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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Shooting Rampage in Santa Monica
Aired June 7, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin tonight with breaking news. News that got considerably worse within just the last 30 minutes. New details on the shooting rampage in Los Angeles area city of Santa Monica and a much higher death toll. It ended on and around the campus of Santa Monica College but it may have begun at a burning house nearby.
There you see the house that was found on fire. Two bodies found there on that scene. A gunman emerging from that home, jumped in a car and from there, a trail of bullets and blood all the way to the campus. Santa Monica's police chief picks it up from there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JACQUELINE SEABROOKS, SANTA MONICA POLICE: Police department received a call of shots fired in the 2000 block of Yorkshire, that's in the eastern end of the city of Santa Monica. Responding officers encountered a structure fire and the fire department subsequently responded to put that out. We received information at the same time of a possible carjacking that may have been related to the shots fired call and we also were receiving incoming calls regarding a series of random shootings, possibly involving an automatic firearm of some type. That was later found -- told to us to be an AR-15.
The random encounters that the suspect had as he moved west along PECO Boulevard culminated with a series of shootings. One shooting occurred in the area of 20 and PECO. Another occurred in the area of Clover field and PECO and then we had a shooting in the area of 20th and Pearl, which is immediately adjacent to Santa Monica College.
In the area of Santa Monica College, the suspect shot at a passenger vehicle and also at a police vehicle. Not long thereafter, he was seen by responding officers from both the Santa Monica college police department and the Santa Monica police department. There was an exchange of gunfire at that time and the suspect attempted to evade the officers by running on to the college campus.
As he ran on to the campus, additional shots were exchanged. No officers were injured at that time. The suspect headed toward the library, shot a woman on the campus just before entering the library, accosted a number of patrons inside the library and attempted to shoot at them. Those individuals were able to find safety in a safe location inside the library. However, he continued to shoot at them. The officers came in and directly engaged the suspect and he was shot and killed on the scene.
The information we have indicates at this point that as many as half a dozen victims were shot and killed and several more were injured. And I have recently been informed that another victim recently died at the hospital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Later in that press conference, the chief clarified the number of fatalities as at least six, plus the shooter. That would be seven people total dead. The chief did make a point and I think it's an important point to reiterate, at this point, this is very early, early hours in this incident, in this investigation. They repeatedly said that throughout that press conference which took place about 20 minutes or so ago. They say that the suspect, they are not identifying or have not identified the suspect yet who was apparently shot and killed in the library, but is identified as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, wearing all black with some type of possibly ballistic vest on as well.
For more on the victims and the gunman and the investigation, Miguel Marquez is on the scene. He has been covering this now for the last several hours. Also, CBS this morning senior correspondent John Miller, who also served as a top official in the Los Angeles police department, joins us.
Miguel, first of all, can you walk us through, because that press conference, frankly, was kind of confusing. It was all over the place. Can you walk us through the timeline of what happened, where and when?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we believe and this is -- it is a lot of incidents, it is a breathtaking number of events across Santa Monica this afternoon. We believe it started 11:55 pacific time at the house. This is on Yorkshire Avenue here in Santa Monica. Two people, we understand, are dead inside that house because of gunshot wounds. The house was set on fire. A witness from across the street, the neighbors of the people who lived in that house, said they saw a man dressed all in black brandishing an assault type long gun, a rifle, came out of the house, carjacked somebody. When another car didn't move as fast as he wanted to, he shot at that car. And according to the chief, there were another one, two, three, four, five, six, about six other incidents before he got to the school. Six other shooting incidents before this person got to the school.
We know that there was a bus shot up. We know that in two different locations along the way before he got to the school, at least three other people were shot and killed. We know at the school, then several people were injured at the school and it sounds like it was almost a running gun battle across the grounds here at the school. One person was shot critically here. That person later died in surgery at UCLA medical center, unfortunately. But, just a breathtaking number of incidents across a wide swath of this city culminating with a shootout in the library at Santa Monica College, unbelievable. COOPER: And Miguel, from what we understand, from what I read, got out of that press conference, the suspect, the person wearing all the black, possibly in ballistic vest, was shot inside the library at Santa Monica college, correct?
