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Timeline of Fertlizer Plant Explosion in West, Texas; Latest on Boston Bombing Investigation; Watertown Sees Large Police Presence; Local Reporting from Massachusetts Locations
Aired April 19, 2013 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. We're following two big stories tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): The Boston Marathon investigation is now a manhunt. The FBI needs your help finding these two men. We're going to bring you the latest on that and show you more of those images.
But we begin with the tragedy that is unfolding all around us right now in this small Texas town of West ever since the fertilizer plant here blew up last night. A search and rescue operation in places, recovery work elsewhere, scores of people being treated in area hospitals as far away as Dallas, about 75 miles from here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Earlier tonight state and local authorities spoke to reporters describing the enormous damage that this fertilizer plant did when it exploded. Police didn't give fatality estimates at all, but we know it's heavy among first responders. We're not speculating tonight over numbers. There's too much riding on it.
We've been hearing their stories everywhere, people are coming to us, telling us those stories of incredible bravery in the face of a fire. Volunteer firemen, volunteer EMS personnel who went to the blast, went to do whatever they could.
In a moment I'll be talking with a paramedic who's on his way to recover the bodies of some of his friends. Just minutes ago -- well, we'll tell you the story ahead. He'll tell it to you himself as he wants to.
There's a lot to talk tonight about. This is a town in mourning, a town which is banding together, supporting one another.
First, let's just take a look at how we got to this terrible point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): 7:29 pm: the first reports of a fire. The flames are visible for miles away and the plant burns for about 20 minutes before this. REMNICK: It, like, picked you up. It just took your breath away, and then it dropped you and it like exploded everything around you. I mean, gusts of wind. It was like a suction and then just blew it all out.
COOPER (voice-over): This man and his two young daughters are about 300 yards from the plant when he stops to take video of the flames.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad, dad, I can't hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cover your ears.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of here. Please, get out of here!
COOPER (voice-over): The father and his girls are unharmed. The explosion is so powerful it registers as 2.1 magnitude seismic event, the rumblings felt as far as 50 miles away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fire units. Firefighters down. Again, there has been an explosion. There are firefighters down.
COOPER (voice-over): Firemen who were already on scene battling the flames are reported mission.
DR. GEORGE SMITH, WEST EMS DIRECTOR: It's just overwhelming to us. We're a town of 2,400. We have three ambulances. And there are literally hundreds of people hurt. I know -- I don't -- I haven't been there, but I'm very worried that my ambulance that was on scene, those personnel are probably deceased. I think some of the firemen may be deceased.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.
COOPER (voice-over): Buildings near the plant are blown out by the blast, including a nursing home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rest home has been seriously damaged. We have many people down, please, please respond.
COOPER (voice-over): Patients were already being evacuated from the nursing home because of the fire, but not everyone made it out before the blast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see it? Were you trapped in there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, everybody was trapped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know how many people are -- how many elderly people are there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a guess. I mean, I don't know for sure. I don't know. Maybe like 150 or something like that.
COOPER (voice-over): The plant continues to burn, raising fears that toxic gases may be released into the air. The fertilizer plant had 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, according to the "Dallas Morning News" which can cause severe burns and even death.
By dawn local hospitals report more than 160 wounded patients, some in critical condition. In the light of the day, the devastation from the powerful blast becomes clear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here there's a hot water heater. And you can see the bathtub. This is, obviously, the bathroom of this home that is now gone.
COOPER (voice-over): By 9 am heavy rains helped control the flames and also helped dissipate any chemicals which may have been released. But residents of the town remain missing. Emergency workers are now in the middle of a search and rescue mission. Authorities say they don't know how many people may still be trapped under the rubble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me now is West paramedic Brice Reed.
How are you doing? How's your family doing?
BRICE REED, WEST PARAMEDIC: We're -- we're holding up.
COOPER: You're together.
REED: Yes, sir. We're -- you know, everybody in the -- in EMS and civil services is really binding together and being there for each other. And that's what we're doing right now, is we're just trying to be there for each other and be there for the people that need us right now.
COOPER: I don't want to put you on the spot, so you tell me what you want to talk about, but can you tell me what -- some of the things you saw last night?
REED: I can tell you that there's absolutely no words that I possess that can convey adequately what I saw. I can tell you what I saw last night was it went from my hometown and my reality and my existence to a war zone in an instant. And I don't -- I guess I haven't even had time to process that yet.
COOPER: Your house is gone.
REED: Gone. Yes, I mean, it's -- the overpressure from the blast actually blew the doors off the hinges. My daughter's room has glass fragments embedded in the wall. I mean, it's gone.
COOPER: And you've lost friends, colleagues, close friends?
REED: Yes, many.
COOPER: Do you even know at this point, like everybody you've lost? Or (inaudible)? REED: No. It's -- West is a really small town. As I've always had to explain to people, you know, they ask where are you from? And I say, West, Texas. Well, what part? No, no, no. West, comma, Texas.
COOPER: West, comma, yes. West, by the way, is named after the first mayor of the town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You got me. I don't --
COOPER: You're from Abbott, which I know Willie Nelson is from.
REED: Yes, yes. I'm actually from Rockwall, so -- but moved to West.
And I woke up this morning with the changed reality that I'm never going to say West, comma, Texas, again in my life. You know, I'm not.
And being with the EMS is -- you know, you don't know how people get your phone numbers. And I'm on the board of West. Hence, why I'm speaking with you is with West EMS, is I've received phone calls from London, from Saudi, from Australia, from South Africa, from literally all over the globe, of this outpouring of support. And it's absolutely amazing.
