April 2, 2014
Guests: Buck Revell, Larry Johnson
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.
As you know, we are following this breaking news situation in Fort Hood.
This is what we know at this time. Fort Hood in Texas is on lockdown. As
many as eight people possibly wounded, taken to hospitals. There may have
been two shooters. One has been taken into custody -- this has been
confirmed by NBC News -- possibly shot and wounded. One is still on the
loose. Similar to when there were 13 people killed, by the way -- this is
not new to Fort Hood, unfortunately -- when more than 30 wounded, 13 people
killed back in 2009, not the type of flashback people at Fort Hood want to
be thinking about.
The president is traveling in Chicago. He`s been informed of this. He was
supposed to be doing some fund-raisers tonight. He`s delaying the
appearance at that while he`s been getting briefed on that. The secretary
of defense, Chuck Hagel, also has been informed of the current situation
down there. And again, the entire Fort Hood is on lockdown.
I want to bring in MSNBC contributor and a former FBI profiler Clint Van
Zandt. Clint, are you still with me? So Clint, describe exactly who on
Fort Hood is doing this --
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI PROFILER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR (via telephone):
TODD: Clint, who is involved in trying to track down the second shooter
right now? This is obviously being handled by military police, right?
VAN ZANDT: Yes, we`ve got a number of agencies right now, Chuck. As you
and most of America know, in November 2009, we had that terrible shooting
where 13 were killed by a U.S. Army major psychiatrist, Major Nidal Hasan.
And at that time, as well as right now, the forces that would be brought in
to try to apprehend any type of shooter -- number one, the first responders
are likely going to be the uniformed police department. There`s a
uniformed government police department that`s right there on base. They`re
the same individuals that engaged in the shootout with Nidal Hasan back in
You also are going to have military police that have the capability on that
base of responding. So they are going to be your rapid deployment forces.
Then, of course, they can call in local law enforcement from outside the
base. The FBI will be responding. ATF will be responding. There will be
a number of agencies that are coming.
But right now, that search is going to be really in the hands of the
uniformed police and military police and probably Army CID, all that are
going to be doing (INAUDIBLE) At the same time, there`s going to be a
command post set up.
And at that command post, every agency that`s bringing in law enforcement
people to help search in the search and the hunt, whether they be SWAT
teams or search dogs or whatever, are going to probably report to that
command post, be given an assignment as they to try to put a ring, a circle
around the area where they think the second shooter might be, and then
close that ring in to, number one, make sure that he or she doesn`t get a
chance to shoot anyone else, and number two, of course, to get that person
TODD: So Clint, when you hear that this is two shooters, and there`s
confirmation that it`s two shooters, that automatically is some form of a
conspiracy. What does that tell you as a profiler?
VAN ZANDT: Well, there is, Chuck. As you know, just yesterday, the FBI in
that -- in Kansas City put out an alert all through military bases around
the country concerning an individual, a man who attempted to join the Army,
and then it was found out that he had at least, on communications with
other individuals, indicated that he wanted to commit some type of jihad,
some type of terribly violent act, and Fort Hood was mentioned.
What makes that even more relevant is that this same individual allegedly
contacted people he knows within the last few days and said his good-byes
to them. Well --
TODD: Well, let me pause you --
VAN ZANDT: -- possible suicide.
TODD: Clint, let me pause you right there because, actually, Pete
Williams, my colleague, NBC News justice correspondent -- he actually has
been in touch with federal authorities about this specific incident. And
here`s what Pete is reporting right now, that federal law enforcement
officials say that there is no connection between this shooting at Fort
Hood, that they seem to know this, and the report about the FBI lookout
notice that you just brought up, describing how this person wanted to do a,
quote, "Fort Hood style" shooting.
And according to a law enforcement official close to Pete Williams, when he
asked about the person who was the subject of the lookout notice, he simply
got this answer, Clint, We know who that guy is. So they don`t give us
more information than that, that certainly sounds to me, Clint, like they
know where he is and they must have him under some sort of surveillance,
VAN ZANDT: Well, it sounds like know where he is. Then their next
challenge, of course, is to make sure this is not related to him in any
way, shape or form, whether anyone else who may have been talking with him
or conspiring with him because, Chuck, there`s two different investigations
that have been going on. Number one is trying to identify and arrest the
shooter within the base. The second will be taking any information they
We`re told that one shooter is down and may be in custody. He would have
been, hopefully, debriefed by law enforcement --
TODD: Right, if still alive.
VAN ZANDT: -- trying to find out who --
TODD: And conscious.
VAN ZANDT: -- he was working with.
TODD: Right, if still alive and conscious at that point. So when you
think about -- you`re putting together, obviously, everything as a string
here. But let`s go back to the fact that there were two people here and a
-- you know, two people makes a conspiracy by some definition.
So obviously, you talked about going down that one trail, the FBI lookout.
So far, the FBI is claiming -- or federal law enforcement officials believe
there isn`t a connection. Where`s the next place you go, Clint?
VAN ZANDT: Yes, if there is no connection, then we have to rely upon any
other intelligence that might be out there of someone perhaps totally
unrelated to the situation you and I are talking about, who may have been
planning something like this, and again, what information they`re able to
gather on the scene.
If one or two people got on the base to commit this shooting, Chuck, they
had to get there somewhere -- some way.
VAN ZANDT: They had to have a car, some type of vehicle. The person who`s
in custody probably has some type of identification on him, or he`ll be
fingerprinted and law enforcement will find out who he is very quickly.
