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Shooting at New York Hospital; NYPD: Multiple People Shot at Bronx Hospital. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired June 30, 2017 - 16:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. Welcome to THE LEAD.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to start with some breaking news in the national lead today.

Multiple people have been shot at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York City after reports of an active shooter. NYPD sources there are four to six victims injured in the shooting. NYPD is also saying at this hour the shooter is dead.

He was killed, apparently, on the 16th floor of the hospital. It's unclear exactly how exactly he died.

You're looking at the massive response to the scene right now. This is one of the busiest hospitals in New York. It's in the Bronx, which is in the northern part of Manhattan Island. White House officials say President Trump has been briefed. The New York Police Department says this all started a little more than an hour ago, police sources telling CNN that they believe the shooter is a former employee.

It is unclear what work that person may have done at the hospital. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms also just tweeted that they have special agents responding to the scene.

Let's try to find out more now with CNN's Jason Carroll.

Jason, what are you learning? What can you tell us?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, just to recap, Jake, this entire incident began just about 2:50, just a little bit before 3:00.

That's when the calls first started coming in about what was then an active shooter. But again just getting word just within the past few moments that the shooter is, in fact, deceased. It is unclear how the shooter died. Did he die of his own hands or died at the hands of those who were there to stop him? That at this point is unclear. Also getting word that perhaps that

this shooter was a former employee there at the hospital. That is still something that is being worked on, being confirmed. NYPD telling us anywhere between four and six people have been wounded. The extent of their injuries at this point not clear.

Again, ATF, NYPD, also including the hospital private security force, they were all there to assist while all this was going down. Just to get some folks a little bit of context here just how large this hospital is, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, 972 beds, last year treated some 138,000 patients, so it's a large facility.

So you can imagine the challenge that these first-responders had when they first got word that there was, in fact, at one point an active shooter there at the hospital and what they had to do to try to end that situation.

But once again, it appears at this point as if the active shooter has died. Once again, unclear if he died at his own hands or died as a result of those who were there to stop him -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right.

Let's go to CNN's Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, you have been talking to your sources. What are they telling you? Are is there concerns about another shooter, perhaps?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there is no indications, Jake, that there's another shooter. They believe they were dealing with just one shooter who they learned pretty quickly was a former -- they believe to be a former employee.

That's according to two law enforcement sources that I have been talking to. And now I think they're just sort of in the process of trying to clear the hospital, go through it and make sure they're not missing anything, make sure there are no other shooters, sort of the standard that we would expect in these situations.

The other thing I'm told is they're now in the process of viewing surveillance video in the hospital to exactly pinpoint where the shooter where, to figure out his movements, to see also if they're missing anything.

And like Jason said, they believe at least anywhere from four to maybe six or maybe even a little bit higher than that. Some folks may have been injured. Not everyone may have been shot. But that's not clear yet.

And again now is just the process of trying to make sure that they can treat all the injured, Jake.


TAPPER: All right, and, Shimon, obviously, one of the things that's so alarming about this incident is that it took place inside a hospital.

Shootings take place all over the country every day, unfortunately, in the United States, but this one inside a hospital where people are supposed to be protected, where people are supposed to be getting better. That's one of the reasons why this huge police presence, in addition to the four to six people who we have been told were shot.

PROKUPECZ: Yes, that's right.

I have been to that hospital before. And usually hospitals in the city are not as closed off and probably have access. He probably could have gained access fairly easily into the hospital.

And if he was a former employee, that's probably maybe someone recognized him and let him in. But we don't know how he got in yet. So, we don't even know -- I don't -- we have not been able to say for sure 100 percent that this is a doctor or what kind of employee of the hospital.

Police know his identity. Police know who the shooter is. They just have not told us who he is.

TAPPER: All right, Shimon, thanks. Keep bringing us more reporting as you get it.

Let me bring in Tom Fuentes right now. He's a former assistant director of the FBI and a CNN law enforcement analyst.

Tom, in a situation like this, when law enforcement comes to the building, what is going through their minds? What do they have to decide to do?

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Typically, Jake, they have to try to decide how many shooters are they dealing with. Is the shooter or shooters still active in the building? Have they escaped and gone down the street somewhere else and pose an extended threat?

Then, of course, the main thing is to make sure they can find every victim and get medical care for the people that need it, rescue any injured parties that are inside there. So they have a crime scene. They have people needed rescue. They have an investigation. They have a fugitive search.

