Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Death Toll In Monterey Park Mass Shooting Rises To 11 As Investigators Search For Gunman's Motive; One-On-One With California Mass Shooting Hero Who Confronted, Disarmed Gunman; At Least Seven Killed, One Critically Injured In New CA Shooting. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 23, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And a 11 victims, died, today, in the wake of Saturday night's mass shooting, at a dance studio, and ballroom, in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park. Just minutes later, countless deaths were prevented, at another dance studio, nearby Alhambra.
This exclusive security camera video, of the entranceway, to that ballroom, the man in the corner, is 72-year-old Monterey Park killer. He's holding a 9-millimeter MAC-10 semi-automatic, what appears to be a suppressor, or a silencer, on it. Now, authorities said, he'd been making those at home.
The other man, you'll see, in a second, it's a slightly slowed-down video, and from the security cameras, 26-year-old Brandon Tsay. He runs the ballroom, with his family. He tells us he heard metal on metal sounds, turned around, and then saw the shooter and, in a matter of seconds, or split seconds, decided to attack him, and confront him, get the gun.
(VIDEO - NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN VIDEO OF APPROACHING GUNMAN AND STRUGGLE FOR WEAPON)
COOPER: There, you see him, walking toward him, or lunging toward him, it's hard to tell the speed, the actual speed. The video shows a portion of the struggle. Then, they're outside of the camera's view, as they are struggling. Brandon was able to get the gun, from him, and got him to flee.
Again, the man had already fatally wounded 11 people.
I spoke with Brandon Tsay, earlier tonight. I want to play a portion of that interview, shortly.
But first, the latest, on all of this, from CNN's Nick Watt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Additional units requested.
Multiple victims. Gunshot wounds.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around 10:20 PM, Saturday night, the gunman arrived, apparently shot his first victim, in the parking lot, then went inside the Star Ballroom and Dance Studio.
By 10:26 PM, Police had arrived.
CHIEF SCOTT WIESE, MONTEREY PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: It was chaos. There were wounded people. There were people trying to flee out all the doors.
WATT (voice-over): Did the gunman know people inside?
SHERIFF ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: We're hearing that there were possible relationships there. But I'm not going to confirm that yet.
WATT (voice-over): Around 10:40 PM, the gunman pulled up armed, with the same semi-automatic pistol, at another dancehall, in nearby Alhambra, but fled, after an employee confronted him, fought with him. He disappeared. Police hunting him through the night.
10:20 AM, Sunday, 30 miles away, in Torrance, a van, seen leaving the crime scene, was spotted, by local police. There was a standoff.
1 PM, the suspect was found dead, inside the van, apparently a self- inflicted gunshot.
LUNA: We do not have a motive yet. We want to know as much as all of you.
WATT (voice-over): In his van, we're told, the suspect left behind clothes he wore, for the shooting, and a weapon.
At the scene, 42 shell casings, and a large-capacity magazine.
And, in his trailer home, 80 or so miles away, in Hemet, investigators found electronics, a rifle, lots of ammunition, and?
LUNA: Items that lead us to believe the suspect was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors.
WATT (voice-over): Hemet PD says he came by twice, a couple of weeks ago or so, "Alleging past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago... He stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but never returned."
Apparently, the suspect taught dance here, informally, at one point.
MAYOR HENRY LO, MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA: Was it an issue of being disgruntled, or the issue of domestic violence? We don't know, unfortunately.
WATT (voice-over): He met his now ex-wife, at this very dancehall. They divorced in 2006. She told CNN, he could be quick to anger if, for example, he missed a step on the dance floor.
COOPER: Nick Watt joins us, now, from Monterey Park.
So, the Police also briefly mentioned the suspect's criminal history. What did they say, and what else did we learn from the press conference?
WATT: Well, the criminal history is very short, Anderson. Just one arrest, back, in 1994, unlawful possession of a firearm. Unclear how that was resolved.
Listen, the authorities, right now, are looking into the weapons forensically, and otherwise, to try and figure out how he got these weapons.
Now, the magazine also, that extended magazine? That is currently illegal, in the State of California. But authorities will try and figure out, if it was also illegal, when this man bought it.
But enough with the suspect. Maybe we should talk about some of the heroes here.
We heard from the local Police Chief that the three officers, who were first on the scene, here, Anderson, were three young female officers, all within their first year of service. And they ran into this dance club, the way that the Chief puts it, he says, "Knowing what they were going to run into, they did it without hesitation."
COOPER: Yes. Nick Watt, appreciate it. Thank you.
Now, my conversation with Brandon Tsay. I spoke to him earlier.
