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Coverage of Trader Joe's Standoff in Los Angeles. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired July 21, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WALLACE ZEINS, FORMER NYPD HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: We call that fight or flight. That is when the hostage taker is looking for a place where he or she could be safe, the police are looking for cover and containment when they get there and the hostages are all looking for a place to be safe. That's when most of the injuries happen because people are in an excited mode. It's the fight or flight situation.
Now, the other thing that's so important, if you are a hostage inside a location like that, you've got to remember number one, speak when you're spoken to. Don't become the person to (ph) start talking to the hostage taker. Secondly, hostage takers do not want sick individuals. If you have a medical condition, make sure you tell the hostage taker that you do have a serious medical condition.
Those are usually the first people that are let out. Also, remember, one of the most important things. If the negotiation starts with the hostage taker that's in there right now and a conversation starts with the negotiator and the hostage, then they may want to talk to one of the hostages inside the location to get some credibility. Always remember to always give yes and no answers.
Another thing that's so important is that if the police decide to make what they all a dynamic entry, that is they go in to make a apprehension of the hostage taker, the most important thing is all hostages that are in there should always hit the ground, stay on the ground low because police will always look for the largest mass of (ph) that individual.
Now, let's get down to the other part of this. What's very important is have they started a negotiation with the hostage taker. Most hostage incidents, you want to get a dialogue going. You want to be able to get credibility between you and the hostage taker. You want to start to get a dialogue.
There are different ways. Police have a lot of techniques in the hostage negotiation program where they could find out if he has a cell phone. We do know that there was a family dispute at his house where he lived and I'm sure they were able to get a cell phone number. And what they'll try and do is start a communications with him. Another thing that's very important. You've got to have an inner perimeter.
And as you said earlier that they were moving the crowds back, that's important because the only people that will be allowed inside the inner perimeter will be the SWAT team, the emergency service personnel and they'll also have the negotiators. The negotiators work in three person teams.
They work with a negotiator, they work with a -- a coach who sits next to the negotiator and gets information intelligence from the floater who goes out and deals with the law enforcement personnel that are out there who are gathering intelligence. If a negotiation starts, they're going to start to talk with him and find out what his position is, what his needs are, we understand that he is needed.
And also, keep in consideration that he's in Trader Joe's where you have all emergency, you have a pharmaceutical area there, you have food there, so this could be a very long event. So you got to be able to realize that it's going to be a very long event on your side. And that's why you have to (ph) also have your reserve of other -- other negotiators available should this be an ongoing thing.
But remember, the longer it takes to negotiate, the better chances you have of having a successful outcome.
MARQUARDT: Right. Well this incident started around four and a half hours ago. Mr. Zeins, stay with us. I just want to welcome our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. We are continuing to watch breaking news out of Los Angeles. There is a hostage situation underway at a Trader Joe's grocery store in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. A strong police presence has surrounded this -- this store.
We understand from LAPD that a gunman has barricaded himself inside. There are people who are inside with him and that makes it, as our experts have been telling us, a hostage situation. There has been -- there have been no reports of any deaths. There has been a report of one injury. According to law enforcement there, a young woman who was taken to the hospital in fair condition.
As I mentioned, this started around four and a half hours ago, so 4:30 pm local time in Los Angeles when the suspect, who is a young African American male in his late teens shot his grandmother and another young woman. The LAPD says that he then fled in his grandmother's car with the young woman, the police then followed him.
The car crashed into a pole. At that point, the suspect exited the vehicle with his gun, started firing at officers and fled here into this Trader Joe's and that is where we are now. I want to go to CNN law enforcement analyst, the Former Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshal's Office Art Roderick. Art, good to have you with us.
So as you're watching this situation, we've been using the words barricaded, we've been using the words hostage situation.
But we've just learned also that this was a young man in his teens who was willing to shoot his grandmother. So in your mind, does that - does that make it even more dangerous for the people inside, you know, this - this young man is clearly trying to - you know, probably freaking out and just trying to decide what to do.
What do you think is going on inside his head and in terms of the interaction between him and the law enforcement outside?
ARTHUR RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALS OFFICE: Well I have to tell you, Mr. Zeins gave a big breakdown of what - what occurs from the hostage negotiation side. I worked on the tactical side so I can tell you that the tactical teams there are looking at the interior layout of the facility.
The - the one key part that they have is - is they know - they know the motive here. They know that this individual is involved earlier in a domestic situation. So that's a big key as to why - what's occurring here.
And usually what SWOT teams are always worried about is OK, what's the motive here, what's going on. We could think back about to a lot of other hostage or barricade situations, and it's always about the motive, and that's exactly what they know right upfront what the motive is.
So the attack (ph) teams are getting ready, they're - they're coordinating with the hostage negotiators as to when it comes time, if - if it's going to come to that time to make a hard entry into that Trade Joe's.
Now it sounds like individuals are coming out, which is a good thing, it looks like a lot of people might (ph) have sheltered in place. We don't know, but we know immediately he had taken a particular individual as a hostage from - from the original incident with his grandmother.
So he does have somebody that he's got in his custody right now, and the negotiators are working through that process while the attack (ph) team is getting ready for the - for the - for the extreme plan if they have to.
OK, how do we make this hard entry into this Trader Joe's?
MARQUARDT: Right, right. Art, stay with us, I want to go back to our national correspondent Miguel Marquez on the scene there in Silver Lake. Miguel, what are you learning?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I just spoke to a security guard who was there when the - the gunman showed up along with the police. He said that they were right on him, they were chasing him down, they went down a side street.
