not as
dire as it was when we first started talking. it opened up a little bit, thankfully, that people are allowed to walk up and down on the sidewalks. not towards the capitol, but at least that freedom of movement would seem to, i would suspect, indicate that things have lig lightened up a little bit. >> luke, let me update if i can, i'm sorry to interrupt. the associated press said one capitol police officer was shot, not seriously injured, but was injured to some degree, and that the shooter is in custody. that's from the associated press just coming into us. also learning that the white house may have been put on lockdown because of the report as well. that's from the associated press saying that the white house precautionarily would have been put on lockdown because of this happening at the u.s. capitol. the ap, associated press, reporting that one capitol hill
officer shot. not seriously injured but injured in some way. the shooter now in custody. if that is all current as of this moment, that would be a relief. that would seem to indicate and would match what you've been saying, luke, that things have calmed down a bit, they've already got the shooter in custody and no one else is in danger. >> and this is a very real threat the capitol police face every day. this is an open campus where people can literally walk up to the door. the last time there was a shooting at the capitol of real significance was actually back in 2013. i covered that one as well, and that was a lady who had led officers on a car chase and actually ended up trying to ram officers with her car in front of the capitol. they ended up shooting her, and an officer was injured in that melee.
if, in fact, that report checked out from the ap and it's one officer who is not seriously injured with the shooter in custody, i think all things considered, that's pretty good news considering the response that was just put forward by the capitol police, which was certainly all out. one other thing i'll throw in here, guys, is think of this. today we had that drill here at the capitol, a shelter in place drill around 10:15 a.m. then later, around 3:30 -- or 2:30, rather, it actually goes in effect in reality. what are the chances of that? i think that's why some people here may not have been as quick to take it seriously in the beginning. but now that report of the officer being shot and the response is very, very much a serious matter. >> luke, let me clarify one thing. ourl producers telling me they are not on lockdown this moment.
luke, you remember as well as i do from serving and being on capitol hill, part of the reason they built this visitors' center the way they did and put it underground and had all that security added was because of a shooting at the capitol, and a police officer was killed in that shooting, no? >> yes, that was in the late 1990s. and that was a man walked up to an entrance on the east front right near the center and actually ended up taking the life of two capitol hill police officers. that is still very much remembered with moments of silence on the anniversary. there is a big monument to those officers in place in that hallway. and you are correct, part of the reason why they wanted to cross the people away from the doors was the idea of let's keep our members -- let's keep the people who work here each day of the week safe by people thinking
that the only way they can get in is underneath the visitors' center. that's where you process. and the fact they set up a barrier. however, you are free to walk or ride a bike from the capitol. i want to read a report from richard he estovito, one person shot here, not known how many times shot. that's probably what you are seeing inside the control tower as well. >> i'm sure people understand this information is coming in very, very quickly. we're being told, as luke just said, at an interstate. now unclear whether that person was actually a cam toll.