COOPER: Brandon, first of all, you've been through so much. How are you holding up?
BRANDON TSAY, CONFRONTED & DISARMED GUNMAN: Well, I'm doing way better than I was, at the night of the incident.
COOPER: So, can you just take me through what happened, on Saturday night?
TSAY: OK. So, Saturday night, it was Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year. It was - felt like a casual night, very typical. We had our customers, coming in and out, for our social dance party. I was in the office lobby, most of the time. It was late into the evening, when the incident occurred. I heard a sound--
COOPER: When did you know something was happening? TSAY: When I knew something was happening, I heard the sound of the door front entrance shutting. And then there was a sound, a distinct sound of metal, coming together, as if it was being rubbed together, like someone was moving metal on metal.
COOPER: And how far away was that sound from you?
TSAY: It was no more than two meters away.
COOPER: So, did you see the person then?
TSAY: No. What alerted me was the sound. I only turned after I heard that sound.
COOPER: What happened then?
TSAY: After that, when I saw what I saw, I froze up. The man had a gun. The man was - he had a gun. He had a gun pointed at me. It seemed like he was trying to scout out the room, for other people.
COOPER: Was he saying anything? I mean, you're saying he was two meters away. So, that's what about six feet away from you? He was pointing the gun, at you, the whole time, or was he moving it around?
TSAY: It was in my general direction. But when I saw him, it was pointing straight at me. And he was trying to look for other people, looking - scouting the room. And he didn't say anything at all. He was silent, even stoic. Very scary that he wasn't even saying anything or giving me any instructions.
COOPER: And so, what happened?
TSAY: What happened was it seemed like he was preparing his weapon, to fire, changing some sort of setting on the gun, or fixing his gun, to prepare to fire. That's when I sprang into action. I realized in the moment that I needed to do something, at this moment, I needed to grab the gun, try to disarm him, so he couldn't do any harm to me or others.
COOPER: So, I mean, in that thought, I mean, not a - a lot of people, in this moment, would have maybe thought, to run away, or to dive for cover. Your thought was to get the gun?
TSAY: Well, yes. I'm not going to lie. I did freeze up, when I saw him, with the gun. I've had many thoughts, where I would think "I'm going to die. This is it. This is the end for me."
But then, something happened, something came over me. I just had this rush of thought and adrenaline, in this sort of situation. And I was able to come to a conclusion that I needed to do something, I needed to grab the gun.
TSAY: I needed to save myself, and the people inside. COOPER: And you're talking about all these thoughts, you had. I assume this is all happening, within split seconds, in your head. How long were you standing there, looking at him, seeing the gun, before you acted?
TSAY: No more than two seconds.
TSAY: No more than two seconds.
I saw a window of opportunity that he was distracted with his gun, and took it. I took into action, once I saw the opportunity.
COOPER: So, what exactly did you do?
TSAY: I made sure that nothing was, in my way, to attack him, and lunged at him, with both my arms, and grabbed his weapon, with both my arms.
COOPER: And were you immediately able to take it out of his grasp?
TSAY: No, there was a big struggle, actually. The struggle went on into the lobby. He hit me several times, in the face, behind my head, on the back. He was--
COOPER: With what? With his hand?
TSAY: With his hands. He was trying to feed me away from his gun, while trying to gain control of his weapon. But, at the same time, I was trying to divert weapon away, from me, away from the ballroom, and down onto ground, in case he did fire. And I was also trying to free it, from his grasp, using my elbows, using my shoulders, trying to use my body weight, to free the weapon, or free it from him.
COOPER: And how long was this struggle for?
TSAY: I would say the struggle lasted 40 seconds. But it felt like way longer. It felt like an eternity, with adrenaline, and my thoughts. I was always thinking about, "If I let go of this gun, what would happen to me, the people around me, my friends, my family, how would they be affected, if I let this dangerous individual run around?"
COOPER: And were you saying anything to him, during the struggle? Was he saying anything to you?
TSAY: No, we had no verbal - we had no verbal conversation. But he seemed like he didn't want to talk, from the start. It seemed like he was trying to take action, instead of have any type of conversation or commands.
COOPER: So, you said it went on for 40 or so seconds? And then what happened? How did you finally get it away? TSAY: Well, as he was trying to attack me, with his arm, and his hands, I used the opportunity, to yank the gun away, on his opposite side. So, he wasn't able to fully use his strength, to keep the gun, in position. And that's when I was able to pull the gun away, from him, and create some distance, between him and the gun.
COOPER: And have you ever - had you ever held a--
TSAY: And after that--
COOPER: Go ahead.