Want to show you, sort of down this area here. On the far side of that Trader Joe's sign you can see there's a small side street. It was in there that he got stuck, he crashed. He then ran into the parking lot.
Two shots, says the security guard, were fired by the suspect at police and then police fired back at least four shots. That's when the suspect went inside the store, the security guard saying - unarmed security guard saying he was about three feet away from him.
He just looked at him and went right into the store. People began to pour out of the store, both in the front and through the back doors. Is it not clear to them, though, how many people may have been trapped in there with the - the suspect.
He said that police were literally there within seconds, because they were chasing him right up to the door of the Trader Joe's. So clearly this is somebody who was not planning this and this is all on the fly right on now, and - and - and a (ph) very obviously dangerous situation because it is not clear how many if any people are trapped in there with this individual. Alex.
UNKNOWN: Right, the number of people still inside is unknown, hopefully a good sign that the - the gunman just looked at this security guard and went right past and didn't stop anybody else from leaving.
We heard moments ago from Los Angeles police officer Sergeant Barry Montgomery, he talked about what led to this situation that we are watching unfold at Trader Joe's. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. BARRY MONTGOMERY, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Doing my best to get someone right now, we want to get something out quick, so work with me here.
I promise you I'll get someone at a later station (ph) to do that. Sergeant Barry Montgomery, B-A-R-R-Y, M-O-N-T-G-O-M-E-R-Y, and assigned (ph) to LAPD media relations. Are you hearing (ph) OK?
UNKNOWN: Barry Montgomery?
MONTGOMERY: Yes, ma'am. Earlier this afternoon about 1:30 p.m. in the Newton area of Los Angeles, we had a male suspect in his late teens become involved in a family dispute, which resulted in him shooting his grandmother and a female at the scene.
That suspect fled the location in his grandmother's vehicle, taking that female victim with him. Hollywood area officers picked up that vehicle and they pursued in suit. That pursuit went into the Northeast area of Los Angeles where it terminated in a collision and an officer involved shooting occurred.
That suspect fled that vehicle into the Trader Joe's behind me on the 2,700 block of Hyperion, where currently we have a barricaded suspect. LAPD resources, our CMT team is here communicating with that suspect, trying to bring this to a peaceful conclusion.
That's what we have right now, this is an ongoing incident, so I don't have a whole lot for you, much more. I'd like to go ahead and turn it over to fire (ph) right now and they have a statement (inaudible).
DAVID ORTIZ, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT: The Los Angeles Fire Department, first of all it's David Ortiz, D-A-V- I-D, O-R-T-I-Z, Public Information Officer, Los Angeles Fire Department.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was dispatched to assist LAPD at 3:30 this afternoon to the 2,700 block of Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake community. Thus far, the L.A. Fire Department has transported one female patient in stable condition.
At this moment - 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.
UNKNOWN: How many people (inaudible)?
MONTGOMERY: 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.
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) inside?
MONTGOMERY: At this time, we simply don't know. OK, we're - again, 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.
UNKNOWN: (inaudible) right now (inaudible).
MONTGOMERY: Again, trying to get the suspect to surrender and - and - and bring this to a peaceful conclusion.
MONTGOMERY: Yes, an - an unknown number of people have been removed. Their - their status as far as injury, I don't know, I - I got to leave that to fire. I can tell you now, no firefighters and no police officers were injured in this incident.
MONTGOMERY: Again, ma'am, those are details I simply don't have right now. Again, we're simply trying to bring this to a conclusion. This is preliminary information, we're going to provide many updates.
Right now this is something for you to get out so - so that 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. 3353 North San Fernando Road. OK, thank you guys.
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) we've got to let you know the fire department is -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUADT: All right, we've been listening there to Sergeant Barry Montgomery of the LAPD talking to reporters about the latest at this Trader Joe's hostage situation. He says that there is a - a suspect barricaded inside. We know also that this is a young man in his teens who shot his grandmother and another young woman around 1:30 p.m. local time.
The police, Sergeant Montgomery there, did not know how many people were inside still and does not know how many people have been removed. We have thankfully been seeing people coming out of that store over the course of the past two hours. But LAPD doesn't know how many - how many or in what condition they are in.
Right now, they're saying that they cannot get inside, they're trying to get this young suspect to surrender without further incident. I want to go to Charles Ramsey who is with us, one of a number of law enforcement analysts who are - who are here with us watching this unfold.
Charles, what did you make of what Sergeant Montgomery said right there?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well I mean there's still some unanswered questions, obviously you don't know how many people are inside either being actually held hostage or just hiding from the gunman.
This is a domestic related incident, at least that's what kicked it off -
MARQUADT: -- I'm sorry to interrupt. (Inaudible) we're going to go quickly - we're going to get right back to you, but we're going to go to an eye witness who's right there, let's listen.
UNKNOWN: I decided -- I decided I just didn't want to wait there any longer and went to the ladder, finished putting out the window, was able to get a SWOT officer's attention, indicated I wanted to go up - down the ladder and he gave me a thumbs up and I grabbed - I went down the ladder and a few of my coworkers followed after and got them out.
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) talking about the layout of the store, give us a little more detail of from the time you see another coworker was telling me he saw at least two men come inside, one was armed and then he started firing out towards Alice (ph).
Can you share with us where you were in relation to that, upstairs, right?
UNKNOWN: I was - no I was on the ground floor but all the way in the back of the store in our back storage area.
UNKNOWN: Other customers there as well or were you able -
UNKNOWN: In the store? Correct. Or in our back storage area, no, only employees are allowed.
