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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
11 Dead In Mass Shooting In Virginia Beach; At Least 11 Dead, Six Hospitalized After Virginia Beach Shooting; 11 Dead In Mass Shooting In Virginia Beach Police Chief: Gunman Fired "Indiscriminately"; 11 Dead In Mass Shooting In Virginia Beach Police Chief: Gunman Was Current City Employee; 11 Dead In Mass Shooting In Virginia Beach Police Chief: Suspect Was Confronted, Killed; Interview with Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) & Ro Khanna, D-CA. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 31, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: ... sad story. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. CNN's breaking news coverage of this deadly shooting in Virginia Beach continues right now with Erin Burnett OUTFRONT.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, 11 people dead tonight in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach. These are live pictures you can see right now. This was actually just moments ago at the city's municipal center. This is where it happened.
Police said a gunman walked into the building opened fire. The shooting described as indiscriminate. The situation at this moment is fluid. New details are coming in as I speak. We're hearing for the first time from people who were inside the building. The lengths they went to, to stay alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just heard people yelling and screaming to get down and I was on the phone with 911, so I was trying to concentrate on talking to them. We put the desk up against the door because we didn't know if they were coming in or anything.
BURNETT: At least six people also now taken to the hospital and at this moment, I cannot tell you their condition. We simply do not know. As I've said it is very fluid. According to police, the gunman was a man. A public utilities worker for the city is now dead after a shootout with police.
Shimon Prokupecz is covering the story. All right. Shimon, as I said it's fluid. Things are changing. What is the latest that you know right now?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. And the officials there are saying that this is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach. That tells you everything right there. You can only imagine what the scene must be like inside this building.
And as you said police just moments ago in a news conference saying that he entered, the shooter entered building number two and just started firing. And it was police, police responded, there were 911 calls. They responded. They intercepted him and that is perhaps how he died in a shootout with police.
A police officer was also shot. The police chief there saying that he was only saved by his bulletproof vest. So certainly you can just imagine what it must have been like for the police when they got to that scene, hearing those gunshots, trying to find the shooter. They get him and he's now dead.
The other thing that we're learning as you said that the FBI, the ATF, other local officials, police officials, investigators, they're on the scene as they try to go through what now is a crime scene and, of course, dealing with these families, trying to identify some of the victims here and notifying families of the ones who have died. This is definitely a very devastating day for the folks there in Virginia Beach.
BURNETT: I mean Shimon it's just horrible. I mean do we know anything yet about the victims? Obviously, this was described as indiscriminate but is there any more information you can give us?
PROKUPECZ: Right. So police chief did say these are city employees, city employees were injured inside the building. What's interesting about this location is that it is the operations building of the city. There's the public works in that building. There perhaps other operational things that are used to run the city, utility workers, perhaps, other kinds of local governments.
This is a large complex. It's a municipal building. There's city hall nearby. There's a courthouse nearby. But this shooter which the police say is a current city employee walked in, targeted this specific building, inside building to just indiscriminately, as you said, started firing.
Police have not released really any more information about the victims. They do say that six of them were transported to hospitals and now they said they are in the process of identifying the dead and notifying their families.
BURNETT: Shimon, when you talk about this being an operations building things like public works, schools, I believe run out of there, what do we know about the shooter? You described he's a current employee. Do we know if he worked in that building or one of those areas or this is all beyond what we know at this time?
PROKUPECZ: It is beyond what we know, Erin, at this point. And police didn't want to give up too much information yet in terms of the shooter. And as I said the victims, they didn't want to get into too much details about that, because obviously it's too early and they're still in the process of notifying folks, family members.
What is interesting is that they have learned so much already. The fact that they know he's a current employee of this building, that city employees were injured, he presumably works for the city, what kind of work he does for the city, we don't know. But this person seemed to be going in there targeting this one area. This one specific building of this complex.
And now it sounds like police are dealing with a really big crime scene. They say that he was going from floor to floor, multiple floors is where the shooting occurred, so it must have lasted for quite some time. And then the police are able to stop him and perhaps prevented more people from dying, more people from getting injured.
You have that one officer who was injured. He was saved by his bulletproof vest. We're going to hear some heroic stories and we heard some stories already about folks, people inside the building, the workers, the employees inside this building who were inside rooms, holding the door back hearing gunshots trying to save one another from dying, from really getting injured in the shooting. And it sounds like it did go on for a little bit of time, perhaps probably forever for some of those folks that were inside this building.
