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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  August 24, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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in the middle of one of the midtown's bus yi areas, there are a lot of businesses in the area of the empire state building, happening as people are going to work on a friday afternoon in the summer. new york city officials say the gunman is dead. the gunman was killed. we believe as many as eight people may have been shot and wounded. we know of no fatalities among the victims, only the gunman. we don't know any of the details. a couple key questions -- who is this person? what were they doing? was it the motive? was it as was earlier reported, possibly a robbery gone bad. let's go to ron allen, who is near the scene. what are you seeing and hearing, ron? >> reporter: it's -- it's virtually shut down. i'm at the corner of 34th between broadway and fifth avenue, just a block or so from part of the empire state building talking to people in
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the crowd about what they saw and heard, because the people have basically evacuated most of that area in front of the empire state building. everyone is in complete shock, because, as you said, this is a heavily traveled area for tourists. there are countless people taking pictures, trying to see the sights, what have you. this happened completely out of the blue at the height of -- the rush hour was just over, and traffic is relatively light this time of year. but there's a feeling of confusion, nobody knows what's happening form the police are trying to move us back even further to get away. there must be two dozen police cars, you can hear planses, several helicopters above head, and we're trying to get information exactly what happened. there's speculation it may have been a robbery of a commercial building of some sort gone bad.
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there are countless stores, retail outlets, so trying to sort out the situation, utter gridlock in the heart of manhattan. >> how much of that area is blocked off, at least from what you can tell? we are seeing a chopper shot, but i can't really tell -- we haven't see a high enough shot of how much of a perimeter has been turned into a crime scene, essentially. ? >> reporter: i'm to the west, and at least four city blocks, and these are long east-west blocks. i would say at least perhaps a mi mile. >> they are sealing off a big area, causing some problems for people who are trying to get past the police checkpoints, because there are a lot of people trying to get to work, but at this point, of course, the main concern for the police is to secure the area. in new york there's obviously a
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concern about possible terrorism, though no one has said that as of yet, but of course in new york city that is always perhaps the first concern in the middle of a heavily traveled area, a landmark area. so, again, pushing this back further and further as they try to figure out what happened. >> ron allen, let me give you a break so you can perhaps talk to people and see what you request find out. in the meantime, i will set the scene again. you heard this from lester holt a short time ago. this is an area that new york city is prepared for, that they know this can be a target. i don't live that far from there, either, i often walk bay on my way home from work. so perhaps it's not a surprise that once this shooter started to open fire, and according to one eyewitness did so indiscriminately, was just firing indiscriminately,
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apparently a member of the nypd was able to take him down. you have to understand this is one of the more heavily touristed areas in new york. i can also tell you from experience, especially on a summer night, if it were evening, people would be lined up outside that building, so many people want to get to the top of the empire state building. it does open at 8:00 in the morning, so there might well have already been tourists inside the empire state building. there are five entrances to this building on 33rd street, on 5th avenue and 34th street. hundreds of people work in there. this happened a little after 9:00, so i think you can assume a lot of people going to work were already at work. lester holt, where exactly are you? are you say you're in the koreatown area, which is just adjacent to that building? >> yeah, i'm at 32nd. i should know three fbi workers
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or agencies have walked past the line walking to the scene, the blue windbreakers with "fbi." not sure what that would mean in terms of this investigation. we can see detectives crowded in the street. the activity seems to be happening on 33rd street. the building lies between 33rd and 34th. 33rd is the south side of the building. that's where the activity seems to be. we see a lot of plain clothes officers conferring. for those just tuning in, i live very close by, and when i got word i came right away. when you arrived, i could see a set of legislation, shorts, caucasian, couldn't tell if they were fully lying down or propped up against a building. couldn't tell if that person was wounded or dead or shaken up by
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the activity, but there were detectives nearby. we've seen no other signs of victims. it's unclear what side they were taken out of, but not seeing that at all. fbi agents are conferring with the nypd detectives. big tourist location, always a police presence here, usually a couple police cars out front, sometimes heavily armed antiterrorism squads. don't know whether they were on duty, but very often when i come by here, i see the tourists lined up and see these guys and thinking, what are they thinking about this? but that's a common sight to new yorkers at places considered high-profile targets. mainly tourists are lined up against the police lines trying to look over. buggy new yorkers, people headlong walk it is into the
