Return to Transcripts main page
Officials Hold News Conference on California Synagogue Shooting; Trump Reacts to News of Deadly Synagogue Shooting; Witness Describes Shooting at Synagogue. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired April 27, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: We're following breaking news. I'm Ana Cabrera. You are live in the CNN Newsroom. Another shooting at a house of worship on the final day of Passover. The mayor of Poway reporting one person is dead, three are injured after gunfire rang out at the Chabad Poway Synagogue in what the mayor is calling a hate crime. We do know a man was detained for questioning and local police say there is no ongoing threat.
Following this story for us, CNN's Ryan Young along with CNN Law Enforcement Analysts, and former FBI agents, Josh Campbell and James Gagliano, and former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem.
Josh, I want to start with you. What are you hearing? What have you learned?
OK, let me -- let me turn to Ryan Young and get the very latest information from you. Ryan, what can you tell us about what happened?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, some tough details that you just confirmed with that mayor, the fact that one person has died in this shooting. And, in fact, when we had that reporter on earlier from the local affiliate there, he talked about maybe the rabbi having his fingers blown off during the shooting. We know three other people have been shot. We have been told they did suffer nonlife-threatening gunshots so far.
But when you think about this, on last day of Passover, having someone come into a synagogue and open fire. We do know this happened around 11:30 this morning. Police acting very quickly to get to the scene.
That last person that we had talking before a witness, who talked about hearing five or six shots and then the screaming that was going on afterwards, apparently there were several people who were inside the synagogue who tried to confront the shooter. And then, a short time later, the sheriff's department was able to corral that person and take them into custody.
They are investigating this as a hate crime. But then, on top of that, in an extreme caution, the San Diego Police Department is making sure extra patrols are set up around all places of worship. So, we have, at this point, 22 miles outside the city of San Diego. You have this shooting that happened around 11:30. We do know one person has been shot and killed. Three others who have been injured who have been shot but nonlife threatening injuries.
And when you hear the information from the witnesses on the scene, you can understand how terrified they are. But, at this point, we're still learning information. And we do know a news conference is coming soon. Let's not forget this is considered a hate crime, at this point, according to the mayor.
CABRERA: OK. Ryan, stand by.
Our Josh Campbell has been working his sources on this story. Josh, we just spoke with the mayor of Poway who said that they believe this is a hate crime because of words they heard from this suspect who is now, presumably, in custody. The man that they say they have been taken in for questioning.
What can you tell us about how they may be going about this? And, in fact, if they have this as a hate crime now, what does it mean?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first, Ana, let me say that that was good that you pressed him on that. Because it's one thing for an elected official to describe an incident, and it's something very different from a prosecutor or a law enforcement officer to describe it. And it sounds as though, after you had pressed him, what we learned is that he's basing his assessment on what witnesses heard during the act which is going to be a key piece of evidence for the investigation.
Again, if the subject didn't admit himself to law enforcement officers what he did, if he's not proud of what he's doing, if he is not cooperating, then that witness testimony becomes very key and then that, obviously, becomes a large part of that investigation, what was motivating him. And if it was hatred, then this is an entirely different case.
One thing that will be interesting for us to note, as we learn from law enforcement officers at their press conferences. What were -- what were the circumstances surrounding his arrest? We know that it took place, at least according to witness testimony, outside the facility. Whenever they arrived, did he surrender? Was there some type of exchange between the subject and law enforcement officers? That we don't yet know.
But, again, it helps us build out this picture of what this person was intending. Did he intend to go and get captured, and, you know, again, be proud of what he did? Did he want to go out in some type of a change of the law enforcement? That we don't yet know. But, again, those will be the details that we'll be looking for from authorities.
CABRERA: And, James, how do police so quickly determine that there's no ongoing threat?
[17:05:03] JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, in this instance, Ana, I have to believe that they're going to use the public safety exception. Now, the public safety exception is the part where you can do away with Miranda rights. So, you're going to talk to the subject who's in your custody in a clear, specific and focused manner regarding the incident that just occurred. And that public safety exception allows you to ask him questions.
And, of course, the first question I'd ask, is anybody else involved? Are there any other imminent threats? Is anyone else in imminent danger? Is this it? Was it just you? And then, going beyond that, now build that out. Because, obviously, somebody like this, if this is -- in fact, does turn out to be a hate crime, which it, obviously, clearly, looks like from the outside, then to determine who else he was in contact with.
