All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 2, 2014
Guests: Jim Cavanaugh, Bruce Schneier, Scott Friedman, Glenn Sulmasy, Bruce
ALEX WAGNER, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the Fort Hood Army base is on
lockdown after a shooting earlier today. Shots broke out sometime before
5:00 p.m. Eastern. Shortly afterwards, Fort Hood ordered everyone on base
to shelter in place.
A U.S. military official has told NBC News that they believe the
incident involves a single shooter. Earlier reports of two shooters on the
premises appear to be incorrect. And sources now tell NBC News that they
believe that single shooter has died from a self-inflicted wound.
At least eight people are believed to be wounded. Four of those
people are thought to be in grave condition. At this time, authorities are
continuing to search and clear buildings out of an abundance of caution.
The FBI is on scene at Fort Hood.
And both the president and secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, have
been informed of the situation. The president has made a statement and we
will have that for you momentarily.
In 2009, of course, 13 people were killed at Fort Hood when Army Major
Nadal Hasan opened fire on the base.
Joining me now is NBC News national security analyst Don Borelli,
former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism
Don, the fact that the president and the secretary of defense have
been informed, the president is making a statement, what does that tell you
about this incident?
DON BORELLI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it tells me
that, obviously, in light of past events, we`ve had the Major Hasan
shooting in Fort Hood, 2009. We`ve had the Navy Yard shooting last fall.
So, the president is going to want to reassure the families that he`s going
to do whatever it takes to keep our troops safe at home.
Obviously, when they`re deployed, they know they`re in harm`s way, but
they don`t expect to be in harm`s way when they`re at home. And we should
not jump to any conclusion, just because the president is going to speak,
that this means it`s an act of terrorism or anything like that. I think we
have to wait and let the investigation take it where it leads us to
determine the motive.
WAGNER: Don, I want to go right now to NBC News chief White House
correspondent Chuck Todd.
Chuck, what is the latest from -- that you`re hearing on your end?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, here`s
what we know that the president said, and again I want to describe what`s
going on. The president is traveling today, he had an event in Michigan,
he also had some fund-raisers in Chicago. There is always a small
traveling pool of press, as many people know, and there`s a representative
for different mediums, for print, for television, for radio.
So, what the president did is issued a statement to the camera that
was following him. We are waiting for that tape to actually come in to
MSNBC. But we do know from the print ruler what the president said and he
says the following. We`re following everything closely, the situation is
very fluid right now, I just want to assure all of us that we are going to
get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
The president also concluded by saying, "We`re heartbroken that
something like this might have happened again. Of course, Alex referring
to the fact that it was five years ago, 2009, Fort Hood community went
through another incident like this. But, look, the facts that we know
right now, Alex, you`ve heard, we have Pete Williams reporting which
indicates it appears to be a lone gunman, that this person took his own
life after the shooting incident.
There is multiple federal officials telling both Jim Miklaszewski and
Pete Williams that this may have stemmed from an argument, a more
spontaneous situation that may have occurred, and then all of a sudden
But that is -- we emphasize and, Alex, we`ve all learned this the hard
way, that the Navy Yard shooting, this information is coming in fast. All
of us share the best we can with the sources that we got in the moment we
got, and you throw in all the caveats that you can.
WAGNER: Indeed, Chuck, and I will repeat those facts once again.
We think it is a lone shooter who has died from a self-inflicted
wound. Eight wounded right now, four of those people gravely.
I want to bring in Jim Cavanaugh now, former ATF special agent in
Jim, your read of the situation here. We initially heard reports this
could have been two shooters. It is now being reported that it is one
shooter. Of course, it`s a fluid situation. In terms of a law enforcement
response. The difference in having one shooter versus two, and how long
that keeps the premises on lockdown?
JIM CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, they`ll ramp it down
pretty fast, Alex, once they establish that there`s no other shooter. But
the tactical commander will make sure all the buildings are cleared, it`s
standard protocol to do those sweeps. There`s a lull like these events for
us. But that`s what`s happening.
And they`re going to pull the investigation together from what Jim
Miklaszewski reported and Pete Williams could be a dispute in the motor
pool, could be by someone who is supposed to be there, could be by a
So, you know, that could be like a workplace violence situation. You
know, I would say this, four people gravely wounded. I was the assistant
agent in charge of the Dallas division, I`ve fortunately experienced those
trauma centers in central Texas. They`re extremely good. They have
extremely good medical facilities there.
And they do -- we all know the army does on the Fort. If there`s any
chance these people can be saved, the doctors can do it.
WAGNER: We have new information an update on this situation from our
own Pete Williams and Jim Miklaszewski.
Several officials, military and civilians say the gunman who killed
himself at Fort Hood was 34-year-old Ivan Lopez. His address was in the
Fort Hood area. His military affiliation and rank have not yet been
revealed. Two officials say the gunman was wearing a uniform.
Jim, your thoughts on that?
CAVANAUGH: Well, I think from what`s been reported by NBC here, Alex,
it`s possible that this is an employee or a military person who works in
the motor pool. And there could have been some dispute. You know, it
could be a workplace violence type situation, where you have a motive of a
fight or revenge or something like that. Of course, we don`t know. But if
it`s isolated to the motor pool, and the people shot are in the same motor
poll area, maybe it would develop like a workplace violence.