COOPER: And that's been important to you.
REED: Yes, that's what we wanted to convey -- or that I wanted to convey as a member of West EMS.
COOPER: You can feel that support.
REED: It goes beyond that. It's whenever you are at the worst time in your life that nobody can understand and you're in the one place that means everything to you, and you realize that the entire world takes a pause to say we're sorry and is there anything we can do to help, is all the way to ground zero, every one of us are incredibly humbled and grateful for that outpouring of support and thanks and love.
And in a situation like this, you feel like you're alone, but it is incredibly humbling to have everything that everyone has done for us. I don't know where to begin in saying thank you. And I don't know where to begin in saying, you know, we are West. And we'll get back to that. But --
COOPER: You are West and will always be West --
COOPER: This town is going to rise again. REED: There's -- this is, you know, this is a big -- it's a town, but it's more than that. It is -- it's the only place on Earth that I've ever been where, if I have a problem, literally, all the stops are pulled out, where everybody will do anything they can to help you.
COOPER: Down by the Czech bakery, they are refusing to take any money today. They're giving away food. Over at the drugstore, I was stopping in there earlier, the pharmacy, they're collecting clothes for people. Folks are cooking a barbecue right across the street from us right now. It's kind of an amazing spirit.
REED: It is. Welcome to West.
REED: That's what I'll tell you. Is that's not just because of this incident, is that's the way these people are here, is they are absolutely incredible. And a situation like this really brings out the true character of individuals. And -- but I'm proud to live here. I'm proud to be a part of this community.
COOPER: And I should just point out, too, for folks who don't realize that Brice is a volunteer, everybody's a volunteer here -- fire department, EMS -- people who didn't have to go to that blast, went to that blast. People who could have stayed at home, they didn't have to go.
REED: They were all volunteer.
REED: There was not one person -- there was not one person that got paid. Not one person that was told, is they all just went.
COOPER: People went knowing that could blow?
REED: That's their job. When other people are running away, by nature, our job is to run towards what people are running away from because we have to -- we have to do what we have to do. And by nature, that's what we do.
COOPER: It's also important, I think, that people realize because of the first responders who went there, you and the others who realize, you know what, we need to start evacuating folks out of here, that saved lives. I mean, the fires were burning before that explosion. And before the explosion, people started to get evacuated.
REED: We did our best to get people out of the area. And in the beginning it was just a fire. And not going into too much operation detail, because I can't disclose that at this point in time.
COOPER: Sure, sure.
REED: But what I can say is we -- you know, we had -- we did our best to keep everybody safe. And nobody could have seen this coming. Nobody. Nobody. I've been doing this for 13 years. There's no way I would have ever dreamed that this would have happened.
I mean, it's profound and it's dire and it hurts like hell, but, you know, the main thing is that we wanted to convey is that, you know, please keep the prayers coming. Please keep the thoughts coming. Please keep -- please keep the -- everything going because it helps.
COOPER: Thank you, Brice, I appreciate it.
REED: Thank you.
COOPER: It's really an honor to talk to you. Brice Reed.
Just ahead, much more on what people here are struggling to come to grips with, as you can tell just hearing from Brice. I mean, there's -- people don't know the full extent of this at this point. And we're not giving out any numbers, because that's just speculation and the people here deserve more than speculation. So until we have hard numbers, hard facts, we're not going to give them to you.
But we want you to hear their stories. We want you to hear what people are going through and people here want you to know what they're going through and the changed reality that they are now living with and that they will be living with for weeks and months and years to come.
They're -- also tonight we have got to tell you about all of the stuff that's happening out of Boston, two of the most wanted men in the world tonight, the FBI released these images today of the Boston bombing suspects. Coming up, all the new developments and the investigation on that (inaudible).
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We are getting details on breaking news from the Boston area, that shooting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our Drew Griffin joins us on the phone from Boston with more on this.
Drew, what are you able to tell us? What's happening there now?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Earlier this evening in Cambridge, MIT, the university which is literally across the Charles River from where the horrific events took place at the Boston Marathon, a police officer was shot. He was taken to a hospital and later died.
But, Rosemary, this has become a much, much bigger story, the scope of which we're not quite clear of.
There has been a huge sign of police, first at the police officer shooting at the MIT campus and now there is a huge incident in a town called Watertown, which is just past Harvard University on the way outside of Boston. It's a suburb, but there are reports of explosive ordnances on the street, a suspect who has been taken into custody, another one on the loose.
And I can just tell you I'm walking up on the scene where there are dozens and dozens of police officers and ambulances circling this little town square area, where there seems to be some sort of large event that has taken place involving suspects that may have been connected to the MIT shooting.
But we don't know if they're connected to anything else that has happened in Boston over this past week. So, as we are trying to ascertain what's going on, we have literally been passed by police officers speeding down very small streets to get to this scene, which I'm coming upon now. And we hope to have more information as soon as we can ascertain what has happened from the local police here.
CHURCH: Drew, you mentioned the local police. Do we know at this point if the FBI are involved?
GRIFFIN: I keep looking for any kind of U.S. federal officials, in the FBI or ATF -- Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- the atomic explosives people. I do not see them. I just see state police, Boston police, Cambridge police, the local police, you would have to call it, along with fire departments and ambulances.
CHURCH: All right, Drew Griffin, standing by there in Boston. If you would a moment, Drew, we're going to go to our affiliate WCBB to listen to what they have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officer at MIT was shot several times around 10:48 this evening. Rushed to MGH where he lost his life. They say a suspect is still at large. They are still searching for that person, but we have not seen any more sweeps of this area at this point.