So what they will be trying to do is identify the person they have in
custody, and then identify his circle of friends and acquaintances and
contacts, expand that out to find out, if there is a second shooter, who it
TODD: Well, let`s reset things a little bit. It was just after 5:00
o`clock local time at Fort Hood when a notice went out public that all Fort
Hood personnel were told to shelter in place, close doors and stay away
from windows, that there was an active shooting.
Here`s what we know now. As many as eight people wounded at this point.
There are two suspects. One apparently is in custody, was shot and
wounded, apparently. The other person is still at large, and that is
what`s going on right now. That`s why there`s still a shelter in place.
That`s why the base still is saying there is an active shooter and there is
an attempt now to apprehend this second shooter.
Continuing with me here is Clint Van Zandt, of course, a former FBI
profiler, somebody who we spend a lot of time with on situations like this.
We do have a little bit of an update in here. We know three people --
three people confirmed right now have been injured -- we do not know the
severity of their injuries -- and that one of the shooters, in the words of
a law enforcement source, has been neutralized.
No, Clint, when you hear the words "neutralized," it doesn`t necessarily
mean -- it obviously means they`ve apprehended, in custody, some sort of
wounding, I guess. Help me out here. When you hear "neutralized," what
could that mean?
VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, "neutralized" can have a lot of different
meanings. Neutralized can be he`s been slightly wounded and in custody,
he`s being debriefed right now. And neutralized could be he`s shot, he`s -
- but he still has handcuffs on him as we try to figure out who he is and
what`s going on here. So that term shouldn`t give us any real definition
right now, other than "neutralize" meaning he is not in a position or he
does not have the ability to shoot anybody else at this point.
TODD: A few other facts that people should know. The Central Texas
College campus, right near Fort Hood, had also been evacuated due to the
shooting. All personnel and students have been asked to leave, all classes
Clint, stick around with me. I also want to bring in another contributor
here, NBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh, also a former ATF special
Jim, I know you`re not dealing with a lot of facts here. You`ve got about
as -- very few facts. We think we know what`s going on, an active attempt
to apprehend or neutralize this second shooter. From what you have
gathered, with the information you have, what do you feel like you -- what
more information do you want to have to get a better understanding of this
JIM CAVANAUGH, RET. ATF SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE, NBC LAW ENFORCEMENT
ANALYST: Well, you can count on Pete Williams, Chuck. I mean, his
reporting is gold (ph) solid. I mean, he has good sources and he`s telling
us that they might have located -- seems like the FBI may have -- know
where the other guy is that was making somewhat suicidal comments from
Just like Clint was talking about, you know, I gave a talk about this very
thing to police officers and chiefs at one of the ICP (ph) conferences
years ago. And what they do is -- they need to do and what they do do is
they exploit the information at the scene as quick as they can, when you
have the shooter down, Chuck, like you asked, which is a great question.
But you know, where do you -- what do you do now? You go right for his
wallet, his cell phone and his identification and his vehicle, like Clint
said. Who is he? And who is he talking to? Who is he in contact with?
Is he a lone shooter, like the Navy Yard shooter --
CAVANAUGH: -- that you covered extensively, Chuck (INAUDIBLE) or is he
connected to another criminal for a criminal reason or revenge motive or
terrorism or any other thing like that? So -- and that`s critical for law
enforcement, tactical officers, patrol officers, investigators, federal law
enforcement agents to get there quickly and exploit it.
And you know, don`t be frozen by it`s a crime scene. Even if the guy`s
dead, you got to go right to the wallet, the ID, the phone. You got to
exploit it. You got to get it out to the -- all the law enforcement
officers. You got to -- who is this guy? Because I can tell you right
now, I`m sure that on the posts around the country, military posts and Navy
posts, the --
CAVANAUGH: -- provost marshals, the MPs -- they`re getting tight -- they
should be -- because you never know what`s going on. You don`t know if
things can happen in multiple places. You always have to plan like it
could be somewhere else, as well.
TODD: And look, obviously, we`re hearing Fort Hood. You get flashbacks,
all of us do, to what happened in 2009 when at that -- that was a single
individual, killed 13 people, wounded dozens of others. One would assume
there was probably new protocols put in place at Fort Hood to deal with a
situation like this.
What are some of the changes that you think that they were putting into
place that may accelerate the ability to keep this situation from being
another incident like 2009?
CAVANAUGH: You know, I think they tightened up on their background stuff
because Hasan had come to CID`s attention, the FBI`s attention. There was
some notice about his activity. So think they tightened up on that front.
You know, whether they -- what they did on the base security -- but I can
tell you, I`ve been going on and off military bases as a law enforcement
officer for four decades, and I just don`t think that the security there is
as tight as it ought to be. Now, that`s just me, and I`m not a --
CAVANAUGH: -- a general --
TODD: I understand.
CAVANAUGH: -- who runs the Pentagon. And those are big cities and it`s
very difficult. But you know, as long as we`re involved in wars and
terrorism, that security has got to be, you know, a little tighter.
TODD: Especially -- especially at Fort Hood. I got another update here.
The FBI is now officially on the scene inside of Fort Hood to help secure
the scene, support law enforcement, military law enforcement there.
I want to go to Peter Alexander, my colleague over at the White House. And
Peter, we know that the president is traveling tonight. He`s in Chicago.
Obviously, the White House always travels with him.
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chuck, that`s exactly right. As
you said at the top of this broadcast, we know the president has been
notified of the situation taking place at Fort Hood right now. He`ll
continue to get updates, according to his deputy press secretary, Josh
Earnest, who is traveling with him today.