Because, Alex, this is -- Fort Hood is a giant American city. And all
the things that happened in the giant American city happened in a place
like Fort Hood.
WAGNER: Yes, and that`s a fair point, Don. I don`t think a lot of
people know this. Fort Hood is the largest active duty military post in
the United States. There are 340 square miles of training, 50,000 military
personnel. It is a huge complex.
BORELLI: It`s a city.
WAGNER: And just as Jim outlined, as such, we take very seriously
what happens at a base that size.
BORELLI: Absolutely. It`s the same issues you would have in any
city. It has its own police force and it`s own kind of community. And
they -- after the recent history of military bases being the workplace
violence and so forth, I know that DOD had a review of procedures, and they
have good training. They train for active shooter situations. They have
great medical facilities.
So we`ll have to get to the bottom of why this happened. But they`re
clearly prepared to follow up on such a thing.
WAGNER: And let me follow on that. After the shooting in 2009, which
was just four years -- less than four years ago, it was November of 2009,
we know that changes were recommended at Fort Hood, including increased
awareness paid to those with emotional problems, expanded collection and
sharing of information.
It is -- I think shocking to many of us that are watching these events
unfold that another event like this could take place in the same area. One
wonders, what -- how many of those safeguards could be in place. What is
usually the time line for instituting changes like that?
BORELLI: Well, it just depends on the situation, I think it`s
important to take a step back and figure out, is this something that could
have been prevented or was it just a spontaneous eruption? Because these
things can happen, and you can`t predict every incident of violence.
So, I think once the situation is contained, everybody involved in the
investigation will take a look at it and see, was this something that was
predictable. Were there procedures that could have been put in place to
prevent it or was this just something that is just kind of a random act of
violence that, you know, nobody could have predicted or prevented?
WAGNER: What is -- if you could give us a bird`s eye view of the
coordination among law enforcement groups -- I mean, there`s obviously the
local officials there, the military officials there, FBI is involved in
this. You have the secretary of defense being briefed on this.
In sort of -- walk us through what happens here, in the immediate
aftermath of something like this, we`re now three or four hours out from
when the shooting first took place.
BORELLI: Sure. You will have all the different entities responding.
The local entities that are responding to the base. You`ll have the
federal agencies like FBI, ATF, state police, and they will set up a joint
command post. And from there, they will make decisions as to, you know,
who`s going to be in charge of which leads, where the investigation is
going to go.
Obviously, the first priorities to contain the violence and make sure
that the situation is safe, so the people can go about their business. And
then, it will slow down and they will jointly go into the investigation
more methodically, trying to discover the motive and any other facts and
circumstances surrounding this.
WAGNER: OK. So, once again, the details we know now, there was an
apparent shooting at Fort Hood that has left eight people wounded, four
gravely so. The shooter is reportedly a military, possibly a military
officer named Ivan Lopez, who is 34 years old. Again, eight wounded, four
gravely so. The shooter is now, according to officials, the shooter may
have -- the shooter has reportedly killed himself from a self-inflicted.
Joining us now is Bruce Schneier, a security technologist and editor
of "Schneier on Security.
Bruce, given the fact that this is a military base, where the worst
shooting on a U.S. military base ever in U.S. history occurred, the fact
that something like this is happening just a few years later, from a
security perspective, what does that tell you?
BRUCE SCHNEIER, SECURITY TECHNOLOGIST: You know, it really doesn`t
say anything. These things happen randomly on military bases in schools,
in cities. Fort Hood is a 50,000 person city with a lot of people a lot of
pressure, this could just be random. It doesn`t necessarily have to mean
It could. It`s really very early, we have no facts. And sort of urge
people not to jump to their conclusions and wait and see.
WAGNER: From -- let me go back to you, Don. From -- after 2009,
there were still Congress people that refer to that shooting as an act of
terrorism, both in terms of the scope and the radicalization that General
Hasan went through, his communication with al Qaeda leaders.
When something like this happens on a military base, one would think
that because of that, the alarm bells start ringing in a broader spectrum
than they would if it took place in just any city?
BORELLI: Absolutely, you can`t ignore history. As we saw in 2009
with Major Hasan, that he was inspired by watching videos of Anwar al
Awlaki, an al Qaeda cleric. So, that was a terrorism inspired incident,
jihad type situation.
So, when you hear Fort Hood and shooting, the natural inclination is
to go, here we go again. But you can`t just jump to that conclusion
because there are so many reasons that somebody would do this, from mental
illness to just spontaneous kind of family violence, workplace violence.
So, obviously, with past history, terrorism is one of the things you
look at, but you have to look at it more broadly.
WAGNER: Bruce, from a security perspective, the fact that we are
talking now about military installations, naval bases, domestic ones as
being sites of shootings in the state, in the U.S. tell us, how that`s read
from a security perspective. What effectively that may mean in terms of
the road ahead.
SCHNEIER: You know, it`s interesting, we do know that shootings
happen. They happen in military bases and off military bases. I mean,
certainly there`s going to be a tendency to overreact, especially it`s
twice in the same place where something rare happens. We look for meaning.