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police tape. what's going on? a shooting, and you turn around and walk away. it's disturbing. it's a safe area of new york, center of commerce, center of tourism. the thought that someone could open fire insdrim instantly if that witness account is correct, is very disturbing. >> first of all, new york city has lowered its crime rate significantly. the murder rate has been down significantly. this is a safe place for tourists to go. i also want to point out as i have been checking web sites, new york remains one of the most heavily touristed area in the united states, it's a big value for people outside the country because of the value of the dollar. there's a lot of promotional things there. are you seeing mostly a tourist presence there? >> mostly. you get a lot the europeans this time of year. this is a great walk, you go to
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the empire state building, keep going south on fifth into the flat iron building, and then they walk on down to greenwich village, so it's a popular stroll. also aany given time of the day, you see by the tens and 20s and 30s, doubledecker tourist buses, because it's such as interesting part of the city. it's unclear, i would have to check, maybe you can check on the newsroom. whether the observation deck -- >> i know the building is open at 8:00. i can't say for sure. we should check to see whether it's open that early. that is such a popular tourist destination. >> yeah, and that's why. for often reasons, the nypd
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takes special concern over places like this. there would have been an officer nearby, an officer or more at this area at any time of the day, because it is a potential target. again, we stress we don't have any reason to believe this was a terrorism related, but certainly terrorizing for anyone in the neighborhood. a huge contingent now of officers. i'm seeing at least four fbi agents now have joined on the scene as well. that may be -- we know the fbi and nypd have a joint terrorist task force. they probably have to dot all the is and cross the ts to make sure they understand what's happened here. but it's worth noteling they are on the scene as well. >> you and i are in that area not infrequently, because we
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both live downtown, but we're hearing from wnbc this may be a workplace-related shooting. for people who are not familiar with new york city, virtually every building front when you walk down the street is some sort of storefront. this is a heavy business district. >> reporter: before they pushed us back, when able to look down the streets. there's countless businesses on the south side. on the corner there's a walgreens and starbucks, but as you go further, there's businesses -- people know that stretch from avenues is a long block. a lot of them could be within a small lawyer offices, it's very close to the garment district, as you continue to walk over that street to get to 7th avenue.
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so it's a bustling area. 9:00 in the morning, this place would just by hopping. occasionally i walk to work if it's not too hot, and our dodging people as you're heading up the avenue. >> lester holt who continue toss report for us from the scene. we know the shooter has been killed, was shot by the nypd. it's still until clear, we haven't got absolute confirmation of how many people there were shot. we've heard as many as eight, though we have not heard anyone was killed in the shooting, one eyewitness did say the gunman did open fire and was shooting indiscriminately. two conflicting reports essentially, one this may have been a robbery gone bad, another this was a workplace-related shooting, but there's no indication that this was a terror-related event the not at all. the fbi as lester pointed out,
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has a joint task force with the nypd, so their presence there does not necessarily indicate it's terror. it's not a terror incident. let me bring in ra mimi ellis. -- rehema ellis. >> since 9/11, people have talked about the targets that terrorists -- to gain the ultimate attention from the world, and the empire state building is one of those places. even before the tragedy of 9/11, you know the world trade center had been attacked before, so it was one of those places people walked by and would think, myself living here as well, would cautiously think this is one of those places. it is comforting, i would think, to many people to hear what you have just said. at this moment there is no
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indication whatsoever that this is in any way related to any terrorist activity, that it might indeed be a work related incident as our wnbc station is reporting right now. i would think it would raise eyebrows that this might be something that's going on. >> there is a perception among a lot of people who are afraid of new york city, who believe that new york city is a dangerous city. it is not borne out by the statistics, and in fact because it was the target of terrorists attacks on 9/11 you could argue there are few places in the world that have such well-organized security, where the police are aware of where a target might be, whether it's a terrorist attack, which this is not, or if it's a random person that wants to cause destruction, but our latest report coming from our affiliate here in new york city is that it may be a
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workplace-related incident. ron allen is there. what can you tell us? >> reporter: we're just told that the police are going to try to have a briefing in about 20 minutes or so. we'll see if that actually happens. they're obviously trying to secure the crime scene and understand what happened there. at the moment they have pushed the crowd back quite far. i'm at the me and 5th, just around the corner from the empire state building. mostly now they are trying to deal with the number of pedestrians and workers who were trying to determine whether they can get to work or not, and trying to determine what happened. as you know, this is the center of manhattan, and this is probably one of the most heavily traveled areas for tourist this time of year to see the empire state building, but at this point the police seem a bit more at ease, perhaps.
