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Two San Bernardino Suspects Dead After the Worst Mass Shooting Since Sandy Hook. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired December 2, 2015 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. 8:00 p.m. in San Bernardino where breaking news is happening. Two suspects dead after the worst mass shooting since Sandy Hook. We are awaiting a news conference tonight and we are going to bring that to you the moment it happens.
This CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Here is what we know right now. A police shootout on the streets, a residential neighborhood in San Bernardino leaves two suspects, a man and woman dead and one officer injured. The suspects dressed in assault-type clothing armed with AR-15-type weapons. That after a brutal attack at a conference center where county employees where having a holiday event. Fourteen people, 14 people are dead tonight, 17 people injured after this mass shooting -- in this mass shooting.
Let's get to the scene now in Redlands. That's where we will find CNN's Poppy Harlow.
Poppy, as we understand, the ATF on the scene, authorities on the scene, trying to figure out what is happening inside that townhouse there if there was indeed an explosive device.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, at this hour you have ATF here, Don. You have FBI. You have local authority. Just to give your perspective. They moved us, the press, back a number of times. So we are about a half mile from the townhouse in question. If you go straight here down (INAUDIBLE) street, you will hit it.
Right now, what is going on? They are attempting to issue a search warrant inside. We don't know who that search warrant is for specifically. No names. But what we do know is that it is tied in some way to the horrific shooting that took place not far from here this afternoon.
What we also know is that they are using a robot, a robot right now. As you know, Don, they have used in situations like this before to go in, check the entirety of the house, see if there are any explosive devices. They are being extraordinarily cautious. They have also evacuated immediate neighbors on either side of this townhouse, we are told. We also know that everyone that lives in this neighborhood has been told to shelter in place, to be extremely careful, stay in their homes. You cannot get within a half mile down (INAUDIBLE) of this house right now, Don. LEMON: All right, Poppy Harlow. And then, Poppy, any indication?
You said they are trying to execute a search warrant. I'm sure there is no indication now from authorities as we are waiting a press conference as to when they will go in or when they will get the search warrant to go inside of this place. But take us to the scene. Describe to us what you are seeing because we are seeing a number of vehicles moving by. We are seeing police tape. We are seeing roads blocked off.
HARLOW: Right. And they just keep moving us back further and further away because they are being so cautious. I mean, what you have is this FBI, police perimeter around that keeps moving back further and further. You have dozens and dozens of agents.
I want to bring Scott Glover, because he has been on scene longer than I have. Just come in the shot a little bit more with me. I mean, how many agents would say are, when you were closer to the home, how many agents were there?
SCOTT GLOVER, CNN REPORTER: When it was still light out, I would say I could count several dozen. I mean, this scene has been unfolding for, you know, hours now. And initially there was a small police presence, maybe ten officers. But you know, as time passed they just kept rolling in.
HARLOW: And let's talk, Don, about why this is so important this location. Because what happened was it was tips in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that led officers here. Someone said something that led officers to this home. They saw the dark colored SUV pull away from this home. That is the SUV, Scot, that had the two suspects in it, the man and woman who were subsequently killed.
GLOVER: That's correct. That's what law enforcement officials said earlier this evening. And you know, sometime prior to that press conference that's when the police presence out here began to build. There was, you know, SWAT vehicles rolling out here. You saw officers dressed in military fatigues. They were kind of casing the place and, you know, more and more officers began to arrive. At some point, as you mentioned earlier, a robotic device was brought out of a fire truck.
HARLOW: It's still in there as far as we know.
GLOVER: Yes. It just been a very methodical approach declaring the scene. At one point there was a loud bang. I can't personally say if it was an explosion, but there was sort of a noise after the robot went it.
HARLOW: Was it a controlled detonation or what?
LEMON: Scott, if I can jump in here.
HARLOW: He doesn't have an eyepiece, Don. LEMON: Yes. Ask him, because we were wondering, you said they are
executing the search warrant. He saw the robot go in, did he see any people go inside or just the robot inside the homeland?
HARLOW: You saw the robot go inside. Did you see any people go inside, authorities, anyone?
GLOVER: From my vantage point I could not see that. I saw the robot headed down the street toward the location. But from where I am standing at that time. I could not see once it turned the corner and I could not see if people making entry. It's clear that, you know, they did go into that direction.
LEMON: Poppy --
HARLOW: Yes, Don --
LEMON: I need you to stand by. We'll get back to you. Deborah Feyerick has new information for us and she joins us by phone.
Deborah, what do you know?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): What we are learning now also is that authorities generated a lead that turned up the name of an individual connected to that home. So detectives were sent to the home earlier this afternoon in Redlands. And while they were there, while they were waiting at the home, a black SUV with Utah plates passed by very slowly and then all of the sudden sped up and raced by.
Now, the detectives gave chase but it was another police car that was looking for this black SUV that actually spotted it, gave chase and the shootout ensued. The male suspect, a witness tells police was shooting out of the vehicle. It drove for about a quarter of a mile. And then as the officer returned fire it appears that the female who was driving the car was hit. And the shootout continued for a while longer and both suspects in the vehicle were killed.
