updated 9/17/2013 2:46:38 PM ET 2013-09-17T18:46:38

POLITICS NATION
September 16, 2013
Guests: Eugene O`Donnell, Charles Hadlock, Don Clark

AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Thank you Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead Breaking News, any moment now, DC Police expected a
whole of news conference on today`s deadly mass shooting in our nation`s
capital. One gunman has been identified but another potential suspect is
still at large.

Here`s the latest at least 13 people are dead including the suspected
shooter. Another dozen people have been hurt, some critically.

The gunman has been identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. He`s a
former petty officer in the Navy Reserves. Police are still looking for a
second possible suspect in the shooting. Here are some of the emergency
calls from the shooting as it happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a report on the fourth floor, a male with a
shotgun. Multiple shots fired, multiple people down. We are still waiting
for the OK that the scene has been secured. We have an active shooter on
the fourth floor. Will give an update on the building location with
several victims now. I think at this time requested the bus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It all happened at the Naval Sea Systems command on the
grounds of the Navy yard, just miles away from Capitol Hill and the White
House. It`s the ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy.
About 3,000 people work in the building. The shooting took place in a
cafeteria and sent people fleeing in panic.

PATRICIA WARD, EYEWITNESS: I heard three gun shots. Straight in a
row. About three seconds later there were four more gun shots and all of
the people there in the cafeteria, we panicked. We were trying to decide
which way we were going to run out of. The people of, the workers in the
cafeteria wanted us to stay with them and hide, but I just ran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there was an individual who came from the
building behind us. I mean, it is (INAUDIBLE) that was talking to me
basically saying that hey, there`s a shooter in your building. And then I
heard two more shots. One of it hit him, he went down in front of me. And
then I took off from there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The guy you were with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy I was talking to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Got shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. He was not in the head and did not look
like he made it so I ran from there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Again, D.C. police expected to hold a conference any moment
now. We will bring it to you live as soon as it happens.

Joining me now is MSBC`s Craig Melvin live at the scene at Navy yard.

Craig, what can you tell us?

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Reverend Al, let me step out of
the way and show you the scene right now. We are just a few blocks away
from where the news is going to start here in just a moment. But you are
looking at right outside the Navy yard. As you can still see, hundreds of
folks who is have gathered. Also, right now, you`re seeing another
familiar scene. Buses headed to that Navy yard. These buses, we`re told,
are taking the folks who work there, they`re taking them home. They`re
dropping some off at the metro station. They`re dropping some of them off
at other metro stations. But they`re making sure that the 3,000 people or
so who have been on lockdown all day long get home to their families. This
is the scene we have been seeing play out over the last few hours.

This part of southeast D.C. where we are remains on lockdown. Police
chief Cathy Lanier indicating a few hours ago that they are still searching
for a black male, 40s, 50s, about 5`10." They are being very careful to
say they`re not necessarily sure that he is directly involved, but want to
talk to this -- they want to talk to this guy to either rule him in or rule
him out. They are actively searching for him right now.

Also right now on the ground, as you can see probably behind me, not a
lot of activity because several streets here in southeast D.C. also remain
closed at this hour. We can tell you that Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old
man who is behind all of this allegedly right now in New York. Law
enforcement at a house belonging to family members of Alexis. They are
talking to those family members.

We also found out according to our affiliate here in the Washington,
D.C. area, that he was arrested back in 2010, we are talking about Aaron
Alexis here, arrested back in 2010 for discharging a firearm in the Fort
Worth area. So again, a picture of this 34-year-old man starting to
emerge. We expect that we may learn a little bit more about him at this
news conference that`s expected to start any minute.

I have also had the opportunity to talk to two people that were at the
Navy yard -- were at the Navy yard this morning when the shooting started.

SHARPTON: So you actually spoke actually to some of the witnesses
when the shooting happen? Let`s listen to some of that, Craig.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN CHANEY, EYEWITNESS: When I was walking up the steps, I heard
what I thought was a locker door slamming. But, you know, I didn`t know if
it was a -- it didn`t sound like gunshot to me. So, I went through the
double doors. At that point, I heard another round of what I now know is
gun shots, maybe four to five.