There are two police trucks -- police cars, cruisers, that I can see at this point where I am. The perimeter has not changed. It's still quite a distance back. So where I'm standing is still several blocks away from where that shooting occurred.
And again, at this point, we are the only media at this site. And most of the police have left. It has quieted down quite a bit and it seems that the focus has turned to these other areas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the MIT website, once again, which I keep going back to for the updates, and the latest one came around 12 minutes ago. And it says suspect remains at large, please continue to stay indoors.
So, even though, as you say, it's kind of turned into a bit of a ghost town there and there's only a couple of police officers, they are still asking for their 11,000 students and faculty and anyone who's in that area to continue to stay indoors, because they do not know where this suspect is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Understandably, because at this point we don't know that there have been any arrests or anyone is in custody.
Again, when we were down here earlier and there was a great deal of media in the area, there were many students who had come out, who had received those alerts from MIT, wanting to see, they were sort of curious cats wanting to see with their own eyes what was going on.
And those people have all cleared out as well. I don't believe any of those headed to these other scenes. I think that, at this point, the intrigue has kind of been lost.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me for interrupting you. We want to get back to Shane (ph), who works in our graphics department.
And Shane (ph), I know you're going to only have a moment to us, because they want to take the cell phones off, so talk to us quickly.
SHANE (PH): Yes. I just witnessed a lobby -- there was a group of officers at the corner of Laurel and Dexter. They started heading down towards my house. They started taking their firearms out and pointing them down towards School Street, looking -- they were looking at the houses on my side. I'm number 23.
So, they were pointing them in the direction of my house and the house next to mine. And that's when I decided to hit the floor and I don't think it's worthwhile sticking my head up at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I think we should let you go. And please go and take care of your family and be safe. And you can only call us when you know that it is the all clear at this point in time.
SHANE (PH): Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Shane (ph). Be safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be -- yes, please be safe.
I want to share with you something else that Shawn Kelley (ph) has just informed us of, that cell phones have been ordered off for police and media who are in the area because of undetonated explosives. Again, the cell phones have been ordered off for police and media because of undetonated explosives.
And I'm not drawing any connection or correlation as to what happened on Monday, but there was a similar type of situation where, initially after the first two attacks, law enforcement was asking everyone to not use their cell phones, because they were concerned at that point in time that there could potentially be other explosive devices in the area that could possibly be triggered by cell phone activity.
So, this would suggest that they are also encouraging everyone to not use their cell phones right now because of those undetonated things.
OK. Well, Shawn (ph) is on the phone now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, Shawn (ph), where are you right now, Shawn (ph)?
SHAWN KELLEY (PH): We're in -- we're right next to the location where the first suspect was taken down. A fire truck has moved away from this scene, but only slightly. They have now -- the police have all rushed about a block away from here. I can't quite make out the street from where I'm sitting. But we're being told to stay in the car.
But for the last several minutes, police were pointing in the direction of another potential suspect. They were -- they were ordering that suspect to -- they were ordering for that suspect not to move and then there were -- then there were shouts from police officers that the second suspect was in custody.
Police officers moved towards some type of a vehicle and then we could hear on the radio that the police officers were being told to back away out of concern over explosives possibly being in this other vehicle. I can't tell from where I am what kind of a car it was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if the -- if the first suspect, I assume, has been secured and is in custody and there are no concerns about him?
KELLEY (PH): We couldn't see the ambulance leave. We heard people yelling that one suspect was being taken to Beth Israel. That's an unconfirmed report, though. I mean, there's -- it's so hectic out here. People are yelling all kinds of different stuff, but that's what we heard from police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So...
KELLEY (PH): I think we should be careful with a lot of this information, though, because there's just a lot of screaming going on right now. We're dealing with police officers who just, from what we could hear, took heavy gunfire. We heard a lot of explosions and so there's a lot of confusion right now that they're trying to settle down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, let's just be --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's try to sort it out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Let's rely on your eyes. When you look out the window, what do you see?
KELLEY (PH): I see a much calmer neighborhood at this point. I see police officers are in SWAT uniform, bulletproof vests outside of their normal uniforms, helmets on, guns drawn, most of them -- most pacing the neighborhood at this point.
But for -- I'm not even sure exactly how long this has been going on, but for quite some time those guns have been pointed in any number of directions, between homes as they've been sprinting down the road. We witnessed the police run around a corner to take down the first suspect, the first suspect that was taken into custody.
We couldn't actually see the arrest from where we were positioned. We wound up stopping our car because there was so much gunfire going between these homes. We stopped our -- we stopped our car as police were telling everyone to stop where they were, so to try to get this under control.
A short time later, after they -- it appears they removed that first suspect from the area, they were able to find a second suspect, it appears, maybe a block to a block and a half away. They had guns drawn, pointed at a suspect. They were screaming something at him.
And then it just seemed to calm down. And what we could hear over the radio was to back away from the vehicle in case there were more explosives. And then we were hearing police saying, yelling, "Second suspect in custody."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that's not yet been confirmed, by your eyes, anyway?
KELLEY (PH): Not by my eyes. But the radio traffic is all indicating that. And just by the demeanor of the police officers, things are beginning to calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dan (ph) -- and agencies, Shawn (ph), from, I assume, Watertown, I assume Massachusetts State Police. What else have you seen?
