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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Fire Department: At Least Eight Injured, One Critically; OSU Reports Active Shooter: "Run, Hide, Fight"; Local Media: A Suspect Is Dead At Ohio State University. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 28, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: The Columbus Fire Department, though, has just confirmed eight people have been transported to area hospitals.
[11:00:03] Gunshots have been heard. The first message to students and faculty and employees came via a tweet and a text earlier this morning, I think just about 10:00 a.m. this morning, saying this, "Buckeye alert, active shooter on campus, run, hide, fight, Watts Hall, 19th and College."
A message a little bit later cautioned everyone to continue to shelter in place in the north campus area. A lot to go over. We are waiting for more information to come in as we are continuing to follow these live pictures.
As we do that, let me bring in our team of reporters and analysts at this hour, CNN law enforcement analyst, Art Roderick will be joining us, correspondent, Deborah Feyerick, she has been working her sources.
CNN senior law enforcement analyst as well will be joining us in just a second. We also have Ohio State University student, Kevin Vasquez, he is joining me by the phone. He's on Ohio State's campus near the scene of the shooting. Kevin, can you hear me?
KEVIN VASQUEZ, STUDENT, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (via telephone): Yes, I can.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for jumping on the phone. How are you doing right now? What do you know? What are you seeing?
VASQUEZ: I doing well. I'm on edge a little bit. I'm told to move back from Lane Avenue because I guess there's two shooters and they have one of them pinned down inside in a bathroom.
BOLDUAN: We don't have that information confirmed, Kevin. We don't have the number of shooters or to anyone is pinned down, but thank you very much for letting me know what you are hearing. We are working as we always say in these early moments, there can be lot of conflicting information.
I want to make sure we are clear with our viewers on that. You are near where this is happening. What are you seeing? Are you inside, are you outside? Where are you?
VASQUEZ: I'm outside the Student (inaudible) office, Lane Avenue, and there are roughly I would say 40 cop cars, SWAT team just standing outside, getting ready, looks to be like they're going inside this building but I could be wrong.
BOLDUAN: What building are you looking at again? I'm sorry about the connection.
VASQUEZ: It's very hectic here rig now. There's like 40 cop cars. Everyone is very frantic. All the SWAT teams are getting together and cops are still pulling up.
BOLDUAN: Kevin, how did you -- did you learn about this from the alert through Twitter or through text? How did you learn about this this morning?
VASQUEZ: Yes. I was told about it through the alert. I woke up to it. Then I had class so I was on my way, then this happened so I came over here and now there's probably about 40 of us just sitting here, talking. A bunch of them are workers from school who got evacuated from this building.
BOLDUAN: You are standing nearby. Are law enforcement allowing you to stand nearby? Is it safe where you are?
VASQUEZ: Yes, we are probably 70 yards away. They told us to push back even further about 10 minutes ago.
BOLDUAN: You are sure that you are safe? It seems contained elsewhere? I just want to make sure that you are OK.
VASQUEZ: Yes. Yes. We are all safe. There's cops nearby. They are making sure that we are all safe.
BOLDUAN: Have you heard anything from the police officers? You say it seems frantic from what you are looking at right now. Does it seem that it's been frantic the whole time that you have been outside, or does it look like something's happening right now?
VASQUEZ: No. It looks like nothing's happening right now. It looks more or less like they are just like trying to make sure that everyone here is in the right places and to make sure that they can do this safely and whatnot. And we are all safe, all making sure they are not letting us move any further, though.
BOLDUAN: The alert that went out that said this was an active shooter in Watts Hall, when you say you are about 70 yards away, are you 70 yards from Watts Hall?
VASQUEZ: No. I would say I'm probably two blocks away from Watts Hall. I'm 70 yards away from where they say the shooter's at locked inside the bathroom.
BOLDUAN: Locked inside -- OK. Got it. Okay. We are working to confirm all of these details, of course --
VASQUEZ: Yes, there are two shooters. One's inside and then they got the other one, I guess. BOLDUAN: Do you ever have any classes in Watts Hall? Do you know from research before I was running up it looks like a science and engineering building. Do you have any classes in that hall?
