Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 21, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

5:00 pm
some shots fired at some point during this whole incident as well. nbc's steve patterson has been monitoring this from our los angeles bureau. steve, bring us up to speed on what you know here. >> aaron, this is a very developing fluid situation. lapd officials we're talking to are stressing that at this point. they have that what appears to be, again, that trader joe's in what l.a. describes as sort of that silver lake area, kind of a hip area east of hollywood. the lapd officials we've been talking to say this started with a domestic incident, through hollywood, led to a police chase. it ended right in front of that trader joe's, that car crashing into as you heard over that call, into a power pole just outside of the trader joe's. the suspect then runs inside and barricades himself. at this point it is not clear if that suspect has hostages, if there are people being held against their will, what the
5:01 pm
status is of the suspect. we've heard multiple things from he's wounded to he's talking to lapd officials. just this harrowing scene of people escaping from the front and back of the building. we saw from the knbc's chopper, you could look down there, see children being carried away. what appeared to be carried away by tactical teams on the ground. of course half surrounding the store with guns drawn. but also you can see people escaping from that second-story window, almost a folding ladder kind of coming out of that window and then again, police appearing to guide people to safety out of that store. this is a situation that's been unfolding probably for the better part now of about an hour and a half to two hours with this sort of tense scene as you see police, guns drawn at the store. one witness, at least we know one witness who says that shots were fired outside of the store. that suspect crashing the car -- >> steve, i'm going to interrupt you here for a second. knbc has a witness they're
5:02 pm
talking to. let's listen in to this. >> check back with you a few minutes from now. we also have another reporter gene yamamoto getting that's this is all unfolding at this trader joe's in silver lake. jane, can you hear us? what can you tell us from where you are right now? >> we are located south of the trader joe's here on hyperion and griffith park. you can see behind me a lot of police still staging on this side just behind us. we don't want to show all the people behind us but there are many people on their phones. a lot of them were dealing with friends frantically making sure their friends are okay. also others are trader joe's store workers. a lot of them were able to get out and they are concerned that some of their co-workers are still inside. i've seen people hugging, a lost them just relieved to have gotten out. i spoke to one of those store employees a few minutes ago and here's what he had to tell me. >> i was at one of the front registers. i had a view of the street. and basically i heard a loud
5:03 pm
screech, then a crash, at the same time i saw several police officers driving down the hill. so i knew something was going on. maybe two seconds after that is when i heard gunshots and that's when i knew i had to get out of there. so i just went through the back of the store and came over here. >> reporter: and so he says it was a very frantic scene, everyone trying to get out. he is okay, he got out, but he is still concerned about some of his co-workers. he says there is a second level where there is kind of a safety area. that's not for the customers but he says that's where a lost store employees possibly could be right now. but as you can see officers here on this side, they are just staging out here and also that store employee was telling me that another co-worker of his came face to face with the gunman. he says there are two men that went inside the store and he says one gunman came face to face with another co-worker and that gunman then told him to go home. so that co-worker was able to
5:04 pm
leave. and that employee is out here as well right now. but a lot of people still shaken up, they're gathered out here, on their cell phones and they're concerned because they don't know what's going on at this point but still just worried to see what is happening to their fellow co-workers out here. we're going to be talking to a few more of them and bring you the very latest in the next few minutes and we'll send it back to you right now. >> thank you, jane. >> just an unthinkable situation for those employees. thank you, jane. as this situation continues to unfold here, we have a phone interview now with matt ornstein we believe is in that area. matt, are you okay where you are? if you can hear us. what can you tell us, what you saw when this all started happening? >> how's it going? our company office sound and vision is just down the street. we saw an incredible number of police vehicles and helicopters suddenly go by and we weren't sure initially what was happening if it was some sort of a presidential visit, and of course we went down the street and it was obviously a potentially more dire situation depending how you look at it.
5:05 pm
>> give us an idea. >> we're on hyperion maybe 200 feet from you guys, 300 feet. >> and did anyone run into your building? >> nobody ran into our building but i will say that an incredible number of people i know live in the area were either in gelson's or somewhere nearby. this seems to really have touched the community in a pretty astounding way. >> yeah. it's a lot of companies even people know so well. people go to trader joe's. people go to gelson's. it really hits home to see this all unfolding. what are people around you saying about it? >> people are shocked. >> can you still hear us? oh, there you are. when did you realize something was wrong, that something was happening? >> i would say probably right after it began. i believe the crash was maybe about an hour ago. >> sounds about right, yeah. an hour and a half ago or so. >> immediately after that they were setting up a perimeter and
5:06 pm
there was a quantity of helicopters i've never heard in this area before. even now it's under lockdown. >> helicopter pursuits is something we're attuned to, we see it all the time. especially in this area there's a lot of activity. but you say it's unusual even for that. we can see a huge police presence. are you able to keep up with what's going on? and are you now on lockdown where you are? can you leave? you're so close. you're staying inside. >> i've sort of instituted a lockdown as this is unfortunately a workday for us. but it's not formal. >> and what about relatives? are people calling? are you able to tell people you're okay? >> yes, people are concerned of course. but thankfully we're okay. and you know, i hope everyone else in there -- i hope the 22 remaining people are. >> all right. well, hopefully this will all be over soon. we want to thank you so much for talking to us live on the air. matt, again stay safe. >> thank you. and thank you to the police, who seem to be doing a great job. >> absolutely. thank you. >> let's get back to rick
5:07 pm
montanez on the ground in. rick, last time we talked to you you had heard from a witness. what have you learned in the last few minutes? >> not jonathan, we've been talking with a lot of people of course who were very close to this scene, were very close to what was happening. dan, would you mind coming to talk with us real quick? we are live on channel 4. this is dan zito. we do have a recorded interview with him but we want to talk with him live because dan you were very close to this. you were about to walk into trader joe's when this had happened. >> actually i had bought some groceries and i was just walking out when i seen that the car coming down and the police chasing him. and he looked like he was trying to make it into the driveway but missing one right front tire he couldn't make the turn and he hit the telephone pole. i guess i was eight or ten feet away. >> after that you said you heard the gunshots? >> he jumped oust his car and he looked like he was shooting when