KELLEY (PH): I just saw one of the Boston police superintendents, just came running over to our car to make sure that we weren't -- that we weren't suspects of any kind. We had to roll down the window to show that we just kind of got caught in all of this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm curious to know, we were speaking with Todd Wallace (ph) a little while ago and he said that he saw a Homeland Security vehicle. Have you seen any Homeland Security vehicles where you are located?
KELLEY (PH): I haven't. The vehicles I'm looking at appear to all be -- I'm looking at transit police, MBTA (ph) transit police, Watertown fire, Boston police, possibly FBI, a handful of Boston undercover. I can tell you from -- coming from the direction of Cambridge, I have to believe at least a handful of these are Cambridge vehicles. That's where this --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That may have been where it started, Shawn (ph). And we have --
KELLEY (PH): I believe -- I believe -- from what we could tell, from where we picked this up, it was on Memorial Drive, at around 816 Memorial Drive --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is the --
KELLEY (PH): -- the area of the Mobil gas station and the Shell gas station --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shawn (ph), just hold on for just a second. We have got a live shot up right now of Watertown. And you can see -- you can see the cameras are there. You can see there are a number of people are there. I assume a lot of them are reporters.
I assume a lot of them are people who live in the neighborhood as well. All right. Go ahead. I didn't mean to interrupt your story, but that's what everyone is looking at. KELLEY (PH): That's fine. I mean, I can tell you that people who have -- who have stuck their heads out the doors here on Dexter have all been ordered immediately back into their home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out, Todd (ph). Watch out, Todd (ph).
KELLEY (PH): We made efforts to get out of our vehicle and we have been ordered back in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, I'm not sure which camera this is. This might be Todd's (ph) camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would be with Todd Wallace (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This would be Toddcam (ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would be our second crew.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Todd (ph) was -- Todd (ph) was actually at Mt. Auburn and Lloyd, which is not far from where Shawn (ph) is speaking to us right now. Shawn (ph) is at Laurel Street and Dexter Street, at that intersection. But this camera is a little further away, up on Mt. Auburn and Lloyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. Hey, it looks like one of the suspects was removed --
CHURCH: All right. We're going to leave our affiliate WCBB just for a moment. We want to go to our other affiliate, WHDH, to hear what they're reporting. Let's listen.
ADAM (PH): -- get down, and I got down behind the car door, behind the car. And he got down, I believe, behind a police car. It was a matter of just getting down as quickly as you could at the nearest possible place.
So, he was about 10 feet in front of me. And then I believe that when they told us to get back even further, when I heard something of a hand grenade, he must have followed me. But that's when I lost him for a short while.
But he and everyone else has been moved back now on the other side of this yellow tape. I don't know what he was able to shoot video wise, but I think he was rolling right up until that moment where we were basically fearing for our lives. And never in my reporting career have I felt so vulnerable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we are -- we are glad you're safe, Adam (ph), and you did the right thing by trying to find cover.
We are -- we're being told that, in this video we're watching here, at some point, we might see the suspected gunman, at some point. We're not sure where. And this is the part that -- oh, right there on the ground.
Oh, OK. Wow. That's -- Neil (ph) did a great job. And this is where they're backing up here, I guess. Does he have -- ?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His eyes seem to be closed. His arms spread out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, spread out, he's on his stomach, on the ground. And -- but that is the point where they were backing up. And it's interesting that they are backing up, Adam (ph). And perhaps he was threatening that he had some sort of a weapon on him, in his hand. But there doesn't appear to be anything in his hands. No? Doesn't appear to be anything in his hand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is unbelievable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And This, again, happening just moments ago.
Adam (ph), are you still with us?
ADAM (PH): I'm still with you. At one point -- and, again, this is just what I heard from police. I can't go on record --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, right. No, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're watching the guy laying on the ground --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're watching him, he's laying on the ground--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- legs crossed, some jogging pants with a stripe up along the side, brown hair --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) Laurel Street, across the (inaudible) and goes into Laurel Street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And what did you experience tonight?
GREG (PH): Well, I had heard -- first, I heard a loud explosion type sound and then just massive police cars heading down Monaburn (ph) Street but there were so many, I couldn't tell which direction they were going.
And then about half an hour ago, I heard a couple sirens on my street. So I came out to check and there were like 20, 25 police cars.
And now the end of Monaburn (ph) Street at Spruce is blocked off. I'm hearing a helicopter coming overhead. And police are telling people coming out of their houses to go back in. They don't want to be hearing anybody who has no business on the street to just leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to give folks a reference to where you are, Greg (ph), if I'm not mistaken. You say you're on Spruce Street. And it looks like Spruce Street runs into School Street and then it becomes Laurel Street on the opposite side of School Street.
GREG (PH): Yes, and then a short distance from there, it goes into Dexter.
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. Exactly. So from where you are, it looks like a very short distance to where this initial takedown took place at Laurel and Dexter Streets in Watertown.
GREG (PH): Yes, it's very close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear -- did you hear the gunshots? Did you -- did you experience personally the gunshots?
GREG (PH): I did hear them from my window.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GREG (PH): It was -- I was watching the MIT news coverage. And then a short time later I heard gunshots out from my window. And I didn't think they were related. I took that there was something else. But then I kept on watching the news and -- and then all this started happening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we -- let me just be clear, Greg (ph). We do not know if these --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the helicopter he's talking about, by the way. That's the helicopter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's the helicopter you were just talking about. We have not connected the dots between the MIT incident and this incident; however, they have all happened within a relatively close proximity of one another in terms of distance as well and as well as timing this evening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Greg (ph), thank you. You are safe. That is the most important thing, right?