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i understand that the bodies and patients have been moved away. i can see a couple officers coming towards us -- but as soon as we know more, we can tell you, but again right now. still grid did not lock in the heart of manhattan as everyone is trying to figure out what happened. a stunning development this time of year on an early summer morning. chris? >> ron allen, thank you. we are getting new information from the fire department officials who the on the scene. they were saying that 10 people were injured, 4 of them shot. you can imagine in the chaos that ensued there could be people who sustained minor injuries. i think you could put yourself in that position if you were on the streets of any major city and you heard gunshots wring out. again this could be an area that's fairly crowded. almost any time of day. it's just one of the heavily trafficked areas of new york
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city, even in the summer when a lot of people are on vacation, you'll find the squawks, the streets are pretty full. so we don't know exactly the extent of the injuries. ten people injured, four of them shot, and again a report from at least one eyewitness on the scene that the gunman opened fire and was shoot been indiscriminately. lester, what do you have for us? >> reporter: more and more initials. i see atf officials have arrived, fbi and detectives, all the attention turned down 33rd street, the south side. 5th avenue is still block. that's no small issue issue? a city like new york. it is home to obviously major shopping, commerce, tourism, quite disruptive to have fifth avenue shut down. a large emergency services squad truck is coming down 5th avenue. they are the elite unit of nypd.
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they handle duties that many s.w.a.t. teams would handle, but also high-rise rescues, antiterrorism, i point that out, because you'll often seem they stationed outside empire state billing, as a terrorism deterrence or rapid response quad. typically there are police assigned strictly to watch over the empire state building as well as the crowds and some of the other famous places in this pardon of town. >> lester, let me interrupt you, we're going to go to w nbc. they're talking to an eyewitness. >> and i walked into my office and came back out.
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i was stands on 5th avenue between 33rd and 34th street and saw the dead -- >> reporter: what did you see? >> he was just laying facedown. i didn't see his fay. he had on dress brown -- >> they didn't look like arm pants? they looked like dress pants? >> yes, they were. >> they came and put a sheet on him. >> reporter: also some kind of black bag near him? >> like at the top of his head, beside him. i don't know whether it was his bag or nod. >> reporter: as you're coming from penn station, what was the commotion like? >> it was final until i got to fifth avenue and i heard pop pop pop. and i just ran to my office. >> reporter: there's a wendy's right next to you. from what customers told me, people hit the deck. you ran? >> i ran. i ran. i ran. i ran.
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>> reporter: you knew it was gunshots? >> yes, i did. i've heard them before. >> reporter: what was the response like with the police department? >> light, so spontaneous. they were coming from everywhere. i mean, this is serious f. and they really should do something about the gun laws in new york city. they really do. it was horrifying. >> reporter: do you know anybody who works here? at least describe what it's like around here around 9:00. >> going to work, a lot of tourists, you know, the city. it's a safe place to be. for this to happen is just devastating for everyone. it truly is. >> reporter: now, actually we were looking at the suspect over there, white shoot over him. no one has been around that person. >> exactly. no, they haven't. >> reporter: what do you do now? >> i go to work. >> reporter: you said you were trying to go to the drugstore. >> to calm my nerves, but they
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didn't give me any. i calmed myself down, had a cup of coffee, and came back out. >> reporter: thank you very much. that's just one story we're hearing from some of the people who work and live around here. there's a man who i know was talking to the police officers. sir, come over here. i know you have a business. where is it and -- >> 345 fifth avenue, j.s. sutton & sons. >> reporter: what did the police officers tell you? >> first he was going to give me permission, i proved to him i'm the owner of the store for the last 63 years, and finally he went to his supervisor, and he refused to let me in. i don't feel good. i want to relax. i want to go in. i have a lot of things to do. i don't have to sit on 33rd street in this sun. what is the purpose of not letting me in? i don't know. >> reporter: at this point you're just waiting. your store was closed at the time, no one was in there? >> i open it every day at 9:30.