5:08 pm
he jumped out of his car. it sounded like they were shooting return fire. >> and you were again only feet away from this all happening. >> ten feet. >> what did you do when the shots were fired and you heard all this? >> well, at the moment, you know, you're just wondering exactly what to do. the best thing tore me to do, and i did, was get behind the -- get behind my car with this other gentleman i really feel for because he said his kids were still inside. >> wow. we did actually see some video of police pulling children out of the store. you were inside right before this happened. how was the store? was it crowded inside? a lot of people? >> a fair amount. fair a people were inside. i mean, it was just a matter of a second from the time i went out the door to when he hit the pole and jumped out. and all the shooting started. >> and then right inside the store. >> i understand, and i'm not sure, but one of the officers said they did hit him. >> that's what we're hearing, is that he was likely shot. we're still waiting for
5:09 pm
confirmation on that. dan, we appreciate you talking with us. thank you. we're glad you're safe. as we were talking about we were going to air an interview with him but we have him fortunately here live with us. a lot of other witnesses telling me that they saw similar things, they were very close to that, very close to a lot of what was happening, which of course terrifying. i was talking to another witness who says he also talked with a man who was here. this witness tried to tell him, you know, you should get out of here, you're in the line of fire, it's dangerous, and that man told him no, my kids rinse my two boys are there. and like we mentioned, we saw some video from news chopper 4 bravo of children being brought out, other people being brought out. we're not too far from the scene. we can see a lot of police out here right now but we're very careful of what we're showing here on the ground because we don't want to give away their tact sxikz their efforts by chance people in the store may be seeing this, the suspects. we don't want this to certainly interfere with what they're doing. but of course it's still a very chaotic scene as a lot of those witnesses were talking about the entire area's locked down. i'll ask troy if we can show some of that right now where you
5:10 pm
see there's a lot of yellow tape there's officers even out here and if you're watching us just a few minutes before 5:00 when we did our first live report here on the ground police were moving us back. they were ex-pangd the crime scene because we know this situation is just very dangerous. of course they don't want anyone to get seriously injured or worse. i can also tell you that minutes after we arrived out here we were closer to the entrance to that trader joe and is we saw someone who appeared to be an employee from there dragging a person out that front door by their legs. we don't know if they were injured or exactly what happened in the store, but we did see that and then police of course rushed over there in their full protective s.w.a.t. gear, trying to help this person who was on the ground, and as gil was mentioning earlier too we did see that triage that the fire department apparently set up just a couple blocks north of this trader joe's entrance here on hyperion. there is a ton of stuff going on this entire neighborhood on
5:11 pm
lockdown right now. we're hearing from people who of course were very close to this. a lot of people across the street. a lot of people right there in front of the shooting and the chaos thaen sued right after. we'll continue to gather details on the scene and of course we'll bring you updates as soon as we learn them. for now i'll send it back to you, jonathan and kathy in the studio. >> thank you so much, rick. a lot of good information there. >> we're keeping an eye on the breaking news out of los angeles area. our affiliate there knbc providing live coverage at this hour of a hostage situation as it's been reported at a trader joe's grocery store in the los angeles area. we know that a suspect is inside that store and is that several people who were inside, we believe employees and shoppers, have been able to escape. we don't really have an assessment at this point as to who else might be inside this store right now. we've had steve patterson in our los angeles bureau for us tonight keeping an eye on this as well. steve, we were talking earlier. you mentioned that this seemed to begin as some sort of a
5:12 pm
domestic incident? >> yeah. that's the word we have from the lapd, who's been reporting on the ground. again, it started as they've been saying they believe as a domestic incident that started and then pursued in a police pursuit through hollywood. the police obviously gave pursuit, which then ended at that trader joe's, which is in l.a.'s silver lake neighborhood. that's east of hollywood. at that point the car afeared to crash into a pole. witnesses say the suspect took aim at officers and started firing shots before running into that trader joe's. and now you see the situation before you. police have surrounded that store. we saw this harrowing, as you've been hearing accounts on the ground, this harrowing rescue operation with tactical officers in tactical gear surrounding that store, leading people out of the second floor with ladders. we saw some officers appear to be carrying children around from not only the back and the front
5:13 pm
of the store and then people appear to be ducking for cover as police continue weapons drawn trained on the entrances of that store. this is an ongoing situation. it's a very fluid situation. the lapd officials we've been speaking to say there is a citywide tactical situation at that store and so they're alerting people obviously to stay away from the area as they continue this operation. one of the things that we saw from the air from knbc's chopper is that one person appeared to be carried away on a stretcher. in fact, los angeles fire department confirms that they transported one person, a woman, this is from knbc, in her 20s, maybe 20 years old. they can't confirm her injuries. but they say she's in fair condition. that is a report, again, from our local affiliate by way of the fire department on scene. there could be of course many more. we're not sure what the hostage situation, if any, is like inside the store. we just know again that suspect
5:14 pm
appears to be barricaded in the store after that chase, after the ensuing situation outside. and now you see what you see on the ground there. this has been going on now for nearly two hours and police have sort of kept this aggressive posturing with a crowd kind of gathering in around the store in that silver lake neighborhood. >> okay, steve, thank you. i'm going to ask you to stand by for us, steve. about 5:15 now in los angeles. we have jim cavanaugh on the phone with us right now, former atf hostage negotiator. as we're watching this unfold the reports are that the suspect is inside this grocery store and that he may be on the phone with a negotiator. can you kind of walk us through what you believe is happening right now? >> well, lapd s.w.a.t. negotiators will be trying to drop his emotional level, and that takes a little time. you know, when you have high emotions you just want to shoot out the pursuit, you can't make
