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Two Suspects in Custody in Culver City, CA Hostage StandoffAired November 6, 2000 - 10:46 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Now for the breaking news out of Southern California again, here's Daryn.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to go back to that story. We haven't updated you in a little bit. Once again, this is a hostage situation at a Target store in Culver City.
We want to bring in Randi Joseph -- she is with the city of Culver City -- to bring us the latest on that.
Randi, what can you tell us?
RANDI JOSEPH, CULVER CITY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: Good morning. Right now, I am pleased to say they've brought almost all of the employees out of the building and they are systematically searching them and questioning them and -- in case one of the remaining suspects is among them.
Right now, we have two suspects in custody. We have no weapons. And, as you know, the call came in at about 5:00, 5:30 of an armed robbery. Culver City police arrived on scene and the robbery was -- the robbers were startled and the robbery was stopped in progress. We had a number of employees and suspects leave the building earlier. That's how we got the two suspects. And now the SWAT teams from the Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff's Department and Culver City PD are working together.
We just brought the remaining employees out of the building and, as I said, they're being questioned and searched because we believe there is one suspect among them. And that's really what I've got for you at this time.
We've had communications with the employees inside the building the entire time. There's been no injuries, no shots fired, and that's where we're at at this point.
KAGAN: So, Randi, is the thought that the remaining gunman that police thought were inside the Target store is still inside or among this last group of people to be brought out?
JOSEPH: Actually, we have the SWAT team working on that and I can't -- we believe they may be in this group. I just saw -- because I'm physically far away for my own safety -- one individual get handcuffed, but I'm unable to tell at this point. I'm waiting for an update from the incident commander.
KAGAN: And did I hear you correctly that you said no weapons had been found at this point?
JOSEPH: No weapons have been found at this point. It's quite possible that the individuals who were taken into custody were wearing Target uniforms. We believe they tried to impersonate the employees in order to get out undetected. Because of the questioning that we're doing, they were unable to do that. So they probably stashed their weapons somewhere inside the building. So when all of the employees are out, when the final suspect is out, we'll do a systematic search of the building to recover the weapons.
KAGAN: I understand that that's what led to the confusion, as people have been brought out throughout the morning, as to who was an employee and who was a potential suspect in this case. Given that these people had Target employee uniforms -- and also we were talking to a Target Corporation spokeswoman earlier today who said that these people knew to go in just as the nighttime alarms were being turned off and the store was getting ready do open for the day.
KAGAN: Does it sound like this could be an inside job?
JOSEPH: Anything's possible. At this point, our primary concern is getting these folks out safely. We had a large number of people involved, so whether or not these individuals were employees of the Target or not, that we can't determine at this point. We're trying to find out whether or not they came in in regular clothing and then changed into Target clothing in order to, you know, to not be detected as they came out and be able to come out with the other employees. But all of this will start to fall into place once everybody's safe and sound. And we're quite close to that point, so I'll be able to give you an update later on this morning.
KAGAN: Well, we'll definitely check in with you once again. It does sound like that situation is getting closed to being resolved. That is Randi Joseph with Culver City in Southern California, very close to Los Angeles International Airport, for those of you familiar with that area.
Once again, early this morning between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning California time, a number of gunmen went into this Target store and held a number of Target employees hostage. It's been a very tense and difficult morning for police to resolve this situation over the last couple of hours because, as you heard the spokeswoman mention, the suspected gunmen were actually wearing the same type of uniform as the Target employees. So it's been a very deliberate and slow process to separate who might be a suspect and who might be a hostage.
But as she said, getting close to resolving that situation with no shots fired, which is good news out of Southern California.
We will keep an eye on the situation in Culver City and that Target store.
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