TSAY: No, I have never held a gun before. It's scary to even - the weight of the gun? It daunted on me how this object was something that could enter a person's life.
COOPER: So, you have the gun and you create some distance. Did he run away then?
TSAY: No, at this point, he looked like he was still trying to fight. But I pointed the gun at him, and told him "Go! Go away! You got to leave! Go! Get out of here."
And I also threatened him that I would shoot. And I had many thoughts. I thought, I would actually have to kill him, I, have to actually shoot this person.
COOPER: Were you prepared to do that?
TSAY: Yes, I was prepared to fire. But I didn't want to shoot him anywhere that would be fatal. I wanted to see if I could aim, at the legs, or the arms, something that would stop him from trying to recover the gun.
COOPER: So, you yelled at him. Then what?
TSAY: Then, he was trying to contemplate whether to attack, like I - there's a brief standoff, where he was just thinking about coming after me, with his - with the body, and I was thinking "Oh, I would have to shoot him." But he actually came to a conclusion, to turn around and leave. And that's when he exited the door, and jogged back to his van.
TSAY: After that, I immediately called the Police, still with a gun, in my hand, hoping that he wouldn't come back.
COOPER: You said something, this morning, and I just want to read it out, because I think it's important.
You said, "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the ability to have adversity to fear, when fearful events happen, such as this," meaning, I assume, you felt fear, and yet you were still able to act. It's not as if you didn't have fear. But you were able to overcome that fear, in that split second, in order to do what you know, had to be done - which you knew had to be done?
TSAY: Well, yes, I feel like that. Without fear, there cannot be courage. If there was a level-headed person, who is logical, and actually thought about the situation, I'm not sure he would have taken the same actions I have. He will probably try to talk the gunman down, or try to hide, and try to run away, and see if there's a safe place, to just hide, for the moment.
When I was fearful and getting discouraged, I knew that I needed to do something, at that moment. And I was thinking about my friends, and families, how fearful I was, for them. And that just gave me some strength to do what I did.
COOPER: Brandon Tsay.
Much more ahead, tonight, including breaking news, another shooting, with what authorities are calling, multiple victims, this one in Northern California. We're trying to get more information about that.
Also, a closer look, at the bigger picture, the state of mass killings, in this country, so far, this year, what two law enforcement veterans say can and should be done, to try to turn those numbers around.
And later, President Biden, under fire, from those in his own party, after another document discovery, and a new White House Chief of Staff is about to take the job.
COOPER: We are following news, out of Half Moon Bay, California, just outside San Francisco. Authorities there're about to hold a press conference. But already, they're reporting there was a shooting incident with, quote, "Multiple victims."
California's Governor, Gavin Newsom, tweeting tonight, quote, "At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy."
Now, again, we're waiting to hear more from authorities.
Whatever tonight's shooting turns out to be, this weekend's mass shooting wasn't the first, or even the 31st of the year. So far, there have been at least three dozen.
Harry Enten, our Senior Data Reporter, has been looking into what is almost uniquely an American statistic.
So obviously, this has become all too familiar. The numbers are not just numbers. They are human beings. What are the numbers?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Human beings.
COOPER: And what does?
ENTEN: Yes, I mean, look, if you look at the mass shootings by year, right? We're less than a month in.
So, let's take a look at the mass shootings by year, over the last few years. And what we see is that the number of mass shootings has gone up significantly, since the pandemic began, right? It was well less than 500, in the two years prior to the pandemic, in 2018, 2019. Every year since has been 600-plus. But--
COOPER: First of all let's show--
COOPER: --how are we defining mass shootings?
ENTEN: We're defining mass shootings as basically four people getting shot, in the same event, not including the shooter himself.
ENTEN: So this, it doesn't necessarily include someone being murdered. That could be included in that. But we're just talking about people getting shot.
ENTEN: So that's good definition, we should point it out.
When we talk about mass shootings, this year, in particular, and through the state, by the state, remember, the last few years were well above the year's prior, right? But take a look through this day, what we have right now. And this number has been going up through the day.
So, when we start off the day, it was at 36 for 2023. Now it's up to 38. And that I think gives you a good understanding of just how fast these mass shootings are occurring. And that is above the 2022 level, as well as the 2021 level, through this date, when it was just 26. And, of course, those are record-setting years.
So, right now, we're in a climb, in this country, in terms of mass shootings. And unfortunately, I have to say, it just seems to be getting worse, Anderson.
COOPER: Also, I mean, other developed countries, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, they have dealt with similar tragedies. But, obviously, in the wake of those, there were different actions taken.