We talk about this all the time in terrorism. Was this person inspired? Was this person directed to do this or was this person enabled? Those are the two things -- there are three things: inspired, directed or enabled. And find out if there is anybody else who could have been part and parcel of this to make it a conspiracy.
Beyond that, again, that's the most important fact is just get out there and make certain that there is nobody else that's in imminent danger, there are no subsequent plans for any other attacks anywhere else. And then, put together a rock-solid case to send this person away for a long time.
CABRERA: Juliette, it's the last day of Passover. It's been six months since the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. Given the recent attacks we've also seen at Christ Church, New Zealand, and what we saw last weekend in Sri Lanka. How much has surveillance and security ramped up at houses of worship here in the U.S.?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Significantly so. Pittsburgh, in particular, especially at synagogues. And the challenge in this kind of security is, of course, you don't want a fortress synagogue. The whole points of synagogues or mosques or churches is to be welcoming to not just congregants, but, of course, strangers. Right? That you are welcoming the -- welcoming them in.
The combination of this anniversary date six months with Passover, and, of course, now what we've heard from the mayor, that things were said that one has to interpret as this being a hate crime, you obviously will be of concern. Not just in California, but, of course, nationwide. Given the context of these kinds of attacks on minority religions here in the United States, we still have a lot to determine what happened here. But if you -- but if you are, sort of, worried about security at these synagogues or mosques or churches or wherever else, that is something that has been addressed.
I will say one thing, someone -- the mayor I think said there was security at the synagogue. We don't know what that means. But we do know that this was not an incident that seemed to last a long time. And it does seem that the assailant was either taken down by civilians or at maybe a police presence. That is good news.
But the challenge of being welcoming, because it's your faith with security, is something that, unfortunately, we're never going to get perfectly right, because these places want to -- these places of worship want to be welcoming.
CABRERA: Josh, if this is investigated now as a hate crime, does that, sort of, alter how police do their job and how this is processed?
CAMPBELL: So, at the outset, the basics of the investigation will be at play, gathering information about the subject, gathering information about people in his orbit. We can expect the law enforcement officers will be conducting search warrants on any type of social media, if he has it, his communication devices, his place of residence. All of that is textbook law enforcement investigation.
Now, what happens with the hate crime, that -- if it is, indeed, determined that by prosecutors, then that will determine what happens at the prosecutive phase and what type of punishment then comes. It will be interesting for us to wait and see whether or not the state of California prosecutes that here, there are enhancements under the state law as far as working on hate crimes, or if the federal government asserts federal jurisdiction here, and then you see federal prosecutors coming in and them going that route. That we don't yet know.
But to your question. Right now, it's the basic investigative steps that are underway to get to that motive to get to why this person showed up today and did exactly what he did.
CABRERA: And, Ryan, what more are we hearing now from witnesses?
YOUNG: Yes, absolutely. I think one of the things that stood out to us when the mayor was talking to you as well was he was talking about how safe this city was. And then, you had the people who were there who said, basically, this will not stop them from going to their synagogue. That they will not be deterred. And you could hear that women talking about the fact that her husband was on the inside when this shooting happened.
But when you hear about those facts that we've learned so far, like the man who was nearby and heard the gunshots one after another. He believed he heard six. Then, he heard screaming and yelling. Then, you had another witness basically telling that reporter who was on scene that the rabbi might have had his fingers blown off. Then, you had someone else basically saying that someone was able to tackle maybe the shooter or take that person on. You see the interactions when the people are being very upfront.
[17:10:00] I will want to say something else. The last time we covered something like this, I know there were synagogues across the country that started beefing up their security. And some of them even hiring private security themselves, to make sure they were ready for any sort of threat. So, you have to understand maybe they have a heightened sense of awareness, at this point. But, at the same time, you understand how painful this has to be, especially on the last day of Passover.
We know the San Diego Police Department are stepping up their patrols in areas around places of worship, at this point, because of this recent shooting.
CABRERA: We heard from a member of the congregation just a moment ago. She said her husband was inside at the time of the shooting. Let's listen.
MINOO ANVARI: My husband called and he said that there has been a shooting in the synagogue. And, unfortunately, one of my friends is down and my rabbi has been injured. Two other people are injured. And that one guy came and shoot everybody and cursing. And, of course, they took them to hospital and we are praying for them. But just one message from all of us, from our congregation, that we are standing together. We are getting stronger. Never again. You can't break us. We are strong. You can't break us. We all are together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there an -- was there a service going on, an event going on there?