pete williams, our colleague, has not learned whether this was an officer. >> kate was just pointing out the fact that an arj ap report might not be accurate am a shooting that noops capitol hill. congress is in reese right now for its easter break. we do know there was an ambulance on-site. we do that was affected by this shooting and we're waiting for clarification of what happened. we got on the air with luke as
quickly as we could to get the details of what he saw on-site. he didn't visualually see problems. it's benea-- congress is on bre right now. >> but it's spring break. this is high season for tourists and families and children to be enjoy. it's a great tour. i've been on it with my own children. it's a great experience that the person whormd. i want to know if the control
room is still what we're hearing. we're joined by brian williams in new york. thanks, brian. >> kate, thanks. we're watching this right along with you. the camera sl. the u.s. capitol was supposed to be done by the next presidential resolution. katy knows this is going well over budget, the much talked about vision center. it was commissioned to process all of the visitors in a security. our justice correspondent pete williams has done additional reporting on this story, and
pete, just to clarify, aour viewers watching the last few minutes have seen, on the bottom of our screen, an associated press report. that reporting runs from that, correct? >> yes, we are learning that someone visited the visitor center sometime this afternoon with a firearm. they pointed the gun at the police officer, then fired the suspect. we're tloold. only the suspect with the firearm was wounded and take to the hospital. many. this happened just as i enter
the cadillac visitors' center, hopefully before you get to the metal detect or ds rs. one of the reasons for the capitol visitors center, which is not in the main capitol building itself, it's sort of under the capitol building, and. they don't want anyone about a gun to be able to walk into the capitol building itself. you may recall the 1989 shooting where a mentally disturbed manner into the capitol hill buildings themtsds themselves. frmt. he was eventually shot himself and he has never stood trial because he's never been considered able to assist in his own defense. he's in a federal medical
facility undergoing psychiatric treatment. but that's one of, if not the main reason, that we have now this capitol visitors center, so that anybody who tries to do what happened today cannot get into the capitol itself. it's under the capitol, i suppose it's part of the capitol complex, but it's not the rotunda of the capitol building, it's not either of the two wings on the side in which the senate or the house meets. so this is one of the reasons the capitol visitors center was built in the. they want to give them more of an orientation before they get into the building itself. >> it's part of a series of concentric rings. you've been covering the capitol building for so many years. whether you're protecting the
president, given to defend a building, a structural area. this is your way of moving things out and the away so the checking doesn't occur on the. >> right, not in the capitol building itself. and, of course, there was a lockdown urged or ordered, i guess, is the right term at the white house. there was a security alert being sent to other nearby buildings, including the u.s. supreme court which is just across the street from the capitol, that was a precaution during the early minutes when there was an enormous amount of confusion of what exactly had just happened here. lots of tweets going around, some of them apparently not adequately, but the best is what i just toltd you.
the mere faggot that one was able to walk in here with a gun. there are no people allowed in the capitol with a gun. unless you're a security guard and have good reason to carry it, it's a crime to simply walk around with one. we'll have to hear from the capitol police officer what it was from the capitol police themselves, i mean, what it was that caused this officer to feel that deadly force was being employed and to fire a shot against the suspect. we don't know the condition of the suspect. we were told initially that the wounds were not considered life threatening and the suspect was on his way to the hospital. i say his way. i assume it was a male suspect, but frankly, we don't know if it was a man or woman. >> there have been a number of reports out there whether this had a cascade effect across washington. the white house briefing was
under way when this happened and, in fact, has continued. and to our viewers, the reason we are seeing such a limited menu of visitors in the right of your screen, and the order is to shelter in place all of our reporters and photographers and technicians are in the same boat. it is often easier to bring a camera crew from nearby or across town or across the way at the supreme court to get a shot of what's going on. but we're not going to have a pleasing kind of overarching view of this. you see some of the robust response there, because this probably came in initially as a report of a subject with a gun, perhaps shots fired. it also came in as a medical call, so that would explain the d.c., ems and fire response.
u.s. capitol police are abundant. it's not uncommon to have three, four, five jurisdictions show up when something criminal goes on. it goes from u.s. jurisdiction to. we're looking at a number of incoming video feeds as best we can. you see there a post-911 development. those are the metal panels that spring up and out of the pavement in a true lockdown. if they're trying to make it so no one gets in, no one gets out, these which were a kind of modern day development on military bases at checkpoints and to stop suicide bomber
vehicles have now been deployed in washington is. support. if they're deployed like they are now, they mean business and there is no miss taking their purpose. >> luke russert remains to use the. as a practical matter, luke, it means shut the office door if you can. get to a secure location even if that means under your desk. and luke, you were pointing out tlfts a shelt inner place drill on. >> what are the chances of that happening. i think that's why there was some confusion where i was doing a report about president obama's
nam. i thought to myself, well, that goes along with the one we heard around 10:00 a.m. this morning. we had to make sure a sort of fire drill was being served. quickly we realized this was very much the real deal. >> even now, about a half hour is. there are a few staffers that have gone to the restroom, but most are staying in place, and that's at the drikz of the capitol him. >> we periodically will get, that there's a bag somewhere that someone left behind, the.