CRAIG: Screaming as well?

CHANEY: No. I never heard no screaming. That was surprising. I
never heard any screaming. I never heard "oh my God," nothing. I didn`t
hear that. So, I heard the shots and I exited the building not knowing
what it was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So this witness giving you what happened and saying he was
surprised he heard no screaming.

CRAIG: Yes. And you know what? We talked to another witness as well
shortly thereafter, Reverend Al, who said that the scene at the Navy yard
was not terribly chaotic. It took awhile for folks to realize precisely
what it was that what was happening.

I can also tell you right now in just the last few moments NBC News
reporting that initially police thought that there was more than one gunman
who was responsible. Tonight, they are saying confidently that the shots
were fired by one man who apparently -- again, apparently had a grudge
against the Navy. Again, that -- just a short time ago.

SHARPTON: Now, so -- and they`re being careful to say the other
person they are looking to talk to is not necessarily involved, but they
want to talk to him to make that determination.

CRAIG: Precisely. At this point it sounds adds if they no longer
consider that man, that person a suspect. And again, we should know that
one point this afternoon, they were looking for two people, White guy,
Black guy, about the same age. Both wearing some sort of military gear.
But at this point, they are saying that they think that this gunman acted
alone this morning.

SHARPTON: Now, what kind of facility is it? How did this alleged
gunman get access and actually get into the Navy base or into the Navy
yard?

CRAIG: That`s a really good question, Reverend Al. And that`s a
question we have posed several times today to people who work here. And
best we can gather and again, this is coming from folks who work there.
You have got different access points. You`ve got about 3,000 people who
work there. It`s a massive facility, the Navy yard. This happened in
building 197. I talked to someone who worked at an adjacent building and
he said in building 197 you`ve got key card access. But there are also
parts of the building that do require some sort of passing through a metal
detector.

It`s unclear at this point whether the gunman had to pass through of
those parts of the building. We do know based on some early reporting that
the gunman did use a card key that was not his own. He did use a card key
that was not his own to get into the building. But that`s about all we
know. Again, one would imagine over the next few hours or the next few
days, we should find out a bit more about how it was that he was able to
access that building.

SHARPTON: So, we all know, he could have possibly found the card,
stolen the card, we just don`t know how he was in possession of the card
key that he had?

CRAIG: Yes, exactly.

And there`s also been some talk today about, you know, the wearing of
the military uniform and the guns and things of that nature. And we should
point out that the Navy yard here in D.C., this is a facility where you
have civilian contractors. You also have uniformed members of the military
who work here as well. So it`s not uncommon or unusual to see people
walking around in military garb because uniforms wore on base.

It`s also not uncommon for people to carry firearms on base. A
colleague in Texas, another correspondent did some reporting a short time
ago. According to the roommate of Alexis, he had a concealed weapons
permit. So again, over the next few days we should find out a bit more
about how it was that he came to acquire these weapons.

SHARPTON: So what we do know is his name was Aaron Alexis, 34-years-
old. He was in the Navy from 2007 to 2011. He was originally moved there
from Fort Worth. And was from New York and has relatives in New York that
we are told are being questioned by police. And he recently began working
as a civilian contractor. And we are told he was arrested once for
discharging a firearm in Fort Worth but the arrest was in Washington, D.C.

CRAIG: The arrest was actually in Fort Worth.

SHARPTON: It was in Fort Worth, OK.

CRAIG: It was actually in Fort Worth.

And we can also tell you that apparently he was never active duty. He
was never an active duty member of the military. I can also tell you right
now, again, this is all information just coming in. The surveillance
video, we have been talking today about the surveillance video that was
shot at the time of the scene. That surveillance video apparently captured
around the time of the shooting, it shows three people with guns drawn.
And that prompted the all-out search for possible accomplices.

So again, law enforcement tonight and tomorrow are going to be looking
at that surveillance video very carefully pouring over it, very carefully.
They are also, we can tell you, talking to anyone who had any type of
contact with Aaron Alexis over the past few days, over the past few hours
leading up to the shooting.