MARQUEZ: Yes. And it may have been college police that shot and killed him as well. From several witnesses and from police, it does appear that that person was shot and killed there in the library. Several witnesses saw the person that they saw dressed completely in black. One witness said this person was yelling at police, that there was some yelling back and forth. Police telling him to drop it and he clearly didn't.
Other witnesses said unbelievably chilling, that they saw the man walking down the hallway with the gun in his hands and was nonchalant, didn't take fire at the woman we spoke to, she saw him twice and he never sort of bore down on her to take aim, and she was able to get away.
We also know that there is a person of interest in custody as well. Police saying there was enough evidence to detain this person for now. They are not entirely clear this person has anything to do with the incident here, but that is something they're going through, concerning, though, that they haven't figured out who the suspect is, the suspect who is dead, who that person is. They say they're going to wait for the coroner to make that determination. But clearly, police want to know who this person is and begin digging into where they live, everything about their life and figure out if there are any more threats out there.
What we're seeing right now is there are still helicopters overhead. They are not being as aggressive as they were earlier in the day. They're not right over the school as they were earlier but they're holding back a little bit in case they are needed but at the moment, it sounds like about 90 percent of the school has been gone through by police and they believe that -- they believe there's no other threats out there but they want to make 100 percent sure before they make that determination. We also have a helicopter that just, it appears just landed at the school that may be taking off here shortly, sounds like.
COOPER: Yes. They made the point in the press conference that they are still going through the school as Miguel said, about 90 percent of the school has been searched at this point. And that person of interest was described as an Asian male who was seen leaving the campus. Not clear exactly what drew their attention to this person. And again, that person may have nothing to do with this at all.
As I said, CBS this morning senior correspondent John Miller also joins us.
As we continue to look at images, John, from that fire, it is rare to have an incident like this, multiple incidents, stretching over quite a swath of territory in Santa Monica, in California, and it seems at this point that while the shootings between the house and the college were random, perhaps, the police are saying it seems, and again, this is early in the investigation, the deaths inside that house were not random.
JOHN MILLER, CBS THIS MORNING SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: No, Anderson.
I think if you look at how this unfolds, you see an individual who came prepared, dressed in the black clothing, possibly wearing body armor, not carrying a hand gun but carrying a long weapon.
So, this individual who is believed to be the son or relative of somebody in that house, this may involve -- this may involve his father at that residence and a divorced family, but what you see is the individual arrives at that house, is prepared for whatever it is he's planned to do and that plan involves shooting people in the house, setting that fire.
And then we see that organized plan go into something much more random. He doesn't have a structured plan to get away. He's trying to hijack -- carjack vehicles as he goes. He's shooting people at random. So it is very suggestive of things that we have seen before in these types of incidents where the person comes with what they call the murder kit, everything he needs to commit the act. They kill their intended victims and then they set about killing victims at random, and doing things that will draw the police response where -- and remember what Mr. Marquez just told us from the field. He engages police, there's conversation going back and forth and then ultimately as he refuses to drop the weapon, and I say that in the context that all of this is still preliminary, that they shoot him. So, it sounds like he did his planned attack, his random the shootings, then engaged in the phenomenon they call suicide by cop, trying to invite that confrontation that would lead to his death.
COOPER: I was a little confused when in that press conference initially police were saying that as many as six people were killed, and then they said at least six people were killed, and then they said six people were killed. I guess it's just very early in this investigation and they want to be cautious.
MILLER: Well, I think what you also had is you had victims in critical condition and multiple hospitals, so keeping track of who had succumbed, who was hanging on, and the status of the shooter who becomes by chief Seabrooks' count, the seventh victim.
So, in the beginning of these incidents, and I have been at the scenes of these things as an LAPD official and been part of the command element there, it's very hard. As we know as reporters also, it's very hard to get that information to get locked down and stay still. In the beginning it tends to ebb and shift so we work with what we have and we tell the audience that proviso which this is the information as we're getting it and it's likely to change.
COOPER: They also said that they -- that the person, the suspect dressed in black shot in the library, expired on the scene, but they actually removed the body -- the person I guess to an exterior location because they weren't sure what else was going on in the library. Does that make sense to you?
MILLER: Well, not exactly. But again, that's probably part of the confusion which was, you know, was he pronounced dead there, did they move him so that they could, you know, continue to do the search but also get him medical aid because they weren't going to bring medical people into that location if they had information there was a second gunman.
