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tv   Al Roker Reporting  MSNBC  May 19, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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guns, an american tradition. but also an american problem. >> how easy in this country is it for a criminal to get a gun? >> it's like a kid buying beer. >> gangs terrorizing neighborhoods in broad daylight. >> when you think you've seen it all, you haven't. >> where were agents from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. as they crack down on gun crime in a raid at dawn.
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>> this case involves violent gang members. >> we test the high-powered weapons used by criminals on the street. and go behind the scenes at the atf's forensic lab. >> the same gun fired both of these bullets? >> absolutely. >> how do guns get into the wrong hands in the first place? an undercover investigation shows just how easy it is. >> when it comes time for purchasing, the woman comes forward. >> get her to do the paperwork here. >> you didn't ask any questions. >> that's illegal. >> and -- the incredible story of a man who runs from the law -- >> go, go, go! >> and by himself holds off more than 120 law men for days with his one-man arson.
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firearms have always been a part of our culture in this country, dating back to the days of the revolutionary war and the wild west. but crime is also a part of our history. every 18 minutes someone in america dies from gun violence. one federal agency is battling to end that trend, using new methods to solve gun crime and prevent tragedy. it's the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, also known as the atf. >> 5:00 a.m., a parking lot seven miles from downtown chicago. agents of the atf's special response team are gearing up for a dawn bust. >> all the way south. >> it's the culmination of a yearlong investigation called operation dead eye. >> chicago atf agent tom ahern. >> this case involves violent gang members in the city of chicago.
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they're heavily armed. most of the suspects in this investigation have been to the penitentiary before, and they don't want to go back again. >> the 28 suspects are believed to be members of the notorious gangster disciples. controlling crack sales on the street. gangs are one of the atfs biggest priority. drugs almost always mean guns. how dangerous is an operation like this? >> there is always an element of danger. if they're desperate, they'll do anything to protect their business. they're making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or more. they're going to protect that at all costs. >> the agents have come from all over the midwest. ahern's team is one of more than half a dozen that will conduct raids across chicago today. >> we're coming up on 5:00 a.m. this is bust going down this early for a reason? >> one of the key elements is to cash our defendants and the offenders off guard. we like to do that while they're sleeping. it protects them and protects us.
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>> an armored vehicle arrives. the preparation shifts to high gear. guns, afrp mmo clips, rifle gear, stun guns. a last detailed briefing by one of the lead agents. we've obscured his face at the atf's request. >> we're going to be rolling southbound on the target street. bearcat will leave the train. it's going to be last house on the right at the end of the block. basically we're going to blow the door. as soon as we get in that first room, everybody starts yelling "police, police, police." >> no detail is too small. >> the door is hinged left. there's a small concrete landing six to eight feet wide. there's about four to five steps going up. there's not going to be a lot of room once you're up on the landing. >> following the briefing, the last of the gear is loaded. a battering ram, more guns, a pick and helmet. then it's time to move. >> everybody is moving out. >> in route to location.
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copy. >> we'll soon join them to see if their mission is a success. the atf conducts hundreds of operations across the country every year to control gun trafficking and violence. everything from ruthless drug gangs to lone gunmen. does it surprise you the audacity of some of these criminals? >> when you think you've seen it all you haven't. >> i don't think anything surprises us any more. >> the level of violence we've seen is alarming. >> america is awash in guns. nearly 4 million are manufactured every year. almost half of all americans are registered gun owners. the vast majority of weapons are never used in a crime. they're collected, used for sport, or used for protection. when guns are in the news, the story is usually a sickening familiar one. >> six teenagers were shot. >> five people shot.
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one fatally. >> routine arrest turned to a very public shootout. >> it's part of our perception there's a huge gun crime problem due to mass media, television, internet, print, that sort of thing? or is the perception the reality? >> i would say the perception is the reality. >> david kennedy has studied gun crime extensively and worked with the atf. >> this stuff is happening. and it's awful. and it's unpredictable. and there's essentially no way to protect against it. when you look at violent crime. there's this overwhelming pattern. what drives ordinary street crime is very seasoned offenders. they are not ordinary people. >> so busts like operation dead eye are key to getting illegal guns off the streets, as the atf team rolls out, the special agent lets us ride along.