We heard from police Chief Cathy Lanier at a news conference this
afternoon. She did recount some of the moment leading up to the shoot.
And she said that her officers apparently became engaged with Alexis and
there was a gun battle that ensued and they shot him because they were
barely confident had they not shot him, he was not going to stop shooting.

SHARPTON: All right. MSNBC`s Craig Melvin on the scene in
Washington, D.C.

And Craig, feel free to come back and update us as any information
comes your way. Thank you so much though.

Now, let me bring in Eugene O`Donnell, professor of law and police
study at John Jay College of criminal justice and former FBI profiler Clint
Van Zandt.

Eugene, let me start with you. The investigation is now being turned
over to the FBI. What are agents focused on right now?

EUGENE O`DONNELL, LAW AND POLICE STUDY PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE:
Well, you can be sure law enforcement, the D.C. police, and federal age at
this point have their "A" team on the field. And really, it`s following
the trail and seeing how far the trail goes. The initial reports from
remarkable people was troubling account because usually work place
violence, grudges like this are usually tend to be alone people.

So, but it is -- looking at the trail, as far as it goes, and really
most importantly just trying to exclude any potential there`s something
more to this than what meets the eye. What meets the eye at this point is
this guy has a grudge and goes there to shoot folks. But you can`t take
anything for granted --

SHARPTON: We are about to go live to the press conference. Excuse
me, Eugene, where the mayor of Washington D.C. Vincent Grey is about to
speak.

MAYOR VINCENT GREY, WASHINGTON D.C.: It`s been a long, very tragic
day in the District of Columbia. We are all deeply saddened by the events
of today.

We wanted to take this opportunity to brief you as much as we can. We
really don`t have a lot of new information as this investigation continues
to unfold. We are still seeking the identity of the person who was
identified as having been in a drab, out of color uniform, a man about 50.
And you heard the description earlier of that person.

Again, I want to extend on behalf of the entire city and those who are
with us our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were killed
in this horrific tragedy. We know there are 13 fatalities at this stage,
12 of which occurred on the site including the shooter and one of whom died
at the hospital.

Again, we don`t have any motive at this juncture. There are those who
asked about whether terrorism was involved. We have no information that
would suggest that`s the case at this point. And we will continue through
the night, continue with this investigation and obviously within the days
and weeks ahead.

I want to call upon, first of all, we will do this in the same order
as we did before. First of all, our Chief for the Metropolitan Police
Department chief Cathy Lanier. Then we will have our FBI representative.
We`ll have our chief of the park police and then our congresswoman Eleanor
Holmes Norton.

Chief Lanier?

CHIEF CATHY LANIER, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: The only thing
additional we can add right now is that we are still continuing to ask our
community to remain out of the area and shelter in place. We still are
working diligently to either verify of clear whether we have that last
additional person of interest out, whether they`re going to be involved or
not. That process is not complete.

So, this is still an active investigation. We still have a lot of law
enforcement activity in the area. So, please bear with us. And ask that
people stay out of the area until we give the all clear.

I will also add that our officer from MPD is recovering. He does have
serious injuries, but we know he`s going to be OK. And I wanted to thank
all of our community members who have shown an outpouring of support for
our MPD family. So we do have the officer now who is out of surgery and
stable. He`s going to be OK.

So, traffic closures remain the same as before. They will probably
remain closures across M Street throughout the night. This is going to be
a little bit longer term investigation. I think once we clear that last
suspect whether that is going to be a person we are looking for or not, we
will have some additional closures lifted. But for right now, everything
remains closed. It was close earlier and this is still very active. So,
we are asking the shelter in place do remain. The moment we have
additional information, we will push it out for the community and make sure
the press is updated. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon. Though we do not have any
further detail to share at this time about the deceased shooter, we again
ask the public to look at the photos of Aaron Alexis and contact the FBI
with any and all information. The photos are available on FBI.gov and all
information can be reported to 1-800-call-FBI.

This investigation is still very active. We will continue to work
with our partners to track down every bit of information that we learn.
The assistance of the public is vital in investigations of this type as we
try to piece together the movements and contacts of the subject. No piece
of information is too small. Please call to report any and all information
to 1-800-call-FBI.

Thank you.

