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Texas Fugitives Surrender: State Search Warrant ExecutedAired January 24, 2001 - 7:24 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to get back to our developing story from overnight, the surrender of the last two of the Texas fugitives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We want to take you straight to the scene now.
Frank Buckley is near the hotel, where everything unfolded overnight. He has the opportunity to interview the FBI agent in charge there.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Linda.
Mark Mershon is the special agent in charge from the FBI, who oversaw the operation.
First of all, your reaction to how this has ended?
MARK MERSHON, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: I was just overjoyed that we got all seven, although one took his life as we know. But to have this peacefully resolved with the subjects that we know who are so prone to violence. As I said, we are all overjoyed. The Colorado Springs Police Department, the ATF, the Marshal Service, FBI, we are just tickled.
BUCKLEY: You were in the command post and overseeing the command post as this happened. Tell us about the decision to involve the television station. What went into that thinking?
MERSHON: Our subjects here, I think, realized with all that has transpired with the massive manhunt and the culmination tonight, there was no hope for them to get away. And they made one last attempt to get something out of this for themselves. We considered it. We worked. We talked back and forth. But in the end, made the decision that this was not that great a price to get these two guys safely into custody.
I will tell you, I went through the room with a search afterward. ATF and Irving police officers provided the state search warrant for us. Our evidence response team went through. Ten loaded handguns, two loaded pump shotguns, they were ready for action. We made the right decision.
BUCKLEY: The -- that is the first time we are hearing exactly what we had. You told us yesterday that, in fact, you had information that they had a dozen weapons. So, in fact, they did have exactly a dozen.
MERSHON: ATF kept track of the weapons and did the math. And it was pretty certain it would be 12. I confirmed that personally when I went through the room.
BUCKLEY: So is it your sense that there are no outstanding weapons at this point from either the prison or the...
MERSHON: As far as we know, they are all accounted for, yes.
BUCKLEY: The -- there are some who will begin to criticize the idea of bringing a television station in, that it in a sense gave a voice -- a platform for these two fugitives to get out this message at, sometimes, rambling about the prison system, about their own personal situations. The media will also be criticized. To that, you say what?
MERSHON: I say that sometimes in life when a life is on the line, even if it's a subject who is wanted for grievous crimes, sometimes you compromise. We made the right decision.
BUCKLEY: OK. Mark Mershon, thank you very much.
MERSHON: Thank you, Frank.
BUCKLEY: Special agent in charge of the FBI operation, and was in the command post when the decision was made. And they feel very satisfied with how the -- with the outcome.
And we are hearing that, in fact, now that search warrant has been executed inside of the Holiday Inn room. For the first time, we are hearing that, in fact, they had ten handguns and two shotguns. Exactly 12 weapons, as had been reported yesterday, that they expected that these two fugitives, who have a dozen weapons. And in fact, that's what they had.
Carol, Linda, back to you.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you very much, Frank Buckley.
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