5:15 pm
a reasonable decision. your emotions are so high your reasoning is very law. what negotiators are going to try to do is talk to him, stabilize the situation. s.w.a.t. officers, like we seen see on the screen, their job is locate the suspect, isolate him, evacuate and then work to eliminate the threat. they've obviously located him. and then they try to isolate him, maybe in a back room, a storeroom, a section of the store. then they will evacuate whoever they can. you see those children coming out and people coming out. then they work to eliminate the threat. eliminating the threat can be by a negotiated surrender, can be by a tactical assault or a gunshot. it just depends what his actions are. >> jim, there are also reports the suspect may have been shot already, may have been hit in the course of running into this grocery store. how does that -- let me read this first and then i'll ask you
5:16 pm
this question. this update from lapd. you can see the tweet here on your screen. "wem confirm there is an active barricaded suspect within a trader's joe in silver lake. an active tac alert has been declared to ensure all resources necessary hb available. please continue to stay clear of the area." jim, just as you suggested they would be doing in this instance. back to the question, though, if this suspect has been shot how does that make this situation, this negotiation possibly easier or more difficult? >> it's kind of neutral. it can help you if you appeal to his sense if he wants to live and you can appeal to get him medical care and you can be shown some empathy toward him. but if he's suicidal it may not really help. there are some real exacerbated things here. first of all, he's firing at the police department. that's very violent and exacerbating -- >> jim, i'm going to ask you to hold on one second.
5:17 pm
we have another witness on knbc. let's listen to this. >> cops going this direction. i was feeling very comfortable while it was happening because cops are always chasing after somebody but then when i saw them turn around and very, very quickly, quicker than i've ever seen with any other situation, i got scared. i saw the guy come out of the car. cops started firing at him and then he fired back and then the guy ran toward trader joe's. i wasn't sure if he was going to go into trader joe's or run up that hill. i was behind a car at that point but still looking out to see when i had a moment to escape into the dry cleaner. and that dry cleaner the owner was -- he gave us water. he kept us safe but i was always in fear like tremoring at one point i was shaking a little bit because i just didn't know what was going on. i didn't know if -- >> i think a lot of people still don't know what's going on pu you're concerned to me you mentioned about the crossfire.
5:18 pm
>> i was really scared -- >> you heard a lot of gunfire? >> when the gunfire was happening i was scared that there would be more and more and more because there was a lot of gunfire happening when it all happened. there was a lot of firing back and forth. and then when i went into the dry cleaner there wasn't anymore and i was just scared that -- i was just grateful i was in a dry cleaner where'll the walls were all really, really thick cement. >> you were just released from that area. has that area been cleared? or what's going on right now? >> it seemed like -- i don't know how many other -- there's no other businesses there. i don't know what's going on with the cheese place or the other place. but right now it's the only place. trader joe's and the dry cleaners. and we've been cleared away. so i don't know what's going on. i know there's still something going on in trader joe's. but my location has been cleared. >> thanks for talking to us. >> you're welcome. >> your full name. >> miguel jeffrey trujillo cervantes. >> we're happy you're out and you're safe. >> thank you. i really appreciate it. >> thanks so much. and i also spoke to, and i told
5:19 pm
you earlier there was a gentleman, he is a store worker at trader joe's. he did come face to face with one of two gunmen. and he told me -- you hear police on the other side -- i'm sorry. this is all still developing. i think they're shooing away people to get out of that parking lot. a store employee was telling me he came face to face with the gunman. the gunman looked at him and said go home. he said that to another female worker. and the trader joe's worker was at that point ducking down in fear of his safety. we also have sound from another store worker and here's what he told us about what happened. >> basically it's a frantic situation. they were running from the cops. i think they ran through the front doors and were shooting back at them. >> shooting back at the police? >> at the police, yeah. >> did they start firing inside the store? and i think they fired inside the store and shattered our glass doors here. >> okay.
5:20 pm
at this point police have been moving in. i think there's some store employees out here. there's a lot of emotions running high right now. people are not sure what's going on. they're hoping to be reunited with their family. looks like at this point they're going to see some friends or family and at this point you can see what's going to unfold. >> frankie, come give me a hug. >> how's it feel? are you okay? >> yeah, i'm okay. >> so what was going on inside there? >> honestly, i was up in our locker room during -- on my lunch. and a crew member rushed upstairs and was like just move, move. and i wasn't really sure what was happening. and then we've been sitting in a bathroom for the last hour and a half. >> so you were like in a safe zone or -- >> we locked -- we barricaded
5:21 pm
ourselves into a bathroom and we just waited until someone -- till they came and got us. >> and did you see the gunman? >> we saw nothing, honestly. >> but you just got in and you're safe. >> how did you get out? >> police officers came in and escorted us out. >> when they first opened that door, were you frightened? >> honestly, they were whispering, we were whispering. they didn't have a -- i just was like can i see a badge, can i see something? they flashed their lights. and then i heard them say lapd, so i -- yeah. i'm feeling a lot of adrenaline right now, but we're safe and we're good. >> did you know what was going on? did you have a phone? have you been in contact with people? >> i've been texting multiple people, honestly. so we were in contact with people like my parents down the street. we were talking to -- there's a bunch of people. but we witnessed nothing. we were upstairs. >> stay hostage situation now? has it been cleared? do you know what's going on in the store? >> i know nothing. i'm sorry. >> it's okay. and at this point for you -- we
5:22 pm
have to -- all right. can i have your -- all right. >> you don't have to talk to them. >> trader joe's workers as they were barricaded inside a bathroom, didn't even see the gunman at that point, waited an hour and a half for someone, police. >> barricaded themselves inside of a bathroom upstairs. she had said that a co-worker had come to her and said very quietly zbrift -- they were in the locker room and just get inside the bathroom. they barricaded themselves there. an officer or multiple came in -- >> whispering. amazing. whispering with authorities who told them they were there to get them out, a flashlight, finally got them out. and we were able to see -- we could hear from jane monreal -- i'm sorry, jane yamamoto the emotion in her voice that something was happening and just paused for a moment and we saw people running up.