We look for cause, even if there isn`t any. So, we could easily over
The other guest is right, we don`t know the motivation. Is it mental
illness? Is it politically inspired? Does it have to do with an argument?
I mean, lots of reasons shootings happen in this country.
It`s hard to predict how we`ll react. It will often depend on which
particular fact the news grabs on to as the important one. These things
are often a lot more complex. You know, it`s really hard to say what this
It might mean more security even though in the end, you really can`t
prevent a lone shooter. I mean, there`s nothing you can do except respond
quickly. But that doesn`t stop us from trying.
WAGNER: OK, I want to update everyone. Fort Hood is no longer on
lockdown. There is a single gunman, who we believe took his own life.
There are at least eight people wounded, four of them seriously.
Pete Williams and Jim Miklaszewski are citing several military and
civilian officials saying the gunman who killed himself, the purported lone
gunman at Fort Hood, was a man named Ivan Lopez. He was 34 years old. His
military affiliation and his rank have not yet been revealed or verified.
Two officials say the gunman was wearing a uniform.
We are awaiting a press conference at the hospital in this hour.
Joining us now is Scott Friedman from our local affiliate, KXAS.
Scott, what do you have to share with us?
SCOTT FRIEDMAN, KXAS: Well, just like you, Alex, we`re waiting for
that news conference, one of the hospitals in the area where they told us
they received three patients. A federal law enforcement official telling
us there may be as many as 14 injured. Again, we want to caution, this is
early information. These numbers seem to come up or down a bit depending
on who you talk to at this hour, and still some question about whether
there was a second shooter in this case.
The one hospital we`ve been talking to, the Scott & White Hotel, it`s
a level one trauma facility. They`re unfortunately familiar with dealing
with this kind of situation after this 2009 shooting.
WAGNER: OK --
FRIEDMAN: They treated many of those --
WAGNER: I`m going to have to interrupt you right now, because
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is making remarks.
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Other than what I`ve just told you.
As we go along, as can I get those facts, I`ll share them with you.
Let me now make a couple general comments about what we are doing here
and what our day has been like, we have another day tomorrow. I`ll begin
by thanking the Asean defense ministers for their participation their
commitment to come here and be part of something I think is -- and I think
they share my feeling, something that`s important.
We had an opportunity this morning to spend a couple hours,
specifically focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. We
had the USAID director, Dr. Raj Shaw, as well as our head of NOAA (ph) and
a number of our other senior leaders and a number of other agencies, a
number of NGOs. We had senior representative from the United States --
WAGNER: OK. That was Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefly
addressing the Fort Hood shooting.
Again, let`s just reset for everybody who`s watching this right now.
The reported gunman is a 34-year-old man named Ivan Lopez.
I want to go now to Scott Friedman, our local affiliate -- who is from
our local affiliate in the area, from KXAS.
Scott, sorry we are going back and forth here, we are getting
information as it comes. We know the president`s remarks we`re about to
feed those on tape. The latest information you have from the area.
FRIEDMAN: Well, we just got a report a minute ago, while you were
listening to the defense secretary, that the news conference at the local
trauma center there has been pushed back about a half hour, so maybe a
little bit longer before we get more information from them. But they have
confirmed for us, that they received at least three patients there, Scott
and White, the level on trauma center. There are several other hospitals
in the area that may have also received patients. That was certainly the
case the last time around in 2009 when they had the previous shooting there
on the base. The patients were taken to a number of locations, Alex.
WAGNER: Thank you, Scott.
I want to update again. Fort Hood is no longer on lockdown. There is
a single gunman who we believe took his own life. There are at least 8
people wounded, 4 of them seriously.
Pete Williams and Jim Miklaszewski are citing several military and
civilian officials who say the gunman who killed himself at Fort Hood was
34-year-old Ivan Lopez, his military affiliation and his rank have not been
revealed. Two officials say the gunman was wearing a uniform.
We are awaiting a hospital press conference which will be coming in
this hour. We`re going to take a short break. And we`ll be back soon.
WAGNER: We are back with breaking news on the Fort Hood shooting.
Let us go now live to NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim
Miklaszewski with the latest -- Mik.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS CHIEF PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Alex, U.S.
military officials are confirming that at least two -- the shooter was shot
and killed apparently a suicide. And two of his victims have died at a
local metropolitan. Two others are reported in extremely grave condition
Now, according to officials, and according to our own Pete Williams,
the shooter has been identified as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez. He was seen to
be wearing a military uniform. And reports indicate that apparently some
kind of altercation broke out in the motor pool, and then gunfire broke
It`s not clear if there was more than one shooter, and that one of the
men went on a rampage. All of that should be cleared up at least some of
it in a news conference from Fort Hood that we expect later this evening.
But U.S. military officials are adamant that this does not appear to
be any kind of revenge or terrorist or jihadist shooting as occurred in
2009 when 13 soldiers were killed and 32 were wounded. Army Major Nidal
Hasan was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He sits
on death row currently.
But apparently, the shooting incident is totally over, and the
lockdown has been lifted at Fort Hood -- Alex.