What you see here, Anderson, is kind of the second tactical wave of how these things are done. There's an old model that we worked with for years which is the gunman's in there, there may be hostages, you surround the building, and then you try to start a dialogue with that person and along negotiation.
The new phenomenon is the active shooter is engaged in hunting behavior. Once he gets in that location he's not saying I'm not coming out until I get a getaway car, and you know, yelling at the cops. He's running and gunning as he goes.
So in Los Angeles, one of the things we developed in the LAPD was something we called immediate action rapid deployment. That means you don't surround the building and call for the SWAT team and stand by with your guns at the ready until the tactical people get there.
You even saw on your own news footage here, there's one officer with an AR-15, a long rifle. He goes to the other and takes the second weapon and starts heading to the building. What they're doing in those scenes is they're putting together an entry team that will have long weapons that they can gather up on the scene, and they will go down range as they say, into the building, until they can locate that suspect, engage him and either talk to him and get him to lay down that weapon or eliminate the threat, which is I think what you've seen here today.
COOPER: And again, we are collecting information and as we learn it, we will bring it to you throughout this hour.
John Miller, stay with us though because we have more on this story. But also, actually, more breaking news on this show, I want to show you a photo of a body bag on campus with the gunman tonight, apparently. This, a new photo we're just getting.
When we come back, I will talk to the student who took this picture. We will also going to talk to John about some of the other big stories today at the U.S. surveillance program. We are going to talk to Glenn Greenwald as well, Ari Fleisher, a whole lot more to cover. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Good evening, everyone.
Breaking news still unfolding, still evolving, at least six people killed in a shooting rampage that ended at Santa Monica College just outside Los Angeles. Now, before the break, we showed you a picture of a body bag. I want to bring in Rona Navales, who writes for the college paper who actually took that picture. She's joining us on the phone.
Rona, you had just gotten off the bus, someone jumped in front of you to tell you to stay on the bus. What did you see?
RONA NAVALES, STAFF WRITER, THE CONSAIR (via phone): OK. So yes, I was walking, about to cross the street because my internship is on campus, (INAUDIBLE). And someone was yelling at the screen for my attention to get on the bus so that I wouldn't be harmed in any way, but right when I found out that it was a shooting, (INAUDIBLE) wounded in that body bag and I'm almost positive that body bag was the gunman because everyone else who was brought to the hospital was still alive, and then one student did die from the school.
COOPER: You're saying you believe that is the suspect, mainly because it was the only person kind of left laying around?
NAVALES: Yes. Because I did speak to other students that were escorted by authorities out of the library, and when they were calling out, they literally saw the gunman who was shot by either Santa Monica college police or other police. But they did see the gunman shot, like saw his body.
COOPER: I want to just take a look at that picture again that you were able to take. In it, obviously you see it's a little hard to see at first, but there is what looks like -- I can't tell if it's a person in a body bag --
COOPER: So the body's already been covered. Did you get a look at all at the suspect, because authorities said the suspect was wearing all black, possibly wearing a ballistic vest? I assume by the time you took this picture, by the time you were on the scene, the suspect was already covered.
NAVALES: He was covered and again, one of the students that was in the library at the time described him as Caucasian, wearing black and he also had black gloves on.
COOPER: Black gloves as well.
Rona Navales, I appreciate your industriousness on this reporting. Appreciate it. We are so glad you're safe as well.
I want to bring in Marta Fegerstroem, who -- Martha, I believe you were on a bus, you saw a man with a rifle standing in the street. When was this?
MARTA FAGERSTROEM, WITNESSED SHOOTING (via phone): Yes. I was on the bus and suddenly there was a guy standing on the left-hand side with a rifle and he just started to shoot from the front of the bus to the back of the bus.
COOPER: And how many shots -- he was shooting at the bus that you were on?
FAGERSTROEM: Yes. Yes. Into the bus.
COOPER: Did the shots actually hit the bus?
FAGERSTROEM: Yes. It went through the windows.
COOPER: What did you do?
FAGERSTROEM: The top windows.
COOPER: What did you do, Marta?
FAGERSTROEM: I, like everyone else, I just threw myself on to the floor of the bus to cover myself.
COOPER: What did the suspect look like to you?