5:23 pm
it was just an incredible moment. and i'm sure this woman that we saw, her parents live down the street, i'm sure they were very worried about her. so many people wondering about the people who are inside. but the good news is that they were able to make entry. police were. and to get those people out. >> she had said that they didn't know what was going on, that she was texting with multiple people but that she sincerely didn't know what was going on. really just feet from her downstairs from her potentially. as police continued to try to get this suspect, this gunman out of that trader joe's peacefully. it just shows you how relieved she was about an hour and a half locked in that bathroom with other people finally getting out there. >> we're just again continuing to watch the emotional reunions. the unknowns right now, how many people are still inside, is anyone in there injured. we understand the store is pretty packed. we're hearing reports of up to 50 people. when you combine people who are in there shopping with the workers, don't know how many people have been released at this point. but the other unknown is what
5:24 pm
shape is the suspect in. we know he's been injured somehow. this is a man as jonathan you pointed out is armed and dangerous. this all started with a pursuit. he was apparently firing at that time and then had the crash into the pole there right by that trader joe's. this is on hyperion and rowena. this is right there at griffith park boulevard at the intersection there. he was injured at that point. we don't know what state he's in right now. but we hear someone's tried to treat his wounds, inside the store. >> to think an employee as he was potentially firing at other people inside that store that an employee was trying to -- or somebody inside that store was trying to take care of him because he had been shot. we assume by police. we simply don't know at this point. but we know police were really right there behind him as this all -- as the crash unfolded and he ran inside of that store.
5:25 pm
we also confirmed moments ago l.a. county fire -- or l.a. city fire saying a 20-year-old female in the car had been shot and that she was taken to the hospital in fair condition. let's go back to rick montanez -- >> you've been listening in to the coverage from our affiliate in los angeles, knbc, covering this hostage, possible hostage situation. barricade situation for sure happening at a grocery store in the los angeles area. i want to sort of reset a bit here for folks who may be just tuning in. you heard the news anchors there in los angeles sort of explaining what they know up to this point. it was about two hours ago we believe when this first started to unfold with some sort of a domestic incident in the hollywood area. that reporting from our steve patterson. that situation turned into a police pursuit that ended east of hollywood in the silver lake area of los angeles. it ended with a car, the suspect's car crashing into a pole outside a trader joe's. now, at this point we believe that there was an exchange of
5:26 pm
gunfire. whether that happened during the pursuit or after the pursuit ended we don't have a good handle on exactly that timeline at this point but we do believe from witness reports that there were shots exchanged between that suspect and some members of the l.a. police department. at this point we believe several potential hostages, people who were inside that trader joe's, have been able to get out. you saw in the video a few minutes ago, the live pictures actually, some folks wearing the signature trader joe's t-shirts hugging some other folks that were standing outside the perimeter that police have set up here, people who have been rescued. we heard from one person from the grocery store, she had locked herself in a bathroom along with some other employees. s.w.a.t. team members we believe eventually got to them and were able to get them out of that bathroom and out of the store to the safe area where their co-workers were waiting. at this point we are hearing that that suspect may have been hit and that he may be injured inside that grocery store and that he may also be on the phone
5:27 pm
with a negotiator who's trying to talk to him, obviously trying to get a handle on his condition and trying to get him to come out peacefully. we also are just seeing this tweet from president trump saying that he's watching los angeles possible hostage situation very closely, active barricaded suspect, lapd working with federal law enforcement. the president tweeted that about five, six minutes ago. he's aware of what's going on. jim cavanaugh, former atf hostage negotiator, listening in with us as well. jim, i would imagine that as we see lapd officers here but there probably is a significant federal presence that's bearing down on this situation to help out too, right? >> well, that would be just on the edges. really this is an lapd ticket here. certainly fbi, atf, they'll come around to help with their negotiators, tactical agents. because all these tactical teams know each other and work together. but they're taking a step back.