UNKNOWN: And do you know if some of those employees are still there or all of them that were with you were able to get out?
UNKNOWN: I have no idea, ma'am. I have no idea at this time. (Inaudible) -
UNKNOWN: Sean (ph), we're live right now, (John) - (Sean), you know, for - for our live broadcast right now, you talked about the window. Is that a window that - that opens on its own or did you have to break through the window with a hammer that you had with you?
UNKNOWN: No, just - just raised the window up.
UNKNOWN: And when you made contact with the SWOT members down below, was it eye contact or were there verbal exchange -
UNKNOWN: Eye contact, I - I just made - I waved my hand, once I saw him look at me, I just kind of pointed out the window and down the ladder and he gave me a thumbs up and proceeded from there.
UNKNOWN: Was it a chain ladder, rope -
UNKNOWN: Chain ladder.
UNKNOWN: Got you, and you were able to help a few more employees get out of -
UNKNOWN: Yes, sir.
UNKNOWN: We had heard from one of my sources that some employees also locked themselves in the freezer as well for safety, do you know anything about that?
UNKNOWN: I do not, sir.
UNKNOWN: OK, well thank you for being so gracious to talk to us on live TV like this. I'm so sorry to meet you like this and I just - I'm so thankful that - that you're OK and - and you're coworkers are OK, so thank you for being so gracious.
Just another harrowing story out here of someone -
MARQUARDT: All right, well a very calm and - a very calm and level headed store employee there saying that he and several of his coworkers were able to make it out of - out of the Trader Joe's store via a chain ladder.
They - they - they were able to climb down and - and make contact with LAPD on the ground. I want to go back to Charles Ramsey, Charles we were just talking about what Sergeant Montgomery from the LAPD said in that - that brief statement to the press that there's still the young suspect barricaded inside with an unknown number of - of hostages.
And they're trying to figure out how to get him to surrender. So now we are several hours into this. What is going through the - the LAPD's mind there on the ground? What are they specifically saying to this suspect to get him to come out without harming himself or others?
RAMSEY: Well I mean they're going to - these are very skilled negotiators. The LAPD has some of the best negotiators anywhere. So I'm very confident that they're doing everything they can to try to talk this person down, to get him to surrender peacefully, to not harm anyone else.
They may have told him that the people that he shot have not died so that, you know, he certainly doesn't think he's committed a double murder. This seems like a domestic. I don't know if he has access to a TV, he could be listening to coverage, he could be watching what's going on.
That's why it's important that media not show any police movements if they do decide to come in in case this guy is paying attention. But they're trying to calm him down and trying just to do everything they possibly can to talk him out so that no one else gets hurt, so that everybody gets out of there alive, everybody, including him.
MARQUARDT: In fact, Art Broderick, Art how do you make this decision when enough is enough, it's gone on too long, we need to - to go in with - with the SWOT teams knowing that there are people inside and you could be risking their lives, because clearly you can't always wait until everybody has come out.
BRODERICK: Right, no, there - there is a specific point where you have to make that decision, but I think in this particular case, because this was a target of opportunity for this particular individual, in other words, he didn't decide all of a sudden today to go take hostages at Trade Joe's.
I mean this was a car chase and it just was a target of opportunity that was in front of him, and he went ahead and took advantage of going into that store with his hostage and possibly have other hostages with him.
Now there will come a point with a negotiation, I mean and the whole - the whole part of that, the whole part of this is that as long as he's talking to the negotiators, they will take as much time as needed to go ahead and try to peacefully talk him out.
He has to make some overt act, some violent act towards these hostages before the SWOT team will go in or - or the - the negotiator recognizes that he's done and he's reached a point where in a very short period of time this individual could do a violent act against the hostages.
So there - there's a lot in play here, but I agree with Chief Ramsey that, you know, LAPD is - is absolutely one of the best in the country at this. They have very experienced hostage negotiators and they have excellent SWOT teams out there in Los Angeles.
MARQUARDT: And when you've got federal law enforcement officers out there, who's making that call? LAPD still leading the charge on this one?
BRODERICK: It's - it's - it would be LAPD, this is a local jurisdiction issue. Federal law enforcement, when they show up, they'll provide whatever support is needed. There's no violation of any federal crime at this point in time that we know of, so this is really an LAPD operation.
MARQUARDT: Bob Baer, if I could ask you to - to get inside this young man's head for a second, and I know that's very difficut, if as we heard from our correspondent Miguel Marquez that the shooter went in, did not shoot - was really only shooting at other police officers, did not shoot the security guard, did not shoot people as they were coming out, was clearly trying to hole up inside that store and now probably has a sense, although not as well as we do, that - I'll tell you what gentleman, stay with me.
We are actually going to take a quick break and then we'll talk a lot more about this on the other side. Stay with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --grabbed us and pulled us over the 7-11 for safety and kept us there and immediately told us there's a shooting and a hostage situation at Trader Joe's. And it was terrifying. Your heart's pounding out of your chest and you can't help but think of the victims that are sitting there in a hostage situation. And we were -- the policy were very quick to respond and very fast and immediately coming out of the store, they grabbed us and moved us to safety within minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Certainly some very scary stuff going on here. What was the feeling that you got from the people who were in the Trader Joe's and from the people who you've met out here who have kind of been coming out and gathering in the parking lots here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very somber and everyone -- you know, people are praying, people are very sad and it's -- everybody coming together, complete strangers asking, you know, what's happening, are your loved ones in there. And just really our hearts going out to the people in there and you're talking to people you've never even seen together and just kind of bonding together in prayer, hoping that everybody's OK inside.