FAGERSTROEM: He was like pale skin and like black, a little bit curly hair. I'm not totally sure. I just saw the rifle and the gunshots went off, and I just threw myself to the floor. It was very fast. I didn't see him precisely, you know.
COOPER: Was the bus moving at this point or were you stopped?
FAGERSTROEM: The bus was stopped.
COOPER: And how many shots approximately, do you know?
FAGERSTROEM: I don't know. Maybe between four and six, not sure. I'm not sure, maybe five.
COOPER: And then how long did you stay on the bus?
FAGERSTROEM: The bus -- everyone was screaming and crying inside the bus on the floor and the bus driver, she tried to, you know, drive away but you know, but after awhile she was able to and she just turned right and just went, you know, went as far as she could away from that place and we all like, you know, screamed, like everyone OK, people were calling 911 and we were like stop the bus, you know, far enough, stop the bus. And there was like this lady bleeding in the back. She was sitting, you know, in an area that is elevated. We thought that she was hit by the rifle.
COOPER: Well, I'm so glad -- was everybody on the bus OK?
FAGERSTROEM: Yes. Yes. And actually, I heard that it was like glass shattered or something, we actually thought she was hit, but everyone was fine. Good that he was aiming at like the windows, like the ones you open on the top, you know. If he was aiming like lower, probably, you know, a few of us would have been hit.
COOPER: Did he say anything?
FAGERSTROEM: No. He was outside the bus. We didn't hear him scream or say anything. I don't know if he even said anything.
That's got to be so terrifying. I'm so glad you and everybody else on the bus is OK. Thanks for talking to us as well.
I want to go back to our Miguel Marquez.
So, we're getting, you know, bits and pieces now, a clearer sense from John Miller's reporting, it does seem like there was a connection between this alleged shooter and the people found in that burning house. Now the question is, was he ending up at Santa Monica College just as, you know, where he happened to be, what being chased by police, or at this point I guess we don't know, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Well, we don't. A lot of people go to this school. It's a very, very big school. It's only a two year university but over 30,000 students go to this school. Santa Monica well, it is widespread. The area where all of this happened is fairly compact. Clearly, he seemed to be going to the school, though, because he ended up in the library or perhaps knew the school, knew how sprawling and big the campus was and maybe thought that would be a good place to sort of defend himself as he was carrying out whatever it is he wanted to do. But the house and then several different incidents between the house and the school, as many as six different incidents between the house, where two people were killed and the house set on fire, and then other people killed along the way in six incidents, then the school incident.
One disturbing thing, I think you showed a picture awhile ago of a person in a body bag but there's another picture, if you guys have it, of an individual and you can see them clearly wearing the black fatigues, laying down, apparently it's the smoking area outside the library of the school. And this has now been confirmed that this was the shooter and that's where he laid down after police brought him out -- Anderson.
COOPER: And we are now just showing you that photo. Again, I wanted to warn you before we showed you that photo but that apparently is the shooter. John Miller from CBS this morning, senior correspondent, is also with us now.
John, do you have any sense from your reporting on this as to whether or not the library was a target of his, or whether it just happened to be where he was?
MILLER: No sense. I mean, if you follow the witnesses' accounts and I've talked to the police out there, as he leaves the house it is very difficult to tell if he has an ultimate destination. He tries to carjack a vehicle, he shoots at somebody in that vehicle, he tries to apparently carjack a second vehicle, and then he's just on the move. So we don't know yet if he just ends up there.
Now, the investigators right now at that command post are developing some granularity because they have a tentative identification of who they believe the gunman is. They are working with the L.A. county district attorney's office and their satellite office right there in Santa Monica at the courthouse to get search warrants for what they believe is the shooter's residence. They're trying to determine if there is a work location that may also need to be searched, whether that's on a warrant or consent. Because what they're going to look for, Anderson, is where is his laptop, you know, where's the computer, where's the e-mail account, where are they going to find notes so that they can see when did he order this weapon, when did he order the tactical clothing, how long has he been planning this, is there a note left behind or a manifesto that explains this. And unfortunately, as you have covered so many of these, this is becoming kind of part of a familiar process. These individuals watch each other's stories and it spurs them on.