LANIER: I just want to add one thing. For all of our local folks
that are following the news coverage here, there is misinformation that is
getting out through a variety of different sources. I will say to our
friends in the media, if you have sources inside of the law enforcement
agencies that are reporting, they`re not official reports unless they come
through this body or from the FBI.

So, what unfortunately happens is law enforcement sources will hear
something. As that gets passed around, it oftentimes is not accurate and
then is reported in the press. So please, if it`s not coming from this
official body or the FBI, it is not confirmed.

There`s a lot of misinformation getting out. We are trying to make
sure factual information is being pushed out through all of our MPD sources
and through city`s sources on our twitter and our D.C. alert and our -- all
of our contracts. And we made sure that the press gets any update as they
go out.

So, please, if you have sources reporting something, if you can try to
verify with through us before you put it out, it would be helpful with some
of the misinformation. That results in additional calls coming in that
divert our resources.

So please, I could just ask for everybody`s patience there. Thank
you.

And a personal note at this point. We are now in a support role as
the United States park police. We were among the first responders this
morning. But I wanted to thank the community who puts up with some
destruction in the day when tragedy like this happens, when we have to re-
route traffic or we don`t have a lot of information initially.

But as the day has gone on, our officers have been stopped on the
street and said thank you to over and over again. So, thank you for
recognizing the heroics of officer who is run towards danger every day.
And the aviators who plug people off the roof. It does make it very
meaningful to them when they`ve had a day like today. So thank you.

REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D), DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Well, thank
you, chief. And let me thank the mayor and all who gathered here several
times. Because by coming forward to give residents of the region
information, you have done something important. You have kept the fear
level down. The fear rises when people don`t have information and don`t
feel safe. This happens to me, a thriving community of residents. This is
not a place just for the large federal facilities. You see here when I go
(INAUDIBLE), I will remind the Congress this that shooting occurred in
their neighborhood. This is the neighborhood of the Capitol of the United
States, very close to congress. And yet, I just want to say to residents
who are coming home today that the response of the police, the taking down
of the shooter so quickly convinces me yet again this is the safest city in
the United States. Not safe from attack, but safe.

Today, the police and the responders saved many lives. Perhaps, when
this investigation is over, we will have some sense of just how many. Much
of that has to do with the close working relationship between MPD and
federal police of which they are several and show today. And I think it
showed up very well.

When I say this is the safest city in the United States, I want also
to reinforce the safety that the security systems command has always
generated. And we know that because of the difficulty of getting have it
also, because it was open to the community in the evenings. Even built a
facility so it could accommodate community events. We want to maintain
that balance.

And tonight we want to say to residents that we don`t think there`s
anything to fear in the city. I think you saw by the way in which multiple
police f who work so closely together achieved a closure here that this is
a safe city and we can go about our business in a usual way. Thank you
very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Question? Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

LANIER: We`re not going to comment on any of that. All right, of
that, right now, is still on investigation as all pertains to the evidence.
None of that will be coming at this point. Probably not for some time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Chief, was there an officer part of the
shooter team or on patrol?

LANIER: We had both respond. We had initial responding officers who
entered the base and again, as reported early, we had official active
shooter teams assembled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

LANIER: I`m not going to comment on that at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

LANIER: There`s been -- obviously, there is no place you can go in
any city and not have multiple videos that are available. There is
multiple videos that are being reviewed. We have no video that we can
release to the public at this point. Right now, the video we`re reviewing
is part of the investigative process. If, at some point, we have
something, we can release the public, we certainly will.

GREY: Let me add. The video to which I was referring to was the one
that identified the person in the other uniform who we thought was a
suspect initially. And we were able to confirm that he was not a suspect,
that he actually was on the scene when someone else was shot and he moved
out of the way for obvious reasons when the shooting occur. And he was
then interviewed. He`s been absolved of any responsibility in this crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE), can you talk about your
helicopter unit and you said something that is sounded like you were saying
you were taking people out besides the wounded. Can you expand on that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I was talking about people that were wounded
or evacuated. They were fled to roofs of the buildings. And I think some
of your cameras caught that footage. At the same time, they served as eyes
on the sky while they were there. And Merrill State police and Fair Fox
County as well, it was just well coordinated effort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many people were actually admitted?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

GREY: Patrick and then you will get the last question, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Mr. Mayor, have the family members of the
victims been notified during the process?