And it's just very scary coming out of the grocery store and being pulled like that into a quick situation and the media fire trucks and -- and police cars and helicopters and guns and everything within minutes. Your life just changes like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kimberly (ph), thank you so much . We want to go ahead and take you back live to the picture of those hostages or former hostages who are gathering -- MARQUARDT: All right. We're following breaking news out of Los
Angeles where a gunman is barricaded inside a Trader Joe's grocery store, possibly with hostages. An unknown number of people, according to the LAPD. Police say that earlier, the suspect, who is in his late teens, shot his grandmother and another female in what they're calling a domestic dispute.
He then allegedly fled in his grandmother's car with that second female injured in that car. A police chase ensued which ended at this Trader Joe's with the suspect fleeing on foot and into the store after crashing, we understand, into a pole. A witness says that the suspect exchanged gunfire with the police. We've been watching a heavy police presence growing on that scene for a number of hours now.
We've also seen several people climbing through a side window and down on a chain ladder. We've also learned that at least one woman has been taken to the hospital. The authorities say that she's in stable condition but police say that she was removed from a vehicle, not the store. I want to go back to our national correspondent Miguel Marquez who is on the scene with an eyewitness.
We understand, Miguel, you have just spoken with someone who actually lowered that ladder out of the window that people have been using to escape.
MARQUEZ: We -- we have an employee here. I spoke to another employee earlier that said that the police were not just in pursuit, they were in hot pursuit. They were literally right on this individual. There was the crash in the parking lot. That individual fired two shots at the police, police returned fire. Nobody hit in that. He went right by a security guard at the front door and into the store and that's when people started pouring out.
And that's where Sean Gerace comes in. You were in that store, at the back of the store. What did you hear? What did you see?
SEAN GERACE, TRADER JOE'S EMPLOYEE: I was in the back storage room, I heard people screaming and I heard a number of gunshots. I looked out the batwing (ph) doors from our storage room out onto the sales floor and saw both employees and crew members running up the aisles and knew that there was an active shooter situation.
MARQUEZ: How many -- one. Quick thinking on your part. Do you train for this? Is this something that you keep in the back of your mind?
GERACE: I think it's just an unfortunate state of today, that -- you know, I'm always trying to just be cognizant of exits and emergency ways out.
MARQUEZ: Very busy, Trader Joe's on a Saturday. What is it? 6,000, 7,000 feet or so square feet in there? How many employees? How many people would have been in that store at the time?
GERACE: I'm not sure off hand, sir. I know our -- our evening closing shift would have been on staff. As far as how many people there were and -- I don't know. And as I can't -- I can't even estimate how many customers there were in the store.
MARQUEZ: How many employees, though, of the -- of the evening staff? Dozens?
GERACE: Easily dozens. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
MARQUEZ: And -- and then what happened? I mean, people running -- what -- what did you do then?
GERACE: I wasn't sure if I had a viable exit on the ground floor so I proceeded upstairs where we have an (ph) upstairs storage space. I moved through the storage space to a back kind of a break room that we have where we have an emergency ladder, grabbed the emergency ladder. Proceeded even further back to a back storage area. I grabbed a couple of my co-workers, brought them back as well.
I barricaded the hallway as best I could, grabbed a weapon and put the ladder out the window. And after getting the attention of a SWAT officer, was able to indicate wanting to out the ladder. He gave me a thumbs-up and I went down the ladder, held the ladder, was able to get three of my other co-workers to follow me out.
MARQUEZ: And so you were getting people out. Were you bringing people up with you as well as trying to barricade wherever you guys were?
GERACE: There was one person coming down the stairs as I was going up. I grabbed her. There was another person back in the break room. I grabbed her. There were additional people upstairs already. I just tried to figure a way out.
MARQUEZ: Employees gathering just a few hundred feet from where we are. Do you know if all employees are accounted for?
GERACE: I do not, sir. I do not.
MARQUEZ: Do you know how many are missing right now?
GERACE: I do not.
MARQUEZ: Is -- is this store procedure that in a situation like this, that this is the place that you would gather?
GERACE: We do have in the event of a fire or in event of an earthquake, we do have places that we go. Particularly (ph) -- I don't want to say where exactly. But obviously this situation compromised that plan. And we had to go to different spots.
MARQUEZ: You seem remarkably cool and calm and -- and with it. What is going through your head, though, right now?
GERACE: I'm just concerned about my other co-workers who are not accounted for right now. And then I'm grateful I was able to find a way out. There are some of my other co-workers who -- who are responsible for getting far more people out. And they should be commended for that. MARQUEZ: Did you ever see the gunman?
GERACE: I did not, sir.
MARQUEZ: And how long have you worked for Trader Joe's?
GERACE: About three years.
MARQUEZ: And this is a store - I shop at this store, this is a place that I know well, that it's a very friendly environment. It must be very difficult. You've stayed at this store the entire three years?
GERACE: No ...
MARQUEZ: What is this store like? What is the atmosphere like here?
GERACE: It's a very busy store, without question the busiest store I've worked at. We have a very large crew, a lot of customers. I'm grateful that it took place - Sunday is our busiest day of the week. If it had occurred on a Sunday, it might have been a much more - even worse.
MARQUEZ: Even worse?
GERACE: Even worse, yes, sir.
MARQUEZ: All right, Sean, thank you very, very much. Very nice to meet you.
GERACE: Nice to meet you, sir.