VASQUEZ: I personally don't have any classes in there, but you are correct, it is a science and engineering building.
BOLDUAN: The alert that went out that says run, hide, fight, it says a lot of folks are sheltering in place. I'm sure you have been in touch with a lot of your friends, lot of fellow students.
BOLDUAN: You know what, Kevin? Hold on one second. Hold on one second. Want to listen to this live interview.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- ever think something like this is going to happen. It's mind-blowing.
[11:05:07]It's most tragic thing that you can imagine happening to a school, especially after, you know, like a big weekend like we just had and Thanksgiving and everything. I don't know. This is just like crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you said all the students are really glued to their phones getting in touch with one another, trying to just make sure everyone's safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Everybody has been -- I have been back and forth with a lot of people, friends and family, just making sure everybody is safe and getting multiple text from my friends and my mom and stuff, people I work with. But yes, I think everybody is probably doing that all around campus right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Mike, thanks very much. I actually spoke with some other people who are locked in dorms right now and they are not getting a lot of information. There haven't been any more text alerts that have come through. So they are a little nervous about what's going on right now.
But what we can say is that we believe the situation is contained. That's what we are being told. Even though it is very active and things are still going on. Lots of police cruisers and squads going up and down the streets. We are at 18th and College. The scene right up there at 19th --
BOLDUAN: You are listening to some local reporters on the ground speaking to some of the students on the ground as well. We still have with us Kevin Vasquez, who is also on the ground on Ohio State University campus.
Kevin, let me bring you in to continue our conversation. I was asking you just before we went to that live interview, have you talked with students who are locked inside buildings, who are sheltering in place or locked down? VASQUEZ: Yes, I have. A lot of my family has been trying to text me and get ahold of me. I have been talking to them. Friends who are in classes have been told to stay in class and they can't leave. Everyone seems pretty like on edge right now. Nothing's really going on, on campus.
BOLDUAN: Understandable. All right, Kevin, thank you so much for joining me. Really appreciate it. Please stay safe. Good to hear you have been in touch with your family.
If you are joining us, again, the breaking news happened just before we came on air. There was reports of an active shoot other the campus of Ohio State University.
The latest from the Columbus Fire Department are eight people have been transported to local hospitals. One person reported as critical. Three patients who were transported to an area hospital according to a spokesperson from that hospital saying those three patients are suffering non-life threatening injuries.
Some bit of good news there. But this is very much still ongoing as we speak. Let's discuss as we watch these live pictures. Let me bring in Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal Service as well as Deb Feyerick, who has been working her sources.
Deb, what more are you picking up? First to you from what we are hearing on the ground it seems as always there are a lot of conflicting reports. Hang on, Deb. Do you see that shot on the right side of the screen? Can we pull that back up really quickly?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it looks like somebody was being cuffed. Yes. It's unclear who that is. Again, the bulk of the law enforcement seems to be isolated around this one building. It's a large building.
We are told that eight are injured, one is in critical. This may be somebody who they are just clearing. If this were a suspect, one might imagine there would be a much heavier police presence around this individual.
It's unclear whether they are walking him out or what. You can see members of the SWAT team there both from the Sheriff's Department but also from the local police department. They are there, near that building.
There's a bearcat which is in position. That vehicle is used to bring people closer to the situation and in the event they take gunfire, they can essentially shield themselves behind that vehicle.
But right now, we are told there's the sheriffs on site, the police department, the Ohio State Public Safety, ATF, FBI, all of them are responding in somewhat of a coordinated way. But you see those people milling about.
Unclear whether they are waiting for directives from the person on scene who is controlling this operation or whether they are simply safeguarding that area right now. We are waiting for a lot more information to come in.
We do know that at least one individual has been critically injured. We do not know who that individual is. We don't know the extent of the injuries. The other injuries, though, Kate, we are told that in fact, they are non-life threatening.