ENTEN: Yes, I mean, look, the fact is, when you look at this country, you know that the number of guns, number of civilian guns, or guns belonging to civilians, per each person, is above one. It's the only country in the world where that is so. The other countries that are the second most are the Falkland Islands with 0.6 guns per person, and Yemen at 0.5 guns per person.
So, that's, to me, an outstanding statistic. And I don't think you need to have much of a brain, to make the correlation, right? It's not a perfect correlation--
ENTEN: --between the number of guns and the number of shootings. But I don't think you have to be much of a brain surgeon, to figure out that there is some correlation there.
And if you're wondering why things don't necessarily change, I think a lot of people say, "Oh, you know, it's these lobbying groups." No, it's public opinion, Anderson.
And we know when we look at the public opinion, at this particular point? And the Pew Research Center has a good question on this, and essentially, "More important to protect the right to own guns than control gun ownership?"
Back in 2000, less than 50 percent of Republicans and Democrats thought it was more important to protect right to own guns than control gun ownership. But look now, Republicans, 81 percent of Republicans say it's more important to protect gun ownership.
Democrats really haven't moved. Republicans have moved significantly more towards the right to own guns. And that is why a lot of members of - Republican members of Congress, simply put, have not moved to enforce or fight for stricter gun control, Anderson.
COOPER: Harry Enten, appreciate it. Thank you.
COOPER: We are, again, waiting to hear more from authorities, in Half Moon Bay.
And as if reminder, we needed, the gun violence, in everywhere, a problem here, two students were shot and killed, today, at an educational program for at-risk youth in Des Moines, Iowa. One employee is hospitalized, in serious condition.
Want to get some perspective now, from two CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analysts. Charles Ramsey, who served as Police Commissioner, in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.; and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.
So, Andrew, I just want to talk about the mass shootings, nationally.
But first, as Nick Watt mentioned earlier, a lot has been revealed about the ammunition, the California suspect had, 42 shell casings, a large-capacity magazine, recovered from the scene.
There was a hand gun, in the white cargo van, according to law enforcement. A rifle, with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, were found in his home, according to Police, not to mention the weapon used in the shooting, which was a MAC-10 pistol, with an extended large- capacity magazine.
What does all that tell you?
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it tells us that the perpetrator of this latest - well, maybe not the latest, since we seem to have another one, in the last few minutes. But, in this weekend's mass shooting, in California, is someone, who is deeply involved, in gun ownership. Now, that's not a crime. It's certainly consistent with your Second Amendment rights, in this country.
But it tells you something, when you see a video, of the perpetrator, of a mass shooting, walk into a potential second location, with a MAC- 10 pistol, which appears to be fitted - outfitted with a suppressor on the end of it.
So, this is somebody, who really spending a lot of time, arming himself, acquiring ammunition, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Office, experimenting and possibly producing silencers and suppressors, which is of course a violation of federal law. So, it's, once again, we see a very strong kind of current, of gun focus, across the spectrum of individuals, who are involved, in these mass shootings.
COOPER: And Chief Ramsey, I mean, the L.A. Sheriff says that officials believe the suspect was, quote, "Manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors." What type of experience or expertise does someone need to be able to do that?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER, DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW, DREXEL UNIVERSITY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, Google search it, and find out how to do that. So, I mean, it's an increasing problem, not only with gun suppression kits, but also ghost guns, in general.
More and more ghost guns are being taken off the street. These are kits, that people can assemble their own firearm. There's no serial number, on the firearm. And we're starting to see more and more of them out there, on the street. Over the last couple years, there's been a dramatic increase, in those kinds of firearms, being recovered, on the street.
So we're awash with guns. I mean, whether they're legally purchased, whether they're made themselves or, on the black market, whatever it might be, we're just awash with guns. And it's not going to get any better anytime soon.
COOPER: And Andrew, I mean, I'm so impressed, talking to Brian Tsay - Brandon Tsay, about his actions, his heroic actions, against - I mean, had he not, in those split seconds, decided, even though he felt fear, to not run and hide, to not dive for cover, but to actually lunge at the gunman, and ultimately take the gun away? There's no telling how bad this could have been.
MCCABE: Yes, Anderson, you have one courageous citizen, in between safety, and maybe another 10, 11, 12, God knows how many more deaths.
This shooter fired, we think, according to the press conference, this afternoon, at least 42 rounds, at the first location. That is an extraordinary number of bullets, to fire, in one moment.