GREG (PH): Yes, I am safe. And my street seems to be safe. And everybody's inside and not creating any kind of commotion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it --
CHURCH: I just want to leave our affiliate WHDH there for a moment. You saw the gunman there flat on his face on the road surrounded by police.
I want to go to our CNN photojournalist Gabe Ramirez (ph), who is there at the scene.
Gabe (ph) ,tell us what have you been able to witness at this point.
GABE RAMIREZ, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST: Hey, I am in Watertown near the corner of Dexter and (inaudible)
I'm sorry. I'm getting (inaudible).
And what -- basically what I -- we rolled up here about 10 minutes ago, I did. And police were in a standoff with a vehicle just down the hill. They all had their weapons drawn. As soon as they -- well, I could -- I could hear their orders to him, to strip down all his clothes. He was ordered out of his vehicle. And he was placed under arrest.
He was put into a (inaudible) police vehicle. There are multiple agencies here from Watertown, Newton (ph) and state police. And I heard overheard Police Chief Wilinsky (ph), who was on the scene, say that he -- that the second suspect was in custody and they needed a positive ID.
So that's what I have here now. I'm sorry. I apologize. But it's quite a chaotic scene right now, as you can imagine.
CHURCH: Totally understand, Gabe (ph). So just to clarify there, basically you say both suspects there at MIT are in custody. Has any link --
RAMIREZ (PH): No, no. I'm in Watertown. No, I'm in Watertown.
CHURCH: Right, OK.
RAMIREZ (PH): One of the suspects involved in the police shooting here this evening was taken into custody now. The implication -- or the implication from police here is that possibly one of the two suspects -- they say they're looking for, they have not been clear on that point, obviously, but that is the implication. We don't know --
CHURCH: So -- OK. So they have -- they have made that link to -- what gives you the feeling that that's -- that that person, that suspect, is linked to the Boston bombings?
RAMIREZ (PH): (Inaudible) in the car matches a general description of the suspects they are looking for. However, I have -- we have no idea who these men are for sure, but this is what the police have -- the police -- it was quite a chaotic scene. Police were yelling at each other back and forth across the street, the radio chatter, all of this, right now there's just a lot of confusion.
But the suspect was ordered to strip his clothes. It was quite tense. Once the suspect surrendered, they moved him, fully undressed, into a police vehicle.
CHURCH: He was fully undressed. He was told to remove his clothing?
RAMIREZ (PH): Yes, correct.
CHURCH: Right. And do you -- going by the images you have seen, did he appear more like the suspect one or suspect two of the images that the FBI have released?
RAMIREZ (PH): Now, of course, the two images, it's difficult to see exactly what they look like, but from the images that I've seen from the FBI press conference, it definitely looked like suspect one. He more resembled suspect one. He was a thin, darker-skinned individual. And he was fully undressed and put into a police vehicle. Shortly after that, however, the police chief was on the scene, they had a suspect and they needed a positive ID. Now that's all I heard and that's all I know at this point.
CHURCH: All right. CNN photojournalist Gabe Ramirez (ph) there, telling us, at this point, we understand that one of the suspects -- we're going to just call him MIT gunman suspect. We're not going to make this link to the Boston Marathon bombing at this point until we get some sort of official confirmation on that.
At this point, we understand that suspect was told to remove his clothing and was taken in custody.
I want to go to our Jake Tapper, who is there at the scene, to bring us some more information on this.
Jake, what information do you have?
Jake Tapper, can you hear me? We're live on CNN right now.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, I'm -- I can hear you. Yes, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were talking to me.
So I'm standing here, right here at the intersection where the marathon, the Boston Marathon bombing took place. This is what's been going on in the last hour or so.
First of all, there was a shooting at the campus of MIT. That's in Cambridge. That is roughly about a mile, I believe, that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just over the river.
TAPPER: Just over the river. And there was a shooting there. An officer was killed there, according to local authorities.
And then, in addition to that, there is a huge scrum of police officers in the Watertown area. That is about four miles beyond where we are standing right now, right near where the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks took place. And the huge media scrum there, there are two suspects who have been apprehended.
Now, at this moment we do not know if the two suspects who have been apprehended in Watertown are related to either the shooting of the police officer at MIT or the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks.
But, of course, this is a city on edge where there is a huge police presence. The idea that we're watching images of a big police presence in the Watertown area, that has an FBI presence, does seem unusual for a situation like this.
But right now, in terms of the confirmed facts that we have, beyond the bombing that took place here in Boston on Monday, this evening there was a shooting of an MIT police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And then after that, there was a big police presence and a -- if you listen to police scanners -- and obviously not everything you hear on a police scanner is accurate information -- but there were reports of guns. There were reports of explosives.
And now we are told by the police officer on the ground there in Watertown that there were two suspects that have been apprehended in Watertown, Massachusetts, about four miles from the scene of the crime of the terrorist attacks here in Boston, Massachusetts. So that is what we know as of right now, right this minute.
CHURCH: And, Jake, although we don't know what sort of link there is, to, as you suggest, either the shooting, the deadly shooting of the MIT police officer or the Boston Marathon blast, it is a comfort for people in Boston to hear that these two suspects have been apprehended.
We were talking to CNN photojournalist Gabe Ramirez (ph), who witnessed one of those suspects, apparently had to remove his clothing and was taken naked into custody. I'd just be interested if there's any more information on the other suspect and whether they were taken pretty much in the same area, close by to each other.
