tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 1, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
to our colleague wolf blitzer who's got more information about what is taking place on the ground. >> suzanne and michael, guys, thanks very much. we're following the breaking news, very disturbing information coming out of l.a.x., the los angeles international airport. shots were heard, shots were fired. we're told about a half an hour or so ago, 9:30 a.m. pacific time. that would be 12:30 p.m. here on the east coast. about a half an hour or so ago, this incident apparently started with the shots fired. there are injuries. we've seen people evacuated. and we've sign people who have been injured. we have no idea what caused the shots to be fired. we do know that as a precaution, as they always do at these kinds of incidents, authorities are taking precautions and evacuating the terminal. we believe it's terminal 3 at l.a.x. if you're familiar with l.a.x., this is a huge terminal. this is a huge airport. on a friday morning when traffic
is just building up for something like this to happen obviously very, very disturbing. l.a., l.a.x. police confirming and i'm quoting now there is an incident at l.a.x. and evacuations are under way. shots have been fired. and people have been injured. apparently multiple injuries in this incident. tom fuentes, our law enforcement analyst is on the phone joining us rights now. walk us through, tom, what happens in an incident, shots are heard at a major u.s. airport like this. what's the normal standard operating procedure? >> well, the first thing, wolf, would be to try to isolate the shooter and determine if he can be apprehended or did he do the shooting and take off running to another location in the airport. obviously, a key factor would be trying to rescue and provide medical assistance to anyone that was wounded there. and especially with
life-threatening injuries to try to save them. the next step would be evacuate all the other innocents out of that airport in case this turns into a situation where the individual wants to shoot it out with the police and they end up with bullets flying all over the airport. so they'll want to get innocent people out of there, the wounded out of there. isolate the location. basically set up a perimeter of some kind and then begin the effort to search that terminal and determine where that individual is. the person may have run into a restroom and then killed himself or killed herself. that's a possibility. but the key thing is the medical assistance to the injured and wounded. the evacuation of the innocents, isolation of the incident and go from there. >> l.a. x. police would be in charge or do they bring in the police from l.a.p.d.? >> well, all the police will end up being called in to assist. this will be a massive
undertaking and it will be police from every possible agency in the area from the local, the airport security, airport police, lapd, l. afrla. sheriff's county. it will take a large number of officers to basically cordon off the area to enable the crime scene investigation wilhave to go forward but also just to try to end the incident. until they get that shooter either apprehended or at least locked down in a position where they have a barricaded subject, they're going to need a lot of police to deal with that. as far as who's in charge of it, down the road in terms of who prosecutes the case, that will be determined by the motivation. do we have a mentally deranged individual? do we have someone motivated by a possible terrorism motivation which would cause the fbi to be the lead agency? those are facts which are not yet determined. so right now, everybody, would
together. and again, airports like l.a.x. and other large airports throughout the united states conduct training exercises on a continuing basis for everything from airplane hijackings to incidents in the terminals themselves. so this is not going to be something that they're not used to dealing with in terms of at least they may have trained for this particular incident on many occasions. >> and you can see from the pictures we're showing our viewers, courtesy of our affiliates in los angeles, there's a heightened intense operation under way right now to deal with this incident at l.a.x. casey wian is joining us on the phone right now, one of our reporters based in los angeles. what are you hearing, casey? >> well, wolf, what we're hearing from knx radio in los angeles, they had someone on the air a couple minutes ago who they described as an eyewitness to the shooting. he described a white male, clean cut guy with a rifle. we don't know the, we can't
independently verify if this person was an actual eyewitness to this event but local radio here did present him as one. we do know that terminal 3 is the place where the shooting actually happened according to local officials here. we also know that the area around the airport is just jam packed with cars, police obviously shutting down access to the airport to try to get control of this situation. also want to talk about just over the last couple of weeks, wolf, it's been a very, very difficult time for l.a.x. in terms of potential security problems. you probably recall just within the last several weeks, there was a tsa agent who was arrested for making threats against l.a.x. claiming he would plant explosivesen an blow up the airport. also not long ago, there were a couple of contractor employees arrested at l.a.x. for planting dry ice bombs, which is a very bizarre incident. apparently some sort of a prank
gone wrong. obviously, this incident though appears much more serious, wolf. >> when you say much more serious, i see what the reaction has been from local authorities from local police. this looks like a massive operation under way right now at terminal 3 at l.a.x. it doesn't look like just a small little incident. it looks like be something pretty serious. >> that's what our understanding is, as well, wolf. we're not on the scene yet. we are on the way from our bureau to l.a.x. but we do have a producer tracey timura who is in the area and describes it as basically locked down. there's no way to get a car into the airport. it's clear the authorities are trying to restrict access to the airport and get the situation under control, wolf. >> we see the firefighter fighters there on the left part of our screen are dealing with injured. and there seem to be multiple injuries right now. we don't have an exact count. we don't know if there are any