But be very clear, for this White House, this is very close to the heart.
This is a topic they have dealt with repeatedly over the course of the
president`s time in office. He said that that day when he learned the news
of the children that were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, that that was the
worst day of his presidency. When you consider the number of mass
shootings this president has been in office, during the time of -- you have
-- you have Oaktown (sic) -- excuse me -- Oaklawn (sic) in Wisconsin, Fort
Hood, as we`ve been discussing, Aurora, Newtown, Tucson, as well.
As the president said at the time when he was in Fort Hood back in 2009, he
said, these Americans didn`t die on a foreign field of battle, they were
killed here on American soil, in the heart of this great state and the
heart of this great American community. Those are certainly the thoughts
that are in mind -- in the mind of the president and in the mind of his
advisers right now as they hear news of another shooting taking place in an
American community and on an American military base.
TODD: Right. And the fact that it`s the second one on the same military
base that just happened in the last five years, doubly troubling. Peter,
stand by. Keep trying to get more information about what the White House
is being informed about.
Clint, I want to bring you back in here a little bit. When you hear the
situation -- again, to go back, the FBI now being on the scene assisting
military personnel -- the uniformed military police -- what is their
capabilities of investigation? And how much do they need the FBI now to
basically speed up what you used to do for a living, profiling the
situation and trying as fast as possible to get an idea on who these guys
VAN ZANDT: Well, in this case, you have a shooting that`s -- it`s
considered a crime on a government reservation, a military base. The FBI
has the lead agency responsibility both on the investigation and the
prosecution. But again, lead agency doesn`t mean you don`t need
everybody`s help. Right at this time, you know, there`s going to be an
initial response of FBI agents. You know, it`s quitting time, so the
reality is, people are going to be coming from home.
VAN ZANDT: SWAT teams will have to get their gear and suit up and head to
the base to participate in the search. But the FBI is going to need every
agency (INAUDIBLE) ATF (INAUDIBLE) responding, military police, civilian
(INAUDIBLE), CID, and of course, the uniformed police officers that are on
that base. These are the same (ph) individuals who had to engage Major
Nidal Hasan --
VAN ZANDT: -- on that terrible day in November 2009 that saw 13 members
of our military killed and dozens wounded. These same officers -- they all
have the initial responsibility. Everybody else will come in to back them
up, and the FBI will bring in every resource they can. And I`m sure, you
know, the president and the secretary of defense and the director of the
VAN ZANDT: -- will say (INAUDIBLE) give them everything we got. But the
reality, it`s the men and women that are showing up right now. They`re
going to put every resource that they have on the ground --
VAN ZANDT: -- to try to identify this potential second shooter and then
go from there.
TODD: All right, I want to pause you there, Clint. I want to go to my
colleague at the Pentagon, Jim Miklaszewski. Mik, obviously the Pentagon
monitoring this extremely closely. I assume you, hopefully, have a little
more information. What have you got?
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chuck, we`re hearing from U.S.
military officials that it`s believed, although the base there at Fort Hood
remains on lockdown and a search continues building by building, room by
room for any other possible shooters -- it`s believed now that there was a
single shooter, and that shooter, it appears, has been shot and killed. It
still remains an active shooting scene, however, as the search continues
for any other possible shooters.
Now, according to the officials, as many as eight people were wounded, and
it`s believed that four of them have been -- are in grave or critical
condition as a result of this shooting. Again, the search continues on the
base because it`s not clear whether there were others involved --
MIKLASZEWSKI: -- no motive, no identification of the shooting as of yet,
although there was some discussion among military officials about the
possibility that this was another sort of jihadist attack --
MIKLASZEWSKI: -- as was seen in 2009, when Army major Nidal Hasan opened
fire at the base, killing 13 and wounding 32. He since has been convicted
and is awaiting his death sentence on death row, in military custody.
So that`s the latest we have, that --
TODD: Well, Mik, I want to --
MIKLASZEWSKI: -- the search continues --
TODD: Yes, I was just going to say --
MIKLASZEWSKI: -- but it`s believed there was just one shooter.
TODD: I want to reconfirm -- not only that -- so your sources are telling
you not just -- not only the fact -- one shooter -- because there`s been
talk of two for quite some time. One shooter, and the shooter is dead.
That`s what your sources are telling you.
MIKLASZEWSKI: It`s believed there was only one shooter. But I have to
emphasize that the base remains on lockdown and they continue a search for
other possible shooters because in the chaos --
MIKLASZEWSKI: -- they were getting conflicting reports about who was
where, when, who was firing shots. People were taken into hospital in
private vehicles, so it was unclear what the casualty count was. At one
time, it was as high as 14 or 15. Now it`s believed that eight wounded,
four in grave condition at this hour. And the search continues. But it`s
believed, as you say, one possible shooter who is reportedly dead.
TODD: And do they -- is the Pentagon operating on the assumption that this
is a member of the military that did this?
MIKLASZEWSKI: No clue.
TODD: No clue at this point. All right, Jim Miklaszewski --
MIKLASZEWSKI: As far as the information we have.
TODD: An important piece of -- a new development there, one shooter,
contrary to the early reporting that we`ve had here. And this is something
we learned during the Navy shooting. People sometimes hear a second shot.
Jim Cavanaugh, I want to bring you in. This happens a lot. And we know
that first reports are not always the most accurate. Now Jim Miklaszewski
saying it is a single shooter, believed to be a single shooter. They`re
double checking to make sure there isn`t a second shooter, that -- again,
we heard what happened during the Navy Yard shooting, when people thought
there was a second shooter. In some way, they`d hear the gunshots, and it
was eyewitness reports that were incorrect. Fair enough, Jim?