Again there is still a lot of questions as to whether there is a third suspect and where that person is. But you have to get into the mind of the SWAT teams, of the police officers, of the sheriffs that are responding to all of this. There is a lot of conflicting information. And so they are responding quickly but they are trying to resolve what the questions are and try to figure out who is out there and how they are going to manage this. Because -- and they are doing this all in a high-stress situation. A lot of duress. And so, they are really trying to work it out.
But it was a tip on that black SUV that led to the home in Redlands, California. And that's how that you got these two individuals so closely, Don.
[20:06:28] LEMON: A tip on the black SUV that you are looking at right now leading to the home in Redlands, California, very near where Poppy Harlow is, and our, of course, producer Scott Glover standing outside of that.
But Deb, can you take us through that again. Who was driving and who was shoot? You said the female was hit first, but who was driving the vehicle and who was shooting out of it?
FEYERICK: Well, ultimately, both of them were hit. And it's not clear what order they were hit. But what we do know is that according to a source who is being briefed on this, the woman was driving the vehicle. The driver and the other gunman knew that they were being chased by police. A police car right behind them. And so, the man was leaning out of the car shooting at the pursuing cop vehicle. And that's when the whole sort of gunfight broke out. But it does appears that the woman was hit and that's when the car sort of came to a stop.
LEMON: OK. Deborah Feyerick reporting the breaking news this evening again, saying that a tip on this black SUV that we have been watching here on CNN where the two suspects were inside that's what led investigators to this home in Redlands, California now where they are executing a search warrant with a robot, trying to figure out if there is indeed an explosive device in there. And if there is one, they are trying to figure out exactly how they secure it.
Again, and residents in that neighborhood, residents in that neighborhood, some in the surrounding area, very near that townhouse have been told to leave. But the rest of the people who are a little bit further out the perimeter have been told to shelter in place. To shelter in place.
So as we are getting this information I want to bring in my experts back, my experts now. And I want to talk to, let's see, Jim Maxwell, are you there in Philadelphia? Jim Maxwell is a retired special agent FBI consultant.
So Jim, as you are getting this, looking at this new information again about how this went down and how the tip went out and how they got to the house, does this change anything for you?
JIM MAXWELL, RETIRED SPECIAL AGENT FBI CONSULTANT: No, it's just good police work. Everything seems to be -- or is starting to fall into place. How they got from point a to point b. And again, we have to go back and look at the pedigree of these two individuals of the people who died at the scene to get a full picture of what is going on here.
If we can back up. I agree with the doctor's assessment that this could be workplace violence. There could be a connection between one of these individuals with the location where the shooting took place. But the one thing that doesn't fit, the willingness of the individuals to engage uniformed officers in a shootout. That doesn't make sense to me.
So, although, you know, there is a lot of theories and speculation. Until we understand whoa these people are we are never going to have a clear picture.
LEMON: On the note, Jim Gilliam, they drive by the house, right, and then slow down and speed up? Draw attention to themselves.
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I think they were -- they were busted when they did that. I could be wrong or they were trying to get law enforcement to engage them. That's a possibility. Someone just wrote me on twitter and suggested that their spouse works with social services and they get threats constantly because they're taking kids away and so on and so forth.
I don't know the facts with this individual and his wife or if they had a kid and if that kid may have been taken away, maybe that played a part in this thing. But I will agree with the last assessment there as this this unfolded, it was so organized that, to me, this goes beyond the mental capacity of somebody who is just randomly trying to plan an attack.
This had a structure to it. And the scary thing about this overall is that if we look at the tactics used overseas we can put together an idea for who is responsible at least for the idea of this by looking at the tactics that are used over there. And the fact that a woman was used in this could lead to something. The potential is there to tactics that go to fundamental Islam over in the Middle East.
[20:10:36] LEMON: Harry Houck?
HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's the first thing I thought when I found out that a woman was involved that, you know, we done women involve in either shooter incidents here in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can.
HOUCK: Of course, we can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the women in terrorism are almost always suicide bombers.
HOUCK: No. But what I am saying is, is that, you know, as soon as I heard that that's like the first thing I thought, you know, that they were somehow could be a possibility, maybe lean toward terrorism.
LEMON: Let's get back to California now where this is all going down. I need to get to CNN's Kyung Lah also on the investigation as well.
Kyung, you heard Deborah Feyerick's reporting. You had some reporting about who these suspects are that they weren't exactly sure of the names. But just what they did and what led to police finding these particular suspects.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What the police at this point are still trying to determine is the exact relationship between the male suspect and the female suspect. What they found most curious about this and what we heard Scott and Poppy mention is how cautious they are being approaching the house in Redlands. The reason why is because during that pursuit, the suspects threw a pipe from that car that, Doug was talking about, that quarter mile police chase, they threw a pipe from the car and it had a wick in it. It ended up being a fake pipe bomb. But that's why in part they had to approach carefully.