fatalities or anything along those lines. we do see the los angeles fire department there evacuating people, bringing folks out of that terminal three right now. this is something tom fuentes that has to be closely forward coordinated. the police authorities who are there plus the firefighters who come in, the rescue operations, if you will. >> yes, it would be, wolf. the authorities including rescue personnel, first responders, medical, hospital are frequently training together to address any kind of an incident like this, whether it's a bomb that goes off and injures hundreds of people or whether it's an attempted hijacking or whether it's any kind of an incident in the terminal. either in a secure area or you know it's not a secure area when you go to the ticket counter and you go from the ticket counter toward a gate, that's the point where you would go through security and have a search happening. so up until that point, there's
hundreds abthousands of people in the area of the airport both on the street approaching it and as well as in the airport itself who have not yet been through security. therefore you could have somebody with a firearm in that area because there would have been no way to check them yet. other issue of importance is that in terms of eyewitnesses to the incident when they report seeing somebody with a rifle or a shotgun, at this point, you really have to be careful that you could be reporting on plain clothes law enforcement who are maybe arriving from another terminal or another part of the airport. so the you will see people in uniform and out who may be brandishing weapons within than airport that are law enforcement now. that are responders or off duty police officers. not just necessarily the shooter. so we would want to be clear a witness is a person who actually saw the person holding the weapon, shooting the weapon, giving you a smoking gun description of who butted the
trigger and who was injured at the other end of it if they know. >> it shouldn't be surprising to any viewers, there now has been a ground stop at l.a.x. meaning no flights are coming in or taking off as this incident continues. and we see law enforcement, we see fire and rescue operators on the scene, as well. it looks like they're gearing up for something protracted. you can see some temporary structures now being established there. unclear what has happened. we did see some wounded folks evacuated from terminal 3 at l.a.x. a little while ago. we had video of one individual wearing a blue shirt. you could make south some blood on that shirt, as well. we don't know if that was a tsa uniformed personnel officer or anyone or if it was just someone else wearing a uniform or wearing an outfit similar to what the tsa wears, but it's clear that this is -- they're gearing up for a big operation.
casey wian is on the way to l.a.x. i don't know how close you're going to get. our producers on the scene say the whole area has been cordoned off for understandable reasons. >> that's right, wolf. we don't know how close we'll be able to get. in normal traffic, we're probably still about 15 minutes away from the airport. but we're anticipating get it getting a lot heavier as we approach l.a.x. there are several entrances into l.a.x. so it's a big job shutting this down. this is a friday, a very busy travel day. so that's going to just increase the amount of work that authorities are going to having to go through to get this shut down and get this area secure. we'll get as close as we can. we're just going to have to go within you an update once we get closer, wolf. >> you just saw a lot of passengers walking around. obviously, they're being escorted to safer locations. and then you see s.w.a.t. teams basically on the roofs up there
taking precautionary measures, gearing up for what could be an extended operation right now. we have no idea what's going on inside terminal 3, but we do see a lot of law enforcement, firefighters, a lot of emergency personnel on the scene. it can loos like they're gearing up for something extensive right now. tom feign tate, you were the assistant director of the fbi. you understand what's going on. they have to worry about a worst case scenario right now, own the they? >> that's absolutely true, wolf. they have to hope for the best but absolutely plan and prepare for the worst possible situation. the worst situation could be there's more than one shooter. this was part of a coordinated attack on the airport, or the shooter is still at large or could still shoot other people, the shooter may also have explosives in addition to firearms. so and it could take them a long time to actually locate the person. so those are all worst case scenarios that could cause the
situation to drag on for hours even before they even locate the person that has caused this. >> but if they did spot one individual with a rifle or a shotgun, if one eyewitness said that initial eyewitness account is accurate, at least they have appreciation of where this -- if it's an individual doing this, where that person is? >> well, that's true. but as you recall, wolf, during the navy yard incident not toot long ago, you had eyewitnesses cite a number of individuals. the police put out descriptions looking for multiple persons that later turned out to be identified as law enforcement in plain clothes. that could still be the situation here where airport personnel, other police officers or tsa personnel who may run in that will airport in plain clothes or maybe not having their badges adequately displayed carrying a weapon. we just don't know. i would like to hear more about what the eyewitness saw.