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>> this is a typical atf operation. it's taken a lot of months and a lot of hours to get to this point. >> because this bust has multiple locations, all of the raids will happen simultaneously. >> there's a chopper overhead. what's that for? >> there's multiple addresses we're hitting. that's another team. in the event there were anything to occur at any one of the locations, they can respond to it very quickly. >> is this unusual for this size operation to be executed in this many search and arrest warrants? >> it's really not. when you're facing a gang, you have to do it all. once you do one, the others won't realize what's going on. >> they'll start making calls to everybody else and warning people. at the bus location agents surround the house checking all exits, then the moment of truth. the seven-man team moves in slowly and quietly. once at the front door, they break it, throw in two stun grenades.
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and move into the home with no resistance. within 15 minutes, the suspects are quietly rounded up. agent riechert is pleased. >> doesn't look like anybody is resisting or anything. >> nope. >> this went off smoothly. >> any time a warrant is executed and no shots were fired, that's a success. >> we get a debrief from agent ahern. does this present challenges? >> it did in that there were several people sleeping in the house at the time. the house was really cluttered. the search team will have their hands full once the suspects are removed. >> next the agents go through the house for evidence. what do you think they will find in there? >> the probable cause spelled out in the affidavits for the warrants. there is indication of possible narcotics. that's what they'll be searching for. >> across the city, authorities seize two guns, $40,000 in cash and 324 grams of crack/cocaine.
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28 people are rounded up and charged with drug conspiracy. operation dead eye goes off without a hitch. and this quiet neighborhood on the south side of chicago can breathe a little easier. >> what amazes me is this a pretty quiet residential area. manicured lawns. people obviously take care and pride in their home and they've got this right next door to them. >> they're not bad neighborhoods. there's certain bad people that live in the neighborhoods. we try and weed those people out. >> how guns get into criminal hands. >> it's like a kid buying beer. >> and we test the weapons out there on the streets. [ captain ] our landing time got moved back another hour.
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an undercover agent in massachusetts in his car, buying a gun from a street dealer. >> how you doing?
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>> you're watching an atf sting operation in progress. the action caught on a camera mounted in the dashboard. here cash is exchanged, and in minutes the deal is done. this is the end of the chain for illegal gun trafficking. but finding out how guns get into criminal hands in the first place is the new frontier for solving gun crime. >> the enormous light bulb that's gone off in the last 10 or 15 years is that this identifiable movement of guns is from the legitimate market to the illegal market is real, it's hugely problematic. it's already illegal. and it's something we can do something about. >> you talk about the flow of guns from the legal side to the illegal side. how easy in the country is it for a criminal to get a gun? >> it's frighteningly easy. it's like a kid buying beer.
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you find somebody who's not a felon. you have them go to a gun store. they buy a gun. you hand it off like a six-pack, and you're done. >> it's called a straw buy. it's one of the most common ways guns are trafficked. in fact, most crime guns aren't smuggled or stolen or purchased at gun shows, but bought at federally-licensed stores. new york city did its own investigation of straw buyers at 40 dealers in five different states. john feinblack. the criminal justice coordinator for the city of new york. >> there are a small number of dealers not playing by the rules. those are the dealers often having their guns repeatedly turning up at crime scenes and turning up in relatively short periods after they've been sold. >> how did you folks carry out this investigation? >> what we did was we compiled a list of dealers that we thought
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might be engaging in illegal sales practices, and then we went just as you would undercover into those stores. >> he showed us a difference between a dealer who played by the rules and one who didn't. first a sale done the right way. >> i want to look at this 9mm. >> this is the voice of an investigator coming in asking about the gun, talking to the sales person. he walked in with a woman, but she's not asking any questions. here at the moment where the paperwork has to be filled out. lo and behold, the woman comes in and says i'll fill out the paperwork. >> you have to do it. it's the law. >> even it's for her? >> she didn't say anything about a gun. you can't buy a gun? >> it's for me.