GREY: No, they have not. We are still in the process of identifying
who the victims are. So there is no information that`s been fully
confirmed at this stage. That process continues. And so, we will identify
the families, of course, first once we know fully who have been involved.

Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- in place in the Navy yard?

GREY: There are still people coming out of the Navy yard. How many
there are remain there, I do not know at this stage. But as we were coming
over, there were still some of them uniformed officers of the Navy who were
coming out getting on the bus. So, there people still there.

Thank you, all, very much.

SHARPTON: You have just seen a live press conference in Washington,
D.C. around this horrific shooting today. That was Vincent Grey as well as
D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, as well as D.C. police Chief Lanier.

And what we know is that there has been 13 people dead including the
alleged shooter. The shooter has been identified as Aaron Alexis, 34-
years-old. He was in the Navy from 2007 to 2011, originally from Fort
Worth, Texas. He was working at the Navy yard in D.C. recently as a
civilian contractor.

We were told in this press conference it is still very much an active
investigation. They are seeking a second person. It is not clear whether
that second person was a shooter or an accomplice or just someone of
interest. And we are told they have not identified all of the victims and
therefore have not identified them so that he could -- they can go and
inform their families.

Let`s take a break. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are back now with our breaking news of the shootings at
the Washington Navy yard. Thirteen dead including the gunman.

Now, let me bring back Eugene O`Donnell and former FBI profiler Clint
Van Zandt.

Eugene, the investigation is now being turned over to the FBI. What
are the agents focused on?

O`DONNELL: Again, trying to make sure this is the trail in the extent
of where it is that there`s one shooter. If there`s a second person, there
are going to obviously try to identify that. And I guess what you are
seeing here is sort of the law enforcement version of community policing.
A crucial part of this is getting outreach to the community so that folks
who know this individual will know who he associates with and know what
kind of motivations he has, what grievances they has. They are really
doing a national dragnet for information to get about folk who is may know
something about this.

Obviously, you can sort of read between the lines. It`s unlikely
there`s a file anywhere on him that`s of great length. This is a dragnet
approach to get as much information as they can in addition to all the
information they`re going to have. Obviously D.C. is one of the most video
camera-dense cities in the country, so there should be no short supply of
video of today`s events.

SHARPTON: Clint, we were told in this latest briefing to the press
that it is an active investigation and there is a possible second person.
They didn`t say that they were a suspect or in what capacity, but a
possible second person. What can you take from those statements?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, number one, Al, it would
be a statistical anomaly to have multiple, in this case, upwards of three
or even two individuals involved in a violence in a work place situation.
We normally see someone who acts out as you well know from covering these
stories, someone whose level of anger, frustration, and rage just
eventually boils over and they convince themselves that they have to go out
and act out against whoever they consider the bad guy in the workplace.
And they do it many times resulting in their own death, either by their own
hands or in a confrontation with law enforcement.

So, in this particular situation, there`s nothing to indicate
terrorism, there`s nothing to indicate planning. A former roommate of the
shooters described him as a mild mannered Buddhist who you and I know to be
a form of life, a philosophy of life that advocates non-violence.

SHARPTON: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: So, all of these things suggest that if anything, we have
got one person that acted out in a terrible way because of something he
felt was some wrong that was done to him by somebody else.

SHARPTON: Now, we don`t know yet but we`re surmising but if there
were multiple gunmen, would there have been more of the damage and more
carnage than we are shockingly seeing with 12 people and the gunman making
13?

VAN ZANDT: I think the answer is there could have been realized he`s
firing an AR-15, a double barreled shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol.
I`ve heard at least one or more witnesses described him reloading his
weapons as he continued to fire. Al, that`s a tremendous amount of fire
power for one person to have. And again, we have no information whatsoever
from any witness that puts another gun in the hand of anybody else that was
firing or shooting at anyone during this situation.

Could there have been people that helped this guy, contributed to him?
We know that the ID card he used to get in belongs to a man who supposedly
is on some type of administrative leave who says he doesn`t know the
shooter. So why today? Why this location? Why this many guns? A lot of
questions that still need to be answered, Al.