All of this is going on at the same time. And they're used to dealing with all of these things simultaneously and train for it and practice for it. It's not the first hospital incident we've had.

A few months ago, we had the call of an active shooter and that's at the San Diego Medical Naval Center complex. But if this is similar, you had somebody going to the scene of that hospital wanting to shoot a particular person or a particular group of persons, whether it's a former supervisor or co-workers or just general employees or patrons or patients because they're mad at the hospital management itself.

But it more of a personal matter, not a global terrorism-type incident when that type of thing occurs. That is among the immediate considerations, is how to secure that, how to find out who is posing a risk to the public and how much risk is still at the scene when you get there.

TAPPER: And a reminder for our all viewers tuning in.

We're watching right now -- you're looking at images of Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where a shooting took place. Just before 3:00 Eastern is when the reports for the police, the requests for police assistance went out.

We are told four to six people have been injured. The assistant police commissioner for communications and public information, J. Peter Donald, just put out one tweet 11 minutes ago earlier saying that one shooter is deceased at the hospital.

And, Tom Fuentes, let me note here that Peter Donald saying one shooter is deceased at the hospital. That's very careful language he's using. He's saying one shooter. He's not saying the shooter. There may be more shooters, for all they know, and it's a reminder to everyone that at the early stages of a crisis, of a tragedy like this, there's a lot of information we do not know and often a lot of the information that we get from authorities, whether law enforcement or government authorities, is later proven incorrect.

They're being very cautious, very circumspect with their words.

FUENTES: No, that's true.

And that's why even if witnesses tell the police that respond that there was only one shooter and now that shooter either self-inflicted or by a security guard has been killed, the police are not going to just accept that as fact and go from there. They're still going to still search that entire building, every closet, every possible place another shooter could hide, if there is more than one shooter.

Until they look at -- until they talk to all the witnesses, until they talk to other employees that may know this former employee, until they review all the video surveillance of the hospital and in the hospital, at that point, they may be willing, you know, within a few hours to rule out that there's anybody else involved, that there are multiple shooters.

But certainly at the beginning of this, they're not going to take anybody's word for that being safe.

TAPPER: And also, Tom Fuentes, one of the things that is challenging for police right now is they obviously cannot leave the scene. Right now, they're taking witness accounts and the like. But they can't leave until they know that, definitively, that there was only shooter. And that means they're going to have to not only look at the surveillance video, but look into every single room in that enormous hospital.

FUENTES: No, that's right.

In every one of these incidents, they have to do an entire building clearing operation. And oftentimes it can take one to five hours, depending on the size of the building.

Additionally, if you have a former employee, they have to take account that that person, if you went in there with help, with other shooters, would know exactly where to hide or where the closets are, the air ducts, the heating and air conditioning plant, maintenance facilities, all of the inside information that the average patient or someone visiting the hospital would never know about it, would never see.

So, yes, they have to take all that into consideration. It takes time. Now, fortunately, you have got an enormous, qualified, great police department, NYPD. All the help that they need, they're going to get from federal agencies.


ATF, no doubt the FBI and other federal agencies have come to lend assistance, to lend manpower, to lend individuals able to process a crime scene for evidence, able to help with going through witnesses, interviews, look at videotapes.

All of that. They will be able to bring an enormous amount of resources to bear immediately and already have, no doubt. That helps in the situation.

But, yes, the building clearing of a hospital and possibly neighboring buildings is quite an undertaking and will take some time.

TAPPER: If you're just joining us, you're looking at images from Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City, north of Manhattan in the Bronx. There was a shooting there sometime we believe between the 2:00 and 3:00 hour Eastern.

We're told by law enforcement that four to six individuals have been injured. In addition, the New York Police Department is also saying that a shooter is dead and at the hospital. We're not sure if there is only one shooter or not, but we have no indication there was more than one, but you never know.

And law enforcement authorities are being very circumspect with the information they are sharing.

Let's bring in right now CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick. He's a former assistant director with the U.S. Marshals Office.

And, Art, right now, what is the priority for authorities as they go into this business?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, right now, the first thing I would do as a responding law enforcement officer -- and I know that the security at the hospital and NYPD probably have done a lot of training together for just these types of circumstances.

The security that is running the hospital probably has the best idea of what's going on. So, you have a combination of security working with NYPD, but also a group of detectives or police officers actually viewing the videotape. These hospitals are videotaped very heavily with sophisticated type

cameras, and to follow that individual around as quickly as you can to figure out, is he coordinating this with anybody, is he on a handheld, is he on a cell phone while he's going through this whole scenario?