what's very remember did you hear a lot on the p.a., you also, if you looked out the window, and you can see pennsylvania avenue and washington avenue streets are closed. i'm looking out a balcony and i see what appears to be tourists leaving the capitol. they are filing out of the senate side walking two by two, and they're walking towards discussion. so i think it's fair to say the capitol hill review made a threat of, and they're now on the senate. >> pete williams is.
pete, any more information? >> just to amplify what luke was saying, the word has gone out to law enforcement organizations all around capitol hill that no further assistance is needed, so i would think pretty soon we're going to see an all clear here. those barriers you were talking about a while ago will go down. . they talk to any other suspects. this was an imtd incident. we caution about passing along initi initial. was this a mental situation?
it is said this is someone with mental health issues. it seems to be over. those barriers you were talking about, if you recall a couple that actually started with a woman in her car -- >> at the white house. >> -- yes, she ran over a barrier at the capitol. i'm talking about an incident a couple years ago. >> that is why when you saw what happened at the white house happen, any time there is a word of a shooting, they immediately send the word out to all the sort of federal facilities in this central washington government area just to be on the prudent side. there was no reason. there were no other danger to
those places, but in case you have to nail it down, that's why this will went up. you're looking at in the background, but those things pop up all around to try to keep anybody from. it bears repeating that there is a lot more tourists than usual because of the cherly blossom. a lot of people will go see the cherry blossoms and then head up to the capitol believe. that was the supreme court across the street you saw a moment ago in this shaky video. it does appear this is over. our understanding is that.
aimed a gun or lifted eye fum, but the police officer have had it a threat. the ploompl f. the suspect was taken to the hospital. we haven't talked to anybody fm. we are waiting to thaer and it sdrl is. they satisfied themselves no no one else was involved, so i suspect soon those barriers will come down and people will be able to move around again. >> obviously, pete, to your point, tensions are high after what happened in lahor over the weekend, obviously following belgi belgium. every day there are various threats that are being run down. washington, of course, has already been a target and is always believed to be a target. so pete's point, the cherry
blossoms are at of the season. um you. some of the buds calm out during unseasonably warm weather this winter, and we were afraid it would be a robust showing of cherly bl cherry blossoms. but they are out. it's a sunny day. >> this is one of the few pictures of the capitol that's aimed toward the capitol visiting center. you can't see it from here but it's under the main rotunda, the. ahe ahead. >> as i mentioned, that massive
res tore tags thanlt. various spring breaks converge. washington today, a beautiful, sunny, windy day, is a sea of selfie sticks and bottled water vendors and backpacks and kids with new vacation sneakers. if you've been there, if you've taken your children there, if you're gone there with a terror. the beauty of the day has been interrupted by this. in the. at the visitors center underneath the capitol. if you're here at the cbc.
we don't want to use absolutes in this era. almost no way that a gun would make it through these concentric. so as petition was record lg r recording, this was at the first ring of security when people encounter their first. that's whatour belongings are put down on. luke russert continued continues to stand by. reporters either an office buildi building. . >> they continue to stream out of the actual literal capitol
blind and i'm watching them cross over the street, constitution avenue, which, in fact, is still closed down. interestingly, though, amongst tourists, there are some uniformed members of the capitol custodial staff and the cafeteria staff. perhaps they were pulling more people out of the building and whatnot. but i can tell you, i'm still sheltered in place here at the russell center office building and there's not a lot of activity going on in the hallways. i want to throw in on what you guys were saying about the perimeter because that is very accurate. one thing that makes the capitol very unique is that tourists are free to walk on the grounds outside of the building, and you can actually get up very close to some of the entrances that senators use to.
