Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 12/2/15
Date: December 2, 2015
Guest: Manny Gomez, Christina Wood, Eugene O`Donnell, Mark Glaze
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in
And here we are with the news, and it`s extraordinary. It`s an opportunity
to see the power of television tonight in a tragic situation where the TV
camera – we`re looking at it right now – is actually ahead of the
reporting. You`re hearing the reporters think about what they think is
going on here and we`re watching and trying to decipher what`s going on.
You see a number of police cars there, three of them now surrounding a car,
an SUV, a dark SUV, which was the suspected vehicle all along this
afternoon. And they circled it.
And we`re trying to figure out now what kind of a standoff this is and what
the police officers, the SWAT team is worried about in terms of the
wariness they`re showing in approaching the vehicle.
They`re obviously very concerned that a possible – either a person still
alive in the vehicle, or more likely, they`re worried about some sort of
explosive device that may be detonated while they go and approach it. They
may fear that their own approach may cause to it detonate because they`re
being very wary in their of approaching it.
We also saw what looked like a body being pulled by the car, from the car
right now, but we`re not sure right now, all this ahead of the actual
reporting. Anyway, here we are watching live picture news from San
In the hours since we saw the tragedy which cost the lives of 14 people and
14 were wounded – let`s go now to the press conference for an update from
the police in San Bernardino.
Well, we`re watching the police officer – and there she is, the police
officer, ready to give us the report. But we have been watching it, as I
said, so amazingly ahead of the actual human reporting of what`s going on.
But we`ll get a full update now, I believe, given what`s happened already.
SGT. VICKI CERVANTES, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Is everybody
ready? OK, again, my name is Sergeant Vicki Cervantes with the San
Bernardino Police Department.
As an update, officers that are working this active shooter case were doing
follow-up work when they located what appeared to be the suspects` vehicle.
Somehow, during that contact, shots were exchanged between the suspects and
the officers. One officer was injured. However, he was transported to a
local hospital, and it does not appear to be a life-threatening injury. I
believe he is a San Bernardino police officer.
Additionally, some suspects, or a suspect has been hit. I believe there is
still possibly a suspect outstanding. So it`s still, again, a very active,
fluid situation. We don`t have a lot of answers yet. They`re still trying
to sort through what they`ve encountered on the other end at the other
Chief Burguan is going to be coming here at 4:45 with Sheriff McMahon (ph)
and again do a press conference so that you can speak to him directly and
he can update you with any information.
QUESTION: Vicki, what is the suspect count at this point?
CERVANTES: I`m sorry?
QUESTION: How many suspects are there?
CERVANTES: I don`t know. I believe that there are two at this time being
QUESTION: And is one on the run?
CERVANTES: If there were originally three suspects, there`s still possibly
one outstanding. But again, I don`t know.
QUESTION: Is the suspect who was hit dead?
CERVANTES: I don`t have that information.
QUESTION: Is there another suspect not hit in custody?
CERVANTES: I don`t have that information, either.
CERVANTES: I don`t know. Their investigation just took them in that path.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) the building entirely at this point (INAUDIBLE)
CERVANTES: I don`t know.
QUESTION: Did one of the suspects (INAUDIBLE) this morning and then
CERVANTES: I don`t know. That`s information I`ve not been given.
QUESTION: How many suspects are in custody?
CERVANTES: I don`t have any of those details. The chief will provide
those at 4:45. He`s being briefed on that as we speak. We`re just
speaking here because we committed to talking to you on the hour, and I
apologize we don`t have all of the information.
CERVANTES: That we don`t – I don`t know.
QUESTION: The officer that was struck, can you tell us where the wound is
CERVANTES: I don`t have that information, either. I just know it`s not
QUESTION: Is the suspect dead?
CERVANTES: I don`t know if the suspect has died. We have not been given
QUESTION: How many have been hit? How many suspects have been hit?
CERVANTES: I couldn`t tell you that. But if you`re back here at 4:45,
Chief Burguan and Sheriff McMahon will be here and they will probably have
many more answers for you. Again, it`s very active. It`s not far from
that – or from here. Stay here, and let`s be vigilant because there very
well may be a suspect still out here, and we all need to be careful.
QUESTION: But again, the officers came in contact with that SUV because
they were doing a follow-up investigation.
CERVANTES: That`s correct. It led them that way. Correct.
QUESTION: And they saw the vehicle.
CERVANTES: I don`t know who fired first. I don`t know. All right.
Again, at 4:45.
QUESTION: Thank you.
CERVANTES: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: We`re bringing in right now Jim Cavanaugh. He`s an MSNBC law
enforcement analyst. He`s a retired agent with the ATF.