[19:05:44] BURNETT: Do we have any sense at this time as to how long it did on for before they were - I mean, obviously, it's a city complex, you had a lot of police who are nearby and obviously came to the scene. But any sense of the time at this point from 911 calls or anything or not yet?
PROKUPECZ: Not yet and police were asked that at the press conference. They said that they didn't know specifically yet how long the shooting took place. But when you think about it, the fact that he was going from floor to floor, it had to take some time for police to find them.
These things happen fast, but they seem like an eternity. I mean it can only be a few minutes, but it just shows you how many people, how quickly people can die in these situations and get injured and that's what we have here. And the fact that people knew to go into rooms, there was information sent out for people to shelter in place, they did. Folks are holding doors. We heard stories like that of folks, of these employees hiding in rooms as gunfire went on and the police were searching for him.
So it's going to probably be a pretty horrific scene inside for the for law enforcement. As they start to go through this the FBI, the ATF, they need the help now the locals are saying. So they're bringing in other authorities to try and process this scene because it sounds like with multiple floors that it's pretty extensive.
BURNETT: Extensive and gruesome. All right. Thank you very much, Shimon. And, of course, Shimon is going to be joining us as we get more information. As I said it's fluid and there's a lot we don't know. I want to go right now to Phil Mudd, former FBI Senior Intelligence Advisor, Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and also with me, Jonathan Wackrow, former Secret Service Agent joining me on the phone.
Let me just start here with you, Phil. Obviously, FBI, ATF now involved as you heard Shimon lay out. But when you put together the pieces that we have here, current employee as Shimon says indiscriminate shooting floor after floor targeting a very specific building it appears at this time. Philip Mudd: You use the phrase, Erin, and that is it appears.
There's two questions I'm looking at here. Number one, what we've been talking about for the past couple of minutes what happened? That's only part of it. If I were in the business still there's a separate question that we haven't discussed that I would be thinking about and that is the 1% question about whether anybody is out there who shared the views with this individual.
The question you got to have going forward in the next couple hours is looking at things like his residents, his weapons licenses, his social media presence. You can be 99% certain that he acted alone. It looks like he did, but you got to solve that 1% in the next couple hours and then an investigator can start spending more time looking back and answering the unanswered question why did he do it.
BURNETT: All right. Juliette, we don't know anything about motive and, again, things can change. But if our understanding is correct, he's a current employee. That doesn't give at least on the face of it even at a basic analysis any information.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: No. I mean so what we do know is that 11 people who thought that they were going to have a summer weekend and their families were waiting for them are not coming home and I think that we just have to say that each time the emotion of this can get lost in the frequency of these mass shootings.
And so we know that and we also know that because he's a current employee that issues around how can we better secure buildings might very well be moot in this case. If there is security, he likely had an ID badge or something that would let him into the building freely and so this is not an issue of should we secure buildings better.
And then the third issue, of course, it's still out there. In the press conference, we didn't hear anything as to what weaponry was used. If this occurred over a long period of time and we're at the stage now where I'm going to say things like this and only 11 people died, one might view this as maybe potentially a handgun issue.
If it was a short period of time and he was able to kill 11 people, then you're looking at sort of bigger weaponry or more powerful weaponry. So that's the big question I have now as we go into, as Phil said, a very important sort of investigation both on what happened and then could something more happen.
[19:09:59] BURNETT: Right. And Jonathan, I guess, we don't know how long it went on, but I guess one important piece of information, what is your conclusion at least thus far from the fact that it appears he had enough time here to be going from floor to floor and room to room at least as it's been described now?
JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Yes, absolutely. So the Secret Service through the National Threat Assessment Center has researched and done a lot of research on active shooter situations, mass shooting and specifically workplace violence issues. And what they've concluded is that in situations like this where you have targeted workplace violence, it typically is in response to some type of grievance.
And further to that almost 75% of the time in advance of these very dynamic and unpredictable situations, the individual attacker has made some sort of leading indication or comment that they were about to embark on this type of violent act. So this is a behavioral issue. It's not normal for someone just to walk into their place of work and start killing coworkers.
So there were things I think when we start to take a look at who this individual was, what were the warning signs that were potentially missed from the behavioral standpoint, because behavioral is a continuum, you move along until you got to the point of acting in a violent manner. So I think we have to take these instances and look and really dissect what happened, what were the warning signs that were missed. So these tragic events do not continue any further.