any time there is, and the garbage cans around the capitol over the last two isis-inspired attacks in europe, so although it's certainly safer than it was 10, 15 years ago when you had the last police shooting, the late '90s, whatever, there is still an element of -- or other government buildings. so that is a question that has been brought up recently, and speaker boehner was very adamant when he was here that he wanted to keep the grounds open in the freedom to see their capitol. despite you have a lot of police, despite you have dogs and different types of vehicles and whatnot, it is rather simple from the outside to walk right up where there is a lot of tourists congregating and officers congregating, would
this perhaps lead to a discussion that maybe, just maybe, we need to establish even more of a perimeter, because this person thankfully went to the capitol visitors center, but we could be strapping down somebody more important. >> good point. you've seen this a million times. last time i was up there, for example,r, some tourists from nevada were beckoning him over and it was an open air pedestrian mall just streets. they are closer on average to the capitol than the white house, so really, on the surface did not. >> you're talking about
something that happens security officers and personnel, the thing that worries them the most is actually a day just like today. it's the height of tourist season, a beautiful have afternoon votes and they're getting out of town and it's a beautiful day. . you have about a few hundred members of the soufs. is. walk right up there and say, hey, congressman, i'm from whatever state. thank you for your representation. >>. . i do not want more of the security perimeter. the way it's in place is enough, and you would have to go through the building to something quite massive. >> it's always said, tongue in
cheek in madison. toupt t foupt. fmt. a couple things, brian. number one is we're starting to see some of those barriers come down around the capitol. this is consistent with the idea that this is over, that they don't believe anyone else was involved. secondly, there have been frankly conflicting reports from the beginning about whether one person was injured or two. our understanding is that one person was wounded by gunfire, but we've heard that the capitol policemen who fired the shot may have been injured by what's described as shrapnel. i don't know whether that means the bullet ricochetted around the marble and struck some marble and chips flew or hit some metal or what, but apparently the capitol police officer involved or a capitol
ploofrd was hurt, not wounded by something else, and so we think that officer is going to be treated as well. our understanding is that the person who was shot by the police officer is being taken to washington medstar health center, and coincidentally, that hospital has just been hit this afternoon with a computer virus that's got the computers shut down there. a lot of hospitals around the country have been having trouble with this, being particular tim. the computers are down until they can try to figure out how to get them going again, but that's the best information we have on the nature of the injuries. >> and that hospital is in the northeast quadrant?
. again, these pictures slightly out of focussed, being shot at a distance, because usualf otogsp reporters are not able to get out and about. pete williams correctly reporting that it certainly feels like we're about toll get the. we can also assume that when this is all over, whether we'll ever see them or not, it will be not one. because this happened in such a secure location, it an absolutely massive underground complex. a lot of these were built without disturbing the land above ground at the capitol. you see there again the exterior of the u.s. capitol. luke russert about at one of the
three office buildings. they are russell, dirksen and hart. we often see him report from the federal building without identifying as such, but they've been very friendly to our viewers. we have jill epstein with us. she was in the capitol hill visitors center. jill, what did you see and how did this happen? >> i'm with the association agency. we were in between meetings with our legislators. we went to the visitors' center to kill some time, and as we were walking in with metal detect torz saying -- left his phone and. they told us for a couple -- i
don't know, two minutes, then they screamed just run for it. men with guns everywhere, and we just ran up this huge ramp from the visitors center. like you said, it was kind of underground. i just went out and ran with police everywhere. >> did you hear the report, the actual noise of a gun being discharged? >> i didn't personally hear that. . seeing on sort of shaky iphone vide video. we had officers on foot, i'd armds drawn, kind of there, it
was fast. >> people appeared out of nowhe nowhere, police with guns drawn. it went from being an ordinary walking through security with the average amount of security around to in a minute, there were -- from the roofs and from the rooftop and every angle, there were police officers with guns. it was really just police officers with guns from the beginning. >> you must normally otherwise have felt very secure. that is such a large, elaborate and brand new underground complex. >> uh-huh. it was very surreal. if you have live. it's a gorgeous day with cherry blossoms and the new skipz. it was very real and scary.