WAGNER: Thanks, Mik.
We know that President Obama is on the road in Chicago. Moments ago
he taped a statement, we will be bringing it to you. Here it is, this is
the president`s statement on the Fort Hood shooting.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, everybody.
I just got off the phone with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff Sandy Winnefeld to get the latest report on the situation in Fort
Hood. Obviously, we`re following it closely.
The situation is fluid right now. But my national security team is in
close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI. They are
working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make
sure that everybody is secure. And I want to just assure all of us that
we`re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
You know, any shooting is troubling. Obviously, this reopens the pain
of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago. We know these families. We
know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they
Obviously, our thoughts and prayers were -- are with the entire
community. And we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the
community at Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with the current
situation, but also any potential aftermath.
We`re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.
And I don`t want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has
happened, but for now, I would just hope that everybody across the country
is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and
in our prayers.
The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom.
Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and
Afghanistan. They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when
they`re at their home base they need to feel safe.
We don`t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously, that sense of
safety has been broken once again. And we`re going to have to find out
exactly what happened.
The Pentagon will undoubtedly have further briefings for you as we get
more details about what happened.
WAGNER: That was President Obama making his first statement on the
Fort Hood shooting.
And update once again, Fort Hood is no longer in lockdown. There is a
single gunman who we believe took his own life. Pete Williams and Jim
Miklaszewski are reporting that two have died, two are in grave condition.
The reported shooter was 34-year-old Ivan Lopez.
Still with me is NBC news national security analyst Don Borelli,
former assistant special agent in charge of FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task
Don, the president spoke just now about the sense of safety being
broken once again. And one cannot underscore the sense of violation, given
the fact that in 2009, the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military base took
place at this very site. In terms of a nation that has felt vulnerable
since September 11th. You know, your read on, you know, what this means
for those who serve as the president said with valor and distinction?
BORELLI: Yes, again, our troops expect to face danger when they`re
deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. When they`re home with their families,
they don`t expect to be getting shot encountering these type of --
WAGNER: Right, the battlefield is supposed to be overseas.
So after this investigation starts to kind of wind down, they`ll be
looking for ways that maybe this could have been predicted. You know, how
did this person get a weapon? Was he allowed to have a weapon? You know,
those types of things, are there procedures that could have been put in
Were there some warning signs that were missed? That this is a
volatile individual that maybe should been looked at. But it`s way too
early to jump to any of those conclusions right now.
The investigations are going to take time. Investigators will
interview everybody that was close to this person, that had any information
about why this might have happened. They`ll, of course, search his
residents to see if there are other weapons. And there`s a lot of work --
WAGNER: It`s interesting that Jim Miklaszewski reporting from the
Pentagon was saying that they do not seem to be any ties to jihadism or
radicalism at this moment. A fairly quick assessment given how fluid this
The other thing, Don, that I want to talk about is be on the lookout
notice that was sent out. The FBI had sent one out for someone just days
earlier, who went to reproduce a Fort Hood style shooting almost
immediately avenues broke on this. Officials say the two are not
interlinked. They know who that guy is.
I think for a lot of this, it`s surprising that these kinds of threats
were being issued for a base like Fort Hood, given that it`s already been a
BORELLI: Well, it`s certainly coincidental. You had that warning,
that be on a lookout warning go out a couple of days ago that was issued
out of Kansas City. This person they were looking for was attempting to
get into the military, had not yet started training and his intentions
about having a Fort Hood-style jihad that was uncovered and now they`re
looking for him. It`s purely coincidence.
But I can tell you the FBI deals with hundreds if not thousands of
threats every day. And, thankfully, you know, most of them are run aground
and they`re proven to be not a real threat. It`s just, whatever the
situation is that causes alarm.
But this is -- this is kind of a normal day in the FBI and the joints
terrorism task force, running these threats aground to make sure that
they`re not real.
WAGNER: I want to just update everyone again. NBC News is citing
officials who tell us there are three confirmed dead after the shooting at
Fort Hood, Texas. Two victims and the shooter himself. Fort Hood is no
longer in lockdown. Both military and civilian officials say the gunman
who killed himself at Fort Hood was 34-year-old Ivan Lopez.
Two officials say the gunman was wearing a uniform. We are awaiting a
hospital press conference which should happen in this hour.
Joining me now by phone is retired U.S. Army colonel and MSNBC
military analyst, Jack Jacobs. Colonel Jacobs, the president just spoke
moments ago, he talked about the sense of safety that`s been broken once
again on a military base where men and women are serving with valor and
As a man who has served our country and knows well the sacrifice those
men and women make, your thoughts in the immediate hours following this
Do we have you Colonel Jack?
OK. I`m not hearing -- let`s go back to Don.
Just once again, in terms of how the FBI manages these -- you say they
get hundreds of these kinds of notices, be on the lookouts, these threats
that they have to run aground. Did it surprise you that they were so
immediately dismissive of any interlinkage between what today on the threat
that they had received just days ago?
BORELLI: It`s hard to say, because I`m not privy to that, what the
inside information is.