CAVANAUGH: Right, Chuck. I mean, exactly. It happens. You get there,
it`s chaotic, bullets are flying, people are running, witnesses see
different things. Rarely do you get there and it`s just one guy unless
it`s -- you`re told it`s one guy unless it`s quickly solved. But I`ve
experienced that many times. And you know, that report from Jim
Miklaszewski right from the Pentagon command -- I`d say that`s pretty
solid, about as solid as you`re going to get. And they`re saying it`s
shooter and he`s deceased.
So what happens, though, is the tactical teams -- they have to continue on
because they`ve got the eyewitness reports that could be a second shooter,
and they have to clear all the area where this occurred. And you know,
could it be a civilian employee, a military person? You know, in Norfolk
just last week, a a truck driver killed a sailor by accessing a Navy base
there. So, sometimes, it`s even a stranger got on the base. A truck
driver somehow got through and killed a sailor. So, we have got civilian
employees. We have military personnel, like I said. We had a truck driver
in Norfolk just last week.
So, it could be anything. It is just hard to tell. And with one shooter,
the motives could be anything as well.
TODD: And, Jim, and this is -- we talk about our security and we talk
about concerns about terrorism. We talk about all of these things. And
every security person will tell me, they say the thing that they worry
about the most is the lone -- is the lone gunman.
Conspiracies in many ways, our government is very good at rooting out. It
is the lone gunman and the lone terrorist actors that are the hardest to
CAVANAUGH: Well, exactly.
If you look at Virginia Tech with Cho, look at that horrific thing and him
with the handguns killing all those students, in Aurora, Colorado. These
are single shooters. And they come loaded for bear. They have got all the
ammo. They have got all the guns. And they are ready to kill and they`re
ready to die. So, yes, one guy can wreak havoc.
And conspiracies do get complicated and clumsy and can be discovered
sometimes. And there`s a lot of moving parts to a conspiracy. But if a
criminal organization gets involved, a terrorist organization, extremist
organization, those can be extremely deadly.
CAVANAUGH: But given the situation here now, we know we have at least
eight people injured, at least injured, shot maybe.
CAVANAUGH: And one person is deceased.
And let`s hope that`s the end of it. And then the military authorities, to
CID, and the M.P.s, and the FBI can all put this together and, you know,
see what is at the root of this.
TODD: Well, here is what we know.
Let me give you the report the Jim Miklaszewski just brought us. A U.S.
military official is telling NBC News that the shooter who is down appears
to be the sole shooter at Fort Hood. They continue though to search
buildings, clear the area out, all due to an abundance of caution. It is a
standard operating procedure.
Right now, our sources are telling us at least there is one dead and it
could be that the only person dead is the shooter. There are multiple
injuries, according to our sources, at least eight, and described to us,
four of them are being described, those injuries, as very serious.
I want to bring in Buck Revell, was a director of operations for the FBI.
And, Buck, let`s talk about sort of the FBI role on a military installation
here. Is there anything that changes on a crime scene because it is on a
military installation about the FBI`s role?
BUCK REVELL, FORMER FBI ASSOCIATE DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Well, if it is a
civilian, whether it`s contractor or a visitor or somebody who intruded,
then at the appropriate time, the tactical lead would change from the
military to the FBI. And it would be the FBI`s responsibility to
And if there is a survivor, and in this case, from what you`re reporting,
there isn`t, to bring a criminal case in federal court. If it is a
military person, then it is going to be up to the military, with the
support and assistance obviously of the FBI, ATF and local authorities, to
resolve the matter and get everybody that has been wounded taken care of
and making sure they have cleared the area of where there are no more
active shooters, and that evidence is gathered at each location where the
shooter actually fired his weapon.
And then there will be a determination, which would be primarily by the
military, on how the weapon got there, because soldiers aren`t allowed to
be armed on the base unless they are at a range, unless they`re in a guard
duty status as an M.P. They don`t just use regular soldiers. They use
trained M.P.s and they also use contract police personnel.
TODD: Tell me this about the military police and the differences in their
capabilities from what the FBI can do. Do they have the same level of
investigative ability, some level of profilers? Or is this stuff that they
need the FBI there to help them with, even if it`s a military --
REVELL: Military police would not be doing the investigation. It would be
the Army CID command.
REVELL: They work very closely with the FBI. They have very similar
The vast majority of them came out of the M.P. ranks. Many of them have
attended the FBI National Academy. And so they are very used to working
TODD: So this is an FBI equivalent, is what you would describe it as?
REVELL: Yes. They have the ability -- now, they don`t have the total
range of capabilities that the bureau has, but they have a very significant
And they work with the FBI all the time. And the FBI`s laboratories and
forensics and technical capabilities can be brought to bear to support
them. But if it is a military person, they will have the entire
responsibility, including the base commander will be doing an
administrative review of -- to determine how it happened and was there a
breakdown in their security responsibilities, and if so, is there something
that needs to be fixed or somebody needs to be held accountable? But --
TODD: Why -- when we are dealing with Fort Hood a second time, obviously
that`s going to set off a red flag for folks, like, how did this happen
REVELL: Well, Fort Hood is the largest military base in the United States.
It has got thousands of people in and out of there every day.
It is a corps headquarters. There are two active divisions there, plus
many specialized separations. So, to say, well, you are going to keep
everybody off is just unrealistic.
REVELL: You keep trying. And you don`t let anybody on if they go through
the channels. But you can walk into the base from a remote location and,
you know, actually get on without there being confronted.