I mean, let's remember, he didn't spend a lot of time in there. Presumably, he got in, fired his weapon, and was able to get out, without being tackled, or approached in the way, he was, at the second location, by Mr. Tsay.
So, quickly, is able to dispense with 42 rounds, at a bunch of innocent civilians, who gathered in a dance hall, on a Saturday night, to have some fun. And but for the fact that you had one courageous citizen?
MCCABE: Maybe another 12 people, God knows how many more would be dead.
COOPER: And Chief Ramsey, as Nick mentioned, the Police Department, where the suspect lived, released a statement, saying that the suspect visited their lobby, earlier this month, and alleged past fraud, theft and poisoning, involving his family, in Los Angeles 10 to 20 years ago. He told officers he was going to return. He never did.
Does that suggest anything to you about him?
RAMSEY: Well, maybe, I mean, that he's got a psychological problem, perhaps. I mean, I think we're going to find more and more out, as they start going through the evidence.
But believe it or not, it is not all that uncommon, to have people, come in, with stories, and you ask them what had happened, and they tell you, "It was 20 years ago, 25 years ago."
RAMSEY: It's just it does happen. And I don't - I have not seen anything or heard anything that would indicate that the Police did not handle it properly.
RAMSEY: It's just one of those things, where people come walking in, off the street, sometimes, with those kinds of stories.
COOPER: Yes. Chief Ramsey, appreciate it, Andrew McCabe as well.
President Biden, under fire, after more classified documents found, at his home, in Delaware, this time, from members of his own party.
Plus, a new face, to manage the crisis, and reelection effort, at the White House. Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, joins me, to talk about the new Chief of Staff, ahead.
COOPER: More now, on our breaking news, about that new shooting, in Half Moon Bay, California. Multiple victims are now being reported.
I want to go to CNN National Correspondent, Camila Bernal, for the latest.
What do we know?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
Unfortunately, we have now confirmed, seven people have been killed, in this latest shooting, in Half Moon Bay. We also know that at least two people were injured. At least one of them critically injured. We heard from the California Highway Patrol Air Operation. And they airlifted at least one person that was in critical condition.
(VIDEO - HALF MOON BAY SHOOTING SUSPECT IN CUSTODY)
BERNAL: We also know that the suspect turned himself into Police. That's the video that you're seeing, right now.
We know he is an older Asian American male. And again, he turned himself into Police. So, there is no threat to the public. But there are seven families, today, that are grieving because of course, again, seven lives lost, at least two injured, and at least one critically injured.
We are waiting for a press conference, from authorities, to get more information, on this, Anderson.
COOPER: And, obviously, there's a lot we don't know.
Do we know anything about the facility, the location, where this took place?
BERNAL: Yes, we know that this was at a mushroom farm.
We are again waiting for authorities to confirm all of this.
But what we're hearing, from our sources, is that these - or this shooting took place, at a mushroom farm, and that is sort of the area there, in Half Moon Bay that you're seeing on your screen.
Again, limited information, from authorities, but we are waiting for them to give us an update.
COOPER: All right, yes. Camila Bernal, appreciate it. Thanks for telling us the details we do know.
Joining us now by phone, is California Democratic congresswoman, Anna Eshoo. Her district includes Half Moon Bay. Congresswoman, appreciate you joining us.
Do you know what happened here?
ON THE PHONE: REP. ANNA ESHOO (D-CA): Well, what I know is what has been covered.
Half Moon Bay is a beautiful small tightly-knit community, on the coast side, the beautiful California coast side. It's about - a community of about 11,000 people. It's the home of the Pumpkin Festival of the - the big Maverick, the Big Wave. And it's a destination point for so many people to enjoy. It's always been a happy place. It's also, over the last century, or more, been an agricultural community, as well.
And today, this is yet another tragedy that's taken place, in California. Seven human beings had their lives, taken, one critically injured, airlifted to Stanford Medical Center. And I think really a traumatized community. When you hear this news, you can barely breathe, Anderson.
COOPER: Do you know anything about this location, this mushroom farm?
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: Oh, I'm very familiar with it. As you drive over the hills, and get close to Half Moon Bay, one site, where four were reported killed, that's where, you drive past it.
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: It's a two-lane road. And then when you get to Highway 1, which is being reported as Cabrillo Highway, right near the Ritz-Carlton, on the other side of the Highway, again, two-way (ph), to a highway, is the other site.
COOPER: So, there were, to your knowledge, there were two sites, where shootings took place?
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: Yes, two sites, and, at the first site, two different locations, on that site. Three killed, in one place, and one reported killed, in another, on that same piece of property.
And, any idea of motive, at this time?