And that really is going to help you determine, is this one shooter or more than one shooter? And law enforcement will always, until they can 100 percent confirm, that, hey, we have a shooter down, as opposed to the shooter, because they look at the worst-case scenario. And they have yet to determine if there is another shooter in there or not yet.

TAPPER: And the security guards at a hospital such as this, would they -- would local police be stationed there? Or would they have their own private security?

RODERICK: On some occasions, on some of the larger hospitals, they have their own armed security.

A lot of the individuals would be retired law enforcement officers, but a lot of them do have their own armed security. I'm not sure about this particular hospital, but a lot of them will drill with the local police departments on active shooter scenarios.

TAPPER: Art Roderick, stay with us.

We have just learned that the mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, is headed to Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, where there was a shooting not long ago. We also anticipate a news conference soon.

Let's go back to CNN's Jason Carroll, who has the latest information -- Jason.

CARROLL: Yes, and expecting a statement actually from the hospital in just about 30 minutes from now.

The mayor was briefed on the situation earlier this afternoon, as the developments were unfolding there at the hospital. We should also note, of the reports that we're getting, anywhere, once again, anywhere from four to six people who were wounded, the extent of their injuries at this point unclear.

What is also unclear, Jake, is who these people, these victims are. Were they patients, were some of them doctors or nurses there at the hospital? That's something that hasn't been released at this point.

Investigators are going to be reviewing security cameras. They're going to be reviewing security cameras at the hospital. So we're going to be getting any information that we can once they are able to review those particular cameras.

Again, it's a large facility, as I have said before, 972 beds there; 138,000 patients were treated there just last year.

And I'm just going to get some new information here for you, Jake, here. Apparently, a law enforcement source tells us that the shooter died from a self-inflicted wound, and that there was a victim found next to him, a female victim found next to him. Apparently, that female victim died from her wounds.

This is information now just being handed to me as we speak. Once again, a law enforcement source telling us that the -- that a shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and found next to him a female victim unidentified at this point, but, certainly, we had already told you that there were four to six people who were injured.

Now, unfortunately, we have to report that one of those victims has died as a result of what happened there.

[16:15:00] TAPPER: And the shooter, we were already told, or a shooter, was dead at the hospital. We assume it's the same shooter who took his own life at the hospital and was taken and is at the same exact hospital.

Let's go back to Tom Fuentes, of course, the former FBI assistant director.

Tom, when the police entered this, how do you secure a hospital like this? You have to stop everybody from entering and exiting? How do you do that with a hospital?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): You do it. You lock it down. Obviously, the patients that are bed-ridden aren't going to be able to go out the door and run away, so you've got to make sure they're safe and secure. Medical personnel would have to stay with them.

So, unlike the average office building, you can't just evacuate the building. You have people there that can't be moved. It would be more dangerous to move them than to leave them and try to protect them.

But in this situation, if the reporting is true that the person died, the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, then that's going to be about a 95 percent situation of being just one shooter. You're not going to have a shooter gather up a bunch of friends, go in and all of them commit suicide. So, it's a pretty good indication that police will probably clear this entire building in a pretty short order.

By the time they've looked at the video surveillance, by the time they've talked to the surviving victims and have them describe, was there more than one person? Was there someone with the shooter? Was he shooting at you?

If they hear it's pretty much just one person and that person has killed himself, this is going to be declared over pretty soon, and then it's just a crime scene and the forensic people will have hours and hours of work to do afterward.

TAPPER: I don't know if you've ever worked a case at a hospital before, Tom, but in a situation like this would emergency room patients, would ambulances be diverted to other hospitals or would they be told not to come to Bronx Lebanon?

FUENTES: Yes, sure. Sure. They would be broadcasting, the police would be aware, the emergency services, fire department and others would be aware that they have a potential tactical dangerous situation at that hospital and absolutely they would be diverted to other emergency rooms. And in a situation like this, you know, we're not in a situation of response of a catastrophic event like 9/11 where every hospital in Manhattan and the Bronx and Brooklyn and Queens would be jammed potentially with people coming in.

So, in this situation where it's fairly routine business for most of the hospitals in New York City with the exception of this one hospital, it wouldn't be that big of a problem to divert incoming patients to a nearby hospital if they're coming into emergency rooms.