Now, just a short time ago, Don, about 15 minutes ago we heard a detonation here. That's something that the ATF said that they were going to do. Because they have found, according to the ATF, some type of explosive suspicious device here at the original shooting scene. In is the scene where 14 people were killed. This is where it all began and they say that because of that they had to approach this scene very carefully. They are approaching now the Redlands house very carefully. Found on those two suspects were also a number of clips. Not only were they dressed in assault-style clothing, but they had a number of clips. They were heavily armed and they certainly appeared to be ready to engage police, Don.
LEMON: All right, Kyung. Stand by.
Again, the new information that we are getting in, this is our Deborah Feyerick reporting here saying after the shooting at the Inland regional center, authorities generated a lead that turned up a name. And then based on that, detectives were sent to the home in Redlands. And while there, they say a black SUV with Utah plates passed by slowly then sped up and raced by. And a police car looking for the suspect vehicle spotted the SUV and then began pursuit and a shootout there.
The male suspect shooting out of the vehicle. It continued for about a quarter of a mile and then stopped as an officer returned fire, hitting the woman who was driving and that is when they believe the car went out of control and they were able to shoot those suspects.
CNN's Evan Perez is our justice correspondent. He is also checking in on his sources.
What information do you have for us, Evan?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I think we can shed a little bit more light as to why they ended up at that house at the Redlands. We know that they pretty quickly believed they knew who the suspect was or at least one of the suspects was that carried out the shooting at the IRC. That is the reason why they went to that home. And that's the reason why they have been searching all these the last few hours. They believed pretty quickly they knew who was carrying out the shooting.
Again, the reason why this occurred was because law enforcement -- according to law enforcement, they believe that the suspect first was inside this holiday party, this Christmas party that was being held by the county health department that this suspect was either tied to, there was some relationship with this event. And this suspect was either asked to leave or was left the event because of an altercation or because of dispute, then came back and the shooting began. That's what the scenario was.
We now are told by law enforcement that it is possible that there never were three shooters. That there were only two. Again, the idea there were three shooters came from some of the initial eyewitness reports which as you know often turn out to be inaccurate. And so, that's now what law enforcement is trying to determine.
We know that a third person was detained near the scene where that final shootout where the two suspects were killed. We know a third person was a stopped, was detailed, was questions, the person has not been identified by law enforcement. And we don't know whether that person has any relationship to this event. And again, at this point it is beginning to look like to law enforcement that perhaps what we are dealing here with are two shooters who began the shooting this morning at 11:00 a.m. at San Bernardino and then were shot dead in that final showdown on the street a few miles away.
LEMON: Jim Maxwell, former FBI agent, special retired FBI agent and FBI consultant, why would they throw out a fake pipe bomb?
MAXWELL: Well, many times criminals will use a hoax device to slow down the response of law enforcement. I have seen it used in bank robberies where a hoax device has been left at the scene to slow down the response of the arriving officers. So that may be what they had in mind. It may be a device that didn't function until they do a complete analysis on these devices. That's a guess on my part. But a hoax device would be used to slow down law enforcement response.
LEMON: Arthur Roderick who is a former assistant director of the U.S. Marshals office joins us now. My question for you is given what we know about these suspects, a man and woman, how they were dressed, what kind of ammunition and guns and artillery they were carrying, the fake pipe bombs that they engaged police, what is your assessment of this?
ARTHUR RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALS OFFICE: Well, obviously, there was a lot of planning that went into this. When you have two people with an AR-15-type weapons, M4s show up with armor, dresses in tactical outfits. They have a plan to get in there, a plan to spend a certain amount of time at that location, to get maximum casualty impact and then to leash and get away. You know, they could have very well planned this out and then underestimated law enforcement response, which obviously was very quick, for them to come up with that location in Redlands that quickly, I'm sure that these, the bad guys here didn't think we were going to be able to come up with that information so quickly. And we could have because of the quick response we could have stopped another location from getting hit also.
LEMON: The desperate search for answers after the shooting, a mass shooting in where 14 people died, 17 injured in San Bernardino, California. We want to tell you we are awaiting a news conference. We are going to bring that to you the moment it happens. A quick break. We're back on the other side.
[20:20:32] LEMON: Back now with our breaking news. I need to tell, we are awaiting a news conference, a news conference, where we should get updated information from the events that are transpiring in San Bernardino, California, what is happening in Redlands at that home where they are executing a search warrant where a robot is apparently inside trying to figure out, trying to check on whether there is an explosive device inside and give authorities more information on that. And if there how exactly do they secure that in a neighborhood where many, many people live. So we are standing by for that.
In the meantime, President Barack Obama briefed by his staff on this mass shooting, learning moments about it just moment before sitting down with CBS for a planned interview and he called again for tighter gun laws.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The one thing that we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world. And there are some steps we could take not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don't happen as frequently.
Common sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks. And for those who are concerned about terrorism, you know, some may be aware of the fact that we have a no-fly list where people can't get on planes but those same people we don't allow to fly could go in a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm and there is nothing we can to the stop them. That's a law that needs to be change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: President of United States, Barack Obama speaking to CBS news in a planned interview just moments after this shooting happened.
Joined now by Dan Gross. Dan Gross is the president of the Brady campaign to prevent gun violence.
Good evening, Mr. Gross.