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>> yeah, but i know. he's looking at guns for you. >> this is the perfect example of what a straw sale is. this dealer caught it immediately and threw us out. >> but in another store, a clear violation. >> the man comes in, asks for the gun, then when it comes time to purchasing, the woman comes forward. >> going to get her to do the paperwork here. >> okay. >> answer these questions here and sign them. >> okay. >> and he doesn't ask any questions. >> doesn't ask her any questions. >> all right. thank you, sir. i appreciate the business. >> one dealer throws us out. one dealer proceeds with the sale. that's illegal. >> the city sued 27 of the shops. most settled out of court. less than 1% of dealers supply half of crime guns. cut them off, and you cut off the supply. >> this is the way you find gun traffickers. find one gun shop that has
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supplied hundreds of crime guns to cities up and down the eastern seaboard. that's the place where you should find out what's going on. >> eliot's gun shop in jefferson, louisiana, was one of those places. atf agents raided the store and shut it down. 2,300 weapons from elliot's were later implicated in crimes, including an astonishing 125 homicides. at the time, it was one of the the top suppliers of crime guns in the country. >> if one store puts out hundreds of firearms to the criminal element and it goes to certain gangs or gang members, and they're using crimes all across the country, it's important for us to be on top of those very few gun stores who may be doing so illegally. >> to track guns after they've been used in a crime, the atf uses several methods. there is no national gun registry, so the national tracing center helps track firearms through licenses, sales, and other records.
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but sometimes the detective work is more hands on. that's where walter comes in. >> similar to the bush master, which was used by the washington area snipers. >> he is one of the agency's top ballistic experts. he testified at the d.c. sniper trial. >> we couldn't do our job without the agents. the agents couldn't go on with their investigation without our laboratory reports. >> walter helps tracks bullets from atf raids like the one of chicago's south side. after the atf's special response team finishes its work, it's here at the atf lab where the gathered evidence is analyzed. >> we get fired bullets we can't readily identified. we'll compare those against bullets we have on file. >> 10,000 bullets fill these drawers at the lab in suburban
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maryland. matching a bullet to a gun makes the link and helps solve the crime. beginning with firing the weapon if question into the water. >> you fire the bullet in here. the resistance from the water slows it up and allows you to recover the bullet intact. >> in a pristine condition, yes. >> each gun leaves unique marks on every bullet fired, just like a fingerprint. >> we'll just load the firearm and fire twice into the water. >> you couldn't identify these by the naked eye, could you? >> absolutely not. certainly need the aid of a microscope. >> next he checks the bullet against those from the crime scene. >> it's a split screen. as you rotate the bullets in
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juxtaposition, we come to a point where we can see the individual peaks, ridges, furrows and the spatial relationship are corresponding. so, in other words, the same gun fired both of these bullets. >> absolutely. >> he knows his stuff. his testimony about the rifle used in the d.c. sniper shootings help convict john allen muhammad. muhammad used a bush master .223 caliber, the kind of high-powered weapon are i that's increasingly common in street crime. to get a firsthand look at some of it, i visited the gun vault run by richard vasquez. there are over 8,000 weapons here. everything from saddam hussein's rifle to a gun that looks like a tire gauge to guns that have been altered. >> we see a lot of shotguns, and we see shotguns that have been cut down. >> talk about sawing off. you can see where this was sawed. >> you can see the saw marks. >> if you're wearing a coat or something you have this on your side. >> absolutely.
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>> he puts it in my face, i'll give him my wallet. >> sure. give him anything he wants. sawed-off shotguns are illegal. some more impressive weapons are not. >> this would be a .50 caliber machine gun. .50 caliber and below are considered sporty. these are not regulated. you can buy these like a .22 rifle. >> this is a sport weapon. gosh, this feels like it's 75 pounds. but the only real way to know the power of these guns is to shoot them. something i had never done before. wow. >> this is a block and .9 millimeter. >> the glock is popular with police and criminals. >> hold it with your secondhand. cup it like that. wow. i don't think you get an idea what the power of this thing is.