COOPER: Yes. It's one of the reasons I, at least, don't believe in sort of talking much about who the person actually is, even using their name in a lot of these shooting incidents. I try to focus as much as possible on the victims of this because you really do get the sense these people are watching and you know, in some cases want to become famous, want to go out with what they consider a hail of bullets and glory.
John, we will come back to you on this story. But also, we are going to come back to you in just a moment on tonight's other big story.
President Obama defends looking at your phone records and snooping on a whole lot of Internet traffic as well.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hi. We're going to continue to monitor developments in Santa Monica and the shooting and bring you updates throughout the hour.
Go back to Miguel Marquez and John Miller and all our correspondents on this. But right now, some other stories, there's a lot going on tonight.
Your security versus your privacy is the big question tonight. For the first time since it was reported that the government collects details on millions of phone calls every day and is also targeting the internet and possibly credit card data as well, President Obama weighed in first on the phone calls. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody's listening to the content of people's phone calls. This program, by the way, is fully overseen not just by Congress, but by the Pfizer corp.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As for reports in the "Washington Post" and British's "the Guardian" newspaper, that the NSA and the FBI have access to most of the big Internet providers, including Microsoft, Google and Apple, the president told Americans not to worry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: With respect to the internet, and e-mails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, the president said he believes these two top secret programs and others strike the right balance between security and privacy. He also challenged members of Congress who disagreed to speak up on both sides of the aisle, they are.
Today, CNN's Dana Bash spoke exclusively with democratic senator Mark Udall who sits on the Senate select intelligence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The president said very clearly today, wait a minute, members of Congress knew about this, they authorized this, they were briefed on it and if they had problems, they should have raised questions.
SENATOR MARK UDALL (D), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I did raise questions.
BASH: You did raise questions and what happened?
UDALL: I went to the floor, I offered amendments, I did everything possible short of leaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's the catch. Both these programs are top secret. The court that oversees them is a special secret court that almost never says no. Some such as former Vice President Al Gore simply object to how wide a net the intelligence community is casting in order to mine the data for signs of alleged terrorists. Is it just me, he tweeted, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous.
That surveillance, by the way, may extend to credit card data and that's according to a report in today's "Wall Street Journal." The journal citing people familiar with the operations of the NSA, the National Security Agency, said it wasn't clear whether this was a onetime effort or continuing operation.
Knowing all that, many other lawmakers and others across the political spectrum are OK with this kind of broad surveillance, calling it legal, justified and even effective. My next guest can testify to the effectiveness.
Joining me once again is "CBS This Morning" senior correspondent John Miller, who as you know once worked in local and federal law enforcement and counterterrorism. So john, the president said today that our phone calls aren't being listened to. Can you break down how these secret surveillance programs, which you call the spying business actually work? JOHN MILLER, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, "CBS THIS MORNING": Well, sure. And this is kind of how they work in terms of process. So what you're not doing is you're not listening to phone calls. What you're not doing is going through lists of names of telephone subscribers or identifying material. What you are doing is you are listening to what at the NSA they call selectors.
That could be a terrorist cell phone in Yemen being carried by a known member of al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula. So you're up on that selector and one of the things you want to know is OK, here is my suspect. It's an al Qaeda operator, somebody they looked at for a long time. You've got him on his phone communicating with people, but now you have to ask, well, is he communicating with anybody in the United States, because they're talking about an attack in the U.S.
So now you run that against big data, that's all of the calls, you know, from that phone or from another phone to that number, from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and then you find I have five hits here. You've got a key al Qaeda planner who is talking about attacks in the United States and you take your five hits and now you throw that over the fence to the FBI and say we have five numbers in the U.S. talking to a known al Qaeda operator overseas who is planning an attack somewhere, let's figure out who these people are.
Do we have a cell operating here, are these relatives, and when the FBI gets it, they have to apply a lot of process, because you can spy on foreign people in foreign countries if you're in the intelligence community but not on Americans. It's against the law. So the FBI then has to go get a national security letter, a FISA warrant, so on and so forth, before they can collect any of that material.
All of this is built around process, around lawyers, around rules, around backstopping, around audits to make sure everybody is doing it right. Like any program, the more of that you have in terms of backstopping and checks and balances, the cleaner it's going to be. The problem is when they're secret, our ability to look in on that is somewhat limited, but that's why you have congressional oversight, inspector generals, and so on.