So active situation going on right now, as everybody sort of moves into position as they try to find or identify whoever it is who may have done this.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Deb will stick close and is working the phones as well. Art, let me bring you in on this. You have been taking a look at this. We have been watching it for over an hour now. You saw that image there, it obviously struck me as being what looked like maybe someone of student age, being led out in handcuffs. You don't want to read too much into it, as Deb very well cautioned. What do you see there?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): I think Deb is probably right on. If that was a suspect you would have a lot more law enforcement around him.
[11:10:07]A lot of times what will happen is in certain situations, when they clear an area, they will go ahead and cuff somebody until they can actually clear that specific individual person. Now, somebody had mentioned this particular incident is contained. It might be contained but it definitely is not resolved yet.
You still have a lot of SWAT team members milling around outside of this building so whatever's going on seems to be centered in this specific building and you see more SWAT team members showing up and positioning themselves.
And I don't know if -- there could be negotiation going on right now with a particular individual and SWAT team is setting up around the area, but there doesn't seem to be any immediacy from the pictures we are looking at.
BOLDUAN: You don't see any kind of urgency -- so do we still call it an active shooter then, of course, right?
RODERICK: Yes. The protocol is any time these types of incidents occur, the active shooter protocol kicks in and it will be hours before you actually get the all-clear. Until you get the all-clear this is an active shooter scenario. There will be hundreds of law enforcement officers, state, local and federal, responding.
Whoever is stationed in that area will be at this particular location, assisting or whatever you can. It looks like it's unorganized, but it's very organized. I guess you could call it organized chaos, but it is planned.
They have trained for this. You see the run hide fight message that went out. That has just come about over the past year because you actually have two different types of training that occurs.
You have training that civilians get that a lot of these universities go through, then you have training that law enforcement gets as first responders.
So the training that the public is getting now is this run hide fight scenario with fight being obviously the last thing you want to get involved with. That's why that message went out that way.
We are starting to hear this in every single active shooter incident that's just been occurring over the past six or seven months.
BOLDUAN: Art, stick with me. Let me add to the conversation right now as we watch all of this continue to unfold before in Columbus, Ohio, an active shooter reported this morning, on the campus of Ohio State University.
Eight people, at least eight people transported to local hospitals, one person critically injured, three people according to one -- three of those transported according to local hospital looking at non-life threatening injuries.
The rest of them, we don't know the state that they are in at this moment. We will add to the conversation, Tom Fuentes, CNN senior law enforcement analyst, former assistant director of the FBI.
Tom, I think Art said something really important here. We are looking at these live pictures from the scene. We have heard a lot of people talking possibly of the situation appears contained by kind of maybe this stature of law enforcement outside but that by no means says it's resolved.
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): No, that's correct. I think that when I mentioned earlier that when you see the yellow police do not cross this line tape go around buildings or around a certain area, they are establishing a police perimeter.
Meaning that they believe the incident from that point on is going to be contained within the confines of that yellow tape. That's why you have seen so many people outside that perimeter just being bystanders, standing around watching, being relaxed.
That indicates that from that point on, the police do not believe they had a shooter at large on the campus or on the streets of Columbus. So that's the important point there.
But as Art mentioned, it's a contained area but it's a crime scene. It doesn't mean the situation's over, because if you have one or more shooters inside that perimeter, they are still alive and still in a position to shoot people, then they still have to resolve that.
That's the issue here that they may already have the shooter in custody, but they are still going to have to do a complete search of all of the premises to determine that there's no other shooters, no other devices have been placed or any other threats before they can declare that the whole thing is over. BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Talk to me, as it appears right now, again, we are in the middle of this and waiting to get more confirmed information coming in, it does appear all of the activity is focused around this one building on OSU's campus.
So talk to me about the difference between how you handle the situation if it's an active shooter inside a building which is what all information that's come out so far is pointing to, inside this Watts Hall, or outside a building.
[11:15:05]FUENTES: In terms of inside a building it's an extremely dangerous situation because you don't know whether you have additional shooters or the actual shooters hiding somewhere in a closet, in the furnace room, in the electrical area, or the classroom closets.
You have all of these areas that have to be searched. Also, you have students and teachers who when the shots began they have taken cover and sit themselves in these areas. So they may not be in a position to know what's going on outside of the hiding area they established. That becomes difficult as well.