ANVARI: It's Pesach (ph), the last day of Passover, an escor (ph) which is a very important ceremony for us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the description of -- you said what -- you said it was a guy?
ANVARI: It was a guy, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was screaming. He was cursing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have another description of what he looks like?
ANVARI: Yes. Yes. And since that day, he has been arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who is your friend that was shot or what do you know about --
ANVARI: I can't -- I can't tell -- say her name but it's my -- one of my friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do -- where was your husband?
ANVARI: My husband is shocked. Shocked like any -- like everybody else. This community, it's unbelievable. We are talking about Poway, a very peaceful place. Everybody knows everybody. It's like a (INAUDIBLE.)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rabbi Goldstein does things for everybody.
ANVARI: Rabbi Goldstein is such a nice man. He -- everybody knows him. He's so friendly. He goes everywhere. And why? The question is why? People are praying. If you have guts, go and fight people that you have to fight. Don't kill innocent people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your husband was inside, you said, during that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's how you found out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh. And he's OK but he's just shocked?
ANVARI: He is shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this -- what else did you hear from him? What else did he have to say?
ANVARI: He just -- he is shocked. He can't talk. He has high blood pressure, unfortunately. So, I'm hoping that they let him come -- they release him earlier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you are parishioners of the church -- what's the name of the synagogue exactly?
ANVARI: It's Chabad of Poway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chabad of Poway?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you would be -- what would you -- what would you call yourself, parishioners or would you call members?
ANVARI: I'm a member. One of the members.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members, got you. Members.
CABRERA: Again, that from a member of the Chabad of Poway. The latest shooting taking place in a house of worship. And I just keep coming back to this thought, James, going on that, I mean, we've been covering this all too often now, right, in churches. Last weekend in mosques, not too long ago in New Zealand, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting just six months ago. What is going on?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN ANALYST: Yes, it's having a chilling effect not only on the United States, but on the world. I mean, to your point, six months ago today, it was October 27th of last year that the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting took place. Eleven people killed, seven wounded in the largest attack on the Jewish community in our country's 243-year history.
You then fast forward and, boom, we're dealing with two attacks in mosques in New Zealand, followed by the attacks at the Christian churches last weekend on Easter, and now this today. And, Ana, I've got to tell you, terrorism has a particular point. And, yes, it's the people that get killed or hurt or maimed, but it's also the chilling effect it has on the community and on the country and on the world.
GAGLIANO: And it's the same thing with hate crimes. People ask all the time, well, if somebody hits somebody because they don't like him because of this, that or the other, why would you give them additional charges? And the reason is hate crime statutes are there because of the chilling effect it has on people. It is a form of terrorism.
And if what we're hearing now about this is true, that this individual entered into this house of worship on one of their high holy days and looked to kill and maim and injure innocent people, this is absolutely a hate crime. And just last week, a 1998 case, the James Byrd dragging death, one of those hate crime perpetrators and terrorists was put to death. We do have the death penalty in place for these and I -- and I trust that they're going to seek at least, you know, life in prison or the death penalty in an innocent like this if there -- if there was a casualty here where somebody had a fatality.
[17:15:04] CABRERA: Josh, how is it distinguished between a hate crime and terrorism in a situation like this?
CAMPBELL: Well, so, on the federal side, there is no federal domestic terrorism statute, for example. But there is a way that investigators can look at it under a federal hate crime. And that is, again, if they meet the certain threshold, where prosecutors at the Department of Justice and the local U.S. Attorneys Office say, we're going to take this federal. Then, they will come in and assert federal jurisdiction.
But regardless of whether it goes federal or state, it gets to that motivation. Did this person come there for the purpose of killing people, injuring people, harming people because of their faith? That is one of the protected classes that would fall under the prevue of a hate crime. And if they can prove that, which it sounds like, based on the witness testimony we were hearing about from the mayor, that that is a likelihood. And we'll have to wait and see what it is that he had actually said whenever he went in and conducted this attack. Then, obviously, that is evidence that investigators will use. We'll also have to wait and see.
Again, based on the unfortunately fact that we've seen many of these, oftentimes these people will have, you know, manifestos or some type of online writing or musings perhaps in throughout investigating and talking to witnesses that knew this person, they may learn additional details about him. Again, that will all get to that state of mind. If it turns out that this person -- a person who had a grief against Jews and wanted to go act that out, then that is a -- appears to be a slam-dunk case of a hate crime. And it will be up to prosecutors to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.