COOPER: I want to talk about the potential for abuses. We will talk to Glenn Greenwald who helped break this story and also Ari Fleischer in just a moment. Has this actually been used to prevent a terror attack that we know of?
MILLER: This has been used very successfully in terms of two things, one, it has detected nascent plots in progress and provided the lead material and intelligence to get in front of those plots. On a more substantive level, it caught a plot at the very last minute and saved New York City from a series of bombings.
One day, September 6th at 7:58 a.m. in 2009, as it was dawn in Colorado, an e-mail went from Aurora, Colorado from an apartment complex to a selector that was in Pakistan. This belonged to an al Qaeda master planner, bomb maker, and the e-mail basically said I'm having trouble with the recipe. I need to know how much yeast and how much flour to use.
This was code for a bomb-making recipe that wasn't working for a guy. The NSA passed that information to the FBI, the FBI got warrants for his phone, surveillance on his house. FISA warrants for his e- mail accounts and by the time they set up that surveillance, within two days he was driving to New York with the explosives in the car to leave 16 backpacks on the subway. That's how the program works in theory. That example I just gave you is how it works in real life.
COOPER: All right, John Miller, appreciate the reporting. John, thanks.
I want to continue the discussion now with Glenn Greenwald of "The Guardian" who broke this story and former with George W. Bush White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer who supports President Obama on this.
So Glenn, if John Miller's reporting is correct and the prism program prevented at least one terror attack, does that sway you at all? I mean, is that an argument for this kind of surveillance?
GLENN GREENWALD, BLOGGER AND COLUMNIST FOR "THE GUARDIAN": No. First of all, the premise makes absolutely no sense. This is the same argument that we used to have during the Bush years when they got caught eavesdropping on the conversations of Americans without first going to the FISA Court and getting warrants and they would say this program stopped terrorist attacks.
But it never made any sense because if they actually had a terrorist in sight they could have just gone to the FISA Court, gotten a warrant, presented evidence that this person was a terrorist and then eaves dropped anyway. Exactly the same is true here. If the government really believes that somebody is engaged in terrorist activity, they could go to the FISA Court or they could go to the internet companies.
And they could say we have reason to believe this person is guilty of something, you should let us read their e-mails and surveil them in real time. That's not what the government is doing. They instead are having direct access into the servers of these companies, which means there's no limitation on abuse or checks on what it is they're doing.
And every time the government gets caught doing something like this, they just scream the word terrorist enough times, hoping that people will get scared enough and simply won't invest the power in the government to do whatever it is they want in the dark. It's time we think rationally about what these claims are and not just accept them.
COOPER: Ari, what about that?
ARI FLEISCHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, number one, nobody listened in on those conversations. It was a program very similar to the one the president has, President Obama has, except you had to have a foreign connection to it, and then they gathered broad data just like this. I just want to correct that. But you know, the fundamental notion of is it good for this country, if the United States government collecting massive information in an attempt to find small numbers of individual people who would do us harm, it reminds me of other things we've accepted in life, such as going through airports, all innocent people go through metal detectors.
Innocent people take off their shoes, why, to find an occasional one or two bad people. Frankly, we haven't had that happen in recent years. We have prevented the bad people from doing it because we make the good people go through.
My point is, we have broad programs designed to catch the few. When it comes to keeping us safe in the war on terror, I think the president's program, President Obama's program, is the right one, it's a good one.
COOPER: Ari, why are some Republicans who support this then not supporting the idea of, you know, if you buy a gun, having a register of who's buying a gun? If that seems to be too much of an intrusion, which I understand that argument of why people say that's too much of an intrusion, why is that an intrusion, but this not?
FLEISCHER: Look, I don't know what the exact comparison is on that. I think you have to ask that to the people who hold that point of view. Everybody has a different view on that. I'm proud on this one to defend President Obama because I think he's continuing those policies that kept us safe.
COOPER: Glenn, is it akin to, you know, the TSA taking off your shoes?
GREENWALD: Does it really require any effort to see why it's massively radically different to take off your shoes when you go through a metal detector versus having the government be able to troll through your private e-mails and listen in on your telephone conversations? The difference is obvious.
COOPER: President Obama is saying no one is listening in on phone conversations.