Let me ask you, Jim – we`re watching a couple things. We`ve been watching
an amazing bit of television here following this tragedy. We watched the
police, the SWAT units surround that car, approach it very warily for fear
that the suspect may still be alive inside, or that there may be some kind
of a bomb set that might explode.
Also now, we`re watching police going door to door with police dogs,
looking for another suspect, apparently. This is one of those rare times
when television cameras are so far ahead of the reporting.
What can you tell from this yourself?
JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, that`s exactly
right. It appears they`re searching for another suspect, at least one
more. There`s been reports of one wounded, one killed, one captured. But
it sure looks like there`s an active search going on.
But of course they`re trying to be thorough. We don`t know all the facts.
We`re probably not going to get any more on that until the chief of police
talks again in a few minutes, 45 minutes. But they sure have an active
search that they haven`t called off.
And like you say, Chris, the television cameras are showing it minute by
minute, all the citizens on the side of law enforcement calling in what
they see, you know, to spot a vehicle, to spot a person.
CAVANAUGH: So that`s probably giving them an edge to locate that SUV early
MATTHEWS: You know, it`s interesting. Just moments ago – actually, about
an hour or two ago – we heard that it was a dark SUV that was the escape
vehicle, if you will, for the three people, apparently three people, who
committed these crimes, the killing of 14 people, the wounding, shooting
wounding of 14 others at that development facility.
And now you`re finding out that although the police chief was very calm
about it, their surveillance was pretty darn good because they managed to
track down that vehicle lickety-split, that dark SUV. And they stopped it.
They shot – had a shoot-out with it. And what we were able to see when
the helicopter arrived was we saw what looked to be a standoff situation.
But apparently, or it looks like now the suspect who was still in that car
was dead at this point. And they`re worried about something happening
CAVANAUGH: Right. It looks like they might have stabilized it as far as
anybody in there shooting at them. They moved that ballistic shield up so
they can get a real close look on what`s in there. And they don`t appear
at the moment to be negotiating with anybody. So you know, they may just
have a dead suspect in there, or it could be empty. And they`re going to
want to sweep it for explosive devices, which would be the normal protocol.
It does look to be all shot up. It`s all shot up through the front glass,
all shot up. So probably, they did have – were engaged with that vehicle
somewhere on that road, or around the corner, and they had a pretty good
I think probably called in a tip by citizens, or a patrol car because all
the patrol officers were out, looking, going on every street, you know.
And if one of those vehicles is creeping around like that, they`re going to
spot it. And the citizens are going to call it in. It`s all over the
news. Everybody`s on your side. And so you get a tip, Hey, there`s a
black SUV, you know, going down Fifth Street, and so you can center on it.
MATTHEWS: Well, you should have seen the scene over here a few minutes
ago. Me and the producers and the crew were all staring at the television
from about two inches away, trying to see what`s very hard to see from the
helicopter even now with the SWAT team still wandering – being very wary
there of what`s in that vehicle. They`re still worried about something
Let me get back to something you said a couple of hours ago when this story
first broke, this horror first occurred. The idea of three human beings
coming in with long guns and shooting it out with people they don`t even
know, lots of people they didn`t know – without getting into the specific
criminality here, which is obviously a crime, what would motivate three
people to go into what could be a suicidal situation to commit a mass
CAVANAUGH: Right, Chris. You know, I would just add this to your thought.
I think it`s just spot on…
MATTHEWS: Well, it`s your thought, Jim. You jumped on that right away.
This is the oddest human behavior. You know, usually, if there`s an
impulsive crime of passion of some kind or there`s someone reacting in a
fight scene, if you will, in a bar, there`s a reaction by a human being.
But when you have a situation where the guy brings in two other people to
share in the passion of the moment to start killing people…
CAVANAUGH: That`s right. And here`s an important fact in this. They were
seen with masks, masks.
CAVANAUGH: That`s a reason for escape. You know, if you`re going
somewhere to commit the shooting and barricade and die in a blaze of glory,
or be a martyr, you`re not wearing a mask. When you wear a mask, there`s a
reason for that. You know, masks around your face are not comfortable.
They`re not easy to breathe through, you know, no matter what they are.
They`re all sort of cumbersome. So you have a reason for that.
And your reason is escape, probably in this case because we saw that they
did escape. So you got your black mass-killing uniform on, maybe some sort
of tactical or ballistic vest, your long guns. You have two confederates,
and you have masks. This is a real dedication for mass murder here.
MATTHEWS: And how many people sit around with, Oh, let`s go get the masks
now and go shoot a bunch of people. It`s extraordinary and terrible.