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less than two miles from the french quarter in new orleans, in the shadow of the superdome is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in america, central city. in the wake of hurricane katrina, new orleans is struggling with a plague of gun violence that gives it one of the highest murder rates in the country. gangs control the streets, illegal guns flood the neighborhood. bloody gun battles over territory are common. >> we've seen individuals shoot others over a sign, a look, a word.
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a parking space, a girlfriend, a sign of perceived disrespect. >> to get guns off the streets of cities like new orleans, the atf and local law enforcement often work together. >> we've seen the number of drive-by shootings in the fear that these gangs have perpetuated. that's unacceptable to us. >> mark, is it safe to say that where you're going to find illegal guns, does it necessarily follow that there's probably drugs involved as well? >> it's a very common thing. we see a lot of drug organizations arming themselves with firearms. >> operating out of this former crack house in center city is a loose knit group of nine cousins and friends with names like skinny and juice. because of their weaponry, the authorities call them. brothers in arms. >> they were controlling a majority, if not all the drug transactions in this area, and they controlled it through
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violence. >> the mayor of the new orleans police department has patrolled the streets for 34 years. >> a lot of automatic, semiautomatic handguns. the gun of choice is assault rifle. the ak-47 type guns. >> their product is more than crack. >> powder cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and ecstasy, and probably other drugs as well. >> it's a neighborhood under siege. new orleans authorities want to shut the house down. each gang member has been arrested before, but the charges haven't stuck. gang members are always guarding the house outside, armed and dangerous. the cops are at an impasse. so the major turns to the atf for help. >> between the nine individuals, they were arrested 57 times by the new orleans police department in a four, five-year period. our close working relationship with major barty facilitated him calling us and requesting we
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start looking into the individuals to see if we could charge them federally for any violations. >> and felonies mean mandatory jail time. their break comes from surveillance cameras mounted on light poles, trained on the crack house 24/7. the gang members are caught using their guns in plain sight. pie and tony have a pauling out and their feud plays out in front of the crack house. >> you can see one of the defendants smashing out the car window of another defendant's car. with a handgun. the individual who owns the vehicle is called for, and you can see him motions for somebody inside this house to hand him out a gun. shortly after that a gun is handed out to him as the car is leaving. he follows with a rifle and attempts about a half a block up to fire the weapon. the weapon does not fire. you see the individual that handed him the gun come out, retrieve the weapon from him and come back inside.
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>> several months later, the second street camera catches skinny brazenly shooting at arrival. >> there's a couple of small children. one of which not more than 1 or 2 years old sitting on the steps of the main entrance. a car drives by -- >> the defendant is approaching and reaching under his waist band, an individual standing on the outside of these steps who you can see clearly turn around knows what's about to happen. she recognizes there's about to be a shooting, and she flees into the house, past the kids, and literally a couple of feet from these kids, starts shooting at the car. just in broad daylight start shooting at the car. an incredibly violent act. the kids are left there. immediately after the shooting you see something almost equally remarkable. the house empties out and about 20 individuals who just stream in a steady stream out of this house, knowing full well with a daylight shooting the police would be responding pretty shortly.
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>> with this video alone, the atf has enough evidence to make several arrests on federal weapons charges. but with more investigation, agent eberhart realizes he can bring down the whole gang on a tougher charge, conspiracy to distribute narcotics with firearms. >> everybody has prior arrests and prior convictions for narcotics and/or gun violations. all of those prior arrests and/or convictions we utilized in our investigation. >> plain-clothed agents spread out and make the arrest. they investigate the neighborhood and find it riddled with drugs and guns, all part of the brothers in arms surf. in all, 20 guns are rounded up. a high-power arsenal including pistols, rifles, revolvers and something usually seen in the military. >> it was the one carried down the street in an attempt to shoot at a fleeing vehicle.