SHARPTON: Now, Eugene, the card that he used, the gentleman currently
referred having is being on administrative leave saying he doesn`t know the
shooter. The shooter could have stolen the card. The shooter could have
in some way found the card or in fact we could find out that, in fact, they
did know each other. These are the kinds of things that law enforcement
would be looking into at this point, Eugene.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I agree, the saying is correct. But not taking this
for granted and making sure there are no surprises. I`m sure they`re
looking at the issues of how he get access to his base, his file as a
military person and, you know, the reason is trying to put these people in
boxes clearly is a mental health element here. Is this some sort of
radicalization or is this just workplace violence? Would he have traveled
overseas?

You know, just making sure that the bases are covered. But at least
from what we know it just appears to be an act of derangement and act of
workplace violence. Which by the way, there`s a long history that predates
9/11 workplace violence where people go to shoot up former employment
locations. It`s not a post 9/11 phenomena, it occurred for many years in
the country. What`s disturbing is the blood lust, the level to which these
people not only take on the perceived wrong doers but in some case is now
tend to be taking out every day in sight. That`s disturbing and sickening
really.

SHARPTON: Clint, how much interest do you think law enforcement will
have on the fact that this man apparently had a lot of ammunition, a lot of
guns and firearms with them? And seemed to be able to move at least into
the navy yard and around to execute this seemingly without any kind of
detection or at least being prevented from moving around. How much is that
going to raise a concern to investigators?

VAN ZANDT: Well, I think part of the investigation Al is going to be
like when we looked at the Colorado movie theater shooting, that terrible
massacre. And you saw that the individual who committed that had almost a
year to put his plan together, to assemble the weapons, the ammunition, the
body armor, everything else that he used. So everything that was used
today -- again, weapons, ammunition, et cetera -- is going to be kind of a
paper trail to help law enforcement as they see was this just a terrible
spontaneous incident, or is this something he planned over a period of
time?

And as your other guest suggests, is this just a terrible mental
health issue? We have nothing that said he made any type of political
statement. He didn`t make any type of religious statement like was
suggested made by Major Hasan during the shooting in Texas. So right now
there`s nothing to indicate anything other than a potentially deranged
individual. But, you know, because he`s deranged doesn`t make him crazy,
per se, and doesn`t make him stupid, Al.

Somehow this guy was able to assemble everything he needed to include
a badge, guns, ammunition and to get on a relatively secure facility that
had multiple levels of security, and still commit this terrible act of
carnage. One more time, it`s time for us to revisit security on facilities
like this and say what can we do better to stop this in the future.

SHARPTON: Eugene O`Donnell and Clint Van Zandt, thank you both for
your time. Clint, please stick around.

When we come back, we`re starting to learn some details about the
alleged shooter today. He was from Texas. And we`ll go there live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Officials have identified the gunman as 34-year-old Aaron
Alexis. A former petty officer in the Naval Reserves. NBC talked to a man
who describes himself as Aaron`s best friend and former roommate today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUTPISIST SUTHANTENAKU (ph), ACCUSED GUNMAN`S FORMER ROOMMATE: He`s a
good guy, you know. I mean, from what I know. I can`t say that he didn`t
or not, but while he was with me, nothing to be -- like tell me he`s going
to be aggressive. No sign that he`s going to shoot someone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now by phone is NBC`s Charles Hadlock. Charles,
what else did this man say about the alleged shooter -- and Charles, by the
way, is in Fort Worth, what else did he say about the alleged shooter?

CHARLES HADLOCK, NBC NEWS: Well, Aaron Alexis was a resident of Fort
Worth. He worked at the nearby naval air station here in Fort Worth. And
also worked part time at that Thai restaurant from under the man you just
heard from. That man claimed he was Aaron`s best friend and they were
roommates for several months. That ended about four months ago when Aaron
apparently left Fort Worth and took the job in Washington.

We also spoke to another friend today who was an acquaintance of Aaron
Alexis. He says that every time he saw Alexis, he was playing video games
and violent type of video games. The kind where you shoot around corners.
Not at targets, but at people.