MARQUEZ: Good luck to you. That was the unbelievably calm, cool, and collected Sean Gerace, who was in the store when all of this happened and helped people escape. Just incredible stories. Not happen has changed here. I can tell you right now, the police seem to be in the same position that they were, with just the same amount of cars on what would otherwise be a very busy street in Los Angeles, trying to resolve this hostage or this barricade and possibly hostage situation as well, Alex.
ALEX MARQUARDT, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: Thank you, Miguel Marquez right there on the scene, it's going on 6:30 there in LA and as Miguel noted, a very calm and collected store employee. We've been watching aerial video for the last few hours of people coming out of that side window, down that ladder, to a man who I've been assuming was a police officer, but it was that store employee who was helping his fellow staffers get out of that store as the gunman went inside.
Now, the big question that we've been trying to answer is how many people are still inside the store with that barricaded gunman.
By definition, I was being told a short time ago, that makes them hostages. We don't know where they're hiding, if they are hiding, we don't know whether they are with the gunman. I want to go back to Charles Ramsey, a former police chief.
Charles, is there any way to figure out how many people are inside that store beyond just asking the gunman? Is there any other way to get a sense of numbers so that they can then make the calculus as to when to go in if they have to?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER POLICE CHIEF: No, I mean, the only thing the gunman can tell you is who he actually has in his sights right now. I would imagine that you very well could have some people that are hiding at various locations within the store. So you're not going to get an exact number at this point in time. But one thing is certain, you have other people that are still in the store. The question is ...
MARQUARDT: All right, we just lost Charles there. I want to go to Art Roderick. Art, I was trying to ask you earlier, should we take away anything from the fact that the gunman went inside - as he fled inside, after crashing his car, he didn't shoot anybody. He was - all right, one second, we're getting new video from the scene, more aerial pictures from our affiliates. You can see a heavily armed vehicle right outside.
This is the closest that we have seen the police to this Trader Joe's. So they have moved that armored vehicle up to the front entrance of the Trader Joe's. You can see the heavily armed officers with their ballistics gear standing outside. It's very tough from here to tell whether their guns are drawn, but they are standing in what looks like a somewhat relaxed pose.
Art Broderick, if you're still there ...
ART RODERICK, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, CNN: I am.
MARQUARDT: Can we learn anything from the fact that he didn't shoot people on the way in? This is not someone who is on a rampage. This is not someone who premeditated this or pre-calculated this. This is someone, who probably I would imagine, especially since we know that he's in his teens, is really freaking out right now, given what he knows about the police presence, which is probably much bigger.
RODERICK: That is a big point, because he's not on a rampage and just, you know, killing people randomly. So what we know, and this is a big advantage with the hostage negotiators, they can use this actual motive for their purposes of trying to talk him out of this situation.
Now, when you're talking about the SWAT team, the SWAT team going to continue inner perimeter, and while the negotiators are talking, the SWAT team is going to try to shrink that perimeter as close as they can to the actual location of where that individual is held up with one or two or three hostages. We don't really know how many he's got.
RODERICK: Now, they also might have the capability of actually getting to some of the video that's inside the store. I'm assuming, all stores now, especially Trader Joe's, they generally have video cameras around. And there is a possibility ...
MARQUARDT: Hey, Art, I've got to interrupt you again, I'm sorry. What we're looking at here is aerial images of police officers who have surrounded someone. It looks like they've taken someone into custody. Now, we've seen other people coming out. They have not been held like this, they've been taken away not in handcuffs. It looks like this is someone who has his face up against the wall, his back to the police officers, in handcuffs, wearing a black tank top, it looks like. As I'd noted just moments earlier - we're going to head to Miguel Marquez who is standing right there at the police perimeter. Miguel, what can you see?
MARQUEZ: Well, it sounds like what you are seeing from the air, I can't see it from here on the ground, but I'm hearing at least from some officials that it appears that he has surrendered. It is not clear that anyone else has been injured or who else is in there with him, but it does appear at this point that whoever has been holed up in that Trader Joe's has surrendered and is either in the custody or shortly will be in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Just a very, very tense Saturday afternoon here in Los Angeles, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Yes, Miguel, actually what we can see, again, these are from aerial pictures, is someone who is very clearly in custody, who is being led away by the police officers.
Now, what we know about the suspect is that he is a young African- American man in his late teens, so a boy, who carried out a shooting. He shot his grandmother and another young woman in Hollywood, which is about five miles from this Trader Joe's, before fleeing in his grandmother's car, and then running into a post outside this Trader Joe's, jumping out of the car, firing at officers who were in pursuit, and then he went inside and barricaded himself inside that Trader Joe's.
We first started getting reports of this just over two hours ago, almost two and a half hours ago. This may be the end of this standoff of this hostage situation between this young man and the LAPD. The last we had heard from the LAPD was that he had barricaded himself inside. There were an unknown number of people who were inside with him. And of course. the primary focus of law enforcement, and keep in mind, as far as we know, they didn't go in and do any sort of tactical incursion.
They were trying to, we assume, talk this young man into coming out, without harming others. And it appears that that's what may have happened. Art Roderick, your thoughts on what we're looking at.
RODERICK: This possibly could be the end of this situation. And I think what we were talking about before, because this is a domestic situation that just kind of exploded here, and we had a police chase and we have a target of opportunity for this particular individual, it looks like there's a very good possibility here at this point in time that negotiators were able to talk this individual out.