5:28 pm
lapd, i've trained with those tactical guys. they're negotiators -- their tactical officers are cross-trained as negotiators. that's the way they do it. and they're very good. and if they can relieve this situation -- here's the critical point. is the shooter barricaded alone or is he barricaded with hostages. >> of course we call that a barricade if he's just alone or a hostage barricade if he's not. it really changes the dynamics for the on-scene commanders. if it's just a barricade the officers are in a very good position. they'll be able to deal with that. the result could be he could till himself or they'll have to shoot him and certainly officers are always in danger. but they know how to operate. lapd s.w.a.t.'s one of the best in the country and in the world. they can deal with that. when you add hostages in everything's exacerbated. they can deal with that too but you want to slow down that emotion. one of the big points you heard in the reporting was a
5:29 pm
20-year-old female in the car was shot. is the shooter, at sailant here, did he shoot that female? it ups the ante a bit. it was a domestic prior. are there other wounded people he's left behind or wounded people? because if he's committed some very serious crimes. shooting at the police is very serious. but if he's committed other serious crimes like murder and aggravated assault he may be in a position of killing himself by suicide or suicide by cop. there f. there's a sliver of good news here it's that he wasn't an active shooter specifically going to trader joe's to target them for the information that we know. what it looks like is a busted domestic, a pursuit. his car hits a pole, he runs into the store trying to elude police. and that's why he told one of the patrons to go home. that's a sliver of good news. he wasn't there to kill people
5:30 pm
at trader joe's necessarily. he ran in there trying to escape the police. but it doesn't mean he's not homicidal and suicidal. >> jim, there's also -- there's so much uncertainty in a situation like this. you talk about the difference between a barricade situation and a hostage barricade situation. for the tactical officers how do they begin to assess whether everyone's out or if there are other people still in there, people who may be in harm's way or hiding and what approach do they take not knowing what that situation may be? >> once you have him in a certain area you want to squeeze that down as tight as you can. in other words, the tactical officers are right at the point against the wall where he is. it's right at the point of his location. they're not way back. they're getting right up as
5:31 pm
close as they can. of course they're going to listen. they're going to talk to him. the report was he's talking to lapd negotiators. if he's talking to them they're getting a handle on what's going on. he might make demands. he might tell them he's holding people. if he doesn't get to escape or he doesn't goat talk to his girlfriend, he's going to harm the people. he might not make a secret of it. and they may be able to discern from that how many are there. they could make a peephole in there. listening devices. they will know in short order the critical question is he alone and barricaded in an isolated section of trader joe's or is he barricaded with paytons he's holding as hostage to meet demands he may have even though those demands are highly emotion
5:32 pm
al, not very reasonable, all kinds of crazy demands. because this is a busted domestic and it's not a planned event. this guy's not going in there with written set of demands from a terrorist group or conspiratorial group trying to get some political change in society. he's a guy who may have harmed others, shot it out with the cops, trying to get away, runs into a store after his car crashes. so he's totally discombobulated and he runs into the room and now the negotiators zpaktical commanders are dealing with that. if he's talking to them that's very good news because they can then try to call him down, try to listen to him, try to stabilize the situation. really they don't want to hurt the guy. if he can surrender that's the easiest for everybody. if they can get his emotion down, his reasoning up possibly they can save his life and get him to comply. >> i would imagine there's also
5:33 pm
a real premium places on the lives of people in the store before he even walked in there. we saw some of the folks in there coming out of windows and such. would there be tactical members, police officers, trying to get into that store from other entrances other than where the suspect went in to try to get people out? is that something they do to get them? >> there's a process they go through to isolate the threat. they're very active in the evacuation. but what they want to do is evacuate behind the shoot er or away from the shooter. they can't just start evacuating people because they might be putting them in the shooter's way. if they can on their radios locate him in a certain spot in the building, in a large store, in a back room, in an office, in the corner, then radio the other tactical officers to say hey,
5:34 pm
you can move people this way, you can move people that way, you can move people out of the second floor, evacuate, evacuate, we have him located we have him isolated move, move, move. i think they did that probably early. these officers are very practiced and well trained, lapd s.w.a.t., very, very good. just like l.a.s.o. s.w.a.t. these guys are tops. they know what to do. they're very precision-orientated operators. tactical operator officers that did this. they move quick. they can run the technical aspects quick. they've got a strong command structure. their negotiating skills are tops. they really can do this very well. and when it's one gunman who's so like i said discombobulated, disorganized, very high on stress, emotion, the officers are not. they're the xlees absolute office of that. they're cool, they're calm, they're collected, they're
5:35 pm
trained, they have a plan they have equipment they have collective brain power, experience and they leverage every bit of that to save the lives of the people in there. >> really important skills to see deployed here in a situation like this, a barricade situation like this that's unfolding in the los angeles area. i want to go back to an interview that we heard a bit earlier with a young woman who i believe was inside the store when this all started and we saw her approach some of the news cameras and some of her co-workers outside and she had this to say. >> you can see what's going to unfold. >> over here, babe. >> frankie, come give me a hug. >> how's it feel? are you okay? >> yeah. >> you can see what's going to unfold. >> over here, babe. >> you saw there some of the
5:36 pm
reunions happening. we didn't have the actual interview. we're going to try to get that for you so you can hear what she had to say about what she experienced, what she lived through inside that trader joe's. but you saw the reunion happening there with some of the employees who we believe were able to get out fairly early and then others who found themselves sort of trapped in that store and had to hide for a time until they were able to be rescued by police officers. jim, if you're still there i did want to ask you, obviously we see these people coming into the crowd here. is it sort of surprised me in that i would have expected police would have held on to those folks who were in the store for a while to question them, to maybe try to get a better picture of what may be going on inside that store, where things are. is that unusual? is that just me? >> well, no, you're right. the tactical team and the negotiators will want intelligence on people who have that information. but they could have discerned that some of these people and
5:37 pm
children are on the periphery and may not have specific information. >> jim, i'm sorry, i'm going to interrupt you one second. go back to knbc's footage. i believe they've release aid hostage. >> the suspect is said to be wounded. we don't know how severely but that suspect is still talking to officers and now we're seeing yet another hostage being released. this woman in the blue shirt and now talking with officers. so this might be -- this may be winding down. we don't know for sure. but the s.w.a.t. team is in place and they are still in negotiations with that suspect. it sounds like the suspect is willing to give up at this point. >> so much of this not changed for so long. as you mentioned, gil, within the last ten minutes, moments ago we saw two hostages being released out of a bathroom on the top floor and now we're seeing a woman clearly emotional, you can only imagine what she's going through right now, running to police right there, running out of the store. just such a welcome sight, gil, from what we've been seeing. it was such a static situation for so long and now we're
5:38 pm
finally seeing some progress as police as you mentioned trying to get this person out peacefully. >> reporter: that's correct. it's such a relief to see one person come out, two people come out and everybody come out. that would be the best news of all. the lapd's working to make that happen. they're trying to keep everyone safe inside the store as much as possible. but again, they're dealing wan armed man here, very dangerous situation. for everybody involved. including the officers. we did see during the early moments of this issue we did see officers putting their lives at risk running through the parking lot to rescue children in locked cars and people that were coming out of the windows. so it was quite a sight to see that bravery happening with lapd. those customers themselves very brave to climb out of that window and run for their lives to get away from the situation. a lot going on here. lapd doing a great job in trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender in this situation but still quite a few hostages still left inside. >> it seems so. and gil, you said just now that a couple would be released.