Anyway, MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff – he`s been with us before. Unfortunately,
in a situation like this, he is – Jacob is right near the (INAUDIBLE)
Jacob, what you can see? Can you see what we`re looking at on television,
these SWAT cars surrounding this SUV, this dark SUV, which has been shot
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I can`t see those particular ones,
Chris, but I can see very similar ones in a different location. I see
probably 10, 15 on the back of a heavily armored vehicle with what looks
like someone in the gunner position at the top of that vehicle at the
intersection just a couple of blocks away from what you`re looking at, at
Davidson (ph) and Richardson (ph). At first – (INAUDIBLE) can hear the
SOBOROFF: At first, it sounded like there was somebody potentially in a
church because an alarm went off. Then I saw them move around the block to
where they heard a dog barking. They`re obviously looking for something
very aggressively out here, Chris.
MATTHEWS: What do you know about the three people? Apparently, according
to the FBI – we`re going to get more from Pete Williams, but we`ve been
hearing that one person is dead and one or two have been captured. That`s
what we know.
SOBOROFF: From this location, we`re not hearing any of that information,
Chris. What we are seeing, though, is again, just to reiterate, what looks
like a very aggressive manhunt continuing, from my perspective, despite
what you`re seeing from the sky on television, at the position with the
MATTHEWS: Do you see the patrolmen going door to door with police dogs?
SOBOROFF: Yes. Basically, this is a neighborhood with, you know, chain-
link fences, not quite picket fences but metal fences around these homes,
citrus fruits in the front of these houses. It`s an ordinary neighborhood.
And we`ve got sheriff`s deputies, very heavily armed tactical sheriff`s
officials and other law enforcement officials just as you said, quite
literally going door to door here, looking for – they`re (INAUDIBLE)
looking for someone, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, hold on there. I want to bring in Mark Glaze, who`s
sitting here right with me patiently because you have a concern here. And
what all these mass shootings have in common is the shootings themselves,
whether it`s something along the lines of racial or it`s anger over school,
kids having anger problems at school. And it all comes down to the
availability of guns and people willing to get out there and shoot lots of
people they don`t know.
MARK GLAZE, GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE: That`s right. You know, as you were
saying, there`s a lot we don`t know about the shooting and won`t for a
MATTHEWS: We know this.
GLAZE: But here`s…
MATTHEWS: Fourteen are dead and fourteen are wounded in a situation where
three men came in – apparently, three men came in with masks on…
MATTHEWS: … and something that might have been stimulated by something
that happened today.
GLAZE: You know, it recalls a little bit the Columbine mass shooting,
which is the last time I can remember that more than one deranged
MATTHEWS: Student anger.
GLAZE: … exactly – was involved in a mass shooting. But here`s what we
do now. This is the 21st mass shooting in the United States in the past
year, in a great nation where you and I…
MATTHEWS: Define mass shooting so we know.
GLAZE: Four or more people are killed.
GLAZE: … in a great country that we love to live in, where nevertheless,
you and I are 20 times more likely to be killed with a gun than people who
live in any other developed country.
We know how to fix it. Congress resolutely refuses to do it. But I think
the terrain is changing under their heels. These things are happening so
often and they`re so severe that I think the public attitudes are shifting,
and politicians are going to have to catch up or they`re going to have some
tough questions (INAUDIBLE)
MATTHEWS: Were you stunned, as an advocate, to hear Mike Huckabee say the
problem is that it was a gun-free zone…
GLAZE: Not really.
MATTHEWS: … that this rehabilitation facility, the problem it had was
there weren`t enough armed people there to defend themselves? That was his
GLAZE: You know, this is sort of a staple of the NRA, which is in the
business of raising money and selling guns. You know, schools are
generally gun-free zones.
MATTHEWS: So Planned Parenthood attendants and doctors are supposed to
carry guns when they perform surgeries.
GLAZE: And 1st grade teachers should have shoot-outs over the heads of our
kids. That`s the rationale of the NRA. But you know, there were guards at
Columbine. There were guards at Virginia Tech. We know that in a
situation like this…
MATTHEWS: There was a policeman at the – at the Planned Parenthood.
GLAZE: In a situation like this, very often, the perpetrators intend to
commit, you know, murder or suicide by cop. So whether or not – whether
or not there are armed guards there, it`s not going to make any difference.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mark. Stay with us.
Let`s go back to the hunt right now because it is a hunt. We don`t know
who is still at large. Eugene O`Donnell is a former New York City police
Thank you very much, Mr. O`Donnell. Tell us what you can about what these
pictures are telling us. Again, the great irony here that we`re seeing
pictures ahead of the reporting. We`re going get a press conference in a
half hour now, but we`re looking at – we have been looking at what we
thought was a standoff with a number of SWAT teams all in vehicles, all
surrounding an SUV, a dark SUV. All the windows have been shot out. And
now we`re watching people scrambling around, patrolmen with police dogs
looking for someone. What can you tell here?