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>> reporter: what time did you get here? >> just about 9:30. couldn't get. the location where i'm standing now. i had to walk around several blocks until i got to 33rd. spoke to the police officer nicely. he was nice, but they refuse to let me go into my store. >> that woman gloria was telling me it was pandemonium. how would you describe what it was like. >> a lot of people, a lot of walking, a lot of -- we don't know what's going on. i wish i could know what time the streets would be open. >> reporter: charles, thank you. i appreciate it. again, another person who has a business out here. from what we are being told, no one is being allowed in. people in some of these businesses around here, the empire state being, but also the starbucks coffee, some of the restaurants and tourist stores around here not being let out of
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their offices, and certainly no one being allowed on. >> that's katherine creag of wnbc, you're hearing a big more information from a few of the eyewitnesses action not surprising saying it was a horrifying scene. the woman that catherine was speaking to, talking about who was apparently the gunman who was covered and had a black bag near his body, but we don't know what was in that bag. it's very important to stress this happened a little more that an hour ago on the streets of new york city. the response seemed to be virtually instantaneous from new york city police, who are always a heavy presence in that area. the gunman was shot and killed. so the situation was stabilized almost immediately, but there's an ongoing investigation with the nypd, the fire department, the fbi, the at. four people were told westbound shot, ten injured, and then
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we're getting an update. now they're saying two people are dead, one is a gunman, one is a victim. four people total shot, although, again, an update is there may be an many as six people. so you can see there's still a lot of activity on the scene. early reports often turn out not to be right. the first report we got was maybe this was a robbery gone bad. the most recent update from jonathan dienst at wnbc is appears to be a workplace or worker associated shooting, but important to note not terror related. lester holt has been on the scene almost from the start, heard about it and ran to the scene. what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: the activity seems to be shifting off fifth avenue on to 33rd where apparently this happened. the strange thing, we've not seen any signs of victims.
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but what seemed clear to me, no one is walking in and out of empire state building. whatever happened occurred outside the building. that's where all the focus is right now with the police. the biggest part is trying to turn people away who work down the block, the new yorkers are a jaded bunch. though crime is not as prevalent as it once was, disruptions in life here, you know, terror threats or what have you are not uncommon, and people kind of, they worry, they hear about this, it's awful, but you've got to get to work. that's the main thing police are confronting right now where i am. this occurred at a time of day when it would have been incredibly bus counter. lots of offices here, lots of
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tourists. for someone to come out with a gun here -- i found myself thinking where would i run? where would i go? a very terrifying thought. the lines of people actually crowded around the police line are starting to thin out, mainly tourists here, but now everything has come to a standstill. but watching the game of telephone in the crowd, as one story gets relayed, but none of us really know what happened. >> it's important to remind people that the mayor is en route to the scene. he's dealt with all sorts of
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situations in hi time as mayor, most recently the threat of a hurricane. he is somebody who has been a voice of calm through many situations, who is someone who has brought a lot of information to the table when he does hold a news confirm, but again let's get you the latest information, as we know it, as we're waiting to michael bloom better to come to the microphone. two men are said to be dead, including the gunman, at least one other person was shot. we initially heard as many as four. eight injuries, but not all are shooting victims, so perhaps some of them were injured in the chaos that ensued, and certainly it would be a chaotic situation. and lester, do you see any sign of anything being set up for the mayor to hold a news conference? >> reporter: let mess tell you what i see. wait a minute.