5:39 pm
we saw a woman. she was in a light blue shirt. that was one person. we're still waiting for possibly another hostage to be released. then you said that it's possible he'll surrender. can you walk us through procedure? what might we see on the part of the police officers at that point? if he is going to surrender. they will wait for him to try to come out but if he's wounded how could that be handled? >> well, i can tell you that if he's down on the ground we did hear the suspect was down on the ground for a time. we don't know if he's mobile. i don't know if he's injured, shot in the legs or what his injuries are. i can tell you they may send in a team once they know that gun is in a secure place. if he puts down his weapon, they can definitely get in there and secure that weapon and secure the suspect. they'll likely send in an entry team to secure that suspect.
5:40 pm
but he's going to have to be willing to put his gun down and surrender to those officers as they approach but at this point it's not happening. it's just talk right now. hopefully that will happen very soon. >> think about all the details that have to be arranged on the spot just to release a hostage. police have to somehow communicate to them what to do when they come out, which way to go. we saw the woman raise her hands. there's so much detail in the moment. it's just very tense situation. >> reporter: it really is. you saw that woman come out of the door kind of tentatively walking through the door but then it looked like the officers there that were in very close proximity telling her to move quickly to them. so that's the case. >> all right. thank you, gil. we want to get tie news conference right now. let's go to that. >> at this moment we have 18 ambulances assigned to this incident with over 100 firefighters. that is all the information i have to release at this time. thank you.
5:41 pm
>> right now we know we have people inside. we simply don't know how many. again, very early. this is preliminary information and we're trying to bring this to an end. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> at this time we simply don't know. we have our resources here to provide assistance. once we can get in there and clear this place. but right now we have a barricaded suspect and he is armed and we can't get in there right now. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> again, trying to get the suspect to surrender and bring this to a peaceful conclusion. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> an unknown number of people have been removed. their status as far as injury i don't know. i've got to leave that to fire. i can tell you now no firefighters and no police officers were injured in this incident. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> again those are details we don't have right now. we're trying to bring this to a
5:42 pm
conclusion. this is preliminary information. we're going to provide many updates. right now this is something for you to get out so the people can know. now, we do want family and relatives to know there is a family reunification center and that is at northeast police station. that address is 3353 north san fernando road. >> can you say that again? >> 3353 north san fernando road. okay? thank you guys. >> we're listening to a news conference right now. this is happening live. l.a. fire and lapd giving very preliminary information as they continue to investigate. confirming, there is still an unknown number of people inside that trader joe's that they want to get out and still a barricaded suspect. they also gave us some information for family and relatives. that is a relocation center for you to go to be reunited. it is 3353 west san fernando road. once again, 3353 west san
5:43 pm
fernando road. that is for family and relatives. >> you're watching breaking news coverage from los angeles area as a barricade situation continues at a trader joe's grocery store in los angeles. we just saw a quick news conference with the lapd and the fire department as well. and what we learned there is that there are people people still inside the trader joe's along with the suspect. we don't yet know how many people are still inside that store. we know the suspect barricaded himself in there and he is armed. so there is still the potential for a threat to exist in this situation. we also learned from the police information officer there that no officers were injured in this incident. there were early reports about an exchange of gunfire between police and that suspect possibly during a pursuit, possibly after the pursuit ended when the car crashed into the pole as you see right there. you also saw a young woman being taken out of the passenger's seat and put ton a police
5:44 pm
cruiser. we believe she was injured as well. we have jim cavanaugh still on the phone with us here. former atf hostage negotiator. jim, we interrupted you with the news that some moff more hostages had been released, potentially two or more, and also the report that the suspect was willing to surrender. what do you make of those two facts? >> the negotiators have probably discussed that possibility with him and maybe it hasn't been rejected fully out of hand. and that's what reporters on the scene are maybe picking up from patrons who have been released. it's good news when people are coming out of the store not being fired upon by the barricaded suspect when they leave. that's good. probably as a result of some negotiations that they were able to get out of there. we just don't know how tight the
5:45 pm
perimeter of the suspect is inside. in other words, is he holding against that front door or has s.w.a.t. been able to push inside some other location inside somewhere and they have him isolated in a smaller part of the building. we don't know that. we can't tell right now. we do see people coming out the door. that could be the first time they encountered uniformed officers or they could be just pushed behind the first row of s.w.a.t. officers. we don't know how tight in other words they have him locked down in there. wounded. he's likely not running around but he may still be mobile inside. >> what would be the benefit or challenge of having him closer to the front door in an open space or somewhere in an office or something like that? what challenge would one situation or the other present for these officers? >> isolating his movement is always the best thing you can do because then you can move people away behind you, tighten that
5:46 pm
perimeter up and then deal with him alone or with whatever few people he may have with him. if he has a lot of mobility in there it's just harder because you don't know where people could be hiding, they could be hiding in bathrooms, behind counters and officers, and so you don't as a tactical officer even know how many or where they are. that makes it tougher. but right now it sounds like some good things have happened. some people have come out. whether he's released them or they've been able to get close to the door and get out. but there's been no gunfire when they're coming out. either way. whether he released them or -- there's been no gunfire like him trying to stop them. that's good news. then you're reporting that possibly he's indicated something about surrendering. now, he may be wounded. he may be hurting. there may be some pain. the tactical officers have been trying to work that.