But it seems like early on, they were able to say that the two were
not related. But that doesn`t -- obviously, the FBI`s going to be
continuing -- looking into this situation at Fort Hood with the military,
with the CID, to try to figure out, again, what was the ultimate motive of
And, again, it does not appear to be terrorism-related. It looks at
this point to be a workplace violence. But it`s still important to figure
out, were there signs that were missed that could have prevented this?
WAGNER: Well, just -- walk me through. In sort of laymen`s terms, if
you are in the FBI, if you`re working on this case, what is the first thing
you do after an event like this? They have identified the shooter. They
think they may have. Is it, you go to his house? What is sort of -- what
is the order of operations?
BORELLI: I think first things first. You`re going to want to lock
down the house. You`re going to want to conduct a search warrant to see if
there are any other weapons or any clues that could lead to motive.
You`re going to conduct interviews. And it`s not like you`re going to
be doing one, then the next, then the next. You`re going to be doing all
these things simultaneously. You will have teams out doing interviews
while they`re doing search warrants. So, if he has a computer, they will
be taking the computer. They will be looking at the cell phone.
They will be looking at all of the various things that could feed into
the investigation to put the pieces together to help determine a motive and
then take the investigation where it goes from there.
WAGNER: I want to go now to retired U.S. Army Colonel and MSNBC
military analyst Jack Jacobs, who joins us by phone.
Colonel, Colonel Jack, the president and the defense secretary have
both weighed in on this. The president said, our hearts are broken. And,
indeed, for those of us who know -- and you know well more than most people
the sacrifice made by men and women in the armed forces. For something to
happen like this again on a military base is almost unthinkable.
Your thoughts about the situation.
JACOBS: Well, the really troubling part about all of this, other than
the terrible violence and the loss, is how astonishing it is that this
could happen in a military community, a military community where ironically
guns are not very prevalent. They`re all locked up, a community in which
people work together very, very closely to do very difficult things under
trying circumstances every single day, who live together, train together,
and are there not just to accomplish the mission, but to take care of each
And so it`s really quite astonishing when something like this happens,
over and above the loss.
WAGNER: Yes. That`s a really important point, because, of course,
Major Hasan, who committed the 2009 shooting, was a uniformed service
member. He was expected to ship out to Afghanistan just weeks before -- or
after the shooting. Of course, he did not do that.
And then this, Ivan Lopez, the presumed shooter, also was wearing a
uniform of some sort. We don`t know what his status was with the military.
But given what you said about the camaraderie that exists within the ranks,
I would think, Colonel Jack, that that is as much of a break and something
that is incredibly difficult to reconcile as much as it is another shooting
on this base.
JACOBS: Yes. And what`s also surprising is that when people work and
live as closely together as they do in the military, where leaders, junior
leaders and senior leaders, up and down the chain of command, are -- have
the responsibility for ensuring that the people are taken care of and that
anybody who has a problem is immediately identified and taken care of, that
somebody with a problem like this who could cause this much damage could go
It`s -- well, we will get more about this when we hear all about
exactly who this guy is and what his relationship was to the people who
were shot. But it`s always shocking when people who live together, work
together and depend on each other wind up in a circumstance like this.
WAGNER: Thanks, Colonel Jack.
I just want to update everyone. Once again ,NBC News is citing
military officials who tell us there are three dead, three dead after the
shooting in Fort Hood, two victims and of course the shooter. Fort Hood is
no longer on lockdown.
Military and civilian officials say the gunman who killed himself at
Fort Hood was a man named Ivan Lopez, who was 34 years old. Two officials
say the gunman was wearing a uniform.
We will be right back with the latest developments on this breaking
story coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, they are actually escorting a group of
soldiers out of a building now at gunpoint. Everyone is coming out with
their hands in the air, required to drop down to their knees, men, women
There are children present with this at the time. There are civilians
in civilian clothes. They are asked at this time to get down on their
hands and knees, face down at gunpoint.
This is definitely one of the more tragic and intense things that I
have ever experienced in my life. I really just want to go home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WAGNER: We are back with the latest news on the Fort Hood shooting.
And this is what we have from a U.S. military official. The suspected
shooter was a man named Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier.
The shooter is now dead, along with three other victims, so that makes four
killed in total at the Fort Hood base.
There are at least 11 additional wounded. We have no word on the
severity of those wounds. But we will have an update from the hospital
within the hour.
Pete Williams of NBC News is citing a federal security official who
says that while a search continues for a possible second gunman, there is a
growing belief that there was just one shooter. The official also says
that shooting appears to have been the result of an argument or a dispute.
Joining me now is NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim
Make -- we were speaking earlier before, and you were saying there
doesn`t seem to be any apparent ties to radicalism or jihadism. Can you
give us the latest update from your end?
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, to follow up on
what you were talking about in terms of Pete Williams and his reporting,
U.S. military officials do confirm that this was apparently the result of
some kind of argument.
They argue strenuously that this was not a terrorist attack, a
jihadist incident, as occurred back in 2009, when Major Nidal Hasan shot
and killed 13 and wounded 32 others. He was convicted, sentenced to death,
and he`s sitting on death row right now, in a military prison.
But the shooter himself is a 34-year-old enlisted soldier by the name
of Ivan Lopez. And so far there`s no indication really as to the motive.