They put him in handcuffs and you see a lot of the law enforcement officers sort of in a stand down situation now. I'm sure they're going into Trader Joe's to find people that may have sheltered in place, find out if there's anybody else injured in there, but it looks like very possibly this might have come to an end at this point in time.
MARQUARDT: Charles Ramsey, if you can see these pictures, and I don't know if you can, but we're looking at around, say, 15 heavily armed police officers right outside the entrance to this Trader Joe's, but they certainly don't look like folks who are about to go in and take down a suspect. So, can we learn anything from that sort of more relaxed stance?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, it's kind of hard to determine just from some of these images, but I'm sure, that if that is the gunman, then they're in the process now, they have to go in, they have to clear the building, they've got to find anybody in there who may still be hiding. People may not know that he's in custody if they've been hiding all this time.
So there's still a little bit more that has to be done at the scene. But hopefully, this is the gunman, hopefully this thing is over and hopefully no one else was hurt.
MARQUARDT: All right, I'm seeing now that a law enforcement source is telling CNN that the suspect is in custody. So it appears that this hostage situation is over. We had been told that there was only one suspect in his late teens who had fled that domestic dispute before barricading himself inside this Trader Joe's. But as we were just hearing from Art, they will be going inside, the police, to clear it out, to see if there's anybody else inside.
MARQUARDT: Again, we don't know if the people who were inside were being held by this gunman or if they were simply hiding. This does appear to have ended relatively peacefully, but we don't know that for sure just yet. The only thing that we've been told in terms of injuries and wounded was that one young woman had been at the start of this standoff, had been lightly wounded, and she had been taken off to a hospital.
I want to go back to Miguel Marquez. Are you learning anything more from the police there? Miguel, are you there?
MARQUEZ: Yes, Alex, I am indeed. What we're looking at here are a number of people. It looks over a dozen, perhaps as many as 20 that were just brought out of the Trader Joe's by police. The entire posture of the police have changed in the last few minutes. All the people have been taken to a parking lot just across the street from that Trader Joe's.
It was a hell of a lot of people who were still in that Trader Joe's, if that is the amount of people that police are now bringing out to talk to them and to make sure that, one, that they're okay, and that they also don't have anything to do with this and clear them, certainly. We have seen this far too many times, but it was a very large number of people that were seemingly still in that Trader Joe's when this thing came to an end.
And Alex, if you look up the streets, you can see a lot of the police officers have taken a much more relaxed position. The number of officers who are moving into that area has also gone down, but seemingly, incredibly good news here, that the suspect is under arrest and everyone that was in that Trader Joe's just walked across the street into a parking lot on the other side, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Yes, Miguel, I mean, that's the first thing in those situations you're looking for, is the posture, as you were mentioning, of those law enforcement officers. And as soon as they get relaxed, you know that something hopefully is coming and that it sort of ended without incident. We have gotten confirmation from the LAPD, they've just tweeted "We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident. The situation remains fluid as officers move forward clearing the location."
I want to go to James Gagliano, a former special agent with the FBI who dealt with hostage negotiations. James, this seems to have ended as well as it possibly could have.
JAMES GAGLIANO, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Absolutely, no doubt. Let's just hope and pray that the folks that were shot at the onset of this thing recover as well, Alex. I've got to tell you, as I was going through a checklist here before the subject was brought out and handcuffed and everything was stood down, of things that I was concerned with, and the biggest issue was the folks inside of a retail venue like this.
Because if you're in an office building, you have a reasonable knowledge of who's there, who should be there, how many people on a particular floor. But in a venue outlet like a retail space like this, where you've got customers and clients that come and go, it's so difficult. That's why I think the LAPD was, to their credit, so super careful in not saying that everybody had been extricated from the building while the subject was still inside, and why they couldn't say it was a hostage situation.
Once they understood that this was apparently a domestic situation, obviously, involving the subject's grandmother and a younger woman that were shot prior to the crashed vehicle and basically him hiding outs inside of the Trader Joe's, it gave me a second to kind of step back and say, "How would you handle this?" And with a 19-year-old, you correctly referenced it, he's a kid. And I Art Roderick mentioned earlier, there not being a premeditation of this being a place or venue that he had staked out or he had intent to do this or he wanted to take hostages. This was a situation that probably, in most domestics, in a fit of rage, people act out. They do something and all of a sudden, there are huge consequences there.
One of the things that we do in hostage negotiations, we always want to get folks to talk. We want to make a perimeter and make sure we contain the subject, and that as long as people aren't being hurt, we want to make the situation go on as long as possible, because the longer it goes, the less likely that people are going to be hurt or injured, and that's clearly what happened here. It looks like they maintained some type of contact. We want to use
active listening skills where you're showing empathy to the person involved, but not sympathy, and where you're showing understanding but not agreement. You want to try to talk them out of the situation without making a bad situation a perilously worse situation.
To the LAPD's credit, it looks like they did a fine job here. I think you asked earlier who would be in charge of the scene.
GAGLIANO: I think Art Roderick correctly mentioned that it would be the LAPD, unless there is some determination made early on that there was a terror component, meaning that the violence was precipitated by ideological cause or religious fervor or some type of social justice exercise. As long as you can't determine it to be terrorism, when the Federal government would take over, this is a local matter.
Two people were shot. Police were shot at. It becomes a barricaded subject situation. The LAPD, and they're an outstanding police department, would have the lead on this. And it looks like this thing hopefully is going to resolve itself with hopefully everybody being safe and secure and recovering from their injuries.
And now the subject can face the legal system, which is the appropriate way for something like this to end.