CABRERA: OK, thank you. And everyone stand by. We do expect police to bring us an update on this shooting in just a short time from now. When that happens, we will bring to you. Please stay right there as we monitor this, yet another shooting at a house of worship in America. [17:18:20]
CABRERA: We're covering breaking news from Poway, California. That's just north of San Diego. A shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue. The mayor, Steve Voss, tells us one person is dead. Three other people are being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, he says. A witness says that the rabbi at the synagogue is among those who were shot.
Mayor Voss is calling it a hate crime. He is basing that assessment on comments the shooter reportedly made as he opened fire. We do know a man is in custody. And we're told there is no ongoing threat, at this time.
All of this happening on the last day of Passover. Extra police patrols have been ordered around all houses of worship in this area and, frankly, across the country. We're hearing from New York police that they are increasing security here as well.
Everyone's back with us now. And as we await this press conference from police, Juliette, let me pick up where we left off. With more and more attacks now happening at houses of worship, what can be done?
KAYYEM: So, that is a challenge, given the nature of places of worship that are -- you know, have to balance securing congregants, parishioners, members, whatever their religion calls them, with what being welcome which is, essentially, the core of most of these faiths, right? Whether it's Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, which -- so, that balance makes it difficult, especially at times like at the end of Passover, where many people will visit the temple who haven't been there all year. Many people will go with friends. Will, you know, experience, for the first time, Judaism in a meaningful way. And are there and are unknown to the synagogue but want -- you know, you'd want them there.
So, that is the challenge. I do not know the specific security going on at this specific synagogue. They range, depending on the synagogue and depending on whether it's the high holidays or it's Passover of another time, you might have undercover police officers. You might have private police officers. You might have, you know, videos or other things that would help deter crime. And that is always going to be the challenge.
But what we do know is that places of worship in the United States, and, in particular, places of worship of minority religions have been under assault. Hate crimes are up in the United States, close to 16 percent. You know, whether this is a hate crime or a form of terrorism, we don't know. That goes to the motivation of the assailant. And so, this is going to be a challenge for synagogues, in particular today, the last day of Passover, and tomorrow which is -- my kids are Jewish. It's the day that they go to Hebrew school. So, you will see ratcheting of security likely throughout the United States.
CABRERA: Ryan, what do we know about this community of Poway, California?
YOUNG: Yes, so very tough. You know, your heart goes out to them. When you were talking to the mayor, one of the first things he said to you, Ana, was the fact that he talked about, one, how safe this community is. It's one of the safest, apparently, in California. You're talking about a city of about a size of about 50,000 people. And he was highlighting the fact that all faiths had just gotten together in just the last week to, sort of, celebrate a community effort there.
And then, when you think about the fact that the woman who was talking to us, the witness who was so defiant about not being stopped, was saying that the rabbi was all throughout the community. And that reporter even highlighting the fact that after the rabbi was shot, he was trying to calm down the shooter. Apparently, he had part of his hand blown off. We do know the fact that those four people were shot. One is dead. And, of course, they're reporting this as a hate crime.
But I think what stood out there is the mayor was defiant to make sure that the city wasn't, sort of, cast in this light where they weren't tolerant of everybody. He wanted to make sure that people understood that this was a community that put their arms around each other. Even the man who was talking about hearing the shots was saying that his daughter attended the school there. There goes the news conference right there so I'll drop out.
CABRERA: OK, Ryan. Let's listen in.
SHERIFF WILLIAM DORE, SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (live): Good afternoon. Good afternoon, my name is Sheriff Bill Dore. I want to start off our brief press conference here by expressing our condolences to all the people that were injured in this senseless act of tragedy that visited Poway this afternoon.
At about 11:23 this morning, a white male adult entered the Chabad temple at 16934 Chabad Way in Poway, California. This individual was with an A.R.-type assault weapon and opened fire on the people inside the synagogue.
[17:25:00] During the shooting, four individuals were wounded and transported to Palomar Hospital. Sadly, one of the individuals succumbed to their wounds. The other three are in stable condition at Palomar.
As the suspect was fleeing the temple, an off-duty border patrol agent opened fire on the suspect but, apparently, did not hit him but struck the car as it departed the area. The people at Palomar, one is a female juvenile in stable condition, and two adult males are in stable condition. Sadly, an older female died from and succumbed to her wounds she obtained in the shooting.