if the eyewitness saw an individual with a rifle shooting people, then of course, then that's a very valid eyewitness account. often the eyewitnesses are reporting what they've seen after the shooting, after the occurrence and they didn't actually see the shooting itself. >> you know, this statement just released by the faa, tom, i'm going to read it to you and to casey wian our reporter heading to l.a.x. right now. and you'll give us some analysis. this is the statement, tom "due to gate issue, there is a traffic management ground stop program in effect for traffic arriving l.a.x." so when they say a gate issue, tom, do you have any idea what that means? >> well, it could mean that possibly the person has gotten through security and could be at one of the gates, could attempt to storm his way onto an aircraft if the aircraft is at the gate and the doors are open. and certainly, that would be the case. if planes land, you're adding
hundreds and hundreds of people per flight into the terminal. and you're adding an open door the other way that a person could get on the jetway and board an aircraft while other people are trying to get off and possibly hijack the plane, take the crew hostage or other hostages. so that would be you know a concern about gate security, by not bringing in any additional planes and by doing the ground stop, they're shutting down all aviation particularly at that terminal. so that there can be no threat of an individual getting to an aircraft. >> los angeles fire department now describing the situation at l.a. x., the los angeles airport as "a multipatient incident," meaning there are obviously lots of patients who are being treated right now. let me just recap at a quarter past the hour for our viewers here in the united states and around the world who might be tuning in. parts of los angeles international airport were being evacuated friday morning after
reports of shots being fired there. this according to local police. airport officials say a police incident began at around 9:30 a.m. pacific time. that would be 12:30 p.m. eastern time at terminal 3 at l.a.x. that according to a spokeswoman for the airport. one passenger robert perez who was getting ready to fly virgin air was taking a nap in the terminal when panic erupted. he told cnn affiliate kcal, cbs. he said this "i heard a popping sound and everybody was diving for cover." perez told the station the tsa said there was a shooting in the terminal and evacuate the building. he said at least 100 people came running down the staircase. everybody he said started to panic. the passengers were directed to a bus and taken to a smaller terminal. this individual robert perez, a passenger told our affiliate and there you see emergency personnel fire department folks,
local law enforcement, they're gearing up for what looks like a serious, serious incident, multipatient incident meaning there's lots of injuries right now. we have no idea how many. we're getting just very, very preliminary informationings from l.a.x. authorities, from are the fire -- l.a. fire department, from l.a.p.d. and from l.a.x.p.d. right now. all this information just coming in. i suspect fairly soon they'll have a briefing for reporters. this is clearly, casey wian, i don't know how close you are right now, this is clearly an ongoing situation. and it may be only just beginning. casey is unavailable right now. mike brooks is joining us watching all of this unfold. it's now about 45 minutes into this incident. we see sharpshooters. we see folks on roofs, on parking facilities nearby. what do you make of what's going on, based on your experience, mike. >> i can tell you that l.a. fire department you see there's those
tarps outside. they are set up for a mass casualty incident. that's a triageage area where you have a red, yellow and green tarp. that's the treeing and area. the most. >> serious will go to the red area. other possibly injured wounded will go to the yellow and then the least of them to the green. that's how you set up a triage. it goes in line with a triage tag they put on a patient. right when all this began, i saw at least two or three people being brought out, one looked like he was he or she was in critical condition. the other two being put into an ambulance. they were talking to paramedics. but with the response you are from both police and fire, it sounds like, wolf, they are expecting possibly more, but we don't note what's going on inside that terminal right now. >> and so just to recap with those tarps, if it's a red tarp,
that's for the most severe injured folks. the yellow tarp is for the intermediate and the green is for the least severe. oh if you see someone on a yellow tarp right there, that's described as an intermediate emergency, is that right, mike? >> that's correct. if you see someone in red, those 0 would be the most critically injured people. but l.a. fire do drills like this all the time in preparation for they call it mca, a mass casualty incident. that's a triage area now. it looks like they're working on one patient there in that yellow area. >> as we watch what's going on, casey wian is heading there, tom fuentes is watching what's going on. we've got all our teams in los angeles gearing up. we hope this is resolved quickly but it's been going on for more than 45 minutes right now. shots fired inside terminal 3 at l.a.x. there are multiple injuries we
are told. authorities getting ready for the worst, obviously, so we're watching what's going on. i think we have an eyewitness joining us on the phone right now from someone there at the terminal. alex new man, are you there? >> yes, i am. >> tell us where you were and what you saw. >> we were at the food court and heard the commotion and people started running. i thought it was interesting so i walked back the direction that people were running. and in the distance, i saw a gentleman with -- about 5'8", 5'9", not particularly tall and he was running and shouting something while he was doing that. and pretty much that's everything that i saw. it was like a blur. people were running and people were getting knocked down and there was luggager from and mayhem is the best way to describe it. >> i take it this was inside the secure area. you have to go through tsa and the metal detectors in order to
be at that food court where you were, right? >> you know, exactly. but maybe he came back through the gate entrance because he came from the direction other than direction that people walk up into the gate. he came from the other side. so i don't know how he got there, how he managed to walk to the security because i know he would not be able to go through regular security that way. >> did you -- where are you now? are you still inside or did you get outside? >> we are under lock down in the international terminal and we just -- we have no idea what's going on. >> so you're just -- they've moved you to terminal 2 which is presumably secure, right? >> yes. i feel very secure in here. there's officers around the area and they all have guns drawn so i feel very secure at the moment. >> if you're watching what's going on, are you waiting to
take off to fly some place else or had you just arrived? >> no, we were planning on boarding the plane to miami. >> and so there's no flights taking off, no flights leaving. they've got a lockdown at the airport for good reason right now. alex new man was an eyewitness, saw what was going on at one of the food courts and saw someone running and obviously mayhem was the word he used. tom fuentes is still with us, our cnn law enforcement analyst. are you surprised, tom, that this is still going on as intensively as it is approaching one hour into this incident? >> reporter: wolf, i would question whether or not this may have already ended and the reason i say that is watching the video feed of the area around the terminal, they're bringing passengers out, putting them on buses. they seem to be fairly nonchalant about it. if they thought they still had someone running around that
airport that has a high-powered rifle or explosives, there would be much greater urgency on the part of law enforcement authorities to make them run to that bus, get those buses out of there. you have people looking like they're going on a vacation excursion here boarding the l.a.x. buss. so lease a good possibility that this is already over on the inside of that terminal and they've just not said so publicly. the police may be aware of it but the public and media may not be aware of it yet. it's my opinion looking at what appears to me to be a lack of urgencicy evacuating peaks from the vicinity of that terminal. >> why wouldn't just a technical question. why wouldn't police, if it's all over, why wouldn't they immediately do a quick announcement it's all over and we're going to clean up the situation right now? why wouldn't they immediately tell us if it's all over? >> well they may be trying to
dial down the speed of evagsiation to avoid further injury of people tripping over each other or getting run over by a bus or rescue vehicle like in other incidents. that could be a circumstance, but with the public announcement, they want to be absolutely certain that if they had a lone gunman, that lone gunman has either been killed or apprehended and neutralized one way or the other so to their knowledge there's no additional threat at large in that airport. the person in the navy yard was alone and on the ground dead to are a pretty long time before the police finally cape out and said that that situation was over and handled and the public would be safe. of course, they did have to track do you know whether ununiformed officers were actually suspects. but you know, in this case, it just doesn't seem anymore like there's a mad dash to get away from that terminal. >> hold on a minute, tom.