MARQUARDT: That's right, the suspect in custody. LAPD saying that the young man, the teenager, was taken into custody without incident, and this standoff does appear to be over, although we are now looking at what looks like a young boy on a stretcher, coming out and being taken to presumably an ambulance.
I want to go back to Wallace Zeins. Wallace, your specialty was hostage negotiations and as James was just talking about, and from what we've seen, do you think that this was something as simply - and I don't mean to say that this is a simple matter, but was it simply extremely good hostage negotiators doing their job extremely well and convincing this young man to come out?
WALLACE ZEINS, FORMER NYPD HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: It was excellent. As mentioned earlier, the longer it takes, the better opportunity you have for a successful negotiation with both the hostage taker and the hostages, and also the police come out of it without incident.
It was textbook in the sense that they followed the protocol. They made an inner perimeter. They circled the 360 degrees of the location. They evacuated other buildings across the street and around the whole center of Trader Joe's. They also developed a rapport with the hostage negotiators, and they worked in tandem together. And it was an extremely successful operation.
Now, they will go in there and they will look, as mentioned earlier, for other workers and other hostages that might have been inside. But all in all, it was an excellent operation. You've got to keep in mind one thing. you know, there are only four types of hostage takers. There's the terrorist, which if you end up neutralizing him, he becomes a martyr. And that takes a long time.
You also have the prison inmate, which you want to be able to end that fast so other inmates don't get involved. Then you have the professional criminal, who goes into a supermarket and holds it up. Those are usually the shortest ones, and then you have the emotional person that's involved in a situation like a domestic incident, which takes the longest, because they have a statement to make and this was a typical type of domestic incident that landed up into a hostage incident.
And the other thing that's very important, and LAPD did a great job on this, when you see the longer it takes, the reasoning for that is, is because, one,a successful ending, but also, the highest ranking person in LAPD has to answer to the community the next day. And if it went bad, they would have a lot of explaining to do.
This went totally well and they did an excellent job, as always.
MARQUARDT: Hats off to them. We continue to watch people coming out of this Trader Joe's in these upright stretchers, being wheeled away by what appear to be the fire department and presumably paramedics. Charles Ramsey, to you, they're not doing this with any sort of urgency, it seems. So, can we just hopefully assume that this is a precaution, that paramedics will look at everyone who was inside the store and make sure they're okay?
RAMSEY: Can you imagine how stressful it is to be in a situation like that during the chaos when this was taking place? People are falling down, getting injured. I mean, so you've got a lot of things that go on when you have something like this.
So, yeah, the medical personnel will check everybody out to make sure that they're okay. Certainly, for physical injuries, but they're going to need counseling for the psychological impact this has, this being - though it wasn't that long a period of time, if you're the one that's in there being held like that, and I just saw a reunion, that young man that was being carted out, apparently that was his parents there, because ...
RAMSEY: ... I noticed early on, he was trying to get back in the building, and so there's probably a mother that had to be going through God knows what thinking about her child being inside there.
So, you have all these kinds of things going on. I know for a fact there were people hiding there, I didn't want to say anything before because you never know if these guys are watching TV or not, but a friend of mine actually paged me who had friends that were texting back and forth with the LAPD because they were hiding inside the store. So, LAPD had contact with even some of the people that were hiding at the time during the course of this particular event.
So you've got a lot of things going on. It's going to take time for them to be able to get over it, because that's quite an emotional trauma that they all had there. MARQUARDT: Right, of course, yes, the physical injuries are one
thing, psychological another. Thank you, Charles. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back with more from Los Angeles.
Welcome back to our breaking news coverage of a hostage situation in Los Angeles that has just ended, according to the LAPD, without incident. There was a young man, just a short time ago, taken into custody. I want to go back to our Miguel Marquez who is on the scene.
MARQUARDT: Miguel, that neighborhood, your neighborhood, must be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now.
MARQUEZ: You can almost feel the sense of relief, it is palpable in the air here. The police still very much on scene here after this hours-long standoff. The hostages, we weren't sure if there were hostages in there, but just as this individual went into custody, 20, perhaps more people from inside that store were taken across the street by LAPD and were being cared for and talked to.
But it is an incredible testament to LAPD, the calmness, the coolness, that they were able to keep this from being worse. That individual crashing in hot pursuit, LAPD was in hot pursuit of him, crashing in front of that Trader Joe's, trading gun fire with the LAPD just outside of it, running into the store, right past the security guard.
People scrambled out of that store, but not all of them could get out. He took several as hostages and after hours of careful discussion with LAPD, this thing has finally ended. And it seems that everybody in that store at least is fine, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Everybody in that store is fine. We've been seeing them taken to a staging area, checked by paramedics for any sort of injuries. Of course, many of them will require some psychological treatment, some therapy later on to have dealt with this. Again, the LAPD says that they have successfully ended - oh, there is a news conference now that looks like the mayor of LA. Let's listen in.
ERIC GARCETTI, MAYOR, LOS ANGELES: ... also sustained some wound either then or a gunfire wound or later on, as he pulled her into his grandmother's car. LAPD was able to follow that car using technology with low jack. That car came through Hollywood division. He fired at police officers through the back of his car window, as I understand, the borderline of Hollywood and northeast division.
And then, again, the officers that were in pursuit were able to follow him to here, and then he crashed right next to the Trader Joe's. It was there where there was exchange of gunfire. The suspect was wounded in his left arm, and he went inside. I regret to inform you that there is one fatality that occurred inside, of a woman.