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he comes a big entourage coming down fifth avenue. there is a rather large entourage coming down fifth avenue in suits. with what could be -- walking to the scene right now. they closed off fifth avenue, most of the vehicles are out of the way. of the activity -- trying to mayo. i don't think that it is. no, i don't think it is, but a large entourage making its way over to the scene. that jonathan dienst has new information on the
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>> that's wnbc live, as i understand it. perhaps they're having trouble making a connection with the wnbc, contacts within the nypd. as soon as we get that information about the shooter, we will let you know. i'm sorry, lester, i interrupted you. continue. >> reporter: no worries. i was trying to get an eyebulk on that group. i didn't identify anyone. vehicles have moved and all the activity is on the south side of the building. a big crime scene unit van, seen folks with bags obviously to begin the careful process to map out where the shells fell and where the victims were and try to get a handle on exactly where. ambulance, but haven't seen any other than the first the police are manning the
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police lines, keeping people back, lots of curies folks out here with their cell phones taking pictures. maybe tourists will have a story to tell. this wasn't that long ago, about two, three weeks ago there was a police-involved shooting not farther from here near times square, a deranged man with a knife. you may wall that, and there were lots of tourists there, and that man was shot and killed by police after a bit of a chase. so it's been a bad summer for new york city in terms of high-profile acts of violence, and tourists witnessing some pretty traumatic events, but at the same time we have to note this is atypical.
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folks are a built rattled. >> and i'm sure he will hear. thank you, lester, from the mayor about how quickly the mayor responded. let's go to jonathan. >> reporter: again we'll hear more. things can and do change, whether it becomes a murder/suicide situation or a bystander shot and killed and the gunman was killed by police, all these details need to be sorted out. what kell can say and what officials are stressing both in federal law infers march and the nypd is this does not appear tore terror related appears to some sort of workplace related shooting, and they're looking into whether the gunman was fired from his job yesterday. again, whether. it is not clear, because they're still sorting out that detail, that information. >> jonathan, thank you very much. if you're just tining in at 10:30, we do want to update you on exactly what happened.
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me and 5th avenue, right near the empire state building, a peaked described by our jonathan dienst as a disgrunt you would employee who may have been fired yesterday, returned to the area, one victim, perhaps as many as eight were either shot and wounded or trampled in the may lay that ensued. that suspect was then shot and the area around me street and 5th avenue is shut down. you can see the police tape -- >> >> that's coming from wnbc, that was jonathan dienst that this may have been a disgruntled employee who was fired. nypd, a heavy presence in that area, they were able to take out
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the gunman who unfortunately killed one other person and others are injured as well. former fbi profiler clint van zandt is on the phone with me now. clint, we know there is fbi on the scene in addition to atf and nypd. in terms of finding out more about this guy, what his motive was and the profile of someone who would do this, if indeed this was somebody who was recently fired, what can you tell us? >> you'll see fbi and atf as we know, out of proverbial abundance of caution. themselves and nypd this was not terrorist related or terrorist inspired, and number two, atf will have the responsibility of tracing down the firearm, the gun or guns that the shooter used. the fbi will be there to assist in any background investigation on the shooter, as all of these agencies work together to try to identify the motive here.
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as you indicate it could be a robbery and very well a violence in workplace. i live in the washington, d.c. area, and it was just a little more than a week ago we had a shooting in a major facility here in washington, d.c. in that case the security officer was able to stop the individual before he penetrated and shot the people that he apparently wanted to shoot. in this particular case, it looks like it appeared outside. we heard the weapons could be a handgun as well as a shotgun. a shotgun, of course, would suggest why a number of people may have been injured and why we may see these leg and back injuries. >> clint, what is it that we know about the profile of a person where they find themselves in a different work situation, in this case he may have been recently fired, would resort to violence? >> well, unfortunately we see many people who are simply copycats. they're full of anger,
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frustration, rage, and they look at past events of how someone has dealt with that, and in our country, many times that's included the use of firearms. it may well be today we have this individual as you suggest, he goes back to the workplace and now instead of looking in a mirror and holding himself responsible, he's holding everyone else. he's not just shooting people in the workplace, but innocent civilians and other people there. when you get someone this ainge ri, this rageful, they really don't care, and there may well have been a potential suicide by cop mentality here. you don't take a gun on the streets of new york city and start shooting people without the realization that the nypd is going to be right there and very quickly fully capable of dealing with you.