The suspect was shortly taken into custody. And I'll send it over to the Chief Dave Nisleit of the San Diego Police Department to give you the details of that arrest -- Chief.
CHIEF DAVE NISLEIT, SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you, sir. Good afternoon. As the incident was unfolding, a San Diego police officer, K-9 officer, was in route to the scene. He was monitoring both the San Diego Police Department's dispatch and the sheriff's dispatch. Heard the call and started making his way towards this call.
As he was in route, he also overheard CHP scanner of a suspect who was called into CHP to report that he was just involved in this shooting and his location which was Rancho Bernardo in the Interstate 15. As our officer was exiting the freeway, he clearly saw the suspect in his vehicle. The suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up, and was immediately taken into custody by the San Diego Police Department.
As the officer was placing this 19-year-old male into custody, he clearly saw a rifle sitting on the front passenger seat of the suspect vehicle. And the suspect, as I said, was taken into custody without any further incident.
DORE: This investigation will be led by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, but it will be a joint investigation with the San Diego Police Department and the federal investigation. With us this afternoon is acting special agent in charge Omar Mizel -- Omar.
OMAR: Thank you, Sheriff. First and foremost, we'd like to offer our deepest condolences to the victims of this tragedy. As soon as we were made aware of the incident, the FBI deployed resources immediately to the scene. We've deployed all relevant assets to assist with this investigation. We're working closely with our local, state and United States Attorneys Office on the investigation. And with that, I'll turn it back over to you.
DORE: Thanks. The San Diego County Sheriffs Department provides law enforcement services to the city of Poway. We're joined here this afternoon and would lie to say a few words by the mayor of Poway, Steve Voss.
MAYOR STEVE VOSS, POWAY, CALIFORNIA: I want you to know this is not Poway. The Poway I know comes together, as we did just a few weeks ago in an interfaith event. We always walk with our arms around each other, and we will work through this tragedy with our arms around each other.
We have a deep appreciation for those who showed courage at the Chabad. A deep appreciation for the law enforcement agencies that responded so quickly. We will get through this. Our thoughts and prayers with be with the families and those who are investigating. Poway will stay strong and we will always be a community that cares for one another.
DORE: The anti-defamation league and our trauma intervention teams have set up a family assistance center at Poway High School to be available to anybody that wants their services. So, I would commend people in the community to come together and maybe meet at Poway to talk about the grief that we're all suffering right now.
We will be back in about two hours with more details as the investigation unfolds. I'll take a few questions if you have any right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff, if you know them -- any details, I guess, about the suspect that you can give us and maybe even a motivation for this?
DORE: We don't -- we're not going to release that right now. He's a -- it's in the process of being interviewed by homicide investigators from the sheriff's department and the FBI. We'll have those details later. But --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the letter that he left perhaps the exact letter legitimate?
DORE: We have copies of his social media posts and his open letter. And we'll be reviewing those to determine legitimacy of it and exactly how it plays in to the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many shots were fired?
[17:30:00] DORE: I don't have the exact number of shell -- shots that were being fired. The crime scene is being done as we speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we know where he came from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know if he's connected to the Chabad?
DORE: I'm sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know if he's connected to the Chabad in any way?
DORE: I do not know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we know where he came from?
GORE: We have an address for him here in San Diego.
GORE: He's in the city of San Diego, yes. He's an adult male from the city of San Diego.
GORE: I'm sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
GORE: Yes, we have -- there are a lot of people still at the synagogue waiting to be interviewed by homicide investigators.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTON)
GORE: I heard there's 100 people waiting to be interviewed. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How many were in the room at the time?
GORE: I can't give you the exact number. I know there's about 100 people to be interviewed right now.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
GORE: I couldn't tell you. Sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTON)
GORE: Not that I know of.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
GORE: I don't know all the details on the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did the suspect say anything?
GORE: We won't discuss that right now while the investigation is ongoing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was the Border Patrol agent inside -- (INAUDIBLE)
GORE: My understanding, he was inside the synagogue when the shooting broke out.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did the man enter the synagogue in the middle of services?
GORE: I don't know those details.
STEVE VAUSE, MAYOR OF POWAY, CALIFORNIA: Last question, guys. Last question.
GORE: We'll be back in about two hours, hopefully, with more details for you.
Thank you very much.