february ra feyerick is getting some information on what's happening at l.a.x. what are you learning, deb. >> some preliminary information. we're being told by an intel source formerly of the lapd the shooter apparently approached a checkpoint there at terminal 3 in l.a.x. and then opened fire on a tsa agent. we're told also there were multiple shots that were fired. the weapon they believe may be a rifle, but again, this was somebody who walked up to the checkpoint, opened fire on a tsa agent. not clear right now, according to the people that we're talking about as to whether they actually breached that security checkpoint or whether the target was there. so far all of that right now under investigation. you heard mike brooks earlier describing that sort of on-site triage center there. they do that in the expectation there might be numerous casualties but you also see there are a number of ambulances that are on-scene that are still there. so whether this was somebody
going after one person, all of that right now under investigation. they believe right now there's one shooter, but clearly they're going through all the terminals to see whether this there might be anybody else involved in the shooting. wolf, terminal 3 which is where it took place is connected to other terminals, terminal 2 by sort of a breezeway, a jetway. so this is a rather large scene right now that they're looking at, wolf. >> and clearly, this is still an ongoing situation. it looks hopefully it's over with. certainly there's been no formal announcements or anynouncements by local authorities that it may be resolved. let's hope it is resolved. we do know l.a. fire department is saying there's multiple injuries. multiple patients that were injured in this incident in terminal 3 at l.a.x. tom fuentes is with us, mike brooks is with us, deborah feyerick, casey wian is on the way.
affiliates monitoring what's going on. l.a.x. has been shutdown. it's clearly closed, no flights taking off or landing right now. the faa issued that announcement a little while ago, and that is going to cause some major flight disruptions coming out of los angeles. clearly, mike brooks, does it look like these folks are cupped down or we're only getting little snip pets from the video. we don't know what's going on inside terminal 3. >> we don't. you don't see a lot of media like tom was saying, but you do see the law enforcement command post set up there earlier on in the situation, i saw some fbi agents arriving, but there is an fbi office, agents assigned to l.a.x. have an office there at the airport. you do still see the l.a. fire with their tree acfire set up, with medic units lined up there. we don't know if that's out of
an abundance of caution. we don't know the if they have the person contained, in custody. but one of the other things they're doing, going over all the video surveilance to eif this was a single gunman, someone who may have had assistants. they're looking at all the video screens because you have hundreds of cameras they're able to bring up and look at the movements of the shooter as he possibly parked at the airport, as he entered the airport and possibly approached that tsa checkpoint. >> if it occurred, tom fuentes,s in the secure area inside the metal detectors that the tsa obviously conduct at all airports in the united states, if someone had a weapon inside that area, that raises a lot of concerns, tom. >> the concern there is and possibly here the shooting occurred at the checkpoint, not past the checkpoint, meaning there was no breach of a checkpoint with a person with a
rifle and then turning around and opening fire. if they're in the unsecured area, people getting out of cars coming to catch flights can get out of those vehicles with a bazooka. they're not going through security till at the get to the gate checkpoint. as mike mentioned, it's a tremendous point, the cameras they'll be going through now will cover everything from the vehicles unloading people at the front doors, the sidewalks, entries, the gate areas, the hallway areas leading to the security can checkpoints. they'll be going through that now in detail trying to see if there's more than one person that walked in there. when did see they the weapon, are there other people maybe with that person and somehow disappeared into the airport. all of that is under review and analysis right now and has been since the initial incident. wanting to know is this person alone or was this person alone when the attempt was made. >> and they'll be reviewing all
those videotapes very, very closely. i assume they've probably already started. casey, i take it you're now at l.a.x., is that right. >> that's right. i'm just outside the gates. for those familiar with the airport, i'm at the intersection of sepulveda. just north of the airport. you can hear the sirens behind me. what that is is the bomb squad and an lapd vehicle actually stuck in traffic trying to get to the airport. but because the rask is so bad, they can't get past all the cars that look like they're backed up for maybe a mile around the airport. an lapd officer is instructing other vehicles to move out of the way so they can get bomb squad trucks into l.a.x. it's really a chaotic situation around the perimeter of l.a.x. right now. traffic blocked for miles on some of these roads. one other interesting thing.