BURNETT: All right. All of you, please stay with me. The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has just spoken. Let me just play here at what he said. Here's Governor Northam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM (D-VA): Horrific - Virginia and we're here to monitor law enforcement first responders, but I'm going to go in here and be briefed and be brought up to date and we'll have further comments a little bit later. Thank you, Andy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, (inaudible) any words just to the community, the community is shaking right now.
NORTHAM: Well, this is just a horrific day and a lot of people are on the scene here and our thoughts are for these victims and their families and we're working with our law enforcement, our first responders, our folks at the hospital and just making sure that we take care of everybody right now. But we're going to be briefed here and I'll have some further comments in a little while later in the evening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say that 11 are dead when you hear that.
NORTHAM: Yes. Just a horrific day, Andy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. That was the Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam. Phil, let me just ask you. Obviously, he doesn't have all of the information either. We are literally just starting to learn this. The Virginia Beach chief of police gave us a couple of other pieces of information just a few moments ago and I want to see if what you make of this.
One, this person, we still don't know the person's age or anything about the name. We do know it was a long time employee. It was the description by the chief of police. Longtime employee in the public utilities area. Obviously, public utilities would be operated out of this building, it would seem building number two in the municipal complex. What do you make of longtime employee?
MUDD: I make one thing and that is the police chief giving us that identifying information tells me that they have a name. There's no way you can give me all of that data, Erin, without saying ...
BURNETT: And not know who it is.
MUDD: ... and not know the name. There's a reason why you don't want to hand out the name. Let's just draw one conclusion that we've got an address at this point, we don't know who lives in that address. If there are other weapons in that address, I want to see what fingerprints are on them but already at this point hours in on both the human side going to addresses and witnessing people once you get that name.
And on the technical side, doing everything from weapons checks to looking at social media, they have a ton of information already about this individual just based on a name.
BURNETT: Right. And they would want to be able to look at all of that before they release it.
MUDD: Yes. Yes.
BURNETT: It make sense. I mean, Jonathan, what about the other, I'm sorry, piece of information that the police chief said that this person did shoot a police officer, the officers returned fire, the suspect is deceased. Now, obviously, we don't know the identities of those killed from the way this is said, it is possible at least that only one police officer was shot at in which case it would seem from this very early sense it's possible that a motive against law enforcement was not the motive, right?
WACKROW: Well, no. Obviously, this is a horrific scene and we have to give credit to law enforcement in this case. So these officers rushed towards the gunfire. They were actually hunting who the aggressor was and they had to traverse through this horrific environment of wounded individuals and there's a psychological and physiological effect that your officers undertake when they're in these dynamic situations.
It is very hard for you a police officer to bypass someone that's injured, but they have a mission to go and put down this threat immediately. So I think that we have to give credit to the law enforcement that was here. This is not seem like an incident. It was a setup of a suicide by cop where this individual was just waiting to confront law enforcement.
Typically, active shooter situations, these aggressors do not want to confront law enforcement. They want to continue with the horrific act, because they know confronting law enforcement is going to end their act of violence. [19:15:34] BURNETT: Juliette, longtime employee, current employee,
again, we don't know a lot of information so things could change. But those aren't the two first kinds of descriptions that one would expect in a situation like this.
KAYYEM: No. I mean, look, workplace violence, as we know has always been an issue. This is a and I'd have to check, but this seems like a high fatality event for workplace violence. And in particular just sort of the hunting as we heard from the police chief from floor to floor.
I'm interested in motive in the terms of was there a triggering event? Was there a long term annoyance? Was this someone that they had been watching? Is this someone who just lost their job and this was their last day? We'll find all of that. But I'd be remiss if I didn't say, the other piece of it is, of course, weaponry and we're going to find out about weaponry.
Virginia is an open carry law, so we don't know if other people in the building were armed because it was a municipal building. We do not know if weapons were actually prohibited, which is often the case in some of these government buildings. We don't know if there were security guards.
But obviously motive is important, response is important, but I am waiting to hear what kind of weaponry was used and what kind of access to weaponry. Not the suspect but the dead assailant had because that has to be part of the discussion immediately like minute one, it's never too early to talk about the fact that 11 people are dead today. Then their families are devastated because of the gun violence we have in this country.