TAPPER: The information we have as of right now, and of course, as we know, in situations like this, the first information is not always the accurate information, but the information we have right now is that there was an officer killed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where MIT is. There also was a carjacking in MIT. And then two suspects were apprehended in Watertown, just beyond the MIT campus in Cambridge.
Those two suspects were apparently apprehended in tandem. That is, they were apprehended at the same time.
As you can hear, there are a lot of sirens in Boston right now, a lot of sirens in the area. You're going to see some coming by me right now.
We do not know whether or not these two suspects apprehended by the police and the FBI at this early hour in the morning are necessarily related to the shooting in Cambridge or to the terrorist attack on Monday. But you know, generally speaking, I think it's fair to say that a lot of people are very suspicious that they might be related.
CHURCH: Yes, indeed, a lot of people making that assumption.
But, Jake, give us an idea if you have seen any FBI presence nearby.
TAPPER: Well, we haven't seen an FBI presence here, right now where we are. We are right now standing at the intersection of Huntington and Dartmouth. We're not far from the Back Bay area where the terrorist attacks took place on Monday.
It is a scene of a crime. It is a police -- you can't cross the lines here, the police tape. It is a crime scene. But there is -- there has been historically in the last week here an FBI presence, a police presence, the Joint Terrorism Task Force has been there. It's unusual that there would be FBI involved in a crime in Watertown, Massachusetts, if this were not a federal issue, obviously. And that's why we're now covering this and why I'm up in the middle of the night.
But in terms of facts that we know for certain, we do not know that what's going on in Watertown or in Cambridge is necessarily related to what happened here on Monday.
CHURCH: And, Jake, I do want to keep you talking on this, because there is so much activity behind you and, of course, so much interest. And we're going right across the globe. A lot of people hoping, hoping that this would be a good conclusion to what had happened at the Boston -- on Monday at the marathon.
But of course, we emphasize that no link, no official link has been made here at all. But if we might just go back over what we do know, because there is comfort in, I think, that these two suspects have been taken into custody, whoever they may be.
TAPPER: Well, let's just go over the events since 5 o'clock Eastern time this evening. And right now it's roughly 1:30 in the morning here in Boston, Massachusetts.
Since that time the FBI has released photographs of two individuals whom they suspect to be suspects in the Boston terrorist attacks.
Since that time that that announcement was made, shortly after 5 o'clock Eastern pm this evening, there was another photograph that "The New York Times" verified that seemed to have been an even better picture, an even better image of one of the suspects, the one with the white baseball cap as opposed to the one with the black baseball cap.
That individual's face was seen better in a picture that was posted on Facebook. And the person -- you're looking at the picture right now. There you go. And that person who posted that on Facebook said that the FBI had contacted him, said that that was the best quality photograph they had seen of this individual.
"The New York Times" verified that. Then since that happened this evening, there was a shooting of a police officer at MIT in Cambridge, just roughly over the river, about a mile over that way.
And then after that happened, and there was a carjacking on that campus as well, two suspects were apprehended in Watertown, New York, which is roughly three miles beyond that, about four miles. And I apologize if I'm not getting my geography exactly right. I am not from Boston. But I think that's roughly correct.
So in any case, we don't know that it is all related, but we do think that it is suspicious that the FBI has been involved in apprehending two suspects in Watertown, Massachusetts, and this carjacking all took place, all within the hours after all this information was released about the suspects that the FBI is looking for because of the horrific terrorist attacks that took place here in Boston just a couple blocks away from me, killing three individuals and maiming seriously dozens of others.
CHURCH: All right, yes, some very interesting points there, particularly the one about the FBI, as you raise that.
Jake Tapper, I want you to stand by there. We do want to come back to you.
We want to go to our drew Griffin now, on the phone from Boston.
Drew, what are you able to add to this?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can just tell you that the scene here in Watertown is quite chaotic with a huge police presence. We just heard what sounded like a shotgun (inaudible) going off. I don't know if there was a misfire or what.
But this is where all of the arrests took place and the police continue to push us further and further back from where we started. We're now five blocks away from the exact scene where one of the people was taken into custody.
But again, Rosemary, I'm not seeing any kind of federal presence here whatsoever. As we were driving up on the scene, police cars were passing us at just incredibly high rates of speed but every single one of them was either a local police or a state police, no federal police. And we have yet to have any confirmation from any official source on this scene as to whom was taken into custody here and for what crime.
As Jake was saying, you know, these are very close to the shootings at MIT. The shooting at MIT, in fact, was just basically straight up the road, Massachusetts Avenue, by several miles. But again, all we know is that a shooting happened there.
The police ran to this location. We talked to several witnesses, and you've had on your air many reports of gunshots, descriptions of guns being fired, but nothing that is linking any of these crimes.
CHURCH: All right, our Drew Griffin there. Still a chaotic scene where he is.
Let's go back to our Jake Tapper, because I understand, Jake, you have an update on this.
TAPPER: Yes, I just wanted to clear up some of the information. Obviously, in a situation like this it's very fluid. We hear things on the police scanner.
Just to clear up some of the things that I have conveyed that I've now been told, corrections of or different information, we're told now that it's one suspect that's been apprehended in Watertown, one. And also that the FBI presence was on the MIT campus, not in Watertown, MIT. So just to add to what Drew reported from the scene.
So, that is the latest information that we have. Again, we're not making any assumptions here that there is a direct connection between what happened here in Boston on Monday, what happened at the MIT campus in Cambridge this evening and what just happened in Watertown. But, obviously, this is a city on edge.