As Pete reported earlier this evening, there appears to have been some kind
of argument at the motor pool that erupted in the gunfire.
And that report we heard from earlier, just prior to this segment,
where they were talking about marching people out of a building at gunpoint
and forcing them to get down, that`s pretty much a security standard
operating procedure in a case like this, because nobody knew, in the chaos,
just how many gunmen there were, conflicting reports about a gunman here,
gunman there, a car they were searching for.
And so military security officials were taking the utmost precaution
shortly after the shooting. But it`s clear now -- it appears anyway to
most military officials that there was a lone gunman and that he apparently
shot and killed himself. Three of his victims are also dead. We expect a
news conference from Fort Hood itself shortly.
WAGNER: NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, thank
you, as always, for the update.
Still with me is NBC News national security analyst Don Borelli,
former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI-NYPD joint terrorism
Don, we know from the reports that we have right now that it sounds
like it was one gunman there, still leaving open the possibility and the
search for a possible second. But it sounds like if they have -- and we
were talking about this just during the break -- if they have released Fort
Hood from lockdown, they must be fairly certain that there was only one
BORELLI: I would think so.
If they were confident that there was a second person involved, you
would probably likely have a -- you would still be in lockdown, at least a
good portion of the base. I mean, it`s a huge place, so you may not have
the entire area open -- or locked down, rather, but it seems in this
situation that it`s contained.
And, as Jim pointed out, standard operating procedure, when people are
released from a contained area in a situation like this, everybody gets
kind of hands up out of an abundance of caution to just make sure that,
once somebody`s cleared, that there are no other weapons on the scene,
anything like that.
WAGNER: Don, I want to go now to Glenn Sulmasy, homeland and national
security law fellow from the Center for National Policy. Glenn is joining
us by phone.
Glenn, a lot of people will ask, how could something like this happen
again? But I think it`s worth noting that this is an Army base. It`s the
largest active-duty military post in the U.S. There are 340 square miles
of training on it. There are 50,000 military personnel alone, some 150,000
family members and civilian support personnel. It is a city, Glenn. Given
that, it is fairly hard to secure a city, as it were.
GLENN SULMASY, CENTER FOR NATIONAL POLICY: There`s no question, Alex.
There`s no question whatsoever.
This is a city. It has its own police force, its own commissary. The
people live and work together. But it is tragic nonetheless this would
take place, ironically, at the same place where Nidal Hasan was successful
in killing 13 of his fellow soldiers. And it`s tragic for the families and
for all of the military, all members of the armed forces to hear about
this, where you live, work, eat, and fight wars together and come back
To know that one of your own turned on you, it was over a minor night
like this. How tragic is this for those fellow soldiers who are fighting
for our country?
WAGNER: Glenn, give us a sense of what security is like at Army bases
in general at this moment.
I mean, obviously, things may change in the wake of all of this, but
just for the civilian to -- for a civilian who`s never been to an Army base
before, what is security like?
SULMASY: Alex, it`s what you would expect it to be.
When you`re going on to a base, you have to show your military I.D.
card. Civilians have to have their license plates registered and show
their -- whatever identification they have on them. And there`s actually
armed guards normally at the gate, just coming in as a presence at least.
When you`re on the base itself, there are military police moving
around. And since 2009, and actually since 2001 and the attacks on the
World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, that you start to
watch and witness the increase of security on the bases. They have all
become more secure as a result of those attacks.
And I think really when you see the great measures being taken by the
base commander today to minimize -- you saw the quick action of the armed
forces. You saw the quick action of getting the families out and taking
this threat of a gunman very, very seriously.
It really is tremendous to watch what they have done to mitigate or
minimize any of the damage that this soldier was looking like he was
attempting to do to his fellow soldiers.
WAGNER: What kind of stopgap measures or what kind of monitoring is
in place for soldiers who may have emotional problems or anger management
We know, after the 2009 event, after the worst mass murder on a U.S.
military base, some of those programs, some of that monitoring was beefed
up. Give us a sense of the sort of interaction between soldiers and the
medical professionals who are there to make that sure everything is OK.
SULMASY: There`s no question that there`s been increased activity in
that arena, Alex, since 2009.
There`s always been an active chaplain program. You have the
psychiatrists. You have the military psychologists. You have different
groups on the base and medical professionals. But there`s been an enhanced
presence looking after these sorts of activities.
And we don`t know what has taken place. And no one can assert what
this fellow was thinking at the time. But we have to really look and think
long and hard to recognize, was he sending signals that someone should have
noticed that he had this propensity that leads to this sort of horrendous
WAGNER: And let me -- we have to cut now to the hospital press
conference for the latest on the victims of this shooting. Let`s take a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re ready whenever they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you all are ready, this is Dr. Glen Couchman,
the chief medical officer, Baylor Scott & White Health Central Texas in the
tie and the shirt. And in the doctor`s jacket is Dr. Harry
Papaconstantinou, who is our chairman of surgery.
DR. GLEN COUCHMAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE HEALTH
CENTRAL TEXAS: Good evening.