>> i have to is is, did you get wall lets and shoes? has everybody in their -- they say there's no information of when we'll be able to go back in. i don't know how they distribute that. things are left behind when people are told to run. we are not able to gather everything we left behind. >> we're working to get some pictures on the air of what this visitors center stch. there are photos on the web to show people the dimensions of this. i am reasonably certain all your belongings will be secure in the hands of the capitol police. you've never been exposed to any scare like this, i'm um.
ly. everything you said you were going forld because kregs the lower, right? >> yes. we were here getting a medical program that we were going from the house side to a senate side. we did stop at the business center. >> jill, thank you very much for taking the time to join us. we're sorry you had such a scare. we're happy to report that by all accounts, we're minutes away from the all-clear. t the. thank you for that update. >> hope you get back with your fellow travelers.
sadly we're on with a man all too frequently because of his area of expertise. former -- what sticks out at you? >> just a great job by the capitol police, brian. you talked about it earlier with pete. there were probably 1400 strong. they patrol the capitols ground and 40 ground paths the article. they're bomb squad. we hired a lot of them in atf and the fbi and other agencies. they're a top unit and they showed it today. the question remains of what you and pete were talking about. was this a ejtsly disturbed person who pulled a gun? was it someone who was carrying a gun and thought, i'll surrender this secure facility.
so we don't quite know. >> jim, think about how their responsibility as changed in the modern era. you look at the u.s. capitol police. as we widen out to show the building they're responsible for, one of the greatest single symbols of our country, air rights overhead, something that was really not that much of an issue pre-9/11, pre the guy who landed adjacent to the capitol, pre-drone era, and obviously the era of terrorism. they've got 535 elected officials there, all of their staff members, an army of employees who are a lot of them lifetime employees who make that building go, the people who serve food and do the
maintenance and just serve the standing army that is congress. >> no, that's exactly right. it's a city inside the city inside the nation. it's a huge operation for our freedom. it's been attacked before. i well remember the 1983 bombing in the senate chamber, the aatf, fbi, capitol police all worked that case. it was a bombing inside the senate chamber. happened late at night, 10:30 at night. there's been attacks on the congress before. if we go back to the '60s, we can go back to the '40s, there's been attacks before. but like you say, after each event, there is usually some tightening, some ramp-up. i think the biggest one we saw in washington was post oak observing city when the road was shut down right between the white house and lafayette park. all of us bomb investigators
were cheering that design on, even though we all hated that road to be closed for the photographic. when you know bombs and you know how this works. with vehicles you can't penetrate clothes, but people carrying devices, suicide vests, backpacks and firearms still can get closer. whatever the moeb today, whatever the reason, whatever accident happened, the capitol police responded perfectly. many. >> by all account they certainly sprung into action and did their jobs and did it well today. jim cavanaugh, stand by, please. we're going to bring pete williams in for some new
information. this is how things play out so often is that the information changes. as we learn more, certain doubts are raised. the fundamental laydown hasn't changed any. that is, that at some time this afternoon, a man, we're told, walked into the capitol visitors center and the word that's being used in an internal document presented a weapon upon entering. does that mean brandished a gun or what? i guess i'm looking at the capitol visitors center and then was shot by a police officer. that much seems clear. we've had a couple people tell us this was not some sort of act of terrorism or political act, this was someone who was believed to have some mental health issues. now, what we can't say for certain is who was the other