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>> how will they put together a picture of what happened? >> like the terrible shootings we've had the last couple months, chris, whether it's a movie theater or a sikh temple or a business in washington, d.c., they'll identify the shooter as quickly as they can, then they go to the shooter's residence. they'll look for his cell phone, they'll look for computers, they'll look for anything else to paint a background, a picture of who this person is. again, most important number one is motive. number two, are there any individuals involved? number three, are there any other planned activities? that's why new york is so quick to shut the streets down. they want to make sure there's not a part 2 or phase 2 that will take place. >> clint van zandt, i'm sure we will get back to you.
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we are waiting to the mayor of new york city, who will give us more information i am sure. it's also worth noting that mayor bloomberg has been on the forefront of an organization called mayors against illegal guns. he has been a very vocal advocate of gun control laws, and particularly after the shootings we have seen recently in tucson, with gabby giffords, and more recently the shooting that happened in colorado. he is someone who has been very much in favor of very strict gun control laws, and has gotten a lot of support obviously from the in the meantime ypd. we'll be hearing from him, we are told, at the top of the hour, a podium set up near the empire state building. let's go back out to ron allen, on the streets of new york near the empire state building. what are you seeing, ron? ron allen? >> reporter: yes. irmgts what are you seeing now?
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>> i was talking to the people down here, i just met some tourists from australia, which is typical of what you run into. i can barely see where the empire state building is, that's how big the perimeter is here. i can almost see some officers are leaving the scene, some of the police cars are also pulling back. we're expecting to hear from commissioner kelly, who i did see at the scene briefly about ten minutes ago. but you never know, as clint van zandt was saying they're probably concerned about a second event perhaps and they said to be sure things are secure here, but most i talked to are trying to stay back and very serious, wondering how this could happen, and just shocked and stunned that in the middle
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of the morning here this would happen. but again just trying to get more from the police about exactly what happened. let's bring you up to date. a little after 9:00 eastern time today, a man opened fire on the street, apparently around 33rd street outside the empire state building in new york city. it is one of the most visited, most heavily tracked area of the city. at that time of the morning, the iconic observation deck would have been open for business. if you've ever read travel articles, one of the things they recommend is if you're interested in getting there during the daytime, it's good to get there when it opens so you don't end up in a very long line. new york city has seen a tremendous surge in tourism in recent years. i saw it was one of the most visited cities being planned for labor day weekend. you cannot walk down the streets
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without hearing multiple languaging being spoken, or without people taking pictures of places obviously like the empire state building. it's also an area that is heavily pleased as all the major tourist areas are. it's a very comforting sight, especially for people -- this is a city that's heavily trained, not only for incidents like this, but anything that is either of criminal activity or frankly that would disrupt traffic. in new york city, i can tell you that once they feel their investigative work is done, they'll get traffic moving against. it's a friday. there are a lot of people coming into the city for tourist, and believe me a lot of people trying to get out of the city. in the summer it gets very hot here, this is one of the last weekends of the summer, so there will be a great exodus of people who live in new york city. i can tell you they will get those lines down and the city up
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and running as quickly as they possibly can. right now we have an active crime scene investigation. the gunman who opened fire we are told indiscriminately by an eyewitness, killed one other person, wounded several others. we're getting conflicting information about how many ours. we know as many as ten people were injured. there was obviously achaotic situation that ensued afterwards. 3.5 million people visit the empire state building every year. the summer obviously is the heaviest concentration of tourists, along with the christmas season. there are five different entrances, but the main entrance you would see for tourists would have been on fifth avenue. that's often where you see people lined up. rehem a ellis is here with me.