There is a lot of activity, a lot of police sirens. We see the police here, who obviously are at the crime scene of what took place on Monday, the terrorist attacks. And they are up, they are about; we have cars buzzing in and out, police officers talking to each other. So that is the latest of what's happening exactly right now.
CHURCH: All right. So just one suspect apprehended at this point. And that probably explains why it is still a very chaotic scene there.
Jake, let's -- I do want to just go back over what we know with you, if you don't mind, if we can just walk our audience -- if people throughout the world have just joined us at this point, there's some progress made.
We don't know, we're not making any links with the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, but as you mention, Boston is a town on edge and we are getting word of a suspect apprehended. Do just go over what we know in the events that have unfolded in the last hour or so.
TAPPER: The events of the last hour are as follows: there was a shooting on the MIT campus and an officer apparently, according to authorities there, was killed.
In addition, there was a carjacking on the MIT campus. We do not know that that is related in any way to what happened here in Boston in the Back Bay area with the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks. We do not know any connection whatsoever at all.
But after the officer was killed at MIT, a suspect of some sort was apprehended not far from the area where MIT is, not far from Cambridge in Watertown, which is outside Boston. One suspect was apprehended. And you heard from the CNN photojournalist there -- you're going to hear a bunch more sirens coming my way.
You're going to hear what the CNN photojournalist said, that that suspect was apprehended in the way he was. That was one suspect, not two.
Obviously, the authorities here, with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, are looking for two suspects as they outlined earlier this evening at about 5:00, 5:15 pm Eastern time here in Boston. They put out photographic evidence, film and still photos, of two individuals, one with a black halt, one with a white hat, whom they suspect having left the bombs in the area of the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Since that time, when the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force put out those photographs, one other photograph has come out, that came out on Facebook. "The New York Times" verified its authenticity, which had a much clearer photograph, a much clearer image of the faces of one of the suspects.
Again, we don't know that there's any connection whatsoever to the New York -- to the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks, those horrible bombings, and what has happened in the last hour or so on the MIT campus in Cambridge and the arrest of a suspect of some sort in Watertown, Massachusetts.
CHURCH: And, Jake, what exactly is happening around where you are now? We've seen the vehicles, the emergency vehicles pass you by.
What is happening in the immediate area there? We know that that -- you are standing there at the scene of the Boston Marathon blast. And of course, the action is taking place further away from you.
But what is happening in that immediate vicinity?
TAPPER: A lot of police are just coming and going. I just want to share one thing. We now have an update. We're told that we do have an FBI presence on the scene in Watertown, Massachusetts.
So, earlier we said it was just local. Police apparently now, the FBI has also come to the scene in Watertown, where that one suspect was apprehended.
The significance of that, the potential significance of that, is that obviously the FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That's for a national crime, not just for a local crime. If this were to be a serious crime that took place, the FBI -- and a suspect that was wanted in a serious crime, the FBI would be involved.
That's not to say that the suspect is wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings. But that would increase the likelihood that it is something of significance.
In terms of what's going on here, this is a crime scene that has been shut off since Monday. We see investigators come and go into the area and we know that just yesterday we saw some of them inspecting one of the sites.
But generally speaking, we don't have a great idea of what they are doing beyond our immediate line of sight and the media and the public is kept at bay, away from the investigation, as you might understand.
CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to you, Jake Tapper, there in Boston.
Just -- he was clarifying there, one suspect apprehended in Watertown. And we are getting word that there is an FBI presence on the scene there in Watertown. That is potentially significant, as Jake pointed out.
Let's go to our Drew Griffin again. Is he there in Boston, closer to the actual scene there at MIT campus.
Drew, what information have you been able to gather while we were away from you?
GRIFFIN: I just wanted to piggyback on what Jake Tapper said. Immediately as he was just saying that FBI was present, a FBI officer -- or I should exactly what I saw. A person wearing an FBI jacket came up in what appears to be a personal car, got some stuff out of his trunk and walked towards the crime scene, which now is about five blocks away (inaudible).
That was the first time I laid eyes on any kind of FBI presence here. That is one person. That's not to say, Rosemary, that there's more down there. I just -- I was at the scene. I didn't see any at the exact scene.
But they kept moving us back, moving us back, moving us back. And now I have just seen the one FBI -- person with an FBI jacket. And I will certainly update you if I see any evidence of the same detectives that I've been seeing on the Boston Marathon case. But as of this moment, I did not recognize him. He was just a man in an FBI jacket who's here, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Drew, would you still describe the scene as very chaotic? Is there a sense that this has not come to any conclusion at this point?
GRIFFIN: I still see cars, police cars coming up at high rates of speed and then seem to slow down. I don't know if these are just officers who are being called to the scene and think there is still an emergency going on.
Certainly at the scene, there doesn't appear to be anybody running around with guns on or looking for any kind of suspects or anything like that.
We have been moved back but it doesn't appear to be for any kind of danger. And no, I wouldn't describe it as chaotic in the sense that there's still an active crime scene. I think it's chaotic in the fact that we have multiple police agencies here, now trying to figure out, what do we do with the investigation that must be going on.
CHURCH: And, Drew, earlier when we were taking our affiliates' reporting on this, there was a mention that there was a fear of unexploded -- well, a possible bomb there. We don't know exactly. But they were certainly guiding people not to use their cell phones.
Have you had any update on that particular part of the story at all?
GRIFFIN: We have absolutely no update on that, although I did talk to a few people who believe they heard two or three small explosions right about the same time that there were -- there was gunfire going on. So, people do believe -- these are, you know, civilian witnesses, earwitnesses, believe they did hear explosions here.
