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Shooting at Exxon Station Near Fredericksburg, Virginia

Aired October 11, 2002 - 11:03   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our own CNN producer Mike McManus, Mike McManus, on I-95 right now, in an area, Mike, I think they call the mixing bowl? And I think it's the pictures we're looking at, because it's where all these freeways or highways as they call it in the D.C. area come together.
MICHAEL MCMANUS, CNN PRODUCER: That's correct, Daryn. This is in Springfield, Virginia, the picture that you're seeing now. I'm at the highway intersection of interstate 95, 395, and where interstate 495 meet. This is one of the major intersections in the mid-Atlantic region, and I'm witnessing right now dozens of police and ATF agents out on the highway stopping every vehicle, matching this description of a white van, whether that be Chevy, Ford, Dodge, they're stopping every truck.

I've seen the same thing go on at virtually all up and down the highway on my way here. I witnessed the stop -- the police officer earlier was talking about, and if I could just set the scene for you, the stops police have been making, guns drawn, they've pulled the person out of the vehicle, opened up all of the doors, and searched the vehicle. Again, I've seen the same thing go on, where I am down at the 395 95, 495 interchanges.

Arlington, Virginia, which borders Washington, those police are stopping vehicles at all roads and bridges leading into the U.S. Capitol. And right now, this area can, I guess, best be described as a police state. Police vehicles at every exit, and monitoring every single vehicle driving by, and again, where I am, ATF agents, Virginia State Police, flack jackets on and semiautomatic weapons drawn, looking for this white van. Traffic is very slow.

KAGAN: Just amazing. I guess that's also a way of saying you might be in to work late tonight today, Mike?

MCMANUS: Absolutely.

KAGAN: All right, Mike McManus, our CNN producer, reporting to us from I-95, right there in the mix of where traffic is moving very slow, as he pointed out, as police take no chances and check out every single vehicle that might match the description of any type of white van.

As we told you, if you've been with us, this shooting took place 9:30 a.m., at an Exxon gas station.

We have with us on the phone right now, Jeanne Miller. She is a spokesperson for Exxon. And perhaps, Jeanne, you can tell us more about what you that took place at one of your gas stations.

JEANNE MILLER, EXXON MOBIL SPOKESPERSON: Yes, thank you. We were very saddened to hear of a shooting this morning. Apparently, a shot was heard. A person was taken away in an ambulance. The police did come on to the site, shut down the site. Our store is currently closed at this time, and we are cooperating fully with the police, and all the local authorities in any way we can.

KAGAN: Jeanne, do you know anything about the victim, about the person who was shot, where it happened or, perhaps, the condition?

MILLER: No, unfortunately, I don't have any of that information regarding the individual. I believe that the police would probably have more information on that.

KAGAN: And we will be checking with them. Given the news of the last week, how so many of these shootings have taken place at gas stations have you been in touch with your stations, whether they're Exxon-owned or just affiliated with your company, about taking precautions and changing business practices?

MILLER: Yes. This actually occurred at one of our company- operated service stations. We do take -- you know, it's our top priority, the safety of our employees and our customers. We do send to our employees through extensive training around security, and we also have video surveillance systems.

KAGAN: Good point. And Bill Hemmer brought that up earlier, that that is one tool police are trying to get to, to get to the video surveillance systems. Have you changed those, made those available to police?

MILLER: We absolutely do make them available to the police. I don't have any details as to if they have been actually viewed by the authorities at this point or not. But I do know that they are on site and in our convenience store.

KAGAN: Given the news of the last week and how the shootings have taken place, up to this point, have you changed the practice? Have you told the people who run your gas stations that you need to do things differently, or just being extra careful and extra alert?

MILLER: We do encourage all of our employees to be alert at all times, and those individuals that do work at the service stations, I'm sure, have been on more, more alert of their surroundings, just as I believe everyone is in the communities.

KAGAN: Understandable. Jeanne Miller with Exxon, thank you for coming on with us. Appreciate it, confirming what we knew, that a shooting took place about an hour and a half ago at the Exxon station in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


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