BURNETT: And Jonathan, we don't yet know if these families have all been informed. Obviously, we don't know any more information about the victims right now than we have shared. We know that they are 11 people. The shooter is not among those 11 is dead but is not among the 11 and that the 11 were all in that building, that's what we know.
We know police officer was shot at but that police officer it appears is OK because he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Jonathan, what do you make here of the fact that I think as Juliette so poignantly said, this is a Friday afternoon, people are getting ready to go home for an early summer weekend, that they will never go home for. The timing of this coming on a Friday afternoon.
WACKROW: Yes. I mean, listen, there's a lot of things that we just don't know right now and, again, because this is seemingly an inactive workplace environments, we don't know what the trigger was that set this employee off. They knew that they were potentially being terminated and we've seen in the past instance where we've had mass shootings on a Friday afternoon just because of an anticipated (inaudible) or a lay off from their employment.
There's a lot of things around the motive that could be - time will tell. Phil had said it earlier on that we need to really go back and look at all of the facts that are involved in this matter. The police know a lot more than they're letting on. This is a rapidly developing investigation and we'll have some information hopefully soon to bring some clarity to the general public but also to the families that had been affected by this tragic, tragic event.
BURNETT: And Phil in terms of when we're going to find out more information as they are talking to families, as they are going to any known addresses, they're doing all of these things. They have told us the police chief that we should hear within the next couple of hours their next briefing, is that what you'd expect?
MUDD: That makes sense to me. Look, if they have the identification already that means they can start the interview process. They should have the locations of where this individual lived, obviously, where he works. So you can start to get the information to secure those facilities before somebody like the media gets there.
So by the time we're talking about 9:30 that stuff in terms of securing facilities but also conducting the initial interviews and notifying the people whose families are grieving tonight, that should be done. I'd expect a fair amount of information in a couple hours.
[19:19:43] BURNETT: All right. All of you please stay with me. We are going to continue with our breaking news. In a moment, we're going to hear from the police chief to understand exactly what they have told us. What we understand so far about what happened and we'll talk to a former congressman who represented Virginia Beach.
[19:23:45] BURNETT: Breaking news, 11 people are dead tonight. A mass shooting at a government building in Virginia Beach. Six more have been hospitalized. The police chief spoke just moments ago. Here's part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: We do know that shortly after 4:00 pm this afternoon, a suspect entered building two. He's a longtime employee of public utilities. I will not release his name at this time and he immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims.
Officers entered once the call went out to officer at headquarters. They responded to building two. They secure the victims as they could and then they engage with the suspect. The suspect did shoot a police officer, officers returned fire. Suspect is deceased.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Former Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor represented this area and I know, Scott, that you know this entire complex and this building very well. Tell us what you can.
[19:24:51] FORMER REP. SCOTT TAYLOR (R-VA): It's going to be - Erin, it's a horrible day, obviously, for Virginia Beach, my home town and well at least it's what I called home for over 20 years now. Great people to work in that building. It's a building that's not secure. It's where the citizens do business for zoning and planning and public utilities and that's why it's just not secure.
The whole government complex there right down the street is in fact as the sheriff's office and the Virginia Police Office and a lot of first responders are right there, so they're quick on the scene. But obviously with an incident like this, things happen really fast and we're just devastated here in Virginia Beach for these families that were expecting their loved ones to come home tonight.
BURNETT: It's just horrible. When you say, obviously, not a secure building, I don't want to - if you're not sure, so you're basically saying we're not going to have things like metal detectors and things like that in this building.
TAYLOR: I mean it remains to be seen what may come out of this, but there were not metal detectors before. I mean this is where a lot of citizens go to do business for real estate stuff and to pay their real estate taxes, do zoning and planning. And so there has not been security prior and as you guys have been talking about how the chief police came out in the press conference speaking about that this was a disgruntled current employee and I imagine we'll hear more come 9:30. But, yes, I mean this is not a secure place because it's a place where we do business.
BURNETT: Right. And it would seem from the description we just heard from the police chief that he entered the building and then began indiscriminately shooting. We don't know whether he'd been in there earlier in the day, what his shift was. We just don't know any of that information.
But when we hear a longtime public utilities employee, to you that would mean he very likely worked in this building or at the very least was extremely familiar with it.
TAYLOR: There's no question not just with the building, but with the people who work there. There's a lot of employees that work in that building and the city in general have been there for a really long time. So there's no question that this individual whoever he is was familiar with the compound, the building and the employees unfortunately.