SHARPTON: So I understand this friend said it was like an obsession
with video games.

HADLOCK: It was. In fact, he said, we were all invited over to his
apartment to watch football one night and he never came out of his room but
once or twice. He stayed in the room playing online with other people from
who knows where, playing these violent video games where you shoot people.
He says, I`m sorry but this guy wanted to play with me and I`m going to
pick him up on it.

SHARPTON: So, did he give any indication of a timeline, how long ago
this was?

HADLOCK: Well, he also said that some time last year that Aaron
Alexis took a job with a subcontractor who flew him to Tokyo to work on
computer equipment. And Alexis called this man, his friend, and said
several times complaining that the subcontractor was slow in paying him.
He said if anything, that was the maddest he ever saw him. That may have
been a motive, perhaps. But it happened last year. So that`s a long
grudge to keep until now if that`s the case.

SHARPTON: And he called from Tokyo making this complaint.

HADLOCK: Correct.

SHARPTON: And his complaint was that he was being paid slowly and you
say that this particular friend said that`s the most angry he`d ever seen
him or had ever heard him.

HADLOCK: Correct. That is what the -- one of the acquaintances of
Aaron Alexis said here in Fort Worth. And the man also said I`m not sure
if he ever got paid by the subcontractor. He was upset until he got
another job with another subcontractor and apparently moved off to
Washington.

SHARPTON: All right, Charles Hadlock. Thanks very much. Let me
bring back Clint Van Zandt. Clint, you`ve been willing to the report you
just hear Charles from Fort Worth. Is there anything that you get out of
this as a former FBI profiler or just still too sketchy to even begin
putting some kind of form to this?

VAN ZANDT: No. That`s -- I do get something out of this, Al. This
is something I was looking for. I was looking for this video game aspect
of it. You know, you covered the Adam Lanza shooting, the Sandy Hook
shooting in December, and we know that young man played those violent video
games over and over and Al, we hear so many of this mass murderers who play
this games to number one, refine their shooting skills but what they are
also doing Al is losing the ability to identify with human tragedy.

You and I and everybody else becomes a number, a point, a medal they
can win instead of a loss of another beating human heart. And one more
time it sounds like we`re seeing that played out again. And Al, for the
video industry and everybody else to raise hands and say not me, we realize
that very few people who play those games actually act out.

SHARPTON: Right.

VAN ZANDT: But there are those who stand on the edge of the abyss and
look for the chance to jump over like this guy did today.

SHARPTON: So let me get this right. You`re saying that the possible
outcome of these obsessive video games is one to sharpen your shooting
skills but secondly to really desensitize you to your targets as being
human beings.

VAN ZANDT: Whether one does that intentionally or that`s suggest a
result, Al, you become numb. Totally numb to the human experience of pain,
suffering. And you start to equate that with just one more score to put up
on a tally board. And in this case, it allows you to go in and in your
fantasy perhaps act out this video game, except is a real gun, a real
bullets, and real blood coming out of the people that you shoot.

SHARPTON: Well, Clint, thank you for your time tonight. And might
add, we have no way of knowing anything about the video games` impact on
this young man or even if all of that is the case. We`re going by the
statement by one friend and we`re trying to put together whatever pieces we
can about this horrific day.

Now let`s bring in Don Clark, former special agent in charge of the
FBI field office in Austin. Don, at this point what can you tell us that
you would surmise is going on now in the field office there in the nation`s
capital? What are they looking for? What will give them leads? Give us a
sense as much as you can of what you think is going on at this stage of
this tragedy.

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, you know, it`s a good
question, Al. Because when you`re in law enforcement, a lot of these type
of organizations, what you really have to do is to look back and see how
did this person get to this point? You know, to what point did they get
there? Did they get there because they stumbled themselves upon something
or started to commit a crime of this nature?

Or were they taught somewhere along the line to get involved in some
type of activity and that they have the training and so forth and that`s
the terrible situation right there is where you have people that will grab
-- and a lot of times it is young people that develop into this so that
they are the one who is lead out and make these very devastating situations
that we`ve seen occur here today.