GREENWALD: Can I just finish? The prism program that we're talking about that I reported on is a program in which the United States government goes directly into the servers of companies like Facebook and Skype in order to surveil in real-time both text and telephone conversations.
The Verizon program which is the one that you just referenced is a one in which the government collects all of our phone records so that we can -- they will always know with whom we're speaking, where we are when we're having those conversations, and really, the ultimate question is we have a society, a government, that operates almost entirely in the dark while knowing virtually everything about us.
When governments can operate almost entirely in the dark, what you get is a government full of Ari Fleischers who can go before the world and spew falsehoods. There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein has an alliance with Osama Bin Laden. When government officials operate in secret, they abuse their power.
COOPER: Ari, abuses do seem to happen time and time again.
FLEISCHER: Well, first of all, I'm not going to make this personal. This is a good policy debate to be engaged in and I'm proud actually as a Republican to be backing with President Obama has done and what I'm most proud of is we now have 16 years of a bipartisan template for whoever succeeds President Obama to continue. One of the reasons we have not suffered another 9/11 is because we are vigilant and have these important programs in place.
COOPER: But all things lead to -- things that are not out in the public, things that do have a veil of secrecy can end up being abused.
FLEISCHER: That's why this is a good debate to have and it's incumbent on the president to defend it. If you take that argument to an extreme there should be no classified information in the government whatsoever, the military, the CIA. There should be no secrets when the SEALs go to get Bin Laden, it should be publicly reported when the helicopters take off. There is a legitimacy to government secrecy. It's how we keep ourselves safe.
COOPER: Glenn, I want you to comment on that and I have one more question for you.
GREENWALD: I mean, I'll find an area of agreement with Ari Fleischer, which I didn't think was possible. I think he's right that we should debate it. The only reason we are debating it is because there was a source or sources within the United States government who saw what the government was doing, collecting all of our phone records without any evidence of wrongdoing, tapping directly into the servers of the largest internet giants and eavesdropping on those conversations with no oversight or checks of any kind and decided that his fellow citizens should be warned about what it was that we're doing precisely so we can have this debate.
That's why whistleblowers like that should be praised and not prosecuted because it's what enables journalists to then shine a light on those programs so that we can have the debates that both Ari Fleischer and I both agree we should be having.
COOPER: Glenn Greenwald, Ari Fleischer, guys, thanks very much.
Want to go back to our breaking news, the Santa Monica shooting rampage. We are going to head back to the scene and hear from Santa Monica police and also from eyewitnesses. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to the breaking news. A house fire, trail of bullets and blood through the streets of Santa Monica, then gun shots outside the Santa Monica College campus and in the library. Finally, the gunman killed in the college library. Joining me now is Joe Orcutt, who was face-to-face with the gunman. Joe, it is incredible. Tell me about when you saw him, what exactly happened?
JOE ORCUTT, EYEWITNESS (via telephone): It actually started with just hearing, you know, pops that I thought was a backfire for a car. Then there was another one that really sounded like a gunshot, then there was like a car accident. I was actually kind of in the corner of the campus about 30 feet away from the street where I heard the accident.
I ran down to see if somebody needed help and there was an SUV from the staff parking lot that had just gone straight across the street into a brick wall, and just, you know, kids and anybody in the area was just running around to the vehicle to see if the guy needed help, and somebody, you know, said he had been shot.
So realizing there was a gunman on campus, I thought, you know, maybe he's going to come around this corner because this is the entrance, he could come right here, or the next closest entrance to the campus where I just came from, so I turned around and back up the corridor I just walked down, 30 feet away, was the gunman.
And he was standing there and he looked over at me, and I looked at him, and then he just panned his gun, trained it on me and I just jumped behind the building and he shot at me, and I heard -- heard the bullets whiz by my head. And then, you know, the cops just swarmed the campus.
The first one that came up, you know, they're telling me run, get out of there. I told them what he looked like, where he came from as far as from the parking lot, where I thought he would be going, described him, and --
COOPER: What did he look like?
ORCUTT: He was about I guess about 5'10". He was about 30 feet away so it was a little hard to tell. He was obviously white, short dark hair. He was dressed all in black. He had some kind of vest on. I thought it was a bulletproof vest which I wasn't sure, and he had an assault rifle, a big long dark either gun metal or black gun. And it was definitely not a hunting rifle or anything like that.