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: No, nothing is - we don't know what the motive is. We know that the man that turned himself into the Sheriff's Department, at the substation there, really without any hassle whatsoever. He's acknowledged that he did this. He's a Asian American individual.
It's been reported that they are Chinese agricultural workers. There's also a sizable Hispanic American farm workers, on the coast side, too. So, we're waiting to hear from the Sheriff's Department. And I've been notified that the President's Homeland Security Adviser has briefed the President, and the President has said that federal law enforcement will provide all necessary assistance, to the local law enforcement effort.
COOPER: Do you know - and again, there's a lot we don't know. So, obviously, just, if you don't, you don't.
Given that there were multiple locations, two locations, at one spot, and then another location, does it seem like this was something targeted that the person had various targets in mind?
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: Well, it seems intentional to me. I mean, he knew exactly where he was going, and what he was doing. The two locations are not very far away from each other, Anderson. Maybe, at best, two miles, maybe less.
COOPER: Well Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, I really appreciate you talking with us. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. Thank you. Good to know.
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you.
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: We need to pray for the families.
ON THE PHONE: ESHOO: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you.
Want to get some perspective, on this new mass shooting, from our law enforcement panel, next.
COOPER: The Breaking News, a suspect, in custody, in the latest mass shooting, in this country, just tonight, at several locations, in Half Moon Bay, California, about 28 miles south of San Francisco. At least seven people, we know, have been killed, according to authorities, one critically injured. It is the second mass shooting, in just the last couple days.
Joining us by phone is Dave Pine, President of the San Mateo Board of Supervisors.
Dave, appreciate you talking with us.
What do you know about what happened here?
ON THE PHONE: DAVE PINE, PRESIDENT, SAN MATEO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: It was a senseless act of killing, on two locations. We've lost seven coast-side residents, in the Half Moon Bay Area.
We don't know what the motives of the gunman were. Fortunately, he is in custody. And we're trying to find out what caused this terrible tragedy, today.
COOPER: We're seeing video, of the suspect, being led away, by Police. He apparently, I believe, he gave himself up. Is that your understanding as well?
ON THE PHONE: PINE: He was apprehended by law enforcement. So, he did not give himself up.
Do you know the - the two locations, we're told that at the first location, there are actually two different locations, within that location, where there were shootings that took place, and then the other location was about two miles or so away. Is that accurate?
ON THE PHONE: PINE: That's correct. There, first was a shooting, at a mushroom farm, and then a second shooting about two miles away, near a trucking facility.
COOPER: And do you know if - do you know the reason for those different locations? Was there a specific target, do you know?
ON THE PHONE: PINE: We do not know the reasons why the gunman went to two different locations.
COOPER: How do you deal with something, like this, as President of the Board of Supervisors?
ON THE PHONE: PINE: Well, number one, we have to come together, as a community, and recognize the tragic loss of life, and support the community in every way that we can. We'll have mental health services available, for family members, and reach out to the other workers, at these locations, and do the best, we can, with counseling, and support them.
COOPER: Have you had to deal with anything, like this, in San Mateo?
ON THE PHONE: PINE: No, there's never been a mass shooting of this magnitude anytime in San Mateo County history.
ON THE PHONE: PINE: It's something that you think's going to happen somewhere else. And now it's happened here.
COOPER: Yes. Dave Pine, I appreciate talking to you. And I wish you the best. I'm sorry, it's under these circumstances.
ON THE PHONE: PINE: Thank you. COOPER: Back now with our two CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analysts; Charles Ramsey, who served as Police Commissioner in Philadelphia, and Washington. D.C.; and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.
Andrew, obviously, a lot, we do not know. An older Asian man is in custody. As we've said, seven people dead. I mean, what stands out to you about this one?
MCCABE: I guess, just the brutal repetition of it?
I was thinking about - talking about what investigators are likely doing, or will do, in the wake of this shooting. And essentially, the, exact same thing that, their colleagues are currently doing, in Monterey Park, for the shooting that happened there, the day before yesterday.
So, they're going to go back with help from people, like the FBI, and others. And they're going to try to look through this person's life and piece together, what led to this awful moment.
They're going to look at his writings. They're going to look at his social media, if he has any. They're going to look at his electronics devices, to see if he's communicated with friends, anything that would indicate the grievance, or worldview, whatever it might be that led to this.
And then they'll be able to offer that up, to the community, as some sort of tragic explanation, as to what happened. But, at the end of that process, we'll probably have to move on to another one.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, again, there's always the question of, is somebody motivated by what they have seen, on television, motivated by another shooting that's just happened? Unclear, we don't know about this person's motivation. But, these things, I guess, they happen regularly. So, it's hard to tell if one motivates the other.