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>> atf agent, david harper. >> high-caliber firearm, fires the same caliber as an m-16 assault rifle used by the troops in iraq. obviously very dangerous in that type of urban setting. >> in fact, a shell shot by this gun can kill someone five football fields away. >> they're all deadly, extremely deadly. most particularly the assault weapons you see here. >> the new orleans police make their case. a federal grand jury returns a lengthy indictment on gun and drug charges. >> the 30-count indictment. we ended up with 30 separate violations. 30 counts against those nine individuals. >> faced with overwhelming evidence against them, all nine gang members pled guilty. they're now behind bars serving 10 to 25 years in federal prisons with no chance of parole. a high-speed chase.
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a roadside shootout. and a four-day standoff. [ horn honks ]
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i'm alex witt. president obama is meeting with g-8 leaders at camp david today. they say they are ready to respond to oil supply disruptions as iran faces sanctions over its nuclear program. chinese activist headed to the u.s. he and his family left beijing this morning. he will study at new york university. a funeral held today for mary kennedy, estranged wife of robert f. kennedy jr. she committed suicide earlier this week. now back to al roker reporting "armed in america."
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the atf doesn't just focus on gun crime in cities. many times agents are called in to help local officials in rural areas. they bring with them manpower, technology, and in this case, lots of patience. bowling green, kentucky, gun shops dot the hillsides on back country roads. hunting and sporting are a way of life. kentucky state troopers grew up in the area. they know the value here people place on owning guns. >> about every home has got some type of weapon in it. it's rural country. it's a lot of hunters, a lot of people around here believe in their right to bear arms. i believe in that. that's one of the thing we are out here protecting are those rights. >> life here is peaceful. but it's about to be shattered by four days of violence.
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it all starts with a fire at a local barn which kills four horses. the owner suspects arson. which the atf investigates. david hayes is called in. >> i remember taking a call from a lady that owned the barn. she was very upset about losing her horses in the fire. >> the owner suspects 43-year-old russell sublet, a former farm hand. he left on bad terms. so hayes paid him a visit to ask about the barn fire and discovers something else. >> we conducted more interviews in reference to the fire and developed information that russell sublet had possession of a sawed-off shotgun. >> they are small enough to be concealed and illegal. one week later hayes gets a warrant to search sublet's house. sublet agrees to meet, but
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30 minutes later, cancels saying he has to take his dad to a doctor's appointment. hayes goes to the doctor's office to present sublet with a warrant. suddenly he hops in his car and pulls out of the parking lot. >> there he goes. he's out of the hospital because there goes his car. >> the atf and state troopers are on sublet's tail, closely following him. >> we followed him for a couple of miles, trying to let the atf agent catch up. it was their call. do you want us to stop him? >> then he makes a move that alarms police. >> i could see him look over. leans up, slides something under his leg. >> the state troopers suspect it's a gun. >> you can tell he floored it. took off at a high rate of speed. >> the troopers follow as sublet speeds on. >> at one point i was over 100 miles an hour. >> the trooper is so nervous he reaches for his phone.
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>> i never made a phone call like that before, but i called my wife. >> then the chase turns more treacherous. sublet begins weaving and driving towards oncoming traffic. >> there were times when he actually would pass other vehicles in the left lane. it appeared he was aiming his vehicle at approaching vehicles in the other lane. >> our main concern was to slow him down. if he's not going to stop, let's slow him down. >> he just tried to hit two more cars head-on. >> i do most of the talking on the radio trying to keep post of the other units advised. >> he radios police chief jeff mayberry he wants to use a tire deflation device called stop sticks to end the chase. >> he ran over them perfectly. it deflated three of the four tires on the vehicle. >> sublet's car finally slows down. >> the air is going out of his tires. he lost control and slammed into another vehicle.
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>> on a dirt road. he ain't messing around. >> i thought the pursuit was going to end there. >> sublet begin hits the gas and takes off. >> all four tires are out. >> he continued on. sparks fly, bare rims. >> after driving for a mile on rims, the car gives out. the police move in. >> he was coming out of the window when i was starting to exit my vehicle. i could tell he had something in his hand. he comes up with the weapon. that's when the first rounds are fired. >> and he turns and he shoots in our direction. >> simultaneouswise while he was doing that, a vehicle comes in our direction and starts. he runs to the vehicle and gets the lady out at gun point. we see a lady exit the driver's side of the vehicle and actually run across the road. at that point, he is inside this vehicle. throws it in reverse.