I could not see or detect any, by sight or smell, any sign of an explosion. And we got on the scene after the shooting had subsided. So I can't tell you that right now. No one has come up to me and said turn the cell phone off. So that's basically where that stands.
And as I'm standing here now, two ambulances have just pulled up. Their lights are not on. They don't seem to be in any kind of emergency status, perhaps just standing by in case they would be needed. But that seems to be the situation.
CHURCH: And that's an interesting point, since the information we have is that one suspect has been taken into custody. So, he has been removed from the scene, so we don't know why those two ambulances are apparently on standby for some particular reason.
But just describe where you are or near where are you, Drew, if you don't mind, just to give us more of an idea of your location. I know you've been moved back somewhat.
GRIFFIN: Right, right. Watertown is a suburb, you might say, of Boston. It's across the Charles River and up away, I guess it would be west of the Cambridge Harvard area of Boston.
And we're on the main -- what I would consider the main drag of Watertown, on Laurel Drive and at the center of what appears to be a actual firehouse in what I would call the center of town, is right where the center of the activity is.
We were up there. It's about -- it was about a block-wide area that was forged off when I first arrived. There must have been at least 15 different emergency vehicles packed inside just that one-block area, from police cars to some kind of a bomb detection vehicles to ambulance, and I believe I did see a fire truck as well up there. They were all packed in there, police walking around.
And then suddenly we started to get backed up further and further and further. First a block, then two blocks, then three blocks and now we are five blocks away. Police have the tape all marked off, and the central business district of Watertown is completely roped off as this activity is unfolding about two blocks down the street from where I can see.
CHURCH: All right, our Drew Griffin standing by there at Watertown, bringing us some of those details.
I want to go to Juliette Kayyem, who lives in Cambridge, also a national security expert, I might add.
Juliette, talk to us about what you're piecing together at this point, as this is happening in your neighborhood.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I had left CNN earlier because I had been doing work on air for the Boston Marathon and heard about this and was essentially delayed at the hotel because we had heard of so much activity.
By the time I could get to Cambridge off the Mass turnpike, I had never seen anything like it, 30 or 35 cop cars had passed me by the time I had gotten to Cambridge.
But I want to make it clear that there was a cop killing, as everyone knows, at MIT they are rare, very rare.
And a response like this triggered by a police officer being, you know, just killed at MIT, at a university, where students are, is -- would engender a significant police response, given that we have just faced the Boston Marathon attacks, the fact that we see so much activity is only because -- may only be because -- let me just put that -- make that clear -- may only be because everyone is activated, as they should be, because there are key suspects on the loose. So, this reaction to a cop killing, if it's related to what we're watching right now, cop killings are a big deal still and police officers send a lot of resources to them, even if they're underutilized. The fact there's federal law enforcement may be just because everyone's on high alert.
So as Jake was saying, because it's unfolding so fast, we see FBI, that might just be because simply we just don't know right now.
And so what we're seeing is unfolding in real time and we'll see. But just, you know, if a cop killing triggered this, there's always a huge police response to it. The fact that the perpetrators appear to have gone from Cambridge to a nearby suburb means that you're just going to activate a lot of jurisdictions in the process. So we'll see sort of how this unfolds.
CHURCH: Yes, yes, we most definitely will. Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much, living in Cambridge there, in the neighborhood, where this took place, a national security expert. Juliette, we will more than likely come back to you in the minutes, possibly hours ahead.
Want to go back to our Jake Tapper standing by, again, because I understand, Jake, you have some additional information to add to this.
TAPPER: Well, obviously to reiterate what Juliette said, I mean, any time there would be a major police activity going on, the FBI, with the heightened state of security and alert that is going on right now, would necessarily go there.
And the reaction to a police shooting -- there was a police officer at MIT in Cambridge killed this evening, roughly at 10:30, I believe, is when that took place, there would be naturally an FBI and a big police presence for anything that might be involved with that.
So, again, there is not necessarily any relationship whatsoever with what is going on here in the Boston area this evening with what took place here on Monday.
That said, just to give you an update on what is going on right now, in the last 15 or 20 minutes, we were told that MIT has put out an alert, telling students to please, and others who live on the campus, to please remain indoors, that police have not determined that the campus is safe. That was roughly 15 or 20 minutes ago.
So, there -- even though there is this one suspect apprehended in Watertown, not far from Cambridge, the police have not made the determination that what's going on in Cambridge at the MIT campus is over. So, that's something for people to keep in mind.
I'm told that there was also an alert that similarly went out, I believe, at the campus of Boston University, which is not far from there. So that's going on.
Right now we're still waiting to hear -- there are all sorts of reports on police scanners and other media, suggesting that somebody has been taken to a hospital. We're not sure if it is a police officer or one of the suspects or the suspect that was apprehended this evening. As soon as we determine what exactly that information is, we'll let you know and we'll bring it to you as soon as possible.
CHURCH: Indeed. I mean, there are so many pieces to this. And we are trying to draw this all together.
Of course, for our global audience, you need to understand the significance of this story is that we are dealing with a city, Boston, that is really on edge here. And, of course, we've had this situation, where an MIT police officer was shot and killed. A suspect possibly related to that has been taken into custody.
But we are trying to pull all of this together, to try to understand what exactly has happened. This is a very significant story for the United States and, of course, for the rest of the world as well.
Jake, just going back to you, just to sort of put this into perspective, because the drama, the chaos is not over yet, clearly. There's still a lot of activity behind you. There's still a lot of activity at Watertown. And we're trying to sort of make some sort of sense of this.