we have reported and we are confirmed that there is a ground stop in effect at l.a.x. just over the past two or three minutes, i've seen a couple different commercial flights either landing or taking off. we're not sure which planes are being allowed to leave or come in. but some flights are actually coming and going out of l.a. x. it's not as many as normal. it looks like that bomb squad has had some success in at least moving forward a few hundred yards as they make their way toward l.a.x. if the bomb squad can't get in, i don't know how the rest of us are going to get any closer than we are, wolf. >> an airport spokeswoman just said outgoing flights have been halted at l.a.x. right now. i assume a ground stop means incoming flights, as well. but we'll get some clarification on that. for viewers just tuning in at the bottom of the hour right now update you on what we know. around 9:30 a.m. pacific time,
12:30 p.m. eastern time, parts of the los angeles international airport began to be evacuated after reports of gunfire, shots being fired according to local police. airport officials said the incident was at terminal 3 at l.a.x. and passengers said there was a lot of popping sound. everybody was diving for cover. hundreds of people started running down staircases. according to one eyewitness, everybody started to panic. passengers were directed to board buses and were taken to smaller terminals nearby or taken outside. oh there's a lot of activity going on right now. more information is coming in even as we speak. the former lapd ranking officer is telling us that the shooter approach the checkpoint and shot a tsa agent. multiple shots were fired in quick succession. rifle was used, not clear whether the shooter breached the security checkpoint. debra feyerick has been
reporting this. so quickly, tom fuentes to you, what does that sound like if this is true that the shooter approached the checkpoint and shot a tsa agent? >> reporter: well, it sounds wolf, like the shooter did not breach security and that's the danger that security officers at any public building or airport facility manning the checkpoints, it's the point of danger. people up to that checkpoint can walk right up carrying a weapon. they haven't gone through any screening yet. and that's where they get screened. we have similar situation awhile back where two capitol police officers at the checkpoint were shot. we had the holocaust museum incident where the checkpoint officer is were shot. the officers that run those checkpoints are at the point of attack. they are the first line of defense. >> and you don't really, mike brooks, you don't kent really realize how dangerous potential
it is for those tsa officer who's deal with security at airports around the country. >> no, you don't. and you know, you ethe ones there, the officers in the blue shirts. most of them are unarmed. you have law enforcement that is usually on the other side in the secure area that will assist them should they need some help but those officers from tsa, they are don't have weapons. so yeah, very, very vulnerable. tom's absolutely right. i was part of the team that actually responded to the capitol when those two officers officer chestnut and officer gibson were killed by an armed gunman as he enter the capitol building itself. so absolutely. there's officers manning those checkpoints extremely vulnerable, wolf. >> and why aren't they armed? >> well, the tsa, you know, i this i their main mission is operating the checkpoints looking for -- you know the screening of passengers and you
have law enforcement in this particular case, you've got the airport police there at l.a.x. that they are behind them usually in the secure area. but i'm sure that's something, again, after incidents like this that they will review and maybe change the policy and have more additional armed officers on the other side of the checkpoint. so i'm sure you know, we have instances like this, law enforcement takes a close look, okay, what can we do to be more proactive than reactive to active shooters and such. >> let me bring deborah feyerick, if deborah feyerick is still with us, she's getting good information what's going on. are you still with us? >> yes, i'm here, wolf. >> i want you to update viewers on precisely what you're learning. go ahead. >> okay. so these are the details that we are learning. apparently a shooter entered the terminal, terminal 3 an appro h approached a security checkpoint
and then shot a tsa security agent. it's not clear whether this person actually breached that checkpoint. we are told by intelligence sources that in fact, two people were shot. the tsa agent but also responding officers were able to wound the gunman. the shooter. we don't note what the condition of the gunman is. but we are being told that he was injured. other people were or did sustain some injuries as they were running from all of this that was going on that was happening. they are now searching the terminals just to make sure that this was a lone gunman. but right now, it does not appear that he had gone through any checkpoint or that once the shooting took place he actually breached any checkpoint. that is what we are learning right now. again, two two confirmed injuries, the tsa agent and the gunman along with some others who were injured during this incident when they were fleeing from this active shooting.