GENE O`DONNELL, FMR. NYPD OFFICER: Well, I think the real concern –
there`s two big concerns. One is the information coming out to the people
in the field, and that`s problematic in real time. There`s moving pieces
here, and I`d be concerned that the cops are not able to catch up with
And also, real concerned that ordinary cops with ordinary weapons are going
to encounter heavily armed people, and that`s a great concern in these
And we`re talking about the need to control guns. Nobody can claim to be
pro-police and allow a country where these kind of people can walk in with
these weapons and literally, you`re not only terrorizing ordinary people,
the police themselves are at extraordinary risk in happening upon these
guys, pulling them over, doing a car stop. Their lives could be lost.
We saw that in Boston, by the way. That Boston cop – that campus cop was
executed by those brothers, shot between the eyes. So it`s not only
endangering the American public, but the cops at this point.
And it`s changing policing. Police have – we`ve had this argument about
militarization. Here you go. When you got a country where people can pick
up weapons at will, you`re going to have to equip the police. And that
makes policing change in a way that`s not good.
MATTHEWS: You know, you remind me that the police officers are often the
victims. In the case of John F. Kennedy assassination, we had an officer
killed within moments after the Kennedy assassination.
O`DONNELL: Planned Parenthood, right?
O`DONNELL: A cop who happened to be a pastor. You know, we talk about the
stereotype of policing, there`s a person who was killed defending people`s
rights, the legal rights there.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the picture we`ve been watching. I mean, I
have to tell you, I`ve been mesmerized by the picture, which I tell you
again, astoundingly, is so far ahead of the actual reporting. We were
watching three or four SWAT cars, all – armored personnel carriers, all
standing around within feet now of a car, which the suspected vehicle had
been shot at. There may have been somebody in there still, still there
dead perhaps, or perhaps still alive. And the cops were so careful in the
way they approached that vehicle. They were really wary.
O`DONNELL: Well, Jim Cavanaugh indicated, correctly, of course, the
concern here is to make sure there`s not explosives. These guys appear to
come looking to cause mass destruction and death, and they`re equipped to
the teeth. And so there has to be concern when they`re apprehending them.
And there`s no rush here. Bring the technology in. They have some very
advanced, sophisticated technology, telescopic technology that allows them
to look into that vehicle. There`s absolutely no rush. They may be
tempted to rush because there`s helicopters hovering overhead. They should
take a deep breath, the protection of their lives and try to get these
guys, you know, into custody without any further bloodshed is the top
MATTHEWS: Well said. Anyway, NBC`s Tom Costello, my colleague, is here
from the newsroom with the latest on what we do know right now. Tom, thank
TOM COSTELLO, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Here`s where we stand right now, Chris.
As you`re looking at that split shot there, on the left, you`re looking at
the police who are looking for one suspect who remains at large.
There had been multiple reports throughout the San Bernardino area of a
suspect fitting descriptions of missing suspects. I mean, everybody in
this area is on alert and on edge, and they`re calling in anybody who is
suspicious because San Bernardino authorities tell us that one suspect is
still at large.
On the right, you have that SUV which was involved in the shootout with the
police. We believe that there is perhaps one individual wounded inside
that – inside that SUV, and another individual who we believe is dead.
Now, I think what you`re going to see here is – this is a videotape on the
right-hand side, and you`re going to see them pull somebody or something
out of the SUV. We believe that that is one suspect who was killed in a
shoot-out with police. Another individual wounded in a shoot-out with
police we believe may still be in that vehicle. And then we have on the
left, the search for the third suspect.
Police are very confident that that SUV, that black SUV is, in fact, the
one that they have been searching for for the last few hours that was
involved in the shooting at this community center at 11:30 or so Pacific
The initial reports – the BOLO, as they say, the Be On the Look Out radio
call that went out from the San Bernardino authorities was to be on the
lookout for a black SUV. And as they were pursuing the course of their
investigation, they said that they were looking for specific follow-up
opportunities, or they were investigating information, looking for the
And that`s when they came across that SUV and engaged in a shoot-out, as
you can see, a violent shoot-out with police on that black SUV, that had
its windows blown out, and again, one individual we think dead, one
So now what we`re looking at – again, bringing us back to what is
happening right now – is we believe this ongoing search for that third
suspect. And as you can see, they`ve got the police Bearcat involved here.
That`s the SWAT unit. There are multiple SWAT teams in action right now,
Chris, from various jurisdictions across this entire region of southern
We have got multiple agencies contributing their SWAT apparatus, along with
their street cops, to find this missing suspect. And these individuals, of
course, have also been engaged in very active and heavy gunfire this
This has been an extremely dangerous situation with mass killers on the
streets of Southern California. And now the search for one of them
continues – Chris.