DAN GROSS, PRESIDENT, BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE: Hey, Don.
LEMON: You tweeted this and what most people were thinking. Not again, at least 20 victims reported down amid active shooting incident in San Bernardino. How do you feel when you hear those reports over and over again? And how do you feel listening to the president of the United States there?
GROSS: I mean, our nation is being terrorized whether it's these mass shootings that seem to be happening on a regular basis or the 89 gun deaths that happen every single day in our country. And the president is right. There are things that we can do about it. Things that the overwhelming majority of the American public supports. The American public has had enough of the mass shootings, of the 89 gun deaths every day. And background checks is exactly the right place to start. Background checks are incredibly effective in keeping guns out of the hands just of the people that we all agree shouldn't have them. The problem is that these Brady background checks that are so effective aren't conducted at gun shows or online. So right now, anybody, a convicted felon, a domestic abuser, a known or suspected terrorist can go into a gun show or go online and guy a gun no questions asked. It's such a sensible fix that 93 percent of Americans support expanding Brady background checks at gun shows. It is really just a small group of craven politicians that do the betting of the gun law that prevent it.
LEMON: Speaking of numbers, you're giving some numbers there. Some statistics. Let me give you a couple more here. There have been more than one mass shooting a day so far this year. When you define a mass shooting as incidents in which four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire, 351 mass shootings in 334 days. So why do you think we are all willing to live with those numbers right now?
GROSS: We are not. The American public has so clearly had enough. The problem is our destiny, our fate, our safety, our lives are being controlled by a small group of politicians in Congress. And the American public, we need to make our voices heard. You know, we know that expanding Brady background checks to all gun sales has nothing to do with the right of a law-abiding citizen to buy a gun. It only has to do with the right of a prohibited purchaser, a convicted felon, a domestic abuser.
So you know, we are not willing to accept it. And the really encouraging thing is, you know, the voice of the American people really is coming together to rise up, to say enough. Just tonight, we launched a campaign where people can text enough terror, because that's what this really is, terror. Enough terror to 877877. And in just a few hours, after hours, we are breaking the Senate switch board. We have got 3,000 calls in a few hours and we're going the keep the heat on. And we are going to let Congress know that the American public is really starting to hold them accountable. And this change will come. We are seeing it happen state by state. And Congress is never the first to wake up. And they need to know that their jobs are in jeopardy if they don't. And that is the point that we are on the process of making.
[20:25:33] LEMON: Hey, Dan, I want to put this up. Can you put this "Daily News" cover? You know, we are waiting for this news conference you see there. This is the "Daily News" cover, Dan. It says God isn't fixing this. And it's got the tweets from all of the news makers and all of the elected officials and lawmakers about gun control. And they -- you know, mostly from GOP candidates but it says God isn't fixing this.
GROSS: Yes, I mean, religion doesn't need to be a part of this conversation. It's up to the American public to fix it. There a disconnect between what the American public wants and what the elected leaders are doing about it. And we just need to close that disconnect. Ninety three percent of Americans support expanding Brady background checks to all gun sales. Ninety percent of Republicans, more than 80 percent of gun owners, more than 70 percent of NRA members.
But, you know, this popular support is never been our problem. It's been that disgraceful disconnect between what the American public wants and what our elected leaders are doing about it. And the really shameful, tragic reprehensible thing is that people are dying every day as a result.
Listen, we just sent a letter to the Senate today, to every senator in the United States Senate, warning them that it is a matter of time before a terrorist attack like we saw in Paris occurs in the United States as long as any would be terrorist can walk into a gun show or go online and buy a gun no questions asked. In fact, there has been a video online that we talk about on our Facebook page. People can go the Brady campaign Facebook page and see it where this guy jihad Joe, a famous jihadist is encouraging American jihadists to go to gun shows because of the lack of background checks to buy guns no questions asked. And then he says what are you waiting for at the end?
I mean, -- and as far as I'm concerned any congressperson who leaves that opening, you know, whether it's in the name of religion or whatever it is, is actually agreeing with the terrorists. And we need to start holding these people accountable, not only for the kind of terrorism that we see in Paris, but because of the kind of terror that happens every single day in our country, 89 people.
You know, there are kids every day who walk to school in Chicago scared. There are kids who go to sleep at night hearing gunshots out their window and it doesn't have to be. We can do so much more just to keep the guns out of the hands of the people who are intent on doing harm. And that all we are advocating here, that's all the American public wants, and we can do so much to save so many lives and prevent the terrorism, the terror that is happening across the country every day.
LEMON: Dan Gross is the president of the Brady campaign to end gun violence.
If we can put the "Daily News" cover up again, the front page of "the Daily News." And the reason that says God isn't fixing this is because you have Ted Cruz who is running for president who says our prayers are with the victims, their families and the first responders in San Bernardino. Rand Paul saying my thoughts and prayers with the victim's families. Lindsey Graham, thoughts and prayers. Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the house, says, please keep the victims in California in your prayers. And the "Daily News" taking a stance on this saying God isn't fixing this.
Thank you very much, Dan.