TAPPER: Art Roderick, formerly of the U.S. martial service, let me ask you, if the reporting and information we're getting is correct and the shooter took his own life, does that change the calculation for law enforcement as they seek to secure the building, as Tom Fuentes was suggesting?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): No, I agree with Tom, it absolutely does. It sounds to me more like a domestic type situation than anything else. It's just going to be interesting to find out how those other four or five people were injured. Were they injured trying to get away, or did he have to actually inflict other wounds on individuals to get to the target individual that he wanted? But it sounds like to me that this was more like a murder-suicide type situation than anything else.

And more than likely, law enforcement already has in their mind how this occurred, who the individual is and what occurred, what domestic situation was happening and also helps them in the response, but they don't have to do this massive type counterterrorism response that we've seen in other cases.

TAPPER: Would that mean the police would not need to clear the whole building and check every room?

RODERICK: They're still going to do that as standard protocol. I mean, Tom talked about, you know, you asked the question about, you know, them diverted to other hospitals for emergency rooms and medical care, and that's automatically built into their standard security protocols. So, they're going to finish their active shooter protocol which means they'll be clearing that whole building and making sure everybody is OK. I'm sure there is a lot of individuals that work at the hospital that are sheltered in place, that are locked behind doors and law enforcement is going to go around and make sure every one of those doors is cleared, every one of those rooms is cleared.

TAPPER: If you're just joining us, you're looking at live pictures from the Bronx, New York. There was a shooting earlier this afternoon at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, which is in the Bronx, north of Manhattan, on Manhattan island.

It is -- we've been told by law enforcement sources that four to six people were injured. We are told by the NYPD on the record that one person is dead in the hospital.

[16:20:04] We've been told by law enforcement sources that that shooter took his own life, apparently, with his gun. And that next to him was the body of a woman. The police are still investigating the scene. They are presumably going room to room and making sure there are not any other shooters, there is no other danger. Presumably they're also looking at surveillance videos to figure out what happened exactly.

Obviously, with a giant hospital such as this, the sooner that they can reopen it for the citizens of the Bronx and Manhattan the better. But that is the status as of right now.

Shimon Prokupecz is one of the several reporters reporting the story for us.

Shimon, what can you tell us? Shimon, can you hear me?

We're having problems with Shimon's communications. We'll get to him in a second.

Let's go to Jason Carroll right now to get us up to speed.

And, Jason, you were last telling us that Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed and is on his way to Bronx Lebanon Hospital. We've also been told that President Trump has been briefed in the White House. What more do you know?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Just a little bit more information, Jake, about what's been happening. We are told once again that one person, a female, was killed during this incident found next to a shooter who was there at the hospital who apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

We are told that there are five now other victims as well. Unclear about the identity of those victims. Are they doctors, nurses, other patients? That's still unclear. We'll get you confirmation on that.

We can tell you that three of those other victims are in serious condition with gunshot wounds. Also hearing from a source, a little bit more about the shooter that once again died from the self- inflicted gunshot wound. Apparently, all this happening up on the 16th floor of the hospital. He was wearing a lab coat and also had some sort of ID on him, identification on him as well.

One of the witnesses describing what was seen inside, describing blood on the walls, blood on a staircase at the facility as well. So, a horrendous scene there at the hospital. And you also have to imagine what investigators are dealing with at the hospital themselves, the folks who work there. Not only do you have an active investigation going on there, but you also have hundreds and hundreds of patients that need to be treated as well there at the hospital.

But once again, five other victims. We are told three of them are in serious condition with gunshot wounds, one victim deceased, a shooter deceased as well -- Jake. TAPPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you so much.

Joining me on the phone right now is CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck. He's also a retired NYPD detective.

And, Harry, obviously, the information we're getting is fresh and we're still expecting a whole bunch more information. And, obviously, also, a lot of the early information that we get from law enforcement officials, on the record and off the record, is later amended or corrected as the larger investigation takes hold. But with all those caveats in mind, as a detective, if you came upon a scene, you see a shooter who has taken his own life and next to him is the body of a woman, what is the operating presumption to where the investigation would start?

HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): Well, that's the first thing that jumped in my mind here, is as soon as found out that the shooter killed himself and he killed the woman that was next to him, it appears to me, I did a close look at the relationship between that woman and that shooter.

You have five wounded. I don't know if their wounds are life threatening or not, but it's a clear indication to me there may have been some type of relationship between that woman and that shooter. Of course, we can't -- I can't tell you 100 percent. The investigation will clear that up, but I think that's going to be -- that's be something -- one of the things I would be focusing on right now.