MATTHEWS: Tom Costello, great reporting there.
We`re watching that picture right now of these SWAT teams around the car.
They may contain, as Tom pointed out, Tom Costello pointed out, may have a
dead person in it and a wounded person in it still, with another person out
in the streets somewhere. We`re watching – we have been watching those
patrolman out there looking – standing out there, looking for him with the
help of dogs.
Anyways, NBC`s Blake McCoy is with us with from near the site of today`s
Blake, what can you tell us?
BLAKE MCCOY, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, I`m at the site of the
And I can tell you when all of this activity about two miles away started
occurring a little more than an hour ago, there was flurry of police
activity. Helicopters started taking off from the site of this original
shooting and heading to that location.
Right now, we`re getting the same information you are, one person dead in
that car, another person injured, and a search for a third suspect. And we
have been talking about the severe threat that these officers are under,
which is why they are in such heavy tactical gear. You have to keep in
mind that the people at this original shooting reported that those three
shooters had heavy tactical gear themselves on as well as long guns.
That`s in the word of police. They would not speculate on what type of
weapons. And we already have 17 people injured, 14 killed at this site.
So they are being very careful as they try to move in around those – the
potentially third suspect who is at large right now.
And we have reported already that one police officer was injured in that
shoot-out about two miles away from here. The San Bernardino police
officer, we`re told, was taken to a hospital and is expected to be OK,
MATTHEWS: Well, thank you very much, NBC`s Blake McCoy.
Now let`s go to Manny Gomez. He is a retired FBI agent and a retired
sergeant with the NYPD.
What do you make of this? There has been a lot of confusion in the
reporting, of course, so far, because this is a live event that we`re ahead
of on television in many ways. We have been watching this standoff which
may involve a dead person being dragged from a car, one of the suspects,
another suspect wounded perhaps in that car still. And now we`re getting
word that a third suspect is on the loose. Police are chasing him on foot
with the help of dogs, sniffing dogs.
And the question is, my God, this is one of the rare cases, I will say it
for the 100th time tonight, where we`re watching events occur before
they`re getting even minimally reported. What do we know about the police
activity right now, Mr. Gomez?
MANUEL GOMEZ, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, the good news is that they have
apprehended or they have neutralized two out of the three.
The bad news is there is one at large. But I have every confidence that
they will shortly capture this individual. Once they have fully identified
the first two, they will probably be able to quickly determine who the
third fugitive is and bring him to justice or neutralize him either way in
no short time.
The fact that we`re watching this live as it`s unfolding is truly
unbelievable, also the fact that this happened again. It seems to me that,
although there are instances throughout the world, it seems that in the
U.S. it`s become an epidemic that every other week we have some sort of
active shooter situation.
MATTHEWS: But think about the – well, the strangeness and the horror of
this combined, 14 people dead now who were alive this morning. They got
up, brushed their teeth, put on their clothes, came to work. In fact, they
came to a facility to probably improve themselves because they were in
rehab of some kind, autism people, people with all kinds of problems,
trying to get better in their lives, improve themselves physically.
And then they come and they`re dead, 14 dead, 14 wounded. And we don`t
know how bad their wounds are at this point. Three men apparently went in
there with long guns with masks on, three men sharing enough zealotry and
evil, if you will, to want to kill basically strangers out of what?
What is it? It`s a strange thing to put all that together. It doesn`t fit
any of the models, if you will, of what we have seen before in mass
GOMEZ: No, it doesn`t. Years ago, what we had was hostage situations.
And we became subject experts in dealing with hostage negotiations and
trying to release the hostages.
Now we have quickly learned in the last few years that the new active
shooter scenario is a scenario where these people are going in, and their
only goal is to kill as many people as possible before they kill
themselves, get killed by the police, or, in this case, successfully
It`s very strange, indeed, the lack of respect for life that this type of
individuals have. And it`s also very strange that they planned an escape
strategy that succeeded. This is new. I hope that this does not feed into
the word that you used, zealotry, of other particular people that may be on
the fence, looking to jump in to this active shooter scenario that we have
been seeing in so many states in this country recently.
MATTHEWS: Well, thank you, Manny. Stay in there.
And let me go back to you Eugene O`Donnell.
And I guess question is, what made these three men think they could escape.
They did elude authorities for an hour or two, but they were picked up on
the highway. They didn`t have a secret Batcave to go or something. They
were out on the highway with a car that had been identified by the victims
or the people close to the victims. They said it was a dark SUV, not hard
to pick out in a helicopter surveillance.
EUGENE O`DONNELL, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Yes.