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9. >> is the police are being very careful to point that out. it's important to note there's a real desire to make certain they don't spread any unnecessary fear throughout the city or in other neighborhoods, other boroughs of new york city, because there is a place tourists come. the empire state building is one of the most popular tourist attractions. people stand in line to get up to that 86th floor observation deck, where they can get a spectacular view of manhattan, something they can take pictures of, of the city, one another. so all this attention being focused on a horrible tragedy that's occurred in the city on a beautiful friday morning is taking attention away from why people come to the city. that is to visit it, to enjoy it, and to create wonderful memories. as you point out, i think it's interesting that new york city is the kind of place where
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something happens, please move very quickly, and they will try as best they can to bring those lines down and get things moving again. back in 1997, almost 15 years ago, a gunman went up on top the empire state building, the 86th floor, he killed a tourist, several others were would you pleased, then he killed himself. that led to panic on top that observation deck. there were almost 100 people there with their children, scram plink to get away from all that was going on. at that moment the empire state building was shut down. for weeks people went trying to figure out would they reopened the observation deck again? of course they did, and now we have another tragedy, which brings all of it back to mind. >> it may not be related at all to the empire state building.
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it's also obvious when anything this high profile, the president will be notified. he was shortly after at the happened, about 9:30 this morning by his homeland security adviser john brennan. he will continue to receive dates, but again though his homeland security adviser is the one who told the president about it, this is not an act of terror. let's go back to lester holt, who is on the scene. what can you tell us? >> reporter: 33rd street is where all the activities has been. where i say a reporter, what appeared to be someone lying down, at least the bottom half of someone lying down, it appeared to be near a bar areas. stuffs difficult to tell.
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that's where we believe the bulk of the shooting, if not all of it, was taking place. the police have blocked off at least two of 24 -- and, you know, getting some real-life action that they usually see on tv shows. we understand there were units of the critical response team as they typically are outside t the -- these are units that traditionally patrol and station themselves outside we do know they were in the area as well. it's going to be a while before this is opened up.
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they've got a lot to pore through. many of them are mingled in so there will be a lot of information to gather. it's not going to be an easy task. >> that will be one of the challenges to find some of those people and hear exactly what they saw. at that point they'll -- >> reporter: chris, i'm sorry. as i look down fifth avenue, i've been telling you all the action was on 33rd, but i do see two sets of plastic numbers in the street outside the 5th avenue entrance for the empire state building. those are something they typically put along pieces of evidence. i see it looks like two sets of
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plastic yellow numbers. this may have been continued around the corner. >> that's important information, thank you, lester holt. let me go back to clint van zandt. i think -- obviously if you're there and you hear shooting, we heard two different kinds of report. how do please start to piece together exactly what happened there? >> well, having worked through scenes like that, one of the challenges, of course is the buildings. you get such an echo effect. when you ask someone how many shots, you'll get different reports now, as lester and you are suggesting, new york city last year by this time, they had
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about 300 home cites. this year it's about 250, so even though the number of shootings statistically is up in new york city, the number of homicides is down which is a positive thing for the cities. unfortunately those statistics will go up. and what they have to do is lock all the witnesses in as quickly as they can to a statement to what they saw or heard. chris, just as important, how did the shooter getting here? did somebody drop him hoff? was somebody standing there with him? that's as important to the police right now. is there an assistant? a coconconspirator out there, number one, who was involved? and number two, who is fully capable of committing an act like this someplace else in the city? that's why you'll see sections of new york city locked down right now in this abundance of
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caution to make sure we don't have a part 2 or part 3 that takes place. we know in these incidents many times it's the proverbial lone wolf shooter, but sometimes you get two or three individuals who work together and they'll move on to the next part of that plan. the agency working this cannot afford to let that happen. that's why you see so many officers trying to make sure they have this under control. >> we may be just about ten minutes away from a briefing by mayor bloomberg. rehemia, clint had a question for you? >> clint, people.