In terms of outside, if they thought they had someone on the loose, they would not be allowing students and police officers to just stand around outside that yellow tape. They would be worried that they have a continuing threat and they would continue not only issuing lockdown orders on that campus but the city of Columbus as a whole.
Someone could walk two blocks and be off that campus and into the city, in other areas, causing a threat. I think there is a different approach and the police just don't know.
However, there is an advantage here, in the victims did not sustain life-threatening wounds, which would indicate that hopefully, some or all of those individuals are able to talk to the police a say how they were shot, who shot them, how many subjects there might be in there shooting people.
They might be able to provide a great deal of information to police because they are not in critical condition.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. All right, everyone stand by, please. We are continuing to follow the breaking news developing as we speak. An active shooter reported on the campus of Ohio State University.
The fire department in Columbus saying at least eight people have been transported to local hospitals. One person in critical condition is what we know so far. A large, a large police presence on this very big university campus. We are continuing to follow all of this. We'll be right back with our breaking news.
BOLDUAN: We are continuing to follow breaking news coming out of Columbus, Ohio, where there's been a report of an active shooter on Ohio State University campus. The alert going out earlier this morning.
This was the alert that went out via text and Twitter to everyone on campus, "Buckeye alert, active shooter on campus, run, hide, fight. Watts Hall, 19th and College." This coming from the Ohio State University emergency management account.
They got it via text and also they sent it out on Twitter shortly after that saying they need to remain in place and t| shelter in place, that it was still ongoing. Since then we found out from the Columbus Fire Department, eight people have been transported to local hospitals.
One person, critically injured. That is the extent of what we know at this point. We see a huge police law enforce SWAT team presence. We know that ATF and FBI are on the ground assisting as this is continuing to go on.
Our law enforcement analysts have seen kind of the situation and see it appears contained but in no way at this moment resolved. We are continuing to follow all of this as we wait to learn more about what exactly is going on in Ohio State University's campus.
With me right now, I have on the phone Wyatt Crosher, a 19-year-old sophomore at Ohio State. He's on lockdown right now. Wyatt, can you hear me?
WYATT CROSHER, STUDENT, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (via telephone): Yes, I can hear you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for joining me. Are you OK? Where are you?
CROSHER: Yes. I'm OK. I'm still in my dorm room about a street away from the incident.
BOLDUAN: You know what, stick with me right now. If you could, I need to go over CNN correspondent, Deborah Feyerick. She has an update for us. Deborah, what do we have?
FEYERICK: Hi, Kate. What we are learning right now is that one suspect has been killed. One suspect has been killed. That is according to local media reports. We are working to confirm that.
A local hospital also saying that there are four students who are injured along with -- they are part of the eight we had originally counted so we are looking -- law enforcement basically looking to see whether in fact there are additional people.
It does appear that everything is localized to that one building. Apparently that parking garage that you are looking at right now, the SWAT team was in that building. We are told one suspect has been killed.
We saw additional people being led out of the building, one of them as you noticed in handcuffs. However, there wasn't a significant presence around that individual so it's unclear whether that's person was involved in this or whether happened to be in that building and therefore removed either as a precaution or something else.
We are also learning that along with this visible law enforcement presence on campus, that all students are being notified about all academic classes are being canceled for the remainder of the day.
The campus technically is open, however, multiple buildings are now closed in that area where all this activity is going on. That's 19th Avenue, 140 West and the McQuig Building as one of those building, the Watts building as well.
So right now again still very active, but we can tell you that according to local media reports, at least one suspect has been killed. Obviously that raises the question, are they looking for others? That appears to be the case -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Deb, we might not know this at all right now, but we know as you would learn from the Columbus Fire Department, that there had been eight people transported to hospitals. Sorry, if you already told me this, but do we know if that one suspect who is dead is included in that count? Are there eight additional people that have been transported?
FEYERICK: It's a great question, Kate. Usually when the original numbers come out, they do include if the gunman has in fact killed himself, they will include preliminarily that number within the overall figure.