REVELL: But --
TODD: OK. I`m going to --
REVELL: -- normally --
TODD: I`m going to -- I`m going to stop you.
REVELL: -- somebody who had a pass to be on base --
REVELL: -- and who is able to smuggle in a gun.
TODD: All right, Buck, I want to stop you there.
We are going to take a quick break.
As you know, it appears to be a single shooter, not two. That shooter,
according to our sources, may be dead. We will see. We will be back with
more information right after this.
TODD: We are back. We are following this breaking news out of Fort Hood,
another shooting at Fort Hood.
Here`s what we know. There are at least eight people injured from the
shooting, one dead. It is believed, according to our sources, that the
dead individual is the shooter and is the lone shooter. Yes, there were
earlier reports that claimed that there were two shooters. But just like
in many of these situations that we have all, unfortunately, been through
too many times, some of the early reports about a second shooter turned out
not to be true.
They are still combing the base. It is still a lockdown situation to see
if there is a second shooter. But military personnel tell our own Jim
Miklaszewski they are confident there was a lone gunman, and that that
person is dead. As for the eight that we have confirmed that are injured,
at least four of them have been described to us as in grave condition or
None of these gunshot victims, though, are dead. The only -- the only
person we believe that is dead from this incident is the shooter
themselves. And, again, Fort Hood is on lockdown, as they do standard
operating procedure to check in to see if there is a second gunman, since
there were some eyewitness reports that claimed early on that, that was the
Now, you have probably seen on various places about this idea that there
was a warning of somebody, there was an FBI -- a warning, a lookout that
was put out having to do with a potential, somebody threatening a Fort Hood
But I should tell you that our own Pete Williams has a federal law
enforcement official who has told him -- told him point blank that there is
not a connection between today`s shooting and the report on this FBI
lookout notice having to do with this threat that had been put on a
military base. They just called it a Fort Hood-style shooting.
It came out of the Kansas City office. But I want to reiterate that,
according to a law enforcement official, there is -- they know -- we know
who that guy is, meaning they seem to be confident that it has no
connection to this situation.
And I want to now bring in Buck Revell, former deputy director of the FBI.
And, Buck, again, I wanted to reiterate that. I know that there is a lot
of social media traffic about that situation. We have got Pete Williams
telling us that there is no connection at all. Explain what an FBI lookout
is that is put out on a situation like this that was with what happened
Do I have you, Buck? I think I lost you there.
Let me bring in Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler.
Clint, are you still there with me?
Clint -- oh --
TODD: All right.
I have got Jim Cavanaugh with me. Forgive us. We have got a breaking news
situation. We have got various people doing various things.
Jim, that report, FBI had put out a lookout, but obviously we have talked
about this before, federal officials telling our own Pete Williams they
have no connection because they use this -- quote -- "We know who that guy
CAVANAUGH: Right, Chuck, absolutely.
You know, they probably know where he is located. They probably checked on
him. I think Pete`s reporting on that would be spot on. I think they are
not concerned about it, or they would have probably said something
different to Pete about it. So, it is unlikely that is going to be
You notice a lot of information about stuff like that all the time when
you`re an agent, police officer, detective --
TODD: Yes, how often? I mean, explain that. How often does that --
TODD: Obviously, now, people are looking at it and going, who, FBI put out
a lookout notice for somebody who said this.
TODD: How often is a lookout notice put out?
Well, we call them a BOLO in law enforcement, be on the lookout.
CAVANAUGH: They come across the NCIC teletype -- I say teletype because
I`m old -- but it comes across the NCIC computer all the time.
There`s lookouts all the time for violent, dangerous people, for suicidal
people, for mentally unstable people who may be violent. There`s all kinds
of lookouts all the time. So, yes, this is related to Fort Hood, but, like
Buck Revell said, Fort Hood is huge. It`s the biggest military base.
I have been on the base. It is like a city and patrolled by its own
civilian police force and military police. So, it`s -- you have got to
consider it like a city. There`s businesses. There`s military functions,
CAVANAUGH: There`s armor. There`s all kinds of stuff going on there.
So, you know, you could have multiple criminal activities, like a guy who
made a threat, and separately a shooting as well.
TODD: Well, let me just reset things a little bit. This shooting took
place some time before 5:00 p.m. local time, 6:00 p.m. on the East Coast.
It was right around then that Fort Hood put out a shelter-in-place notice
to all personnel on the base, saying that there was an active shooter on
the loose at that point.
And here`s what we have learned over the last hour, that the -- initial
report that claimed two shooters was not true. The military is operating
on the assumption that it is a lone shooter. They believe that shooter --
that person is dead. And they obviously believe that that is the only
shooter that exists.
But there is law enforcement personnel going building by building to
double-check because of the early eyewitness reports. There are at least
eight confirmed victims of this shooting. Four of these injured are being
described to be in grave condition at this point, but we don`t have any
other further information than that.
So, Jim, let`s go to the issue of, you got a lone gunman. This happened
five years earlier at Fort Hood. Do you have to assume -- do you operate
when you`re investigating on the assumption that this is a coincidence that
it`s Fort Hood twice, or do you operate on the assumption that this person
might be thinking of a copycat situation?
CAVANAUGH: Well, what you do is, you -- once a command is established
there with the FBI and CID, you`re going to have the sheriff state
troopers, the base police, ATF, U.S. Marshals.
Everybody is going to be there, and you are going to set up a command, and
then you`re going to set major lead categories. And those major lead
categories will go around the things that you are describing, Chuck. You
know, is there any known connection to terrorism? Is there any -- does
this guy have a criminal history? Has he ever been involved in crime?