Most of these guys are dead-enders. They`re not – they have no hope of
really getting away. And they generally don`t want to live either. They
either are killed by the police or killed by other people or kill
themselves. So, this is…
MATTHEWS: Well, what is with the masks?
O`DONNELL: Obviously, they didn`t want to get caught. But at the same
time, they must know – you must know when you engage in a crime like this
that there is an extraordinarily high likelihood your life is going to –
it`s going to end with your life being forfeited. They must know that.
MATTHEWS: Well, Gene, what about the idea that it`s always been
historically a fact that if you get into a barricade situation, you`re
doomed? Once people have surrounded you, it`s a matter of time and
casualties. But you`re finished.
And these guys were basically putting themselves in a situation where all
they had was a vehicle, and they were going to shoot a whole bunch of
people. They killed 14. They wounded 14. And then they get in their car
and they race away. I don`t see the logic to that in terms of an escape
O`DONNELL: We got to change the thinking about this, because it`s clearly
obvious now that – in the old days, the cops showed up. They isolated and
contained the guy. They brought in the negotiators. And people were –
they had nonviolent resolution.
This is a scary time in this country. There is every reason to believe
this is going to continue, especially with the weaponry that is so easily
available to these guys. And I don`t know how concerned they are about
really getting away. They`re certainly concerned about slaughtering
innocent people and taking on the police if they have to. That`s another
worrying thing here, their willingness to shoot it out if necessary with
MATTHEWS: Why long guns? Why would three men – they are men – why would
they come into a closed situation, a conference room where there is some
sort of banquet going on in this development facility, helping people
improve themselves physically who have disabilities, and come in there with
Is that the only guns they could get their hands on? It seems to me, in
that situation, you would want – you would want semiautomatic pistols.
But why would they come in with long guns in a situation like that?
O`DONNELL: It`s hard to say. There is so much derangement and so much
ability – that perfect storm, if you will of derangement, the ability to
get guns, and I think social media also, honestly, creates some really
crazy ideas in the minds of people.
And so that`s a lethal mix, when people are exchanging bizarre ideas and
are able to get these kinds of weapons. And there is a lot of aggrieved
people out there. Let`s be very clear about that. And the fact that an
aggrieved person with a perceived slight can pick up an assault weapon or
pick up a heavy weapon and go in and kill people, this is an extraordinary
– and it`s sort of a watershed.
It`s been coming for a long time. There is every reason to believe this is
going to continue now.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think that`s well said, given what we`re getting now, our
preliminary discussions, of the possibility that this was an impulsive
attack where somebody was offended by something and went out and got two
other people and came back and committed this horrific mass shooting.
Anyway, let`s go right – thank you, Eugene O`Donnell.
Let`s go back to MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff, who is the phone near where the
police are actually searching for that third suspect.
Thank you, Jacob.
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris.
So, again, you can hear, I`m sure, around me the sound of barking dogs in
this residential neighborhood, the choppers that are overhead right now.
In my line of sight, up and down a street that is totally sealed off,
Richardson Street here in San Bernardino, I see probably 20 or 30 heavily
armed tactical SWAT officers, again, one in one of these vehicles in what
is essentially the gunner position, at the top of the vehicle, sort of the
hood of the vehicle, lifted up with sitting outside.
You know, they`re going door to door here, Chris, looking for somebody.
And it`s not stopping any time soon.
MATTHEWS: Are their guns drawn?
SOBOROFF: We see them with their assault weapons sort of holstered, for
lack of a better term, in their hand, pointed down at the ground. But
every one of the officers that I see right now, and I count over 10, 15 at
least, all have assault weapons in their hands right now.
You know, you`re also seeing them, Chris, in the back of just regular
pickup trucks, driving up and down the streets, sitting in back of pickup
trucks. They`re using whatever vehicles they can at this moment to leave
no stone unturned in this residential neighborhood.
MATTHEWS: Are the people opening their doors?
SOBOROFF: People are – we`re not seeing them go directly right now to
anyone`s doors. But what you do see is residents in the neighborhood
coming out of their homes, peering over the fences in front of their
houses, looking at these law enforcement officials.
Right now, it looks like, you know, the one group of officers I`m watching
is staging to do whatever their next move is going to be here in this
MATTHEWS: Well, tell us where your position is now. Are you where the car
was stopped, the SUV, the dark SUV that was the suspect`s vehicle, their
escape vehicle? Are you closer to the original crime scene?
SOBOROFF: No, I`m quite near there. In fact, I`m almost in between, I
believe, those two locations, although I would have to take another look to
But I`m at the intersection of what is called Richardson Street and Gould
Street. San Bernardino Avenue is several blocks to the north of me. The
10 Freeway, I would say, is a mile or less to the south of me. I would say
the 10 Freeway is the main artery here in Southern California into and out
of Los Angeles. It goes all the way to Phoenix and beyond.