RAMSEY: Well, that's something that they'll certainly be looking into. I mean, this is very close to the Monterey Park shooting, in terms of time. But whether or not this is a copycat, if this is something totally different?
But what's really unusual is, well at least the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that this is an Asian male, 67-years-old. Now, the shooter, in Monterey Park, is 72-years-old.
You just - it's just unusual to have people of that age, engaged in this kind of activity. That stands out. There's no question about it. I don't know why. But that's definitely something unusual that's taking place there.
COOPER: We understand there's a press conference that's about to start that we will be bringing live.
Andrew, did the multiple locations make it any more difficult for - I mean, they're close together. It's a relatively small community. Does that add to the difficulty for investigators? MCCABE: It does. It makes it a bit more complicated to work. And it's another strange--
COOPER: I'm sorry, Andrew. We're going to interrupt and take this press conference live.
SHERIFF CHRISTINA CORPUS, SAN MATEO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: I am offering my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, their co-workers, the coastal community, and the City of Half Moon Bay.
This kind of shooting is horrific. It's a tragedy that we hear about far too often. But today, it's hit home, here, in San Mateo County.
Today, at 2:22 PM, Sheriff's deputies were dispatched, to the 12700 block of San Mateo Road/Highway 92, in unincorporated San Mateo County, on the report of a shooting, with multiple victims.
Upon arrival, deputies located four victims deceased, with gunshot wounds. A fifth victim, also suffering from a gunshot wound, was transported, to Stanford Medical Center, with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect was not immediately located.
Shortly thereafter, three additional victims were also located, deceased, with gunshot wounds, at a separate shooting scene, in the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South.
The motive for the shooting is currently unknown.
Through investigation, the suspect, identified as Chunli Zhao (ph), a 67-year-old Half Moon Bay resident.
At 4:40 PM, Zhao (ph) was located, in his vehicle, in the parking lot, of the Sheriff's substation, here in Half Moon Bay, by a sheriff's deputy.
Zhao (ph) was taken into custody, without incident, and a semi- automatic handgun was located in his vehicle.
Zhao (ph) is believed to have acted alone. And there is no further threat to this community.
This is a devastating tragedy for this community and the families touched by this unspeakable act of violence.
I would like to thank our local law enforcement agency partners, Allied agencies, including CAL FIRE and EMS, the City of Half Moon Bay, and our federal and state partners.
I would also like to commend the deputy sheriffs for safely taking the suspect into custody.
I will take questions at the end of this conference.
Now, I would like to turn it over to San Mateo County Board of Supervisors' President, David Pine, who would like to say a few words.
PINE: Thank you, Sheriff Corpus.
We grieve, tonight, for the deceased members of our community. This is a horrific event, one that we would never imagine would occur, in San Mateo County.
Gun violence, in this country, is at completely unacceptable levels. It's really hit home, tonight. Our hearts are broken.
We are deeply grateful, for law enforcement, for their work, this evening.
But, in the end, there are simply too many guns, in this country. And there has to be a change. This is not an acceptable way, for modern society, to live and conduct its affairs. And we are to do everything in our power to make those changes.
I'd like now to introduce my colleague, Ray Mueller, who represents this area, on the Board of Supervisors.
RAY MUELLER, BOARD MEMBER REPRESENTING DISTRICT 3: Thank you, President Pine.
And I just first want to start off by thanking our law enforcement officers, today, for their bravery, in apprehending the suspect, as quickly as possible.
My heart, first off, I just want to say, on behalf of the community, how much, our hearts are broken, tonight. There were farm workers affected, tonight. There were children, on the scene, at the incidents. This is a truly heartbreaking tragedy, in our community.
And it comes on the eve of these - of what happened, just obviously yesterday, and then just weeks after natural hazard events, which have really struck this community.
So, the one thing I want to say out, to the people, who are out there, who live here, who are watching, is please take advantage of the mental health crisis counseling, that is available, out there. The amount of stress that's been on this community for weeks is really quite high.
If there's people out there, who are suffering, from this, who are feeling the effects of it, please reach out and get help, tonight. You are not alone. We have counseling service available at the ALAS (ph) hall, here in Half Moon Bay, if you can reach out to us on the county hotline. But we want to make sure that people know that they are not alone, and that we are here for you this evening.