BURNETT: The employees and as I say we understand we don't know the identities of these individuals or we do know at least at this point it appears they were all civilians. Scott, when you hear this and you talk about just the devastation and shock in Virginia Beach, it's one of those things no one can comprehend, no one can get their arms around and yet it happens with frightening regularity in this country. What is your reaction now that it's actually happened in your hometown in Virginia Beach, there is now a mass shooting?
TAYLOR: Well, it's way premature for me to comment on any reason why or what weapon he used or policies if there is a policy that could have prevented this, it's just way too premature. I just don't have any information to say that and I'm not prepared to comment on that. It's just too early. BURNETT: It's just at this point the emotion.
TAYLOR: I understand there are people who might want to comment on it, but without any information we don't know if there's any policies that could have been put in place that would have prevented this specific incident and I just don't know and it's just premature.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Scott, thank you very much. As I said, Scott Taylor, was the former Congressman from this area. Of course, as he said he's called Virginia Beach home for more than 20 years and obviously very familiar with this area. So as you heard his description from the many times that he's been there that it was a very low security building because civilians are in and out, citizens are in and out constantly zoning real estate taxes is a place of business for the community.
Next, more on our breaking news. We're going to go live to the ground with the reporter who is there. That's right after this.
[19:32:45] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. We'll continue to follow this horrible breaking news.
Eleven people have been shot and killed, six others right now in the hospital. I cannot tell you their condition. We simply just don't know. This was a mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
According to the police chief, the gunman entered a municipal building, started shooting indiscriminately. It's a longtime current employee of the public utilities in Virginia Beach. And that person is now dead after a shootout with police.
We simply cannot tell you more about the victims or the motive at this point. We don't know. But someone on the ground, Gordon Rago for "The Virginian Pilot", the newspaper, has been there, has been there since all this all began this afternoon, joins me live on the phone.
So, Gordon, you are there. You have been talking to a lot of people. Tell us what you know.
GORDON RAGO, REPORTER, THE VIRGINIAN PILOT (via telephone): So, o at this point, a couple of hours after the shooting a lot of the employees have gone home. Employees worked inside building two and other builds some had to leave cars behind and pick up rides to get out of here. This happened a little before 40. And there is also a lot of people here just paying -- trying to get parking permits. There were people paying parking tickets when some -- a lot of the buildings here at the center had to be put on lockdown.
So, they described a pretty frantic scene where you know basically SWAT officers were running down the street, directing them to get inside the building. And lock down the doors. You know, I've talked to people who said that they were hiding under their desks. This would be -- this would have been in building one, right beside where the shooting took place. So, it's -- you know there were a lot of people here. Many at this
point have gone home and the scene has begun to calm down.
BURNETT: So, Gordon, when you talk to people, you're saying it began just before 4:30. We understand the gunman just came in the building. Do you know what happened at that point? I know he went floor to floor.
Was he only shooting at employees?
[19:35:01] Were citizens who were in there dealing with their parking permits? Any of those people possibly shot? What have you been able to learn?
RAGO: As far as what happened inside building two, I don't have those details at this point. We have calm of other reporters on the ground, one of whom wagon was actually talking -- at the press conference and heard from the police chief. But as far as more intimate details, you know, what the gunman did inside, that's information that I just don't have right now.
BURNETT: Do you know --
RAGO: I believe --
BURNETT: No, no I understand. Look, it's very fluid. Do you know, Gordon, from what you all have been able to find out how long this went on? You say that it started before 4:30. We know it went on quite some time do you have any sense how long that was at this point or not yet?
RAGO: Well, it sounds like this happened pretty quickly. I mean as far as the shooting happened I don't know the length. But one guy I talked to who worked inside building two said that he heard -- you know, he heard gunshots and then just a quick time later -- a short time later, police had arrived.
And he heard what sounded like an exchange of gunfire. Again, he did not see this. But it's tough to know.
It sounds like police arrived here pretty quickly. I don't have the time frame built up. But, you know, within -- some -- I'm sorry civilians who spoke to like I said paying parking tickets and whatnot, said they were on lockdown for about 45 minutes to an hour, until police began letting them out.
BURNETT: All right. Well, that's obviously important as we try to figure out everything we can on this timeline.
Gordon, thank you very much. Please let us know as you find out more information.