As we, you know, talk about this now I also want to bring in our experts here, Cedric Alexander is going to join us as well. He is a CNN law enforcement analyst. Jim Maxwell again is a retired special agent with the FBI. Criminologist Casey Jordan is with us. FBI agent Jonathan Gilliam with us as well. Harry Houck is here, retired New York City police detective and a law enforcement analyst here on CNN.
We got president says, you know what, we need to do something about our gun laws, the people who are on the no-fly list no longer need to be able to purchase weapons in this country. Does the president have? Does Dan Gross have a point here?
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: You know, I think there is always points to what everybody has to say. Politicians, you know, sometimes there is a point to what they're saying, it's normally to get themselves re-elected. The fact is --
LEMON: President Obama is not running any more.
GILLIAM: I know, but he is still the head of the Democratic Party, so you know. But the thing is here. In order to take the politics out of it, and that's what our fellow like try to do is that you can't just have background checks. I think background checks are important. I don't know a lot of people who disagree with that. But you have to have stiffer penalties for people who use these weapons, for people that are associated with people that are using these weapons and selling them. Because here's the facts, once a gun was invented, the very second it was invented, it will always be in the hands of bad people. It doesn't matter what laws you do, how many guns you take away from law-abiding citizens, the bad people will always be able to get them.
And as an FBI agent we used to do illegal gun buys all the time, you know. We have to be able to expand that because you can take all the guns away and shutdown the gun shows. But there are so many guns in the world that you have to kick up law enforcement's ability to go in target these illegal gun sales and the people that are using them. I think one thing is clear, though, is none of these things occurring have anything to do with climate change.
[20:30:40] LEMON: It's getting a little far in the weeds. Of course, the president earlier in Paris connecting at climate change to terrorism.
Listen, this is -- you believe this is partially mental health, right, Casey?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Yes.
LEMON: So if it is in fact, it has to do with mental health wouldn't a background check in some way help with that?
JORDAN: Absolutely. And everyone is always trying to make it this or that. Is it the gun laws or is it mental illness and the answer is it's both. And we have never actually tried, really tried to make a policy - because I'm in agreement with Jonathan. You will never get all the guns out of society. That is just not reality base. But why not make it so that people who are good can apply in a proactive way, kind of like you can get on that pre-checklist, you know, to make your TSA experience easier and get yourself vetted and do a background check that is very similar to what law enforcement officers go through so they can get certified to go and get trained and have guns and make it so the average citizen can get vetted the same way. And if you can't, if you don't pass the mental health, background check, if you have a history of mental illness, paranoia, felonies, and you don't get to have one. We never tried it.
LEMON: So at the bottom right of your screen, you see the podium there where we are waiting a press conference. I just want to point that out and we are going to bring it to you live here on CNN just as soon as it happens.
But, is that you Jim Maxwell I hear in agreement with what Casey is saying?
MAXWELL: The reality, Don, is that, you know, I have 30 years of law enforcement, and I don't recall ever arresting anyone with a gun who went out and bought it legally, right.
MAXWELL: So I think we are barking up the wrong tree here. If you want to get a gun in this country and you are intent to doing harm to somebody, you can go out and buy one illegally. And those are the people that we should be prosecuting. There are laws on the books. If you file an application and it's incorrect, you should be prosecuted for it. If you make a straw purchase on a gun, you should be prosecuted for it. Stolen weapons. All of these laws are on the books. It's a question of whether or not we enforce them and how we go after these people. That's how you take guns off the street. Going after and making another hurdle just for a legitimate citizen to get guns I think is counterproductive.
LEMON: Harry -- Let him finish his thought. Go ahead, finish your thought, Jim.
MAXWELL: No. And besides that, I really think, when you really analyze these issues we are talking about a mental health issue more than a gun control issue. You look at the people involved in these things.
HOUCK: Don, I can't tell you how many gun arrests I have made when I was a New York City police officer. Nobody goes to jail. All the guns stolen, nobody goes to jail. This lie about a year in jail in New York, it does not happen. And that is why there are so many guns on the streets because they know if they can have a gun and have a gun and not go to jail, what do they care? I'm going to go out. I'm going to buy another. You get another one on the streets. That's one of the biggest problems.
LEMON: Much more on the breaking news, the desperate search for answers after this deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino. We are waiting for a news conference to happen at any moment now. We will bring it to you when it happens.
[20:37:33] LEMON: We are back with breaking news here on CNN. Fourteen people dead in a mass shooting in San Bernardino California, 17 people injured. One neighborhood now, parts of it, on lockdown. Some people be told to shelter in place. Others very near the home where you see police on the scene, the ATF on the scene now, they have been told to get out. We have been told by out folks there on the scene that there is a robot inside or at least it went up to the door and broke the door down, trying to assess whether there is an explosive - these is our robot right there, an explosive device inside of this home.
Let me tell you how police got to this home. They were drawn to this home. They said it was a tip. After the shooting and again this information is from our reporter, Deborah Feyerick who is working her sources. After the shooting at this Inland regional center, authorities generated a lead that turned up a name. OK? And based on that, detectives were sent to the home in Redlands. While there, a black SUV with Utah plate passed by slowly, passed by this home slowly, then it sped up and it raced by. A police car looking for the suspects' vehicle spotted the SUV and then began pursuit and then a shootout ensued from there.