person that was injured? these are pictures that were taken just after -- apparently just after the word went out that shots were fired. this is the plaza out in front of the capitol, and the visitors center was just below that, that picture we were looking at just a moment ago. someone was hurt, not seriously, hit by flying debris or shrapnel, a bullet ricochetting, chipping off marble or something. what we don't know is who was that other person? initially we were told it was another kapt although police officer while that officer was looking down. that's the entrance to it. we don't know if the person who was injured was another capitol police officer or just someone who was a tourist waiting to get into the capitol. that's what we're trying to figure out. in any event, this second injury was not considered to be serious, but nonetheless, this person was also taken by
ambulance to a hospital to have those injured looked at and treated. >> and as you have reported, for all we know these are kind of ricochet shrapnel wounds. >> it sounds like that's right. it sounds like, from our indications are, just one shot was fired, one shot was fired by a capital policeman, at a man who had -- who brought a gun with him as he tried to enter the capitol visitor's center. >> and i think for the benefit of all the tourists from around the world, from around the country, the closer we get to the all-clear, and a stance of something approaching business as usual at the capitol, the better it will be. jim cavanaugh, shelter in place, as we were saying earlier, has become -- has taken its place among new expressions in our languag
language. >> -- giant marble buildings, they're really safe to shelter in place there. i mean, those buildings are so stoutly built, they're so strong, they're so cavernous. if you can go back and shelter and lock your doors and get in a safe place, you're going to be really, really safe with the law enforcement contingent from the capitol police. and supported by the metropolitan d.c. police, the park police, the fbi, the atf, everybody, the marshal's service. you've got so much help coming and such a strong building, you're really going to be safe. so listen to those procedures. shelter in place there is very, very safe, because vehicle bombs, even, if you're not near the windows, the buildings are so strong, you're going to be pretty safe. >> agreed. jim cavanaugh, stand by. must be good news that i'm told we can now see luke russert on camera for the first too many in a long time. luke, does this mean -- i see where you are. so you've been allowed out?
>> we've been allowed out. the shelter in place was lifted. to give you an idea of where i was, i was over here at the russell senate office building. right here is constitution avenue, which you can see is still completely shut down to vehicle traffic. pedestrians are being allowed to walk around. the capitol visitor's center is over there beyond those trees. so, that's where a lot of tourists go as they enter from around the supreme court. as you see over here to my left, aside from a lot of media, is a lot of tourists who came out of the capitol building, were brought over to this park, which is on the senate side. let's see if there's anyone -- were you guys inside when this all happened? what's your name? can i talk to you? what's your name? >> andy focal. >> where are you from? >> nebraska. >> we were completing a tour on the west side. >> so you were in the capitol itself? >> yeah, looking out the windows, they told us to wait
here for a minute and we could see an insane amount of police outside and saw the ambulance pull up and take somebody away and they moved us back into the rotunda and we had to sit inside the rotunda for about 20 minutes. >> did you know what was going on? >> yes, thanks to smartphones and the capitol police were very good at telling us the basics o of what it was going on and that it was neutralized. >> you're here from wisconsin. i see your kids has tammy baldwin, that's the senator there, were you scared at all when you heard about this happening? >> no, not really. >> why not? >> the capitol security is probably one of the safest places to be with them there. >> so you felt well protected inside the capitol? >> and i saw a bunch of police out with guns and a guy outside the door with a big machine gun. >> you guys have a good midwestern kindness about you. it's beautiful cherry blossom here, you're here to see your nation's capital. what is this like for you as a parent, you had to deal with this, a shelter in place at the u.s. capitol? a little bit scary, right?