At about 5:05 this evening, we were notified by officials from Fort
Hood that there had been a shooting incident over there. We began
preparation to accept patients. We so far have received three patients who
have been transferred that are here in our facility.
We have three more that are en route. I`m sorry. We have had four
patients that are actually here now, and two more that are en route. They
have had a variety of injuries we have been treating, ranging from gunshot
wounds that involved extremities, abdomen, chest and neck.
These patients are receiving treatment right now, and we are expecting
two more to be arriving shortly. They have been transported by both air
and land. The two that are coming, we`re preparing to go directly to the
operating room in anticipation of some -- for needed surgery.
We have all of our support staff have been activated and we have ample
resources to take care of any more patients that need to be transferred
over. But at this time, we don`t anticipate additional patients being
transferred over from Fort Hood at this time.
So we are prepared to answer any questions. We can give you any
QUESTION: Those that are here now, know their conditions?
COUCHMAN: Yes, their conditions range from stable to quite critical.
QUESTION: Do you know if they were soldiers?
COUCHMAN: I don`t have that information, ma`am.
COUCHMAN: I can`t even give you those specifics. I`m sorry.
QUESTION: What about the rest of the people (OFF-MIKE) Where are
COUCHMAN: I have none of that information, ma`am. We accepted these
patients transferred after they had been evaluated and taken care of over
in Killeen at the fort.
So, we really didn`t render any immediate care at the scene or
anything like that.
COUCHMAN: I was, ma`am, yes.
COUCHMAN: I would say so.
There`s a lot of unknowns early on, and it creates some logistical
problems in how you plan for this kind of event. We routinely practice for
mass casualty events. We have a command center that we run practice
So I`m pleased to report that we were well prepared for that. It just
always takes a little while to figure out exactly how many people are
coming and where they`re coming from. But we are amply staffed. We had
our surgeons, operating rooms, everything opened up well before any of
these patients arrived.
QUESTION: How often do you guys run those drills and when was the
last time you actually...
COUCHMAN: We run those every few months. It`s been three or four
months since we had our last one. But that`s a routine kind of thing we
QUESTION: Did most have multiple gunshot wounds?
COUCHMAN: I honestly can`t tell you the exact extent of those. I did
not take care of any of those myself. Dr. Papaconstantinou may be able to
give you a little bit more specifics on that, but...
DR. HARRY PAPACONSTANTINOU, BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE HEALTH CENTRAL TEXAS:
Basically, they were both. There was both individual gunshot, as well a
couple with multiple.
QUESTION: I apologize. We just walked in. Can you recap again some
of the numbers, please?
So we were first notified shortly after 5:00 this evening that there
was a shooting incident that occurred over on the fort. And we opened up
our command center at that time in anticipation.
And over the next couple of hours, we have received now a total of
four patients who have been transferred to our facility. Two more are en
route, I understand, right now. And we`re preparing to take those
immediately to the operating room because they have some very, very severe
injuries. So that`s kind of where we are with this.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) conditions at this point?
COUCHMAN: The conditions range everywhere from quite stable to quite
-- to critically injured.
QUESTION: The two that are coming now, were they at another facility
before they were brought over here? Are they being brought over here?
COUCHMAN: I believe they`re being transferred directly from the
Darnall emergency facilities.
QUESTION: Can you go over again what their injuries were?
PAPACONSTANTINOU: Basically, it`s a variety, injuries to the chest,
to the abdomen, to the extremities, and then an injury to the neck on the
various patients that we have seen.
QUESTION: And you said these are soldiers or you don`t know?
PAPACONSTANTINOU: We don`t have any specifics at this time.
PAPACONSTANTINOU: We`re a level one trauma center. We actually have
the resources and capacity to take care of these critically injured
QUESTION: Were the most critical injured patients brought here?
PAPACONSTANTINOU: As far as we know, yes.
COUCHMAN: And I would anticipate with a large number of patients
arriving in a very short period of time, the emergency facilities there
were anxious to have some help quickly, and we were available. And they
know that we`re always open to help them out.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) addressing someone was here when this happened
PAPACONSTANTINOU: We both were.
QUESTION: Just what goes through your head when you know it happened
COUCHMAN: It`s like -- my response was, this is another sad day for
QUESTION: Some of these patients, they were probably brought from
Fort Hood straight to here. Have you guys been able to get in touch with
their families that are on base? Have you had success with that?
COUCHMAN: We have not reached out to any families yet. I know that
we have -- our media folks have made arrangements for them to get a contact
number for them. And people are fielding some of those calls. I`m not
really aware if any of their family members have arrived here yet, though.
QUESTION: But you don`t anticipate that many of them are still on
COUCHMAN: That their families are still on base? I would assume so.
I really don`t know the specific names and the family relations that are
QUESTION: from the previous Fort Hood shooting (OFF-MIKE)
PAPACONSTANTINOU: As in you all -- you mean did Scott & White treat?
Yes, we had quite a few patients.
COUCHMAN: I think we had 11. I`m not sure. but we had quite a few
of the last...
QUESTION: At least 11 in 2009?
COUCHMAN: Yes. I can`t remember the exact number, but it was quite a
few. I remember that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) from stable to quite critical. Do you know how
many were quite critical?