SHARPTON: Now, do you feel that as friends and others are being
questioned, they are still looking for a possible second person. And we`re
being told very carefully they`re not saying that that person is a suspect.
They`re not saying that person was involved directly. Why this kind of
caution is it to not scare the person off? Or give me a reason that we`re
hearing the very cautious way we`re hearing description of this person of
interest.

CLARK: I suspect that if the law enforcement people are saying that
hey, we want to find out that there`s another person that may be involved
in that, I don`t think they do this just by pulling something out of the
sky. I think there has to be some information that they have come upon.
And I have no idea obviously what it is at this point. But I think there
obviously has to be something that they feel that wait a second, there has
to be something else. And you know what else is that they may have spoken
to somebody too that may have told them that yes, it was someone else. And
perhaps even given them some identities of who that someone else may be.

IMUS: All right, Don Clark. Thank you so much. Please stay with us.
More on the shootings in Washington. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLARK: Three thousand people worked at the scene of today`s deadly
shootings at the navy yard in Washington. Here are some of those
eyewitness accounts. We are going to show you as they gave their immediate
reaction within moments of witnessing 12 people shot and then the alleged
gunman shot. Thirteen people dead. Here are some of the accounts of
eyewitnesses at the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICIA WARD, SHOOTING WITNESS: They say let`s stay here in the
cafeteria. And I said no I`m getting out. So everybody just started
running out of the side door. And that`s when we saw the female security
guard, she had her gun drawn. She said move away as fast as you can.
Clear the shelter, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Clear the shelter.

WARD: Clear the shelter.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did she tell you to go inside buildings on the
compound?

WARD: No. She just told us to run, run, run.

BRIAN CHANEY, HEARD SHOTS INSIDE NAVY YARD: As I was walking up the
steps, I heard what I thought was a locker door slamming. But, you know, I
didn`t know if it was a printer. Didn`t sound like gun shots to me. So I
went on through the double doors. And at that point I heard another round
of what now I know is gun shots. Maybe four to five.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Screaming as well?

CHANEY: No. I never heard no screaming. That was surprising. I
never heard any screaming. I never heard "oh my God," nothing. I didn`t
hear that. So I heard the shots and I exited the building, you know, not
knowing what it was.

COMMANDER TIM JIRUS, U.S. NAVY: There was an individual who came from
the building behind us, he was talking to me basically saying that hey,
there`s a shooter in your building. And then I heard two more shots. One
of them hit him, he went down in front of me and then I took off from
there.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The guy you were with?

JIRUS: The guy I was talking to.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Got shot?

JIRUS: Correct. He was shot in the head and did not look like he
made it, so I ran from there.

CAPT. MARK VAN DORF, U.S. NAVY: I was in a conference room with my
staff having a meeting when we heard what sounded like gun fire. And then
we heard from outside the conference area that there was a -- someone was
shooting on the floor. And we closed the conference room door and
barricaded ourselves in. We saw bullet holes in the wall above us. I`m
reasonably sure I lost a dear friend in there, a colleague I served with in
the Pentagon with years ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Don Clark, as you hear these eyewitnesses, it seems like no
one is saying there was an argument or any kind of verbal altercation. It
sounds like the first anyone heard anything different was when there was
the gunfire.

CLARK: Yes. And I listen to that and what it tells me is that there
was no targets inside this facility, is that someone had already come up
with the plan that this was what they were going to do today, Al. And they
were going to do that to do for whatever means that they thought that it
was for. And that`s why they were going to go. They probably planned to
make that as silent as they could in their favor to be able to get in and
do the damage that they did earlier today.

SHARPTON: All right, Don Clark. Thank you very much. We`ll be right
back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ll be back with more of our coverage right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JANIS ORLOWSKI, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: You see what I call
senseless trauma. And there is something evil in our society that we as
Americans have to work on to try and eradicate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What we know of this horrific shooting today is that there
are 12 dead, one gunman also dead. Thirteen total. There are many others
injured. Some critically. The shooter who is deceased, has been
identified as Aaron Alexis, 34-years-old. We`re told it remains an active
investigation and one other person is of interest. They have not been
called a suspect and they`ve not been identified. What we do know is that
these horrific and senseless despicable acts are something that all of us
must pray stops in this country. Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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