We will have details forthcoming, but of course family notification and trying to figure out more details, we don't have anything more than that, but she was pulled out by the police department from the store. The fire department was able to take her and treat her onsite but she
was pronounced here onsite. Throughout this, LAPD has done an extraordinary job. And I want to thank them and our fire department. The heroism that was shown today was second to none. The teams that were able to respond, secure the perimeter, and engage in conversation with the suspect, no doubt saved lives today.
He did answer his phone. He was in regular communication with Los Angeles Police Department. I won't go into any great details, but there were hostages both released and saved by LAPD throughout the last couple of hours. We believe there was about 40 to 50 people that were left there initially, and there was a slow but steady stream of them, either those who had hid inside the Trader Joe's and were helped out by LAPD getting in there and saving them, or whether it was the suspect himself releasing some of the individuals that were in there as well.
Most importantly for families right now that are wondering about their loved ones, we have set up the family reunification center at the northeast division of the Los Angeles Police Department that is on San Fernando Road and there are folks there able to answer this phone number so that you can be reunified with your loved ones.
There are no other fatalities to announce. The number that you can call is 323-561-3211. One more time, that's 323-561-3211. The suspect at the end asked for handcuffs. He handcuffed himself and then released himself into the custody of LAPD. As I mentioned, LAFD, our fire department, is under LAPD's careful eye treating the suspect's wounds.
We also have the Mayor's Crisis Response Team onsite and we're calling in backup to that to help folks who have been traumatized by the experience. We know there were children that were in there, employees, and others. And so that is onsite.
GARCETTI: And they are at northeast, they were being transported over to northeast division where family reunification can occur and where they can get the counseling that they need and we will be with them.
One last note, this is an ongoing investigation. This area will probably - that investigation will take 12 to 14 hours as a guesstimate right now, which means this area will be closed down while the investigation of multiple matters in this can run its course. Obviously, the store will remain closed as well for tonight and we'll let Trader Joe's announce its plans moving forward.
But the last thing I want to say is just a big thank you to the incredible bravery that was demonstrated by the men and women who responded to this from our first responders. I want to thank especially to councilmember David Rue for being here and being onsite. Let me now turn it over to - I'll say some words in Spanish at the end, but let me over to our chief, Mike Moore, for some more detail. Mike? MIKE MOORE, CHIEF, LAPD: Mayor, thank you. So let me begin my
remarks by stating that, as the mayor indicated, I'll provide some additional details, but we are very early in this investigation, and so the level of detail is going to be I'm sure something short of what you would ask for.
We'll take some questions at the end as well, but let me stress that what I'm about to provide you is our understanding, as we stand here at this moment. At about 1:30 today, as the mayor indicated, there was a shooting on 32nd Street in the Newton area of South Los Angeles. It involved this individual, this male, black, he is approximately 28 years of age, and he shot his grandmother multiple times.
In the course of that attack, a young woman was also injured, and he forcibly took her from that residence and dragged her to a vehicle, and then left the scene. Our ability to identify him and also the vehicle that was stolen allowed us, using low jack technology, to locate that vehicle in the Hollywood area.
Uniformed officers from Hollywood Patrol attempted to stop that vehicle and a pursuit ensued. During the course of that pursuit, the gunman inside, the suspect fired on our officers multiple times. And ultimately, as the mayor indicated, crashed here or his vehicle stopped here at the Trader Joe's business here on Hyperion.
At that point, and there is - as this crime scene that extends way beyond the Trader Joe's itself, there are shell casings we believe from the suspect's weapon in the middle of the street. But as the suspect exited the vehicle there, an additional gun battle ensued between the officers and the suspect.
The suspect did suffer, as the mayor indicated, an injury to his left arm. And he went into the store. Inside the store, a young woman was shot and killed. Our officers rescued that woman from inside and attempted to render aid with the assistance of LA Fire, and unfortunately we were unable to revive her. Her identity has not yet been confirmed, and so we are not going to be able to provide you with any further information about her.
Once inside the store, the gunman, still armed with a handgun, took numerous victims - citizens as well as store employees hostage and held them against their will. Over the next three hours, efforts by the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles SWAT, members of the team as well as Metropolitan officers, were able to rescue a number of the customers and store employees from other entry points into that store.
Additionally, the gunman released a number of hostages as well and continued in his remarks with us, and through our crisis negotiation team of SWAT involving a psychologist as well our tactical members, that dialogue resulted in ultimately him handcuffing himself and coming outside and surrendering to SWAT officers at approximately three hours after this horrific ordeal began.
Where we are at now is efforts to clear the rest of that building, the rest of that store of any remaining hostages, because there were a number of people that barricaded themselves in different parts of that store to protect themselves from this gunman. We are making sure that we've found everyone that's there and we're transporting them, again, to northeast station. The address for that reunification center is 3353 North San Fernando Road. That's 3353 North San Fernando Road. Again, the phone number is ...
MARQUARDT: All right. We've been listen there to the LA police chief as well as the mayor of Los Angeles. We had been reporting for most of the evening that there had been one wounded.
MARQUARDT: We're now being told that there was one woman who was shot and killed by that suspect inside the store. When the gunman fled into the store, there were around 40 or 50 people inside. He was wounded in the arm in a shootout with the police and he killed one woman inside that store.
That is after he had fled another shooting incident in which he shot at his grandmother seven times. The LAPD says that the suspect is in custody. He is now being treated by the fire department. This hostage standoff that lasted for some three hours has now come to an end with one person in custody and one woman killed. I'm alex marquardt. Up next is the CNN original series "The 2000s." Good night.