If he`s in a military unit, what is his history in the unit? Is there
discipline there? Let`s talk to his commandeers, on and on and on. So the
categories are set. We call them major lead categories. And then the
process is pushed through each one of those, not abandoning any.
We have talked so much in the last month about the airplane in Malaysia.
That is the way you do that as well. You set major lead categories, an
accident, terrorism, hijacking.
CAVANAUGH: And then you never let one go until the case is solved.
You may look at one a little more and look at one a little less here, just
like in this incident today, but you have to pursue all of them until you
get the facts that come that tell you what really happened.
TODD: And, look, and this is the -- sometimes the criticism of us who do
breaking news. You deal with the information as it comes in.
And, in some of that, you are describing law enforcement officials are
going to be giving us what they believe is the best information at the
moment. We are churning it out and sharing it with the public. And at the
same time, some of it changes over time.
In fact, I want to go back to Clint Van Zandt.
You`re the former FBI profiler, Clint. We spent a lot of time early on,
because of the early the reports about the idea that there were multiple
shooters -- and, obviously, multiple shooters would have meant conspiracy.
Now we are dealing with a lone gunman, something that is frankly too
familiar to you in trying to figure out how to profile.
So go through the motions of what you would be doing right now to try to
figure out what you need to know. And this person is dead now.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST: Right.
TODD: So, that obviously limits the amount of information that can be
VAN ZANDT: Well, it limits the information you can get from him.
But, as my friend Jim Cavanaugh suggested, we will be going through his
wallet, his cell phones, his computers, his -- any social networking.
Someone like this, let`s say hypothetically this is someone who did this
because of some type of a mental health condition.
There`s -- or whatever his reason -- there`s a strong likelihood that, even
as a lone wolf, this person would have either committed his thoughts, so he
could review them, or would have shared those thoughts with somebody else.
So, at this time, as soon as he is identified, law enforcement will be
going through his presumed vehicle that might have gotten him on the base,
anything he`s carrying with him.
And, of course, they will also go to his residence and they will look for
his computer. They will look for his family, his friends. They will be
trying to tie all of this together, because there is always the
possibility, Chuck, even though, as we are told right now that it`s only
one shooter, there may be other individuals who have facilitated him doing
So, they have to find out if there is any type of conspiracy off the base
that may exist, as opposed to just on the base. And one more thing, Chuck.
We talked about one shooter, people suggesting two shooters. I remember
back in November 2009, when Major Nidal Hasan killed those 13 people on
that same military base.
There was a lot of speculation there were two shooters --
VAN ZANDT: -- because of all the buildings. People were hearing the gun
shots ricocheting off of other buildings. And so they swore that, yes, the
gunman is over there, but I heard a gunshot 180 degrees the opposite
VAN ZANDT: Well, it was simply the sound reflecting off.
But in a time like that, when you think bullets are going over your head,
many times, you don`t have the chance to sit there and triangulate where
that sound is coming from.
TODD: And, Clint, you and I went through this, the same thing. I think we
have had this same conversation during the Navy Yard shooting.
VAN ZANDT: We did.
TODD: Because, at that moment, there was -- there was -- in the moment of
when bullets were flying, there was this assumption, eyewitnesses swore
that there were second shooters.
And I want -- a little update. President Obama, of course, has been
informed. He`s been getting briefed. And he is going to be making a
statement. Now, he`s going to be doing that. He`s traveling right now in
Chicago. He was in Michigan earlier today doing a policy event having to
do with the minimum wage, Chicago tonight for a series of fund-raisers.
But he is making a statement to the traveling press. We have a pool press
that always travels with the president, shared by all the networks. He`ll
be making a statement to tape there. It won`t be a live statement, there
are no capabilities for that. But as soon as the tape is brought in, the
president`s statement we, of course, will air it when we get it.
In the meantime, we`ve got some new information being brought to us right
now by my colleague Pete Williams.
Pete, what do you have?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chuck, we should
emphasize all of the things we are saying that this is still preliminary
information. But several officials have told us the person who fired the
shots at Fort Hood after shooting several people, the number is still
unclear to us, then turned the gun on himself. So, the gunman did shoot
Now, as for the identity of the gunman, we still don`t have a name. But
we`ve been told by a couple of officials that it was a person in uniform.
Now, whether that means it was a person actually in the military or not, we
don`t know. A lot of people can get their hands on uniforms.
But we were told this was a person in uniform and the authorities are
investigating claims that this may have begun as an argument among people
on the base. That is not confirmed. That`s something that they are
TODD: Almost spontaneous situation, not something pre-planned.
WILLIAMS: That would be -- if that turns out to be true, that would be the
TODD: And what do we know? Are law enforcement still going building by
building to just triple check that the early reports of a second shooter
are not the case?
WILLIAMS: That is beyond my brief. That would be something for Mick to
say. I don`t know what is the current situation on the ground. I`m just
reporting what I heard about who the -- perhaps the motive or identity of
TODD: And at this point -- so the person was in uniform, but not confirmed
necessarily as a member of the military and believed that he turned the gun
on himself. Are we referring to this as a male?
TODD: We are referring to this as a male.
All right. Pete Williams, thank you very much on that. I know you are
going to go back and get more for us.
We are expecting comments from President Obama shortly. As I said, he is
making some comments to the traveling press that`s with him tonight in
Chicago. And as soon as that tape is fed in we will bring that to you.
We will be back right after this.