UNIDENTFIED REPORTER: Thank you, sir.
CABRERA: So let me recap what we've learned. A lot of new information about this shooting that took place this morning at 11:20- ish, local time, in Poway, California, near San Diego. We just heard from the San Diego County sheriff. Revealing it was a white man who entered with an A.R.-type assault weapon, is what he called it, and opened fire on the parishioners or members of the synagogue who were there on the last day of Passover cerebrating this important holiday for their faith. We are learning four people were wounded and taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, one of these people succumbed to their injuries. He said it was an adult female. He also said three still injured were in stable condition, included a juvenile female and two adult males. We've also learned they are currently interviewing the suspect, who
apparently called police after fleeing the synagogue and turned himself in. They pulled him over, he jumped out, he raised his hands and they were able to take him into custody without incident. They are poring over the crime scene, interviewing the suspect, looking at his social media posts as they try to build a case and determine exactly what led to this latest shooting in a house of worship.
Let me bring back our guests.
Juliette, I'll start with you.
An A.R.-type assault weapon, opened fire, that stood out to you?
KAYYEM: Yes. So this is where we, unfortunately, become familiar with this type of weapon, an A.R. We don't know the number, 15, we don't know yet what kind of rifle it is, but a light-weight automatic rifle -- semi-automatic, excuse me, that has been used in a number of these killings and has become the focus of potential prohibitions through the gun-control debate. The reason why is because the A.R. model, we don't know which one it is yet, has the capacity to harm or kill relatively quickly. So your challenge is -- I understand people get killed by guns. You want to avoid guns out on the street or semi- automatic rifles that can kill indiscriminately and very quickly. We'll find out more about the weaponry.
The fact that the assailant called in -- we still have a lot to learn right now. The fact that the assailant is white, I think we were all being careful before we heard prove of that. But this does have the hallmarks of a potential hate crime or terrorism, the kind of upticks we've seen over the last couple of years. The question of whether this is white supremacy and aligned with a political group is also something that will be examined by the investigators. So we are starting to see familiar data points right now. We can't come to conclusions. But certainly for the three of us sitting here, we've seen unfortunately this story before and we'll see whether it is consistent or inconsistent with it.
CABRERA: Josh Campbell, are you surprised that the suspect surrendered?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. You never know how things will end. We've seen a number of different conclusions where a subject engages law enforcement, is killed or arrested. Sometimes they take their own life. The fact this person called in and surrendered, it's a good conclusion to this. Law enforcement officers now have him. They can interview him. The mechanism is interesting because, here in the state of California, most municipal areas, law enforcement will monitor each other's channels, especially in emergency type situations. And it sounds like, according to Sheriff Gore, that there was a local sheriff's deputy was monitoring the California Highway Patrol channel, which received the original call from the shooter, advising them that he was the person who did this. He overheard that and saw the suspect and took him into custody. Again, the fact that he willingly surrendered, that is very telling in this situation. What will be interesting next, from a law enforcement standpoint, is
for investigators to determine, is this someone on their radar before, did he have contact with law enforcement, what is his criminal history, to help build the picture of who this person is.
[17:35:10] CABRERA: And what's interesting is the only thing we know about this person is that they are an adult male, but we also know that they are from San Diego, the city of San Diego. Poway is a good 20-plus miles away from that.
James, does that stand out to you?
GAGLIANO: I think what jumped out to me the most, and maybe it is just the sad state of where we are today, this is a kid. This is a 19-year-old. Think about that, that this type of hate that obviously caused him to do this. And I agree that, from many perspectives, when people go into these things, they have a plan that they will do this or that and, all of a sudden, after the act, they have a change of heart and decided to surrender. That is a good thing before. Obviously, no law enforcement officers were forced to engage him. He will now be hopefully a treasure trove of information for us. And that is the important thing, to go back and to look at what the motivations were. Everything is online these days. Whether or not it's a manifesto or a screed or a particular Web site or chat rooms he went to, these things will all be looked at.
And for me, as a former SWAT officer, I look at this and it really heightens the fact that the paradigm has changed for the United States in how we deal with these things. The old mentality of contain and negotiate, get there, set up a perimeter and wait to talk with somebody and talk them into coming out, it is over. You have to move to these people as quickly as possible and try to ascertain what their plans are. Obviously, in this instance, when you hear nothing but gunfire and people being killed, law enforcement really has to go into the meat grinder. It has changed the paradigm of how you deal with these things.