5:47 pm
negotiators. we'll get you some medicine, we'll get you out, we'll get you the ambulance. you don't need to hurt anybody. and they could work their skills on that. the fact it's stable now, nobody's being shot, is a good thing. >> i believe we want to go black to knbc talking to some witnesses. >> then i finally got up and we just stood around for a while and then we went into his cleaners. >> the cleaners. i hear a lot of people just went and darted into the cleaners because that was the only safe place. was you didn't know what was going on. >> we didn't know where else to go. >> how did you get that injury? because she has a pretty bad injury right here. there's a bruise and what you don't see is a big wound and it was bleeding and it was exposed. and she also suffered a little cut on her lip and another shop owner out here just came and gave her a little first aid trying at least clean it out. do you feel okay? >> i do. i feel fine. >> but at that moment tell us a
5:48 pm
little about how crazy it was when you were -- did you fall down? >> i heard shots and people were jumping over -- i didn't know what to think. i just saw her. she's trying to pull me out. >> who's she? your name? >> barbara. >> and now what's your connection? >> she's my older sister. >> and she suffered a little injury. >> yes, she did. we were -- i heard gunshots, and then i started running towards the back. i tried to grab her hand. and drag her with me. in the event that we were both running, everybody started running towards us. she fell. i don't know why. oh, she says somebody pushed her. and then so i tried to help her up. and thank goodness these other guys helped me get her up. and then we were running out the back and somebody said, well,
5:49 pm
come in here and that was the dry cleaner's. that gentleman that owns the dry cleaner's let us stay there until just a while ago. we were there for i don't know, a couple of hours it seemed lying like. >> you're calm right now. >> no, i'm not. i'm really not. it's been horrible. hearing the gunshots was really horrible. it was scarey. >> do you go to that trader joe's? >> i do. >> she was telling me she was visiting you. she's not from the area. >> no, she's not. but yeah, it was scary. >> we're going to let you go. i'm very happy to hear you're okay at this point. but you do have to get that check. that gives you a sense of what some of the customers were dealing with this when this all broke out. you can see we've been talking to her, she looks like she's going to get some first aid out here. but once again, people are still coming out here. a lot of the store employees are out here, they're gathering in this spot. we talked to another store
5:50 pm
worker. a little overwhelmed at this point. and he didn't want to go into further detail. just overwhelmed and hugging his co-workers. still a lot of uncertainty for many of them. everyone is still just anxious and waiting out here. and we like i said just talking to that last woman you can hear in her voice what this day has been like for her. back to you. >> just incredible. thank you, jane yamamoto. there on the scene talking to that woman who was trampled. you can imagine that's what you're thinking that scene was like, you're hearing the gunfire and people are going to start running and she was certainly injured in that but at least getting some care from the people there. let's get back to gil leyvas. he's in news chopper 4 bravo. what are we hearing about this man surrendering? >> yeah, the negotiations continue with the lapd officers right now. i can tell you, though, that
5:51 pm
they've received some information from the hostages that were just released that the suspect is injured for sure and that there's about maybe five people that are in the store, customers and employ eees that e in direct proximity of the suspect. but we're hearing that the people that are around the suspect are trying to help the suspect with his injuries but also bringing him things that he needs or wants. so they're being sympathetic toward the suspect right now and in the meantime they're trying to communicate, the lapd is trying to communicate with the suspect to see if they will get him to surrender. it sounds like the situation is softening a bit, at least inside. but that's very interesting information as these people are trying to assist this man, this suspect who was wounded in there and trying to get him to calm down and possibly release the rest of them and surrender. that's a bit of good news i think. >> and we don't know the extent of his injuries at this point,
5:52 pm
obviously. do we have any word on that second hostage that was expected to come out? >> we're still hearing that they may -- if it's true there's five in his close proximity that means he has at least five more hostages right there with him. again, it sounds like they're being very sympathetic to that suspect, trying to assist him and aid him. we'll see if any more come out in the next few minutes. so far the officers are dealing with him, still talking to him. but now i'm hearing -- hang on one second. okay. i'm hearing that the group itself that we were just talking about, the five people, are going to come out. we're hearing that from the lapd. hearing that from the lapd scanner, that those five people are going to come out together. we'll see if that happens. hopefully it does. and that will be a great incident if it does occur in the next few minutes. you should be seeing that. >> it sure would be. we're going to stay with your shot right now because we're going to want to see this.