TODD: And we are back with our continuing coverage here of the shooting
that has just taken place at Fort Hood in the last few hours.
Here is the best information that we have at this time.
It is believed to be a lone gunman. Pete Williams just reported a few
minutes ago that officials believe this gunman after shooting, we don`t
know the full number, but we`ve got confirmed eight at this point, eight
different people being shot, four of them described in very serious
condition, that after that shooting took place that it is believed that
this person and is being described to us as a male then turned the gun on
himself and killed himself. That`s why it`s believed that the shooter is
Secondly, the best we know at this point is that the shooter was wearing a
military uniform. Now, that does not mean it has been confirmed that this
person is a member of the military. An official has also told Pete
Williams and it is believed and they`re operating -- one of the assumptions
they`re operating that this may have stemmed from an argument that started,
and then escalated to the situation we have now, but that is just one
source, not a full, complete. And all of this could change. And you know
that. We are operating on this situation where we`re getting information
the best we got. We are sharing at that point. We put every caveat we
could possibly have at this point.
There is still as far as we know, Fort Hood is in lockdown. At this point,
there is still an investigation and a search for the potential of a second
gunman. Because early reports indicated that people thought there was a
Now, we have been through this situation before in the early reports in the
Navy yard turned out not to be true, with the previous shooting in 2009 at
Fort Hood turned out not to be true. It is believed it is not true here.
But that doesn`t mean standard operating procedure is to go building to
building and make sure that that data is indeed the case.
I want to bring in a former CIA agent, Larry Johnson. He`s on the phone
with me. He`s worked in the State Department`s Office of Counterterrorism.
And, Larry, we go through this, Fort Hood again people are going what is
going on, Fort Hood again, lone gunman last time and lone gunman this time.
You having worked in counterterrorism I assume you are like everybody else
I talk to in terrorism community. Conspiracies, in many ways, are easier
to deal with than lone gunmen.
LARRY JOHNSON, FORMER CIA AGENT (via telephone): Right. Well, you don`t
love (ph) this. What everyone needs to do is take a deep breath, calm down
and let`s go with the facts. Because we can speculate -- I go back to the
day when people were speculating about Richard Jewel as being a terrorist.
It turns out he was in the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing back in 1996 and
later was exonerated.
So, you know, it`s easy early on to go out and make some wild declarations
one way or another. The fact that he was in uniform makes it highly likely
he was a soldier, because these bases have controls. You either have to
show military ID or what they call a CAC card, used by civilian contractors
or some other ID, but then if you go through that ID process, if you don`t
have a military ID or a CAC card, you actually have your vehicle inspected
and you are subjected to that.
So, this guy had to get access to the base and probably have a legitimate
reason to be there. Why he did it, we have had everything from higher
number of suicides over the last couple of years, the stress level has
eased up somewhat because our ops-tempo has dropped overseas. But still,
you know, you have had military under stress.
So, you know, I prefer I guess not to get out there and try to play mind
reader for this guy.
TODD: No, I don`t want to do that. I guess what I would want to know is
how you would go about trying to -- here you have, the shooter is dead and
so motivation is important to try to find out how you go about doing it
when you don`t have anybody to interview?
JOHNSON: Well, once you identify the person then you are going to find out
who family members are, who friends are, who relatives are and backwards
and you start working backwards.
You know, one of the real ironies I guess of these military bases is
there`s usually a surprising absence of firearms and weapons on the bases
themselves. It`s not like --
TODD: And that`s done on -- that`s by law? I mean, that`s --
JOHNSON: I mean, it`s just -- well, both -- it`s by law and part of it is
also by training, because even with young soldiers, there`s a tendency that
they can do things stupidly if -- so that`s why weapons are tightly
controlled, regulated and to make sure people exercise proper procedures.
But, you know, for -- if someone decides that they want to get on to a
base, you do have the proper military ID, can you get on there with a
weapon, and you can start shooting people. It is not an impossible thing
TODD: And obviously, Fort Hood, a very large base, this is a city within
the city. This is among where there`s a lot of transient soldiers,
frankly. Soldiers are getting ready to get shipped out, coming in. Would
you describe it, is it easier to get out of Fort Hood because it`s so
JOHNSON: No, no, I mean, the access points are the access points. And,
you know, you`ve got large bases all around the United States. Like Ft.
Bragg is another example.
So, you can get on there and it`s really the difference between, are you
showing up with a proper military ID or CAC card, are you just showing up
with a regular driver`s license. If you had a regular driver`s license,
you`re going to go through a more thorough screening process. But if
you`re there with military and civilian contractor badge, it`s easy for you
to get on to the base with weapons and you can almost make the case, you
may be better off with these military bases, everybody was packing, because
at least that way you wouldn`t have the prospect of one lone gunman trying
to track him down. But, you know, it is what it is.
TODD: That`s going to be a policy discussion perhaps for another day.
TODD: I want to share -- I want to share -- we`ll put that to the side. I
want to share with folks what President Obama said, the print poolers are
already sharing this. Again, I told you, there`s no live television
traveling with the president right now. It`s been done. He did it on
As soon as we have the tape in, we will play it for you in full. But
here`s what I can tell you he said. We`re following this closely. The
situation is fluent right now.
This is President Obama, "I want to just reassure all of us that we are
going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened". And finally he
shares, "We`re heart broken something like this might have happened again,
particularly on Fort Hood."
And in fact, Mr. Johnson, when you think about the fact that Fort Hood
again, do you look at this situation and assume coincidence or then ask
yourself, do we have a security issue here? What are the questions you`d
be asking right now to the fact that we have Fort Hood again.