And also the fact that, you know, a police informant could probably ascertain quickly if there was another shooter. We could see most disgruntled employees or maybe a love triangle or something like that, it's usually just one shooter. Of course, the protocol is to go ahead and search that whole hospital for a possible second shooter that it looks like doesn't exist.

So, what happens is, you know, they're watching -- they're looking at that video, and they can see that there was only one shooter that came into that hospital, you know, committed the carnage they did on the 16th floor, and I'm sure one of the bosses are going to make a decision as to whether or not the police department should consider searching the rest of that hospital, because it is so big.

[16:25:00] But the good thing about the NYPD is that they have the manpower. Even if throw 50, 60, 70 terrorism responders from the department into that hospital, they could still search that hospital pretty quickly. But I think most likely some boss is going to make the decision that this is over and now it's treated as a crime scene.

TAPPER: Harry, let me just ask you -- we're looking at live pictures right now of emergency medical responders, the NYPD, ATF, others outside the hospital. They do not see, at least visually, to be particularly alarmed right now or on a state of high alert. Is that something that would assess if you were walking by and you saw people looking as if they were not particularly concerned, that possibly the situation is over? HOUCK: Oh, yes, yes. You know, I think the situation is over based

on what I'm seeing here. It's now a crime scene, like I said, you know, the odds of having a second shooter is pretty to none and the video is going to clear all that up for the police department. But they might just go ahead and, you know, search the whole hospital anyway.

You know, one of the big concerns is, you know, here's a guy who came in and it looks like he wants to commit a certain amount of carnage and certain amount of people, and he wanted to hurt a certain amount of people, I think most likely that woman. He could have easily went into one of those hospital rooms and held them hostage and we'd be sitting here with hostage negotiators trying to talk his way out.

So I think this guy's plan was to go in there, kill specific people or persons, and go in there and then kill himself. Which we see time and time again with these disgruntled employees or love triangles or love relationships that the shooter usually does kill himself and the police never got a chance to take them out, you know, or face them at all. It's usually all done by the time the police arrived, because, you know, you figure two to five minutes is the amount of time when you have an incident like this that all the carnage has already been committed.

TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst right now, James Gagliano. He's a retired FBI special agent.

And, James, it seems like we don't see too many hostage anymore. Obviously, that's a good thing. It seems like these situations resolve themselves more quicker than I recall them happening 10 or 20 years ago.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): Yes, Jake, you're absolutely right. The days of, you know, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s air style, long drawn out barricaded subject, they just seem to be so far in the rearview mirror now.

I think during this current 21st century era, what we're experiencing now is it is a different paradigm. You're either dealing with terrorists who are just trying to maximize the amount of carnage and destruction that they can wreck in a short amount of time, and then martyred themselves either by cop, or y killing themselves, or you got an incident like this, appears to be, which is a workplace type violent situation, where, again, whether it's a love triangle gone wrong or just a disgruntled employee, they're looking at killing a number of people and they either take their own life or induce the police to take the lives for them.

So, there are no more, it's not dog day afternoon in 1975 where you got the NYPD out there behind a patrol car negotiating with these folks and delaying installing an attempting to get hostages released. It just seems we're quickly moving toward this paradigm where first responders have to be equipped and prepared to neutralize and to immediately bring a halt to the killings and I think that's what the NYPD is equipped to do, along with the federal assets, including the FBI in New York City. You've got 35,000 cops. I'm sure, I think Harry mentioned every hospital in the five boroughs

has got a lockdown plan, when you're in an urban area or an area that has a predisposition at times to violence, who are -- you know, you deal with shootings, you have to be equipped to do that and it looks like the hospital did go into that, and hopefully, that was something that could have save lives.

And then lastly, Jake, I think, you know, what we've been teaching folks with active shooters for the last 10 years, that's changing, too. It used to be, we told folks to run, if you can't do that hide. And if you can't do that, fight back.

Well, the hiding aspect, unless you're in a concrete bunker, you can able to really lock yourself in and be safe and secure. When these folks are just looking to kill as many folks as possible and they're not looking to negotiate, it really becomes run or fight. Either try to get yourself out of the area as quickly as possible or fight back. That seems to be the new tactic tat unfortunately we're moving towards.

TAPPER: Fascinating. James, stay with us.

I do want to bring in on the phone, Crystal Rivera (ph). She was a patient on the 16th floor of the hospital when this incident took place. She's now outside the hospital.

Crystal, first of all, we're glad you're safe, thank you so much. I understand you did not physically, with your eyes, witness something, but you did hear the shooting. Tell us what you heard.