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>> i've heard it suggested that the gunnin' gunman perhaps had a shotgun, which would explain december make ricocheting bullets. lester hold may be on the scene, and that weapons would have been recovered very quickly by the police department as they work with atf, take the serial number and try to trace that weapon back. realize in the united states we have about 285 million known guns in this country, but the federal agencies working with their city counterparts are very good about tracing a weapon back like that. as long as it stayed in legal hands, in essence, it baunt stolen somewhere along the line, they'll be able to trace that weapon back from the time it was made to the time hopefully it
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got into the shooter's hands. >> you mentioned you saw a couple of those crime scene numbers. have you seen others along 33rd street or elsewhere? >> lester? i think lester has dropped off. he's also trying to get more information and making some calls, talking to people on the scene there. clint, let me ask you a bit more about the type of investigation that gets down here. so the first thing they want to do, obviously, is make sure they have a clear situation, that this is not part of, as you say, a bigger conspiracy or anything like that, and if it was a workplace shying, that would immediately indicate, probably, would it not, that this was a lone shooter, smun disgruntled and who in the hours and days to
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come, may find out there was a very specific reason he was let go from his job? >> trying to put together why today? that's one of the many things as an fbi profiler, you want to know why did the shooter pick this particular day? >> is it usually pretty quick after they're fired? >> chris, i have seen an individual go back when he's fired, go back, get his lunchpail, open up the pail, take out two guns and shoot immediate immediately, and then have seen a guy 7 years later, who held responsible people in the workplace for what happened to him the last seven years. so how quickly will someone come back? there's so many outside factors, but the challenge is always our
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able to discern someone who's angry, frustrated, vengeful, and those who will actually pick up a gun and do something like this. that's the lesson we try to learn and relearn, should this be a violin in the workplace scenario independents we're told now that people are being allowed into the empire state building. one of our folks, rosanna coletti spoke directly to tenant services, the observatory is open, visitors are being allowed in on the me side. does that surprise you? >> you want business as usual. the job of law enforcement is to secure the scene, deal with the shooter in a situation like this, and get back to business as usual. new york has a reputation as wonderful city for tourists, people can move about in action and they will open up venues as quickly as they can so that the
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city returns to normal. otherwise the reputation starts to change. if you have a city like chicago, for example, their homicide rate is up 30% over last year of the that's a challenge for the mayor of chicago to deal with. mayor bloomberg will deal with this in his own way, too. >> clint van zandt, thank you very much. we appreciate your expertise. he will continue to be with us. we are expecting at the top of the hour new york city mayor michael bloomberg, and right now on the scene we have nbc's jeff rossen, who arrived there a short time ago. jeff, what can you tell us? >> reporter: hey, chris, we're here at the corner of 33rd and 5th, about one block away. if we pan both pays there are hundreds of people. fifth avenue is closed. several blocks up, several blocks down, according to a law
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enforcement sort, ten people shot, at least two are dead, including the suspect here, and again the motive is still unclear, but we are hearing from fbi and the nypd, does not appear to be terrorism related. this looks like a workedplace dispute. so we're hearing from the law enforcement source that the shooting itself happened on 5th between 33st and 34th streets. it's wide open. traffic has come to a standstill. police are all over investigating, trying to figure out exactly where the indicatesings went, where people were shot, but once again, when there is a shooting in the busy morning out on 5th avenue. ten people shot, at least two dead, that's what we're hearing right now. >> and again we are expecting a news conference very soon from michael plubloomberg.
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the shooter is dead, several people shot, others perhaps trampled in the chaos that ensued. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back with more, including mayor plume berg's press conference right after this. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now.
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good morning, i'm thomas reports, the shooting, roughly at 9:00 a.m., a gunman opened fire there. a news conference expected any minute from michael bloomberg and commissioner ray kelly. they want to update everybody on exactly what they know so far. as we understand it, there are two people who are dead, one of those people dead is the gunman. four people shot, ten people injured. tourists and locals were packed njts area. if you're familiar with where the empire state building is in new york, it runses between 5th
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avenue between the blocks of 34th and 33rd. the empire state building action obviously a tourist destine ailing for a beautiful summer morning. the observation tower of the iconic empire state building opens at 8:00 a.m., so people were in line to get inside and go up to the observatory, as well as people rushing to work this morning. it is not terror related. ron allen has been on the scene covering this. he joins me and has a witness with him. ron? >> reporter: you can see that's how far we are away. if you look around over here, you can see the cops are


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