And then, as Supervisor Pine said, in the days and the weeks ahead of us, we really have to come together, and figure out how to go ahead and wrap our arms around, getting to address this problem, of gun violence, which has afflicted our state, here, in recent days, and has afflicted us here, at home. It's something that's unimaginable, to happen, here, in Half Moon Bay and, frankly, here in San Mateo County.
So, with that, I'd like to go ahead and introduce you all, to my good friends, Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor Joaquin Jimenez.
VICE MAYOR JOAQUIN JIMENEZ, HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA: Thank you.
First of all, I want to extend my condolences, to the families that lost a loved one today, and to bring my - to offer the support, to all the families, and the farmworkers, that were affected that were present on location of the shooting.
And then, I would like to thank our local law enforcement, for the rapid response, and our emergency team.
The City of Half Moon Bay, after being affected by the floods, as you know, at the beginning of the year, the farm worker community was affected. Now this!
We are offering our support, mental health support that teams at Half Moon Bay, the City of Half Moon Bay collaboration with mental health teams, those non-profit organizations, are put at one of our local halls that will be receiving the families.
This is something that we get to watch on the news, never think that it's going to come and hit home.
Today, we are on the news. Our communities have been affected. And again, I want to thank our law enforcement. As soon as we heard about the shooting, we heard the sirens. Our law enforcement has done great for us.
There's really not much I can say, you know, about the pain that we're feeling right now. We know that the community is being greatly affected.
We have been receiving phone calls, text messages, from family members, wanting to know information, either family members, you know, the relatives are OK? We hope they are. We hope they will soon be reunited. And we are here to support them, support every step, especially the children that were present, when the shooting happened.
And hoping that this will be an eye-opener, what is going on, in our community, about gang violence - and gun - gun violence. So let's think about this, and how are we going to be responding to the families who have been affected?
CORPUS: Can open it up for questions at this time. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we're from the CBS News Bay Area (ph), you mentioned that you can't tell us a motive, at this point. What else can you tell us about the suspect?
CORPUS: We can tell you is that, you know, we know that he acted alone at this time, and that, you know, we are - we're working with our District Attorney's office, at this time, to interview the suspect. And as soon as we have further updates, we'll be able to provide those to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he a - was he a worker at one of these farms? Do we know that?
CORPUS: He's believed to be a worker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what's the semi-automatic weapon that was found in the vehicle, was that the only weapon that we believe to be involved?
CORPUS: We believe that at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said it's two locations, really, he first visited mushroom farm, trucking company (ph) or and which one did he work for? And what were the two locations? And which one did he seem to work at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And was he still employed at the time?
CORPUS: Yes. We believe that - we don't have the exact connection, at this time. But there are two separate locations. One was a nursery. And there're actually two nurseries. And what I can tell you is that we are working at trying to gather more information to figure out what the connection was, to these victims as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --legally have that gun? Was there an extended clip on it?
CORPUS: Yes. We're not able to release that information, at this time. But as soon as we're able to be, we will. It's an active crime--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, can you confirm the victims, and how many people were killed, how many are injured, at this point (ph)?
CORPUS: What I can say is that we have multiple victims, some who are deceased. We have one, who is currently, at Stanford, in critical condition.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you cannot confirm the number of the victims still? We heard like seven that was confirmed by the--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
CORPUS: There is seven casualties. And the identification will be made by the Coroner's office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything that you can tell us about the (inaudible) farmworkers, if you can tell us anything about the victims?
CORPUS: Yes. They were on site on the properties. They're believed to be workers. But we can't confirm that yet. As soon as we're able to, we will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did he show up here? Was he going to turn himself in?
CORPUS: That we're still - well, we can assume that that's what his motive was to come here. But we saw him and confronted that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, did the Sheriff's deputy notice him in the car? Did he contact you to tell you he was the shooter (ph)?
CORPUS: So, we knew what the vehicle looked like, and we had the license plate. And the deputy sheriff located the vehicle, and he was inside of the vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you said seven casualties. Does that include the first one that's still alive, at Stanford, or was that an eight (ph)?
CORPUS: No, that's - there's - the person at Stanford would be number eight. What I confirmed was that there were seven, seven casualties--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got it.
CORPUS: --fatalities, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said that there was - there were children, who witnessed this. And I can't imagine what they're just going through. Was this a large like, was there like a crowd of people, where these shots were fired? Or was it more of a background (ph)?
CORPUS: No, it's a big rural location. So, people are working, it's spread out. There's people that live at the location as well. So, you know, it was in the afternoon, when kids were out of school. And for children to witness this is unspeakable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff, what's next, for this investigation? Do you need a warrant to further search the car?
CORPUS: We're working with the District Attorney's office, and we have a collaborative investigation.