wolf? >> and we know there's a ground stop at l.a.x., departing flights have been halted as of right now, according to l.a.x. personnel. we've got an eyewitness, deb. chuck, i hope i'm pronouncing your last name correctly. you were near the food court. what did you see? what was your impression? >> well, i was actually at gate 30 just walking towards the food court and i think gate 30 is the closest to where the security checkpoint is. and suddenly, i heard a couple of popping noises and i turned to look. it sound like somebody banging on something but there was a stampede of people coming my way and he realized something was very wrong. people were panicking just seeing the stampede of people that started to run. so people were running into the bathrooms. people were screaming run into the bathroom. you know, get behind something. and actually, i was very close
to the escalator that goes to the baggage claim area and i decided to head down the escalator, you know, picked up my carry on bags, ran down the lone corridor and at the end of the corridor where we had to go out through security, the security guard didn't know anything going on at that point. she just kept saying if you go out, you can't come back in. all of a sudden, the police came and said everybody down on the floor. so everyone immediately went down to the floor and police ran the other way down the corridor, and a few moments later, the police asked us to get up and run, run, run, get out. so we ran across -- everyone ran different ways. i ran to the parking structure across the street, got into one of the stair wells where i figured i was surrounded by concrete and eventually the police came and escorted us all au to the international terminal where the bulk of the people are as far as i can tell right now. >> are you waiting to take off
to go someplace or had you just landed? >> yeah, i was headed back to new york. and i'm coming back here on monday. but i was heading back to new york. you know, i had had an 11:00 flight, plenty of time to wait. and i may just stay here the weekend. >> yeah, obviously, it looks like there's a ground stop at heat of for now. and no flights are taking off. i expect only a few are landing right now until they clean up and resolve this entire incident. they haven't told us it's all over, local authorities. we're waiting for some sort of announcement. were most people relatively calm, chuck, or pretty panicky. >> at the beginning it was a complete panic. people were screaming and i saw children crying. you know, i mean, people here are still very shaky, especially people who were close by. and had -- we ran top speed
carrying our luggage you know, i guess might have been more prudent to leave it where it was i suppose, but just you had what was in your hands and you just ran. >> and so right now, you're in terminal 2. you've gone through the metal detectors, the tsa checkpoints and you feel safe and secure inside there, right? >> actually, we didn't go through any checkpoints. we're standing just inside the entrance to the terminal. you know, i guess you know, there's a bistro here and i'm not even sure what part of the terminal this is. this looks like this might be the exit to the terminal. >> so you're waiting -- >> all of us sitting here centrally. they're trying to keep us away from the windows. you see armed police everywhere. you know, as we were coming to the terminal, they were stopping cars and making people get out and being very, very stern with people, show us your hands you know, don't go back into the car. i see handguns and you know,
more impressive looking weapons. but the police are obviously taking this very, very serious. we feel pretty safe where we are right now because there's such a police presence and they seem to be much more relaxed around here than they were initially. >> do you get the impression, chuck, that it's over with right now or that it's still an ongoing incident? >> it feels less like an ongoing incident than it did before. before you would see police running around going through the parking structure across the street. looking up and down you know, scanning you know, the roadway that's bob here. now i don't really see them actively looking around here anymore. >> all right. so stand by, chuck. thank you so much, guk gauthier, an eyewitness to what was going on giving us very good insight into clearly a very difficult situation, a shooter apparently opening fire at a checkpoint at terminal 3 at l.a.x.
mike brooks, when you hear what chuck was describing, what did you think? >> no, that's -- it sounds like right there at the checkpoint, and it sounds like most of the passengers there were very, very cool, calm, collected. did exactly what law enforcement told them to do. and when you have a situation like this wolf, in the early stages, you don't know if that gunman is acting alone. that's the reason the officers take precautions of having everybody show their hands and having people get down on the ground initially because you don't know exactly what you have. now what law enforcement is going to be dealing with and i'm sure terminal 3 will be closed for some time, you now have an active crime screen. if they have the lone gunman in custody, they're going to have to deal with the checkpoint as a crime scene for quite some time. there's a good possibility temmal 3 could be shut down for the foreseeable future. >> it looks like planes are now
taxiing on runways and some are taking off which would be a very good sign if that is the case, right? >> absolutely. yeah, right when something like that happens, all operations, the airport operations go ahead and stop. we heard the faa. there was a ground stop. but it looks like now that maybe they're taxiing, starting to line the planes up again. but i seriously will doubt any flights that were scheduled to take off you know this afternoon from terminal 3, passengers most likely not be able to get there. right now airport operations are trying to figure out exactly what they're going to do with all the flights scheduled out of terminal 3 because as long as that security checkpoint for 3 is shutdown, they're not going to be able to operate any flights out of that terminal. >> hold on a minute. casey wian is getting more information for us. what are you learning, casey? >> reporter: wolf, i don't know, are you hearing me all right? >> yeah, i hear you fine. you look good.
go ahead. >> sorry about that. you can see some of the traffic that has backed up here approaching l.a.x. you can ethere are fire engines trying to get into the airport. they've got to have probably three-quarters of a mile or so to go before they reach that airport. they're not able to get through because of the traffic. there you can see a guy outside of his car just a few minutes ago, we talked to you on the phone. we had a bomb squad trying to get through traffic and they couldn't do it. maybe the incident has sort of calmed down as you were reporting earlier inside. but outside of l.a.x., it's still an absolute nightmare, an absolute mob scene. what i can say is despite the fact we have had that ground stop, just over the last four or five minutes or so, i have seen i think three or four different commercial flights actually landing on the runway that's just behind our camera shot here just in front of our camera shot i should say. we've also seen a couple flights on the other side of the terminal taking off.