A male suspect shooting from the vehicle, from the window of that vehicle, it continued on for about a quarter of a mile and then stopped as an officer returned fire because the driver, a woman, was hit. And as we know from the black SUV, again with Utah plates, two people dead, a suspect, one man, another suspect a woman, both of them dead. A third suspect being held. And not sure if the third suspect is being involved. And also the press conference we got.
So there may be more. They are not sure at this point. We will learn as soon as we get this briefing just moments from now on CNN.
So let's discuss now. Cedric Alexander, CNN law enforcement analyst. Jim Maxwell, retired special agent of the FBI. Criminologist Casey Jordan. FBI special agent Jonathan Gilliam. Retired NYPD detective Harry Houck.
Cedric, to you now, as you were watching all of this, I mean, you are a man of the law and you have been doing it for years, Casey is saying this is pointing away from terrorism, to her it is a mental health issue or workplace issue, what is your assessment of this?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, considering the fact we have three people involved not one, not two --
LEMON: Possibly three.
ALEXANDER: Possibly three. Potentially three people. That certainly does lead me to some other ideas as to what may have occurred here. But here again, Don, it's still early in this investigation. Once the identifications of these persons that are made, there will be background checks that is going to give us other information that will tie into possibly as to what their motives may have been.
This is very perplexing case in the sense how often do we see here in the homeland, three, potentially three suspects involved in such a heinous attack on innocent people. But it occurred here today in San Bernardino. The way that they went in, they hit hard, they hit fast, they left the scene, were not engaged by security or police and they got out of there.
But what else is confusing in this is that they did not go very far from the scene of the crime itself. And that in and of itself is very unusual too. But here again, I think a lot of these questions are going to be asked. In my 38 years of being in this business this is the first type like this I have ever seen. But I think we are emerging in this country as we see around the globe here, Don, we are going to have to start asking ourselves some real tough questions. But as this investigation continues, we are going to learn more. But don't be surprised of what we do learn.
LEMON: Let's talk about what we were told as we wait for the next news conference and the last news conference and this from the head of the FBI, the Los Angeles division or bureau. He said that they were working along with San Bernardino police, also with the ATF working together. What stood out to many people is they were bringing in more FBI agents, agents at the house in Redlands they were bringing in more. They said they are not sure what is in the house. There could be a device left behind, but no indication that anything is there. They are executing that warrant now, that search warrant on that house in Redlands now. We saw the robot going inside. They are bringing in agents to work the shooting scene, the suspect shooting scene and the Redlands house. He said is it a marathon and not a sprint and cautioned everyone, including the media, to step back a minute because they weren't sure exactly what has been happening. There is a lot being talked about on social media and a lot being put out there by names.
Terrorism, he said, not sure. Possibly it is terrorism, but we don't know yet. We are not willing to go down that road yet. Perhaps at this press conference, they might be able to go down that road. Can they learn that information that quickly, Jim?
GILLIAM: Well, it depends on how the Intel comes in. As the FBI gets involved the FBI has database systems that generate a massive amount of information. And we have sources -- remember sources are also a big part of this which we haven't talked about. The FBI in general has sources all over the world. So we can start to generate and see if it is terrorism, if we believe there is a potential it has to do with terrorism.
What we have to look at now though, is until they rule out that there is a third shooter, we have to continue to treat this as an active scene and that's where resources start to quickly get depleted because guys want to continuously work throughout this. You know, you suffer from this in the news where a big breaking event happens and people just are on all day to the point where they are exhausted. Then tomorrow comes and that is another major issue with this. How many of these people are still -- these officers are going to be ready tomorrow when tomorrow comes. So they have to start forward thinking these, giving people breaks, letting them sleep or eat and then return to the situation tomorrow. And I think that's the long-term marathon that we are looking at.
LEMON: Jim Maxwell brings up a very good point. Often in the beginning, people are so anxious to get information out. They are so anxious to become involve. That lots of times the information in the beginning turns out to be inaccurate. And that is why investigators say just stand still. Let us do our work and we will give you the information.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. I mean, these things are very fluid. We have to have a structure set up where you can assess the information as it comes in, vet it and make the proper decision. And it has to do - I mean, we are dealing here with several parallel investigations. You have an enormous crime scene that spans three different locations right now. You have leads coming in, people checking backgrounds, people checking weapons. Finding out the ownership of that car. There are several different directions this investigation is going in. And you have to give it time for all of it to congeal and come together with the proper set of facts.
And this is something that does not happen instantaneously. And we all have to keep in mind that whatever the agents and detectives and police officers are doing out there could ultimately end up in a courtroom. And it has to be done a certain way in order for that information and evidence to get into a courtroom. And that's what everybody has to understand it. That's the reason this is slow, meticulous process.
LEMON: And now we have this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[20:45:01] LEMON: We do have new breaking news here on CNN and for that I want to get to CNN's Evan Perez.
Evan, what do you have?