>> it is. more so when you were being let out, and you see on tv, unfortunately, with all the shootings and single file people out past the police and -- again, i guess, we were lucky that we couldn't have been safer inside. we walked in that entrance an hour before it happened and we were about to head out that entrance, as well. i guess we felt we were more lucky to be inside and to the outside when the shots were happening or whatever happened. and being part of that experience, i would rather have not have heard it. >> i hope the rest of your visit is uneventful. >> the fogle family? >> focal. >> reporter: the focal family from wisconsin. keeping a good head on their shoulders regarding this. but i've got to tell you, it's still closed down here. but it was nice to see some people smiling, because there usually is a sense of panic when something like that happens. it looks like it's gotten better. >> and judging by the other live cameras, it looks like only a matter of time now before we get this thing loosened up. it's very telling that you were
allowed out of the russell senate office building and allowed back out on the street while the capitol grounds itself appears to remain closed off. at just about every vantage point, you see a white-shirted capitol police officer still deployed, still watching. a lot of them are just standing post, where they would normally be. traffic continues there on second street northeast, as you would see. and in every other respect, when you get past the multi-acre u.s. capitol site, it's just a beautiful early spring day in washington, d.c. our thanks to the focal family of wisconsin. on the upside, they were able to escape the political advertising back home in wisconsin and get out, but this can be traumatic for children of that family. very excited to be in the capitol. very excited to be in washington
on vacation, on spring break. and then this happens. jim cavanaugh, what -- for folks who think this is an abundance of caution, you have to run refer theory down, am i correct? before you know this is an individual actor, perhaps emotionally disturbed, who brought a weapon into a security checkpoint, other monuments, other government agencies, other cities are going to hear, lockdown at the u.s. capitol. >> that's right, brian. and what happens is all the command posts spin up, just like nbc does there at the anchor desk, they spin up too across washington. all the command posts spin up, because they don't know what it is. and just as trouble the reporters have on the ground getting the news, look how close luke is, getting the
information, so too for law enforcement. it's slow. when you're commanding those things, you always want more information quicker and it's always changing. it's changing on you constantly and you're try to deploy and make sure something doesn't get ahead. you know, one of the big failures, i think in brussels, with the brussels police, was they didn't find out when the next attack was coming from abdelslam. and that's what the command posts always want to know. what's up, what's next, who's moving, who's down? we've got to stop it. and once they can get it stabilized, like pete described now, it looks like it's stabilized, then there's a big breath of air and it goes into crime scene processing, which is a lot slower and easier. >> and jim, if we define the old days as pre-9/11, and you look at this response, the weapons, the vehicles, it sure is different from the old days. >> it's completely different. it's completely different. if we look at the history of what we faced in the u.s., on the sniper in 2002 and the
bombings we've had and look at the worldwide threat we faced on 9/11, and all these other smaller scale attacks, it's completely changed. but police need to have that level of response, because if they run into some terrorist cell, even a few people, they need all of that to back them up. but they're fast on their feet and the main thing for the commanders, the main thing for everybody in a threat like this today is, you know, is it ongoing? there anything else behind it? can we stop it? that's job one all the time. i think they missed that in brussels and that's what happened, why they let some people slip through. they didn't question abdelslam. they had a warrant on one of those suicide bombers since december 11th, who was involved in the paris bombings and he walked right into the main airport, even though their ring leader had a diagram of an airport on his ipad. so every ball was dropped because they weren't looking for
the next attack. we talk about it constantly, the police chief's conferences, commanders, you know, that's the first thing to deal, what's the ongoing threat, what's the next threat, let's put a stop to it. and i think they did that to and they got it settled down real fast. and we'll see how it turns out, if it's a mentally disturbed person or somebody just pulling out a gun, could be just stupidly, not necessarily mentally disturbed. oh, i brought my gun and i guess i have to surrender it. if you pull it out, you're likely to get shot in a secured facility. >> someone who drives to washington on vacation with a carry permit from another state, for example, could absently mindedly have their weapon on them. we've seen it happen at airport and so on. jim cavanaugh, please stand by. for the rest of our audience, all we're waiting for is the all-clear and we cannot only resume our normal programming, but we can get off this heightened state of alert in washington, more importantly,
what you're seeing. we came on the air initially to report that the u.s. capitol was under lockdown. that was true. all the employees there were told to shelter in place, because for a while, they did not know what they had. but now, 4:00 p.m. eastern time, we should tell you, this is what we know. our own pete williams is reporting from washington that initially, while there were several reports of a law enforcement victim of this shooting, this appeared to be a lone male who showed up at a security checkpoint at the u.s. capitol visitor's center, perhaps emotionally disturbed. but apparently showed up with a weapon. there was an encounter with u.s. capitol police, as pete williams was able to report, one person was wounded in that encounter and hospitalized. there is a