so there are a limited number of flights that are operating in and out of l.a. x. but obviously much, much fewer than normal because of this absolute gridlock that you're seeing around the airport that's going to take hours and hours, i'm sure, to unwind, wolf. >> do you know offhand off the top of your head, casey, you fly out of lax a lot which airlines usually use terminal 3? >> you know, i don't know off the top of my head. but i believe virgin atlantic or virgin america was operating out of there at one point. i'm going to have to get back to you on that. it's not a terminal that it is used by any of the major domestic. >> hold on a second. because now we're putting up on the screen air-tran, alaska airlines, horizon airlines, spirit airlines -- midwest, jetblue, and virgin america so
we're on top of that. >> one of the flights i just saw land maybe four or five minutes ago was an alaska airlines flight. flew right over had your head and landed on the runway just behind us. at least some flights are still operating. >> it's not a complete ground halt. some planes are landing and maybe some will start taking off. it looks like they're getting ready to take off which would be an excellent sign. >> there's a plane coming in right over us, wolf. that's ana. if that's one of the ones in terminal 3 or 2, probably maybe to the bradley international terminal which perhaps is not affected by this. it's in a separate building. >> mike brooks, one thing that just dawned on me and you know a lot more about this than i do. if it's an isolated incident, one shooter, that's one thing. there were accomplice mr. s you don't necessarily want to see planes leaving that were scheduled to leave from terminal
2 because somebody could be on board one of those planes, right? >> there's always that possibility, wolf. you know, that's why it's important to find out who this person is. i'm sure that they do already know who this person is, how that person got there, because you know, you heard casey saying that the bomb squad truck was coming in just a short time ago because you know, out of an abundance of caution, if this person came by vehicle, they'll try to find out where this person parked. that's why the surveilance video comes so much into play as part of the initial investigation, wolf, because you want to make sure that this was just one person and was acting alone and didn't have some accomplices with them. that's why it's all important to put together the timeline, how the person got there, what the exact movements of this gunman were when he arrived to the airport, when he approached the airport, if he brought a vehicle, all these things. also going out to try to to -- with are this person lives, getting a search warrant, going
out there to make sure there's no hazardous materials, anything else in this person's house. where did this person come from? this is all part of the initial investigation once they identify this person person which we see right from our kla a fire department helicopter at los angeles fire department helicopter an etch proing the scene also. so a lot of things still going on, wolf. we still see the triage area set out in front with the l.a. fire department. we see the police command post right here that was very active just a short time ago still set up. one of the mobile command vehicles also was approaching the scene just moments ago as we see this l.a. fire department helicopter land on the top of one of the looks like one of the heliports there. >> at the airport. we are now being told, mike, by cnn's miguel marquez that a law enforcement source close to the investigation says the suspect has been shot and is now in police custody.
so that's very, very reassuring news and so obviously, that would be very, very important if it's an individual, one person involved in this incident and the person has been shot and is in police custody, that had be excellent news. hold on for a moment, mike, casey. we've got another eyewitness. leah osborn is joining us on the phone. where were were you when all of this happened? >> i was in terminal 3 sitting in the chairs when just a storm of people started running as we starred evacuating towards the stairs. and then we were hurried down the stairs. and just as we were exiting all of a sudden, they told us to get down. and we were down for, i don't know, maybe like 25 seconds i would say. when we heard the shots coming from behind us. and then everybody starred running out the exit toward the parking structure. >> and you were getting ready to
board a flight for newark, new jersey, right? >> yeah. >> and alreawhere are you now? >> we're in the international terminal, i this i it's terminal 4. >> yeah. and they took you because there's another terminal 2. a lot of folks from terminal 3 went to terminal 2. yu're just waiting to see what's going on before they let you go back? >> they're not letting anybody in or out. >> no one from virgin american which was your airliner has given you any information when your flight maight be taking of, right? >> no, no information on that. >> i assume you're going to still try to get -- hold on for a moment, leah. jay carney, the white house press secretary is now speaking about this incident at l.a.x. >> los angeles international airport by alissa an, the deputy chief of staff. he will be regularly updated on unfolding events there. at this point, the lead is
l.a.p.d. but we're obviously at the federal level in touch with law enforcement officials on the ground and will -- the president can say about what he's been told, what the understanding is from officials on what happened there? >> i have no more information than what you're learning from reports out of l.a. right now to convey. >> on a separate topic, intelligence officials say the leader of the pakistani taliban was killed in a u.s. drone strike on friday. can you confirm that he was killed? >> there you hear that the president has been informed about what is going on. lisa monaco, his homeland security adviser is briefing the president. i want to bring back lea osbourne. one of the eyewitnesses we have been talking to. you were there, sitting in a chair near your gate, getting
ready to board a virgin america flight from lax to newark, new jersey. did you actually hear the popping sound of guns? i think we may have lost leah osbourne, but i suspect she did hear those sounds. mike brooks is watching what's going on together with all of us. you see the the tensity at the airport. you see a lot of emergency vehicles there. it's very difficult according to our own casey wian to get anywhere near the airport right now on a friday, a lot of folks trying to get out of los angeles for the weekend. their plans are going to be delayed clearly, as a result of what happened. mike, set the scene for us. a shooter arrives at a checkpoint over there, tsa checkpoint going in, and has a weapon, and starts firing. this is what we're hearing. and people are injured. multiple people are injured. we don't know how many, but we are hold that the shooter was
shot himself, or herself. and is now in police custody. so that would be good news if in fact the shooter is in police custody. >> it would, wolf. that would be very good news. that begins the investigation on trying to find out what the motive for this was. you know, did this person, did this shooter, this possibly know this tsa agent? was it a random act? who is this person? what's their affiliation? these are all questions that law enforcement want to know. still find it interesting, we haven't seen the triage area broken down. maybe out of an abandbundance o caution. there's planes that are landing, we see some action, planes moving around the taxi ways, but they still have not broken down this triage area, and i have counted five or six medic units,
ambulances that are still there. and the fire department command post right there, we see a battalion chief's vehicle, probably an ems supervisor, as well as on the left, the law enforcement with the mobile command unit there and a lot of activity there. there's a lot of work to do on the law enforcement side of things with this investigation. we saw two fbi agents, looked like one possibly with the evidence response team. walking into the airport. saw them there early on. because if in fact it was a tsa agent we're hearing who was wounded, it will be -- that is a federal offense, also, assault on a federal officer. and that will fall under the jurisdiction of the fbi, but assisted with the lapd, the l.a. airport police, will all work on this together. depending on what condition that wounded person, wounded subjects are, what kind of condition they are in, if a death has occurred.