PEREZ: Well, Don, authorities believe that they have the identity of at least one of the suspected shooters in San Bernardino. He is Syed Farook. As we have been reporting, the suspect was believed to have ties to this event. There is a reason why he chose this event and it is believed because he worked for this county health department that was having this Christmas party, this holiday event that was the scene of this shooting that began around 11:00 a.m. in San Bernardino.
We now know that authorities that's one reason they went to this home, the home where we have seen authorities now using a battering ram to try to get in and try to serve a search and figure out what else is going on here. At this point there is still a lot that is not known. We don't know what the motive is. Obviously, the FBI has said that they are looking at terrorism as one of the possibilities here. But we are not sure exactly what it -- what the motivation is yet. The FBI still working on that, the ATF is working on this, the San Bernardino police are working on this.
We do know that two people were shot in a shootout there with police just a few miles away from where this initial shooting took place. We do not know whether Farook is one of those two people who was shot. One is a male and one is a female we know from the FBI and from the police there at the scene.
Again, Syed Farook is identified by authorities as one of the persons who carried out the shooting in San Bernardino earlier today and he has ties to this event that was attacked. This was -- he was an employee for the county health department that was having a Christmas party at this event. According to authorities, this is how it went down. It began with the
suspect being inside this event, at some point there was some kind of altercation or some kind of disagreement. He either left. He was kicked out or he left on his own and then came back to carry out the shooting. He is believed to be -- he is a U.S. citizen according to U.S. authorities. And at this point, that -- that is correct, he is a U.S. citizen at this point. And he is now believed to be the person who carried this out. The second person has not been identified yet.
LEMON: All right. I want you to stand by Evan Perez. Evan Perez with the breaking news here on CNN.
And I'm going to get to my panel of law enforcement experts because this is an important news here.
Again, this is what Evan is reporting and also sources for Deborah Feyerick. CNN's Evan Perez and also our investigative team working on all this information. Evan doing the reporting here.
One of the suspects involved in the San Bernardino shooting, in the shootings here, has been identified as Syed Farook, Syed Farook, an inspector with the county health department. Apparently they say he abruptly left the event at the Inland regional center before the shootings. Multiple law enforcement sources are telling CNN that.
The sources also said that the residence in Redlands, California currently surrounded by a law enforcement is connected, this home is connected to Farook. Again, where you this robot going inside, it is connected to Farook. It is that house where the chase began that led to the shootout with the occupants of this SUV. The sources could not -- could not say for certain that he was in the SUV, if he was the shooter, or if he is one of the people who is dead right now. The sources did say, again, important information, Syed Farook is known to be a U.S. citizen.
Casey Jordan take it away.
JORDAN: Disgruntled employee. They can have Arabic or Middle Eastern names as well. But the key is that from the beginning, everything that was reported about him going into this conference room, going into this holiday party, which may have been offensive to him.
But the bottom line is the motivation always appeared to be intrinsic not extrinsic. Still, he was prepared for this. He didn't, you know, it is almost like he was looking for an excuse to go get the guns, get the female getaway driver, you know, put on his fatigues and let it look like terrorism. So I'm in total agreement that terrorism and disgruntled employee can be mashed up. It can be (INAUDIBLE) of both. And I really do think his motive was very intrinsic. It was personal. It was about a grudge. And it looks like terrorism and he might like that but that's not what it was about.
LEMON: All right.
HOUCK: If the male body is Syed, if it is --
LEMON: I need you to stand by. CNN's Kyung Lah is in San Bernardino, California.
Kyung, you have some information, I understand.
LAH: Don, I just confirmed with ATF that they have indeed traced one of the four firearms that were found in this investigation. What the ATF says is that one of those four guns was indeed legally purchased. It was not stolen. And the name that it traces back to, they are not able to tell us that name but they say it is someone who is known by law enforcement, who is in this investigation. So that is what ATF tells us, a person who is connected to this case, a name that they know, did legally purchase this weapon. That's the very latest from the ATF.
[20:50:29] LEMON: All right, Kyung Lah. Kyung, you are on the scene there. And there are other reporters behind you. The bulk of the action, though, happening in Redlands, California but there are still people and there is still some action on the scene where you are because this is where it took place.
LAH: Absolutely. And they are still trying to clear this building. One thing that they are specifically doing is we have heard a couple of some booms. That's them trying to take care of this -- this device which they believe was a bomb. They were very concerned about it. They had to clear that and we believe that it is still happening right now.
But remember, this is an extraordinarily large crime scene. There are 14 victims here. So you have that scene to take care of that we don't know how much bullets were -- you know, fired. We understand that this is a very gruesome, difficult scene in this auditorium and they have a number of victims, 17 people have been wounded. And an even larger number of witnesses. So they have to start interviewing and calling together and trying to piece together a time line.
So yes, this investigation is just beginning here. It is a very difficult crime scene. They are going to be processing this, Don, for some time.
LEMON: And Kyung, just to confirm and talk about the - to clarify, I should say, the breaking news you just reported here. The ATF is saying that one of the guns, right, one of the guns was legally purchased. Do we know which gun? Because according to Evan Perez I think it is a two handguns and then two assault-style weapons.