I want to go to Chris Swecker, former FBI director for the criminal investigative division. He used to work in municipal building and has spent a lot of time living and working in Virginia Beach as well.
Chris, what's your reaction so far?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (via telephone): Yes, I'm very familiar with the complex. It's a massive 20-building plus complex. And it's -- it's a very difficult scenario to respond to as a first responders.
But what we saw here is that the current paradigm which is first responders go straight to the shooter. In the past, that's not been the case. They would form a perimeter, but in the last couple years, they would do a sort of static entry. Now they do dynamic entries, they go straight in straight to the shooter and try to neutralize it.
The second thing is 11 fatalities and six wounded tells me that this -- this was a rapid fire weapon whether a pistol or rifle. They're designed to kill a lot of people in a short period of time. When you combine that with -- well, we don't know all the facts here. But we often see mental illness associated with this.
So, weapons, mental illness, and perhaps maybe some type of workplace incident. I will say -- the fact -- it's still early. The facts aren't in yet. The fog of war is still present and the details are sketchy.
BURNETT: What do you make, Chris, of the timing? You know, as Gordon was laying out that this started just before 4:30? We're talking about a municipal building on a Friday afternoon, early summer. That -- that's right at the end of the day when I suppose things would quiet down or a lot of people would be basically coming in and out of the exit at the last moment when the shooter came in.
Does the timing seem relevant to you?
SWECKER: No, other than I mean -- and this is sheer speculation. People often get let go on Fridays. And this sounds like -- there is some information that this might be a workplace type incident that the workplace was targeted. So you know, it's hard to read anything that other than that one thing.
BURNETT: All right. Chris, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
SWECKER: All right, Erin. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, more on the breaking news. We're going to hear from the mayor of Virginia Beach after the deadly shooting in his city.
[19:42:59] BURNETT: And we are following the breaking news out of Virginia Beach right now awaiting a bit more information on the victims, 11 people were murdered. Around 40 on this Friday afternoon, six more right now in the hospital. Their condition currently unknown.
Just a short time ago the mayor of Virginia Beach spoke. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BOBBY DYER, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach. The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbors, colleagues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Shimon is following the breaking news.
And, Shimon, what more are you learning right now about who did this and the possible motive?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Right. We're still learning -- trying to figure out the motive. Officials there in Virginia not getting into specifics yet, but they do tell us according to a source that this was a disgruntled employee, someone who was working there. The police chief sated it was a current employee.
Now, we're learning something was going on. There was something this employee was unhappy about. We don't know what it is. We don't know why today was the day he chose to unleash this shooting and kill so many people. That is still something that we're trying to figure out.
But the police certainly know. The authorities there certainly know what was behind this. And perhaps maybe in the next update, we'll get more information.
But obviously there as you saw from the mayor, it's pretty horrific scene, someone that he said that he knew, the victims there, the family members of people that he knew. And so, this is going to touch everyone in that community.
And certainly now, you know, there is going to be work that needs to get done was there any way this could have been prevented? Was there something that could have alerted folks to what was about to happen here? Perhaps not.
But the shooter knew where he was going.
[19:45:01] He knew the building. He knew where to go. He targeted building number 2, police said and went from floor to floor just firing. It was the police that ultimately stopped him from killing anyone else.
In fact, even they said that a police officer was shot and he was saved by his bullet proof vest. There was an interaction between him and the suspect. There was a shootout that's how the suspect perhaps died.
PROKUPECZ: That's still very much -- very much things that are -- they're still trying to determine, the police, investigators and working threw the scene there. BURNETT: And, of course, as we await more information which they say
is coming very soon, we with don't know exactly when, but they are giving us much more information.
Shimon, thank you.
Phil Mudd is back with me. Phil, of course, you know, you just heard Chris Swecker was saying, when you look at the time line starting to emerge, right, right before 4:30. And it happened rapidly the lockdown was 45 minutes or so as he understands it.
You know, Chris was saying this was certainly a rapid fire weapon.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Yes, I agreed with Chris. Another couple things I'd point out, Chris was talking about the fact about whether this was workplace violence, which is what Shimon was talking about. You have to wonder whether there was a trigger event today. You are also talking about right before the workday ends.