5:53 pm
anything different in the demeanor of police officers who were there? we don't want to give away any tactical information. does it appear they're getting ready for hostages to make their way out? >> oh, yeah, they're definitely ready for anything and everything. communication is ongoing, and it's moving quickly. those officers all that are surrounding the store are quite aware of what's going on, what's being said. that information is spreading to them. so they are definitely ready to receive any hostages to come out of that door. and again, this could happen here in the next few minutes. >> and again, these are the critical people. you said these are the five people within his eyesight. these are the people that the lapd want to get out immediately right now because then they would have a chance at getting this person apprehended. >> and they're even talking about possibly getting some handcuffs in there. i don't know how they would do that. but getting some handcuffs in there to put cuffs on the suspect himself and then officers can move in and safely
5:54 pm
arrest him. we'll see if all that happens here in the next few minutes. we're hearing it sounds like those five people are getting ready. they're preparing themselves to walk out as a group. and then we'll see what happens from now. >> gil, we know that the lapd says they cannot get into the store right now. and obviously that's what we're seeing here. they've been standing by by the door. they also said they don't know how many total victims have been shot. we don't know how many hostages total inside the store -- you talked about these five close to the gunman. but do we believe there are still hostages or people inside of the store somewhere else? >> i believe they're still sheltering in place, they're away from the suspect. they're in a safe location. several locations i believe in the store. so they are safe and secure in those locations. it's those five people right there with the suspect. the suspect said to be right there near the front with the cash registers. but i understand from earlier
5:55 pm
conversations through the scanner, they can see the suspect, they can see him down on the ground at times. so they do have eyes through the front door on that suspect. it must be those cash registers are close to the doorway we're looking at right now. that's good news. the lapd has great visual on the suspect and those hostages right now. and hopefully praying that they'll come out here and be okay. >> we know their family and friends are praying for that. if it's like other trader joe's, i myself have not been in this one but the cash registers are as you check out and leave the store. so yes, lapd will have a visual on what's going on. they also have contact. so hopefully exactly what gil is hearing is what is going to happen soon. that's why we're staying directly on this shot to see if and when the five remaining hostages that are with the
5:56 pm
suspect. he is said to be injured, possibly on the ground, even treating him for his wounds, bringing him things he is asking for. if he can get those people out, it's possible we can resolve this whole situation. >> it's possible at that point as you say these people being sympathetic so to speak with the suspect, it's possible that then the officers might be more comfortable in the situation where they can try to get the suspect out peacefully and then that would allow them to get anybody out in that store wherever they are hunkered down, get them out safely as well. a very tense situation still. when we saw that wide shot just now, as we continue to zoom in, you can see how big a response this is by the lapd and the s.w.a.t. team here. it just shows you the extent of how many first responders are on scene, more than 100 firefighters, 18 ambulances they last said at that last update. right now we understand that we don't want to give any tactical information away, that is kind
5:57 pm
of why we're giving away this wide shot because things -- as positive as this development may sound, that there's these five people inside of the store with the shooter that could come out any moment, this isn't over. this could change at any second. and it could still -- it's still a very dangerous situation not only for the people inside but for the ott officers trying to get those people out. >> hopefully they'll be coming out very soon. we're going to continue to watch it and wait. we've seen a number of hostages already reunited with family. we've actually seen one woman as she came out. she had her hands up. turned the corner there and was able to walk away, talk with officers for just a moment. sought final chapter hopefully is that the five that we're expecting will be released and will be able to walk out of there safely and we're hoping that is the resolution. >> let's get back up to gil leyvas as we approach the top of the hour. we want to run through what happened. we understand this may have
5:58 pm
started with a shooting in south los angeles in which an elderly woman was shot and injured. we don't know the extent of her condition, her injuries. that was around 1:30. at some point around 3:00 you got the call that there was a chase going on in the hollywood area. can you take us from that point to where we are right now? >> i was listening to the scanners back at our office in fullerton. i hear the pursuit break out in hollywood. we called the station. they sent us toward the pursuit. it sounded like it went away for a while but it was still going on on surface streets through east hollywood, made its way over here into the silver lake area, all on sufrks streets and at that point we were just about to the scene when we heard officers calling for backup and that there were shots fired during the course of the pursuit at several points just prior to the suspect crashing here on hyperion into that power pole. now, when we arrived, we found the vehicle against that power pole. the suspect was inside and had taken hostages. he was telling or talking with
5:59 pm
police officers who were there at the scene. obviously, he was actually shooting at him as he jumped out of the car. when he ran into the store, he was letting them know hey, i have hostages in here and i will release them. but he was starting negotiations right away. but in the meantime all those people in the store were trying to get out or trying to seek shelter in there and lock themselves down wherever they could. it sounds like they had a group of people at the cash register. that's where this suspect ended up in the front of the store at the cash register. he was wounded. lapd said he did have the injuries sustained at some point when he entered the store. maybe he was shot by the officers. we're not sure. but also in the vehicle itself there was a female passenger in the suspect's vehicle, there was a female passenger that was said to be his gerlfrieirlfriend. i can tell you that girl was injured and had to be rescued by the lapd officers. i'm sorry, i'm getting word fromfrom somebody here. i can't hear them right now. again, this is -- the situation
6:00 pm
out here is negotiations with the suspect as we speak and the suspect looks like he's wanting to release more and more hostages at this point and may be surrendering soon. >> gil, if you need to talk to someone, go ahead and listen. i just wanted to reiterate what he was saying about that 20-year-old female incredibly was in the suspect's car and that person was escorted by police away from the scene injured. we don't know the nature of her injury -- >> 6:00 p.m. now in the west. 9:00 here on the east coast. i'm aaron gilchrist at nbc headquarters in new york as we're continuing to follow the breaking news out of los angeles at this hour. a barricade situation that is unfolding at a grocery store in the silver lake area just east of hollywood. i want to reset here a bit. we mentioned a bit earlier that president trump had tweeted that he was watching this sua