COUCHMAN: I really can`t tell you that specific number.
PAPACONSTANTINOU: A lot of the patients here are undergoing continual
evaluation, so that will change over the course of time, I`m sure.
COUCHMAN: And we will give an update probably in another couple of
hours so we can give you a little bit more information about the more
QUESTION: Can you say why you don`t expect any additional patients?
COUCHMAN: That`s the information that we`re receiving right now, is
that they`re not anticipating that they`re going to transfer any more over,
although I suspect that could change as well, just depending on the
condition of the patients they`re treating over there.
PAPACONSTANTINOU: Yes, ma`am?
COUCHMAN: Any other questions for us at this time?
QUESTION: Can you spell your name and your titles, please?
COUCHMAN: Yes, my last name is Couchman, C-O-U-C-H-M-A-N. And I`m
the chief medical officer for Scott & White Memorial Hospital.
PAPACONSTANTINOU: Harry Papaconstantinou, P-A-P-A-C-O-S-T-A-N-T-I-N-
O-U. I`m the chairman of the department of surgery.
QUESTION: Will there be any more updates today?
COUCHMAN: Yes, we will be probably back around 9:30 or so. And we
will give you an update on these first four patients that have come in, and
hopefully we will have some good news on the two that are to be treated
QUESTION: The two that are going to be treated, are they arriving by
air or land?
COUCHMAN: I believe they`re coming by air.
QUESTION: Does your command center remain open? You remain sort of
on high alert for the foreseeable future?
COUCHMAN: Well, typically, we will keep it open until we`re 100
percent sure that the situation is stable. We`re going to be open for the
next few hours and kind of see how things roll out here.
QUESTION: Can you guys confirm real quick, all the injuries that
you`re seeing so far are from gunshot wounds?
COUCHMAN: Yes, ma`am.
WAGNER: That was an update from the doctors at Scott & White Memorial
Hospital, where four victims of the Fort Hood shooting are being treated.
The doctors say the victims` conditions range from stable to quite
Joining me now is NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim
Jim, the doctors seem very much in control of the situation. One of
them characterized this as another day in Central Texas, but of course
these are extraordinary circumstances, and especially for the men and women
on that base. Could you give us any details about how this may have
MIKLASZEWSKI: Well, according to federal officials, it appears that
it started when the shooter, who apparently committed suicide, 34-year-old
enlisted soldier Ivan Lopez, got into some kind of altercation, some kind
of argument with other soldiers apparently at Fort Hood`s motor pool.
And shortly after that, gunfire broke out. In the chaos, it was
thought there may have been more than one shooter. But so far, all that`s
confirmed is this one shooter, Ivan Lopez, who apparently committed
suicide. Three of his victims, however, have died. And a fourth is
reported to be in extremely critical condition, Alex.
WAGNER: NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski,
thanks, Mik, for the updates.
We are awaiting a press conference at Fort Hood, which should begin
But joining us now is Bruce Schneier, security technologist and editor
of Schneier on Security.
Bruce, how do you read this situation? What questions are you asking,
given the fact that another shooting occurred on this same base not but --
not even four years ago?
BRUCE SCHNEIER, SCHNEIER ON SECURITY: I want what everyone else
wants. I want the story. Human beings are naturally storytellers. We
want to know the story, what happened, why, what are the causes, what are
And I just have to wait for it to come in. We want the story now, so
we`re going to fill in the details where we don`t know them. And I`m just
waiting for the details like everybody else. It seems like it`s a random
thing. It seems like it`s not precipitated by anything, that you couldn`t
stop it, that it`s just something that happens.
We just don`t know. I`m really waiting like everyone else as the
WAGNER: But, Bruce, given the fact that the DOD seemed -- or our
reporting from Jim Miklaszewski and Pete Williams, that they`re ruling out
radicalism or jihadism, some sort of religious concern here, it feels or it
sounds like -- and I would love to know your thoughts on this -- that they
have more of a clearer picture perhaps of what went down in that motor
SCHNEIER: Right, and most likely, it is just a lone person with
psychological problems, as the doctor said, sadly another day in South
Texas. It doesn`t happen every day, but somewhere in the country this
happens way too often for no good reason.
And that seems to be what it is. Terrorism is very, very rare, it`s
unlikely, and I think you can very quickly rule it out if it`s just someone
who is doing something he shouldn`t do. This is a horrible tragedy, but it
doesn`t need to be political.
WAGNER: Bruce, just to remind everybody, when we talk about
preventing something like this, this is an Army base. It`s the largest
active-duty Army base in the United States, 340 square miles, 50,000
military personnel, 150,000 family members and civilian support personnel.
It is a city, effectively, and securing a city is a very -- close to
SCHNEIER: You really can`t. What they did there was the best they
could, is respond quickly, respond effectively. And that`s all you can
hope for when it`s a lone nut case. It`s tragic, but it`s true. You can`t
stop lone gunmen.
WAGNER: Security technologist Bruce Schneier, thank you for your time
And, of course, thank you to our NBC News national security analyst,
Don Borelli. Thank you for being with me tonight and giving us your
thoughts on this breaking news.
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