So this is an area where it is very, very heavily trafficked, Chris. But
right now on this street, there are not many people, certainly no cars at
all going up and down it.
MATTHEWS: Do we know whether all three suspects escaped in the suspected
escape vehicle or one was left behind? Because if one was not left behind,
why are we looking in the area where the original shooting occurred?
SOBOROFF: Well, it would certainly suggest that they are – there is one
suspect that was not in that vehicle, although I obviously can`t confirm
that for you, Chris.
But they`re looking for somebody. They`re looking for somebody that
obviously they believe to be armed and dangerous. Otherwise, they wouldn`t
be out here looking essentially like they`re in a war zone.
MATTHEWS: We`re going to be getting – for everybody watching right now,
we`re watching a live – well, it`s a fugitive situation now. We`re
chasing – the police are chasing after – in San Bernardino – are chasing
after what may be – and this is all somewhat speculative – the third
suspect in a mass shooting at a developmental facility there in San
Bernardino, which is part of the great inland empire, of course, in
And we`re talking about the police action right now that we`re watching.
We`re watching the police cars, the black and white vehicles, out there on
the car right now. They`re all crunched together on the corner there.
They have stopped a vehicle they believe to be the escape vehicle. There
may be a dead person, one of the three suspects in that car. Or he may
have been removed.
We think he might have been removed. We`re not sure. And, secondly, there
is another suspect who is apparently wounded somewhere. There is nearly no
one in actual custody right now, at least formal custody, with handcuffs on
or on their way to a prison hospital or whatever, a police hospital.
So, what we`re basically looking at is a live search for certainly for one
of the three suspects in this mass shooting, one of many mass shootings we
have suffered through in this country, most recently with the Planned
Parenthood facility in Colorado, and, of course, in Oregon more recently
than that – or just before that, when it`s been a horrific season for us,
five months, Mark Glaze.
MARK GLAZE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Five months now of – I`m sorry – five mass shootings, major
GLAZE: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: … in just six months.
GLAZE: That`s right, and again, 21 this year, I think something like 150-
something since the Newtown mass shooting, when there was such hope in the
country that we might actually do something about this.
MATTHEWS: Is this accelerating?
GLAZE: It is accelerating.
It`s been accelerating, by some measures, since the year 2000 and has
picked up particularly over the last two or three years, probably
MATTHEWS: What is the factor?
GLAZE: It`s complicated, but a lot of sociologists believe there is a
significant copycat factor, especially when it has to do with troubled
young people who are in mass shootings, but also important to point out
that mass shootings do not tell the full story of gun violence in America;
80-something people are killed with guns every day; 30-something of them
are murders every single day in this country.
They`re not mass shootings. They take place in our streets, in our homes,
in urban and rural areas. And we know how to stop it, tougher gun laws to
keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. But
Congress and state legislatures…
MATTHEWS: How many are, to use a crude term, professional shooters,
professional criminals, people who run drug businesses or rob banks, or
whatever, and they use the gun to carry out their business, if you will?
And what percentage are crimes are impulse and anger?
GLAZE: Hard to say because we don`t have great record-keeping on that.
And the NRA doesn`t like us to do research about the causes of gun
But a relatively small percentage of people are sort of recidivists who
have been in prison, who have committed serious crimes and are doing it
GLAZE: A lot of them are accidents and a lot of them are suicides.
And we actually know the sort of public policy solutions that would help
with both of those things. One of the biggest ones is background checks.
MATTHEWS: Let`s go to Blake McCoy with some real-life information right
now at the scene of today`s shooting – Blake.
MCCOY: Well, as authorities scour that neighborhood right now looking for
that third possible suspect, we can tell you police have come us to and
said, please urge people in that neighborhood to stay inside.
Right now, they are aware that some people are coming out of their homes,
peering over walls to see what activity is going on. They say stay inside.
This third suspect is possibly armed and very dangerous. Police also did
confirm for us that two suspects are down. That`s their words. We don`t
know if they`re killed or injured – two suspects down in that black SUV.
The third suspect, we`re told, was seen running from the SUV into the
neighborhood nearby. And that is why they have descended on that area, an
army of police looking for this person.
MATTHEWS: OK. So, we`re getting a clear picture right now. We will be
right back with you, sir.
Let`s go to Jacob Soboroff, who is at – one the phone near where the
police are searching for the third suspect.
So, check me on this, Soboroff. Two suspects down, if you will, dead, one
of them case – probably dead, maybe both dead, one still on the loose, but
the one who is on the loose escaped from that vehicle. So, all three of
the suspects escaped from the crime scene where they shot 14 people – or
killed 14 and wounded 14 others. And they all escaped in that vehicle.