LAH: Two long guns. It is the assault-style weapons, and who handguns. That's what the ATF says that they are in the process of tracing. Of those four, one of them traced back and they say that gun was legally purchased. A name that they can't reveal to us. They are literally bound to not release that name. But they can tell us that it is to someone who is connected in this investigation. It is a person known to law enforcement.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Kyung Lah.
Evan Perez had some new information, new information moments ago identifying the suspect, Syed Farook, according to his sources. Evan, I understand, you have more for us.
PEREZ: Well, Don, you know, one of the things that is at the top of the mind of law enforcement, is exactly what the motivation here was. We do know that the suspects carried out the shooting didn't really stray very far. They could have gotten away and killed a lot more people at the scene there. We know the ATF is searching and looking at this bag that they left at the scene of the original shooting there at the development -- at the IRC center which is the scene of the original shooting. And we know that that is something that they're looking at to see if there are notes left behind. And once they get into this home they will look at computers, anything that was left behind to see if that could explain the motivation.
As one of your experts there just said, you know, this could simply be a variety of things. It could be someone who was disgruntled but at the same time was motivated by other things.
LEMON: All right. I need you to stand by. We have to get to CAIR press conference right now. Let's listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ideology or mindset that could have led to such horrific act. There is absolutely nothing that could justify. And we stand in mourning, in sadness for what happened and we pray for the quick recovery of those who are injured. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Next I would like to invite the religious director of the Islamic society of Orange County, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi.
DR. MUZAMMIL SIDDIQI, RELIGIOUS DIRECTOR, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF ORANGE COUNTY: Good evening. My name is Muzammil Siddiqi. I'm the religious director of the Islamic society of Orange County and the chairman on the Shura Council of Southern California. Shura Council represent most of the mosques of southern California from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
On behalf of our communities, I want to express our sadness and sorrow on this tragedy that happened in San Bernardino. Our hearts goes to the victims and their families and the people who are injured. We pray to God to bless them and to give comfort to the people in difficulty at this time. We are with them and in solidarity with them.
And also, I want to condemn this action, this action of violence. It is a horrible violence. We have condemned all violence everywhere because human life is precious and we respect and honor the human life. We would like to see that our law enforcement will take full investigation and find out the motives and the people behind that and they will -- they should be brought to justice. That is what you expect and we hope it will happen. And at the same time, I would urge everyone to please do not implicate Islam or Muslims because what whoever has done that, our faith has not done, that our faith is against this kind of behavior. Thank you.
[20:55:39] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi. Next I would like to bring up the -- can you spell your name, please?
SIDDIQI: Muzammil Siddiqi. M-U-Z-A-M-M-I-L S-I-D-D-I-Q-I.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Next we would like to bring up the brother-in- law of the suspect, Farhan Khan, to give a few remarks.
FARHAN KHAN, SUSPECT'S BROTHER IN-LAW: My name is Farhan Khan. It is F-A-R-H-A-N. My last name is Khan, K-H-AN.
And I just cannot express how sad I am for what happened today. I mean, I -- my condolences to, you know, the people who lost their life. I am very sad that people lost their life and there are victims out there. I wish speed recovery to them. And again, I am in shock that something like this could happen. That's all I have. I hope everybody understand and everybody get recover much faster, whatever the victims out there. Thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Mr. Khan, when was the last time you spoke to Syed?
KHAN: I mean -- I spoke to him about like a week ago. With him. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is he a religious person?
KHAN: You know, there is no comment. I mean, investigation is going on. You would know what it is. I have no idea. I have no idea why would he do that? Why would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea. I am in shock myself. A normal person --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a chance to speak with Mr. Khan before and he truly doesn't feel he is informed enough or anyone is informed enough to comment. (INAUDIBLE) it is unknown to us (INAUDIBLE) and he feels comfortable sticking to his, he chose to be here to share (INAUDIBLE) today. So let's keep it that way for the time being until more information is available and he promised to be as available as necessary as more available is available. So thank you for respecting his choice at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you tell us what kind of guy he was?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ask and truly he feels at this point he would rather stick to that comment just for the interest of the investigation. To be fair, we really want to get to the bottom of it. We don't want to undermine the effort of law enforcement at this point by making any comment that could mislead the investigation or law enforcement. That could be a great disservice done to the victims and their families. So let's respect that for the time being and we appreciate from your end.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is your brother-in-law's wife the woman who was the second suspect? Can anyone comment on their relationship between the two?
KHAN: At this point I don't want to say anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hasn't been informed. He doesn't know who has been shot.
KHAN: I'm here because I just want to say I am truly -- the reason I'm here is you know, is to talk to the victims and to express my family, how sad they are, for what happened. That's why I'm here. I mean -- don't ask me what he is, what he was doing, how he is, I don't want to get into all this. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did the rest of the family ask you to come?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did the rest of the family ask you to come to be the spokesperson?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do they have children together?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it's OK at this point, I will request if we can just hold off on these questions and after the conference. I really appreciate it.
Next we will have Reverend Sarah --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is he the brother-in-law?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's the brother-in-law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So your sister is his wife?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect's sister is his wife.