CABRERA: Everyone, stand by.
We're again following the breaking news, again, out of Poway, California. Again, one person dead, three people injured and a suspected hate crime at a synagogue. We have reaction now from the president coming in. We'll have that next.
We'll be right back.
[17:40:50] CABRERA: President Trump is now reacting to the news of a deadly synagogue shooting in Poway, California. Let's listen.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do. My deepest sympathies go to the people that were affected, the families, their loved ones, by the --obviously looks right now based on my last conversations, looks like a hate crime. Hard to believe. Hard to believe. With respect to the synagogue in California near San Diego. And we're doing some very heavy research. We'll see what happens. What comes up. At this moment, it looks like a hate crime. But my deepest sympathies to all of those affected. And we'll get to the bottom of it. It looks like the person was apprehended. No more danger. And law enforcements have done a fantastic job. A fantastic job.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
TRUMP: I'm heading to Wisconsin right now. We have a lot of people that have been lined up for a day already and I look forward to that.
I just met -- as you probably know, I just met with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. We had great talks. This morning, we played a very fast round of golf. We had a meeting afterwards. And it looks like it is doing well, our trade deal, our relationship, our military ties. Japan has agreed to buy a tremendous amount of military equipment. They are buying the best you can buy. We make the best and they're buying the best. But they're buying a lot of it. Our trade relationship with Japan is very good. There's been some weaknesses in it for many years and we're getting those weaknesses strengthened now.
And again, my deepest sympathies to the people and families, everybody affected by the shooting at the synagogue in California.
Thank you very much.
CABRERA: That was the president again getting ready to board Marine One, heading to a rally tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and addressing this latest shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California.
Let's go live to CNN's Sarah Westwood in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the president is holding a rally tonight.
Sarah, does this set a new tone for tonight?
WESTWOOD: That's right, Ana. It very well could. Sadly, this is a sort of a familiar situation for President Trump. Six months ago, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, where there was that other devastating shooting at the synagogue. The president also had a campaign rally that night. It was a Saturday night. The president went on his journey that day with words of sympathy for the victims. Then started out the rally, in Illinois, denouncing anti- Semitism and having to address that shooting. So we could see something similar take place during his rally here in Wisconsin. This had been billed at counter programming for the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The president, for the third year in a row, did not attend the dinner. This year, he instructed White House aides not to attend either. And this was meant to be a counter weight to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. But, Ana, this could take on a much more somber tone given today's events.
CABRERA: Sarah Westwood, standing by in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the president is headed for a rally tonight.
[17:44:20] Another quick break. We'll be back with much more on the breaking news coverage of a shooting at synagogue that now turned deadly, one person dead, three others injured and a suspect in custody. Stay with us.
CABRERA: We're following breaking news out of southern California. A gunman opened fire at the Chabad Synagogue in Poway, near San Diego. Authorities say one person is dead, three wounded. The shooting on the final day of Passover during Shabbat services. One witness says that the rabbi at that synagogue is among those shot. We know it is a woman who has now died from her injuries.
The town's mayor is calling it a hate crime based on the comments the shooter reportedly made. Police say it is a 19-year-old white male who they have now in custody.
A former FBI agent, Josh Campbell, is back with us.
Josh, we understand that the crime scene is being processed. What all does that entailing?
CAMPBELL: Yes, that will take a lot of time. A couple aspects. The first goal is to stop any immediate urgent threats, which they have taken care of now that the subject is in custody. And then we'll expect to see forensic examiners come in to processes the scene. They will be looking for shell casings, any type of evidence that may have been left behind there by the shooter, such as perhaps a phone or anything that he brought with him into that facility. And then just a matter of processing the scene. And I can tell you, from being in the FBI, a gruesome task now takes place where officials have to come in and process a scene that is now where someone has died. That is part of the process. So that will take place there. Behind the scenes, what we won't be seeing is what is happening as investigators fan out and in order to really dig into the person to dig into his background. And as we mentioned, we can expect them to be going after certainly warrants on any type of communication medium, talking to witnesses, perhaps his residence.
And what we've seen from beginning to end here appears to be a close fusion of law enforcement officers both from the response and then the investigation. We heard from the sheriff about the manner in which the subject was taken into custody. You had law enforcement broadcasting that the subject was at large and that he called 911 and another department took him. We also just heard from the sheriff they will be working closely with the FBI as the investigation goes forward. Bill Gore was an FBI agent for other 30 years, so he is very much adept at knowing the ins and outs of state and federal cooperation. The looming question we don't have answered yet is whether this will be prosecuted as a federal hate crime or under state law. We'll have to wait to hear what prosecutors say.