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backs it up, turns around and then continues. >> once he carjacked the vehicle he had a good distance on you. because we had to get back to our vehicle. >> go, go, go! he's in another vehicle! >> then we kicked back in with pursuit mode. wisconsinbound -- westbound u.s. 68. >> we continued in the same direction.estbound u.s. 68. >> we continued in the same direction. we still thought he was headed back to his residence. >> reporter: but again, sublet has his own ideas. on this road heading towards his house, he veers wildly and makes a surprise move. >> all i saw was dust. >> after a 20-mile chase, sublet crashes through a fence and drives right through the front door of one of the most expensive homes in all of bowling green. >> i still thought he lost control. i didn't know it was intentional. >> once he hit the fence, i knew this was getting ready to get bad.
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the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. bowling green, kentucky. after leading police on a 20-mile high-speed chase, firing on them and carjacking a second car, russell sublet crashes into the front door of a huge mansion. >> i pulled up to the front of this house and saw it. i actually, you know, my first thought was, well, this guy is taking over south fort ranch. the old dallas soap opera. >> he has a good reason for picking this house. he knows it well. he used to work here. >> i think he picked the house because of the resentment he had
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to the owner. for basically firing him. >> police quickly track down the homeowner. fortunately, there is no one at home, but there's one huge problem. an arsenal of his family's guns in the basement. atf special agent arrives at the scene. >> he had numerous weapons. he had high-powered rifles, many mounted with scopes. shotguns, handguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition. we had a pretty good idea of what we were facing from the beginning. >> 14 guns in all with a stockpile of ammunition. all now part of russell sublet's one-man army. >> he knew every inch of the house. he immediately started engaging us with a high-powered rifle and shotgun, firing inside the house. and then gunshots directed outside. >> then a chilling development. the homeowner reaches sublet by
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phone. sublet says he's bitter over being fired. he says he plans to "go out like a cowboy", and take as many officers with him as he can. >> it was six hours that i laid up there with him popping off the rounds, me in the front yard of this house. >> it was really hard to tell where the shots were coming from and where they were being shot out. since the house was so large. >> as sublet is shooting at the officers and hanging tough, the atf devisees their strategy to capture him. >> that would include shutting off power and water to the house. anybody he may have a ability to talk on a cell phone, getting those conversations ended. >> the standoff stretches into a second day. now more than 120 agents are on the scene at a makeshift command post. he continues to fire a stream of bullets from the basement stairs through the front windows. to get a closer look,
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the atf sends in two robots. the kind used in bomb threats. >> it was a great tool for us. we put a special response team members that close to an active shooter. >> agents use cameras mounted on the robots to find sublet and block the stairways, trapping him in the basement. from their command post outside, the police and agents begin talking to sublet. >> the ability to give him communications, but also for us to see visually the cameras on the robot was critical to us. >> negotiators were trying to get him to talk to us. we brought in officers that he knew. that he had play basketball with at different high schools in the area. we tried to get him to talk to us. >> the art of negotiation is so important. it's a tool that's very important to us on any special response team operation. >> as the day wears on, sublet wears down.
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>> we want you to come out and talk to us, man. >> oh, no, man. i've got a [ bleep ] life, man. i worked my ass off. i'm ready to go, man. >> every time we would try to talk with him or engage him, he would shoot at us. >> put the gun down! >> every time sublet fires, the atf answers with a hail of bullets. day three, the waiting game continues. the agents can get no closer to the house. >> i was at a position about 85 yards off the house. no cover. troopers providing containment were laying under their cars. they had virtually no cover, but
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we weren't able to engage him directly because he kept standing back away from the windows when he would shoot. >> so the agents try another usually reliable tactic. tear gas. >> everyone thought once the tear gas was introduced into the house, that would speed up his surrender. i think we were surprised that he was able to maintain himself for that length of time in the house. >> day turns to night and the gun fire continues. suddenly, sublet charges up the stairs again and fires a 12-gauge shotgun. he runs up the steps a second time. this time, he's hit by a bullet.