So we have eight people, a number of those injuries not life threatening. We don't know the extent of the other four that are at Wexner Medical facility right now. There was one person in critical.
[11:25:08]As Tom Fuentes and others have been saying, if this was some sort of active shooter, oftentimes they either take their lives or they sort of play this out and do death by cop. Again, unclear whether that one person who is in critical is that potential suspect.
BOLDUAN: Again, this is coming from local media reports. We are working to confirm all of this, but this is important news that according to local media, as you reported, one suspect has been killed. Are local media reporting if this was -- if the shooter killed himself or herself, or if this was by law enforcement?
FEYERICK: Yes, you know, that's really unclear. That's really unclear. It's too soon to tell. Obviously that is a huge question that everybody wants to know because often times they take their own lives. We will see. We do know that the SWAT team was clearing that building so if there was an encounter, hopefully we will know that soon.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Deb, thank you so much. Deb working her sources, bringing us as we get more breaking news. We do know as Deb just reported from local media, they are reporting that one suspect is dead on Ohio State University's campus. Unclear if that means there are other suspects that they are looking for. This is all coming out piece by piece. CNN is working to confirm these reports we are seeing in local media. Let me bring in right now Molly Clarke. She is another student from Ohio State University. Molly, are you across the street from the parking garage where we have seen all of this activity as Deborah Feyerick has been talking about?
MOLLY CLARKE, STUDENT, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (via telephone): Yes, that's correct. I'm at the business school in Gurlock Hall in lockdown.
BOLDUAN: So you are in lockdown right now. What are you seeing, what are you hearing? Can you give me a sense of what it's like for you are right now?
CLARKE: From where we are, it's pretty calm. All the streets are blocked off. You can't see a lot of commotion on this end of the building. The entire parking garage is surrounded by SWAT team and there's a helicopter, there's actually quite a few helicopters that are circling around the campus. And so we have just been on lockdown for the past hour or so and waiting to hear more.
BOLDUAN: You have received no other updates yet from the campus, from the text message alert system or from Twitter, of course, right? Other than to stay locked down?
CLARKE: That's correct. Yes. The one suspect has either killed himself or has been killed. We are not clear on what that is yet, but there is still possibly another suspect still out there.
BOLDUAN: How are you doing? Even when you say you are on lockdown across the street from where all of this is focused, how are you doing?
CLARKE: It's slightly terrifying. I'm in the MBA first year class here. We have quite a few military men in our class who actually are all standing by the doors, keeping us safe. Feeling pretty good about that.
BOLDUAN: That was amazing and reassuring.
BOLDUAN: What's the conversation amongst everyone in the classroom right now? Did you guys hear anything? I know you are across the street from this parking garage. Did you hear anything going on outside or is the first indication the alert system?
CLARKE: Yes, the first indication was the alert system. The first incident happened, just down the street from us at Watts Hall so we did not hear of anything there. But we were told that the shooter was or the suspect was making its way towards the Fisher College of business, which then ended up right at the Lane Venue parking garage.
So that's all we have heard for now. People are trying to stay calm and just sort of listen to we really are doing the same, trying to figure out exactly what is going on at the moment. BOLDUAN: Absolutely. We really are doing the same trying to figure out exactly what is going on at the moment, Molly. Thank you so much for getting on the phone. We really appreciate it. Stay safe. We are watching for developments along with you. Thank you.
CLARKE: Great, thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. So from Molly Clarke, I want to go back to Wyatt Crosher. He is another student that we have been talking with. Wyatt, are you back with me?
CROSHER: Yes. Yes, I am.
BOLDUAN: Thank you for stick around. Really appreciate it. So now as I was talking to Molly Clarke, she was saying that their first indication was that something was wrong was from the alert system. From what I hear, you heard gunshots. You heard something happening before you even saw an alert.
CROSHER: Yes. I remember my roommate saying he heard something he thought was gunshots and then we heard the police come. So then we believe we heard the gunshots before the alert came. We can't confirm that, but we believed we heard it.
BOLDUAN: As you've been looking outside your window, what can you see?