[17:50:46] CABRERA: It really is interesting, this coordinated effort with law enforcement. We're first learning it was an off-duty Border Patrol officer, who happened to be in the vicinity as the suspect fled the scene. Shot at the suspect. Didn't hit him but hit a car. The suspect then called San Diego police and that's who eventually made the arrest. Now we have this ongoing investigation utilizing multiple experts from different agencies. It's local and federal officials who we are told who are interviewing this suspect, identifying only what's known as a 19-year-old male from San Diego. How do these interviews go?
CAMPBELL: When it comes to the actual interview, you won't see a large presence. There won't be someone from each of these agencies sitting in front of the subject. You'll want to have a very intimate setting with a law enforcement officer. One or two officers conduct an interview, try to get into the mindset of why the person did what he did. Also, are there others out there that may have been a part of this? Is there someone out there who may have known what he was going to do? And if they didn't notify law enforcement, they may be facing legal problems themselves. We don't know whether or not he's actually providing information of substance to law enforcement right now but they're certainly going to be trying to gather that information from the person, trying to get into that mode, that mindset. Is he proud of what he did, is he now remorseful? Anything that they can glean to help them build out their investigation.
CABRERA: As I'm gleaning information, bits and pieces that we're learning from law enforcement, from the mayor, they're calling this a hate crime. They say he surrendered, that he called police, said here's where I'm at, and when they showed up, he jumped out of the car with his hand up. Now they're saying there's no ongoing threat. Does that tell you he's talking?
CAMPBELL: It doesn't necessarily tell us he's talking yet. We know he surrendered. Now that there's no longer a threat from him, now it will be interesting whenever we see these types of attacks, sometimes the perpetrators will have some type of exit strategy. They want to flee. Sometimes they take their own less lives. Sometimes they want to go down as suicide by cop. We don't know what his plan was. Perhaps he had a change of heart at the end and realized now there's no getting out of this now that law enforcement is obviously responding. So we don't yet know whether that cooperation in surrendering is going to be manifested inside the interview room, whether he lawyers up and then law enforcement officers can't ask him those question. We'll have to stay tuned and get those updates from investigators.
CABRERA: OK, Josh Campbell, thank you. Please stand by.
We're hearing more now from witnesses. Let's listen.
CHRISTOPHER FOLTS:, WITNESS: Yes, I was up front of the house getting ready to do some yard work. And I hear about six or seven gunshots. And I heard -- there was a pause and then a male voice yelling. And then another six or seven shots and it went quiet. I ran inside the house and grabbed the house phone and called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you hear the male voice yelling what?
FOLTS: I couldn't hear what they were yelling. But it was loud. And it was an emotional male voice. And that is all I heard.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When you said that you heard like six shots? I mean was it really fast?
FOLTS: Yes, like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. And then yelling and another bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. I'd say at least a dozen shots overall.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And after you called 911, what did you do? Did you come out here and --
FOLTS: I waited to see what was happening. And it took probably a good -- I'd say about probably four or five minutes and then the police came en masse. And then a helicopter was circling shortly thereafter. And it almost touched down here right on Summerfield Lane. Which I've never seen that before.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you see people running out, anyone injured or anything like that?
[17:55:05] FOLTS: No, I didn't see any movement at all. No cars. No people running. Nothing like that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How are you feeling? I'm sure you're not used to seeing this.
FOLTS: This is crazy. Yes, it is a close-knit, quiet neighborhood community and you never expect anything like this to happen here.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you know any members of the church there?
FOLTS: My daughter went to preschool there. So we're familiar with the rabbi, who lives right down the street. But I don't know any active members right now, no.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Have you heard anything about what happened?
FOLTS: Only thing I heard was that the rabbi was shot and a female was taken to the hospital. And there were other people with various injuries. But that is all I heard.
CABRERA: We're expecting another update from police shortly.
I want to get in another quick break. We'll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. [17:59:53] Thank you for being with us as we get new details now
about the deadly shooting at a California synagogue. A few minutes ago, police in Poway, near San Diego, said a gunman went into a building and opened fire with an assault-style weapon. Four people were shot, including an adult female who died of her injuries.