JOHNSON: There`s news report earlier this week, there was an individual
from Kent City.
TODD: Let me pause you there, just so you know, Pete Williams is already,
we`ve got federal officials totally saying that there is no connection to
that specific individual with the federal official telling Pete Williams,
we know where this guy -- we know who that guy is.
JOHNSON: But my point with that is still, the federal officials are
discounting that, they really don`t know the full story on this individual
and what his relationships are. So that`s why I say any declarative
statement, all I`m laying out are possibilities, without saying it`s
definitely this, or it`s definitely -- it could be anything ranging from a
deranged person who was hallucinating and hearing voices telling him to do
it, to somebody who actually had a clear plan and purpose.
You know, that`s sort of the book ends. And that`s all that we know at
this point. So what happens now is, who will have the lead in
investigating this, and I`m not sure, you know, on the jurisdiction, you`ve
got the U.S. military with the jurisdictional issue and then you also have
the local Texas officials with issue --
TODD: Well, let me ask you this.
JOHNSON: To make it a terrorism charge, the FBI could get involved. So --
TODD: Well, I`ve been discussing this issue of that, like which law
enforcement agency would be in charge. Buck Ravel (ph) from the FBI seemed
to think, if it is a member of the military, automatically, that`s Army
CID, does that make sense to you?
JOHNSON: Army CID, yes, unless this individual is well -- if he`s not in
the military --
TODD: Right, not a member of the military, a civilian.
JOHNSON: I think there`s the potential for some overlapping jurisdictions.
We`ve seen this really across the board with, even terrorist incidents in
the past. There`s always a bit of a bureaucratic food fight that breaks
out between -- in the World Trade Center bombing between the FBI and ATF as
an example, and then you get to the issues in the aftermath of the 9/11
attacks, where local New York officials were asserting themselves and
warning off military folks who wanted to come in to assist.
So, I`m just saying, there will be the inevitable bureaucratic jockeying
for position in this. I`ll have to sort it out, who is in charge. Once
they`ve got that established, then the investigation starts. It`s a
criminal investigation and has to be pursued as such.
TODD: All right. Let me keep you on the phone there. I want to bring in
our Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski.
All right, Mik. We had Pete`s reporting about self, they believe the lone
shooter killed himself after shooting at least eight people. What more
information do you have?
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Right now, all we have
is that information. We understand now that federal officials are
confirming the identity of that individual, a 34-year-old Ivan Lopez. It
was reported he was in uniform. Until they absolutely identify this
shooter, who as you say, killed himself, it`s not clear that anybody is
going to, with the military, has been able to confirm that any military
service or enlistment or anything of the sort.
Now, among the eight wounded. We are told that at least half of those are
an extremely grave condition, and you can read into that what you like.
But so far, they`re not confirming that any of those wounded were actually
And it appears that this was some kind of dispute with people on the motor
pool, according to federal officials, and had no connection apparently to
any kind -- we were told by one military official, there`s no indication
that there`s any connection to any kind of terrorist activity, jihadist,
revenge of any kind reminiscent, of course, of the 2009 shooting in which
13 soldiers were killed and 32 were wounded in that incident with major --
Army Major Nidal Hasan.
So, the investigation continues, much of the base still remains under
lockdown as a precaution, only. But again, it appears that the shooting
incident at Fort Hood is tragically -- has resulted in a tragic end so far.
TODD: Now, I want to go back to the name you gave -- that name came from
military officials gave that name?
MIKLASZEWSKI: No, it came from federal officials. Not military officials.
Military officials are still not confirming any names.
TODD: They`re still not confirming any names?
TODD: And we still don`t know. We know this individual, this man was
wearing a military uniform, but no confirmation yet that he was a member of
Jim Miklaszewski at the Pentagon --
MIKLASZEWSKI: One could assume if he was on the base in the motor pool, he
was. But the Army is being very tight-lipped about any information about
TODD: And just to reconfirm, the lockdown is still on, and the
precautionary search for any potential second gunman is still taking place,
literally out of precaution. And that`s the latest you have on that,
MIKLASZEWSKI: As of 15 minutes ago, that was the case, we have yet to have
any kind of confirmation from the military that that lockdown has been
TODD: And this issue of the -- that this may have stemmed from an
argument, obviously, more spontaneous than not. And when you say the motor
pool, none of these members of the military are supposed to be carrying
firearms, are they not? In the area that this happened?
MIKLASZEWSKI: That`s not always the case. But if you have access to the
base as a soldier, as a uniformed soldier, you could easily be carrying a
weapon and not be frisked not have to go through any medal detector. I
mean, it`s the reality of being on a military base. There are weapons on
the base. And when an incident like this, when apparently things just
explode, they end in fatalities, we`ve seen it before.
There was an incident in Tennessee at a naval base, it was a maintenance
base, where there -- an argument broke out among three sailors and suddenly
shooting began. You know, broke out.
TODD: And none of them were supposed to be carrying anything? I mean, it
was against military --
MIKLASZEWSKI: You`re not prohibited necessarily, but it`s not normal to be
walking the base in a job like that to have a weapon, you`re right, Chuck.
TODD: All right, Jim Miklaszewski with the latest from the Pentagon. Mik,
your phone`s ringing, you better go grab it. Let`s get more info there.
Mik, thanks very much.
I want to thank Pete Williams, Clint van Zandt, Jim Cavanaugh, Buck Revell,
Larry Johnson, Don Clark.
Our coverage will continue now. Alex Wagner and "ALL IN" is next.
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