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the force knocks him back down the stairs and it looks like the standoff might be over. he is hit. how will it end? >> you don't know what caused him to decide to make some of the choices they make and wind up in a situation like sublet did. i wish i could keep it this way. [ dr. rahmany ] you see, even after a dental cleaning... plaque quickly starts to grow back. but new crest pro-health clinical plaque control toothpaste can help. it not only reduces plaque... it's also clinically proven... to help keep plaque from coming back. plus, it works in these other areas dentists check most. ♪ new crest pro-health clinical plaque control toothpaste. life opens up when you do. for extra plaque protection try new crest pro-health clinical rinse. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm.
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as the standoff in bowling green epters its fourth day, russell sublet is still holed up in this house with a small arsenal and 120 federal agents outside. suddenly, as he charges up the stairs, an atf sniper fires and the bullet hits sublet. >> russell had come up once and taken a shot at the special response team members. the next time he presented
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hichlt, that's when he got hit in the stairwell. >> he was hit once in the shoulder. it looks like the incident is over, then incredibly sublet gets right back up. dazed, bleeding, exhausted and in need of food and water. water that would turn out to be the key. >> we took a chance at a good faith effort with him and threw him a bottle of water. after three or four days, i think the fatigue started to play a role in it, as well. >> an exhausted and dehydrated sublet finally calms down and negotiates. >> these guys saved my life. i was wanting them to take it. i didn't trust nobody. these guys gave me water.
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>> you'll put it on safety. here i am. i'm going to keep my promise. >> you keep your promise, i'll keep my promise. i'll meet you. >> put your hands up, man. everything will be fine. i promise. ain't nothing going to happen. >> after holding off 120 federal agents, firing hundreds of rounds, sublet surrenders. the final image is captured by one of the robot's cameras. russell sublet is charged and convicted of attempted murder. he will spend the rest of his life in jail. the biggest question on everyone's mind, what made him snap? a local television station interviewed him by phone. >> i tried to figure out what did happen. right now i'm in tears almost talking about this. it kills my soul.
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i wish i had just took my life. >> he says his biggest regret was the pain he caused his 12-year-old son. >> i'm sorry for not being there for him. that wasn't his daddy that did this. this was somebody else. >> you really don't know what causes him to decide to make some of the choices they make and wind up in a situation like sublet did. was it because this guy fired him from his job? everybody has a trigger point. >> for the atf, the best of all possible outcomes. >> safety is the utmost important thing. safety of the public is first, safety of our agents is second and the safety of the suspect is actually important us to, as well. we want everybody to go home safely. >> while the atf works on gun crime at the national level, some cities are taking matters into their own hands. chicago and miami are arming their police with higher caliber weapons.
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>> i'm happy to see a trend in which law enforcement are given the tools to protect themselves and the citizens from these dangerous thugs who like to arm themselves with what they believe are state-of-the-art weapons. >> new york city's own grahe gun investigation had immediate results. the number of crime gun dropped by 1100 from 2006 to 2007. many cities are frustrated by a lack of information about where crime guns come from. because of a congressional amendment, the atf's tracing data base can only be used to track guns in criminal investigations, not by cities trying to detect patterns of crime. backers of the amendment like the national rifle association say that releasing the data more widely could violate the privacy of gun owners and compromise criminal investigations. the atf is making progress. the agency working with state
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and local police traced and recovered 230,000 crime guns nationwide in 2007 alone. >> any time we can close up a source of guns going to illegal people or the criminal element, it's very important to us. we do feel good about it. >> do you think the atf is starting to make a dent in the illegal guns? >> yes. atf is systemically figuring out how to do this work. and really, even more importantly, how to work with local police departments. to do this right requires a local and federal partnership. it is absolutely happening. it is making a difference. >> the atf has a long history. but its most famous agent? you guessed him, elliot ness. in the 1930s, the agency was called the bureau of prohibition. ness and fellow agents bro


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