COOPER: Did he say anything? He just looked at you and then started moving his gun to take a shot at you?
ORCUTT: Yes. He just looked like he was standing there posing for the cover of an ammo magazine or something. It was really bizarre, very calm, not running around, not yelling, just looking around for targets very casually.
COOPER: And his facial expressions, I mean, did he look angry, did he look like he was exhilarated? Was there any kind of expression on his face?
ORCUTT: It was a little hard to tell from 30 feet away, but nothing that stuck out at me. It seemed kind of blank.
COOPER: It's unbelievable.
COOPER: When, you know, it's quite something to be shot at. It definitely gets your attention. How quickly were the police on the scene after that?
ORCUTT: From the moment the car accident -- or accident, the car slammed through the brick wall, the first cop was there in maybe 30 seconds or a minute, because the campus police station is literally right there. It's maybe four doors down from where that car slammed through.
COOPER: Are you OK?
ORCUTT: Yes. Yes. It wasn't for another 15 or 20 minutes afterwards until I looked around to see if I had any gun holes or bullet holes and didn't realize it. But yes, I was not hurt.
COOPER: Well, it's a horrible thing to go through. I'm glad you're OK. Thank you so much for talking to us.
ORCUTT: Absolutely, my pleasure. Thank you.
COOPER: Because this is such a fast-moving story, I want to check back in with our Miguel Marquez with the latest. Miguel, can you just -- again for viewers who are just joining us, just walk us through what we know?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. At 11:55 at a house here in Santa Monica, 11:55 Pacific Time, two people were shot and killed in that house, from what we understand from witnesses and from police sources. The house was then set on fire.
A gunman wearing all black BDU-like clothing and an assault type weapon, a semiautomatic weapon now called an AR-15, which is the civilian version of an M-16, hijacked a car, shot another person that was in another car that wasn't moving fast enough for them.
And then throughout the afternoon, engaged six different locations, killing several people along the way, culminating in a running gun fight with police at Santa Monica College, all of this within a few blocks, really, of Santa Monica College here. It's a long, big area but this was all in a fairly compact area.
And in the end, six people, as many as six people dead. The gunman as well, making seven people total dead, and several injured. We also understand at least three people have now been released from the hospital, but there are still two in the hospital -- Anderson.
COOPER: Extraordinary last several hours. Miguel, thanks for the update. We're going to continue to follow this obviously throughout the night. Also up next, a Texas actress who authorities say set out to frame her husband for sending ricin-tainted letters. She ends up in handcuffs herself. She was on "The Walking Dead," bit part and some other things as well. We'll try to figure out what's going on with her.
Plus a grand jury slammed Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro with 329 counts today. More on that indictment ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a Texas woman was arrested and charged today in connection with the ricin-tainted letters sent to President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg of New York. According to court papers, 35-year-old Shannon Richardson, an actress, initially tried to frame her husband.
A grand jury today indicted Ariel Castro on 329 counts including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder of a fetus. He will be arraigned next week. He is accused of holding these women, Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight, captive and sexually abusing them for a decade in his Cleveland home.
Also this, marijuana and pain medication were found in the blood of the crane operator at the site of that deadly building collapse in Philadelphia. That's according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation. Local affiliate WPVI is reporting the crane operator will be charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter. Six people died, 13 others were injured.
In Boston, a 2500-year-old Egyptian mummy came out of his coffin today for a rare cleaning and restoration. He is one of the first complete mummies brought to the U.S. He's been on display at Massachusetts General Hospital since, get this, 1823.
COOPER: That's incredible. Amazing. Thanks. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Because of the breaking news tonight, we didn't want to shorten my conversation with Kristin Beck so we actually are going to move it to Monday. We planned to show it to you tonight. Beck is the former Navy SEAL who served with distinction for 20 years as Christopher Beck and is now living as Kristin Beck, the woman she always felt she was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: How do you think back on your service?
KRISTIN BECK, FORMER U.S. NAVY SEAL: I'm proud. I served my country the best I could, and the abilities that I was given, you know, at birth I was given this body and I'm going to do as good as I can and it's the same thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: More of my exclusive interview Monday night on 360. That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.