One of the lines of inquiry has to be if he was trying reported so quickly I have to sit become and say if it's right before the workday ends, that person was triggered so significant, that they couldn't manage to wait a weekend. I think we will have learned -- I'm guessing the police learned already what the triggering event was. And then the other equally significant question we spoke about, whether there is anybody else who spoke with the individual about the act before it happens. But I would think by the 9:30 press conference, we'll have some idea about what happens in that workplace.
BURNETT: And I would imagine we're knowing a lot more. I don't know if you heard Scott Taylor, the former congressman, saying this was a low security building. It's an open carry state. But we'll know a lot more about the weapon, whether it was allowed or not allowed in the state of Virginia.
MUDD: I think that's true. I think the equally significant question is the question we faced after Broward County now about a year and a half ago at that horrific school shooting. It's not just about weapons it's about whether there was a triggering conversation that should have led to red flag event. I'm not just talking about informally, Erin. I'm talking about formally, if law enforcement ever engaged to him before.
BURNETT: Right. Obviously, we just content know at this time. All right. Phil, thank you.
And next, we're hearing from more people who were there on the grounds as the shooting was happening.
[19:51:28] BURNETT: All right. We have new video of the mass shooting that killed 11 people, happening in Virginia Beach.
Right here, you are looking at a husband and wife reuniting just moments after the shooting. We understand that the woman there, his wife, she was in the building at the time. She says she was on the phone with her husband. That's just some of the images coming out. They, of course, are lucky to be together tonight.
I want to bring in Democratic Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York and Ro Khanna of California.
Look, both of you were going to be on the program tonight to have a substantive and, I thought, fruitful conversation about impeachment of President Trump, but here we are again talking about a horrific mass shooting in this country, the only country in the world that this sort of thing happens like this, and yet here we are.
Congressman Espaillat, what happens now? Nothing happens in Congress?
REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): First, my heart goes out to the families and neighbors and friends of the victims and to Virginia Beach, yet another city that's been hit by this public health crisis. It is just unbelievable. We must do something.
I don't know the details on this, but it seems like it was rapid fire. And if there's any semi automatic weapon involved, they should really be taken off the streets. It is just too much. It is unbearable.
I just don't see the logic with someone carrying these kinds of weapons that are really weapons of war. It is just mind boggling.
BURNETT: Why anyone would.
I mean, Congressman Khanna, look, you have issued statements. You have held town halls. You have taken this issue on, and yet you share the frustration of many Americans that nothing changes, nothing ever seems to change. What will make a difference?
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Erin, first of all, my heart goes out to the folks affected in Virginia Beach with this awful tragedy, and I want to just salute the first responders and law enforcement for their bravery in preventing even more loss of life.
But you're absolutely right. Look, we're the only country in the world where mass shootings happen on a regular basis. Two thousand people have lost their lives since Sandy Hook, which was in 2012. At some point we have to ask, all of us as Americans, when is it enough going to be enough.
We have passed legislation in the House, the HR-8, on comprehensive gun safety legislation. I hope this incident is finally going to wake up this country and that the Senate will act and the president will sign something. People are sick of this and we need to act as a country.
BURNETT: All right. I mean, Congressman, obviously had it not been a gun, had it been a knife, you wouldn't be looking at 11 people dead tonight.
ESPAILLAT: Probably not, Erin. As Congressman Khanna says, we passed legislation, hr-8, that does address to some degree this crisis right now. It has gone too far away from us, but yet we need to do even more than that. I think it is just a public health crisis, these shootings happening all over the country. It is about educating the country, say culture of violence really that has emerged in America and it is gripping and affecting obviously all of us and today hit very hard in Virginia Beach.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman Khanna, obviously, there was a time when the president of the United States said he was going to take this issue on, he didn't care about the NRA, and obviously that has not been followed up with action at all. He obviously has been briefed on this situation.
Is there any possibility that this could be an area where you could work with him?
[19:55:0] KHANNA: I hope so. Look, I don't think this is a partisan issue. This is an issue that affects every American family, regardless of where you live. The president earlier had said that we needed red flag laws so that if someone is a danger that we could go in with due process and take the gun away from that individual before they commit such a senseless act. Then he had a meeting with NRA and other officials and he backed off of that.
I hope that there's going to be some pressure on him and on the Senate and others to act, and let's come together and finally do something.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
ESPAILLAT: Thank you.
BURNETT: I appreciate your time tonight.
And our breaking news continues after this.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you for joining us as our breaking news coverage of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach continues right now with Anderson.