a lot of different things come into play with the investigation. but it will be worked, jointly, i'm sure with lapd and the fbi. >> casey wian, our reporter is there, getting more information. what else are you learning, cas casey? >> i don't know if you can see the woman way off in the distance wheeling her luggage. she's an arriving passenger from jfk. just came in to one of the other terminals today. she's got a four-mile walk, she says, to her house in marina del rey, but there's no taxi cabs, no way for her to get off the airport, no way for her husband to come and get her, get close to the airport, so she's going to walk, as far as she can, until she meets up with her husband. now can see also the traffic jam and how you have an lapd vehicle trying to navigate his way through the incredible traffic jam. also an suv behind him with his lights flashing. shows you the difficulty that emergency responders are having trying to get to the airport because now the traffic is just gridlock. we talked earlier about the bomb
squad truck that tried to get by here, and they couldn't arrive. what we have seen, though, is an increasing number of take-offs and landing. we know still officially that the airport says there's a ground stop. but over the past 20 minutes or so, we have seen several commercial flights taking off and landing from the airport, although it's quiet right now. >> all right, stand by for a moment. tory is joining us on the phone, another eyewitness. what did you see? >> well, i was in the terminal when the shooter took place. i was just waiting. we have been delayed. we had a flight at 8:00. we got delayed until 10:30. then i heard shots. it didn't register until everybody started, like, flying down the hallway and they were just jumping over chairs, jumping over people. hiding, and we were kind of trapped at the end of the terminal. i never saw the shooter, but we heard the shots, and then we
were kind of trapped at the end of the terminal. it seems like an eternity, but finally the security came, opened up the door, and we all piled out onto the tarmac. and just kind of hid underneath the plane. >> we're showing the viewers a photo you took and posted on twitter. it looked like a pretty panicky situation. >> it is braebl the worst experience i have ever been in in my life. the most terrifying. you also kind of imagine what would you do? you know, you hear about these horrible instances and you have to ask yourself, what would i do in a situation like that? the only thing i could do is keep my eyes down the hallway to make sure he wasn't coming down and keep calm. everybody was just going crazy. it was -- it was probably the most terrifying experience i have ever been through. >> you heard gunshots. did you see the shooter? >> i never saw the shooter. we heard the shots, and you know, like i said, i kind of was
sitting, waiting at my gate. heard the shots, and then looked up and then everybody was flying down the hallway, just trying to get out. >> so did they evacuate you to another terminal? is that where you are right now sdm. >> then what we did is we're standing on the tarmac for a bit, and then about, i don't know, maybe about ten minutes passed and everybody -- the security brought around shuttle buses, and now they have been shuttling everybody out of the terminal into a secure location. it's just, you know, everybody is here right now. it's getting packed. >> tory, do you get the impression that this incident is over? because we are being told that the shooter has been shot himself. and is in police custody. >> yeah. i have heard news that they did apprehend him, but i think we just got an update, somebody came in from security and said right as of now, they're just going to hold us here until they make sure that the entire area
is secured. and at some point, maybe we might be able to get back to get our stuff, but who knows. >> you left your stuff over there at terminal three, is that what you're saying? >> that's what i'm saying. >> you just left your bags and you started running. >> yeah, i mean -- >> with a lot of other people. >> yeah, i mean, it's like, the only thing that was going through my head was, get out. >> all right, i'm glad you're okay, and i'm glad everyone else is okay. there are multiple injuries, we don't know how many and we have not heard directly. there has not been a news conference, but we anticipate authorities will be briefing us soon on what has happened. thanks very much. good luck to you. i hope you make it to your destination. mike brooks is still with us. i guess they don't want to brief reporters and have a formal news conference until they're sure they know precisely what happens. >> you're probably right on target with that. lax, we know how much social
media plays a role when incidents like this happen. they tweeted out five minutes ago, suspect is now in custody. press conference at 11:30 a.m. at sepulveda boulevard with l.a. police and police chiefs. it looks like we're be hearing shortly from the airport police and from lapd on what happened here, at 9:30, started 9:30 local time this morning. >> the incident is now hopefully it's over, but they're not yet ready to make any formal announcements. as we see, there is still a hold at the airport. officials at lax, though, will hold a news conference, 2:30 eastern, 11:30 a.m. eastern, about a half hour from now. cnn will have live coverage. a dramatic development at lax. let's hope it has been resolved, but we'll get the details and update you as information comes
in. i'll have more later in "the situation room." 5:00 p.m. eastern. brooke baldwin continues our coverage right now on cnn. here we go, breaking news. i'm brooke baldwin and you're watching all of this unfolding as we're hear from eyewitnesses, the most terrifying ordeal of their lives. let's explain what has been happening at los angeles international airport for the better part of an hour and a half, really panic and bloodshed. a shooting at lax. a couple items i need to pass along to you. first and foremost, a ground stop that is now in place, according to the faa. this all happened right around terminal three. gunshots rang out early this morning, right around 9:30 local time. we're hearing reports, this is from sources from one of our correspondents, deborah feyerick, that a gunman with