But once, when that vehicle was stopped, one of them made a run for it.
SOBOROFF: That`s what we`re hearing, Chris.
And, right now, I`m in a very resident neighborhood here, the intersection
of what Richardson and Gould. I would say, you can see behind me right
now, very heavily armed tactical law enforcement officers here.
I don`t know if you can see them from this location, but if I walk around
here, you will be able to see them (AUDIO GAP) but now you can see them
there. Also, on the roofs of their houses, Chris, people (AUDIO GAP) with
homes in this neighborhood, they`re out (AUDIO GAP) very, very (AUDIO GAP)
that this situation is going on. There is no way not to be.
MATTHEWS: That`s Jacob Soboroff.
Well, Jacob, we can`t hear you. We will have to get back to you, Jacob.
But that was interesting. We`re getting an update there that there were
three suspects altogether, two down or in custody and one on the loose.
Three men put on masks and arrived at a facility that treats people with
epilepsy and autism, just regular people with problems, with challenges,
and shot a bunch of them and killed 14 and shot another 14, just life`s –
these are not big shots. These aren`t the leaders of our country or
anything else. They`re not assassinations. These are going after the
people that are most vulnerable.
GLAZE: Right. And there is one reason.
MATTHEWS: What could be the motive? We are going to find this out.
GLAZE: Very hard to know the motive, but there is one reason that this
happens here so much more often than it does, say, in Great Britain, where
the culture is quite similar, where they watch American movies, they play
American video games, they`re not less mentally ill, their health care is
But we have 20 to 25 times their gun murder rate. And the only difference
is in the way we control who has access to a gun.
MATTHEWS: Here`s an example. And we all have sort of experiences with
people from Canada. All right?
But look at the cultural difference here. In this country, about 30 people
per million are killed by guns.
MATTHEWS: In Canada, it`s five.
GLAZE: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Six to one.
GLAZE: It`s a pretty…
MATTHEWS: Is the culture that different?
GLAZE: It`s a pretty tough country up there.
MATTHEWS: I know they`re kind of quiet up there sometimes. The Canadians
who are watching, they know what I`m talking about, but they are really
tough when you go to a hockey game. They`re tough people.
GLAZE: They`re tough people. And then they hunt.
MATTHEWS: But they don`t – they don`t resort to guns.
GLAZE: They don`t resort to guns.
MATTHEWS: Killing people.
GLAZE: Because it`s simply not part of the culture, and because they
regulate guns and access to them much more strictly than we do, because
they understand there that you can be a hunter, you can have a gun in your
house for self-protection, but that doesn`t mean that we ought to open the
floodgates, so that we have what we have in this country today, which is
more guns than we have people, which makes it a much harder problem to
MATTHEWS: Does this go back to our revolution? We`re revolutionary
people, we really don`t believe in government?
GLAZE: I think there – what it goes to is that there are some people who
believe that we`re going to need another revolution some day.
MATTHEWS: To go the other way.
GLAZE: They cannot accept the fact that 1,500 ATF agents are not going to
come knocking on their door one day and give them Obamacare and take away
That is the real concern. There is an almost complete overlap between
people who really dislike and don`t trust the government and people who
want not just a gun, but lots and lots and guns. And the NRA stokes this
paranoia as a way of selling more of them.
MATTHEWS: Well, the irony is that you have the guns to protect you when
they come to get the guns.
GLAZE: That`s exactly right.
MATTHEWS: It`s very circular.
GLAZE: It is.
MATTHEWS: It justifies itself.
GLAZE: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, we`re back here watching this thing.
And it`s still going on.
And this – let`s go to Jim Cavanaugh.
Jim, your hunch has been very interesting so far from the beginning of this
developing story about the wonder, to use a positive word for a horrible
situation, of three men in masks with long guns going to a facility which
treats people with autism and epilepsy and all kinds of problems, trying to
better themselves every day, and shooting so many people, almost 30 people
JAMES CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Yes.
Chris, you know, and you`re feeling that – the awfulness of this crime. I
mean, we all feel it. And that also goes to the motivation. It`s deep-
seated motivation. What can get someone to do that in the instant case?
Now, you had mention of an “L.A. Times” reporter, Serrano. He is one of
the great journalists out West there. You know, he`s got sources. He said
it might be something kicked out of a meeting. It could be.
But to be able to do that, to come back, that would be a revenge motive.
And, you know, a deep-seated revenge motive, to come back and shoot all
these people, you know, to – and to get others to help you – now, like I
say, you could have family members.
We could all site a few cases where people, multiple actors have done this.
So, it`s not out of the realm of possibility. It`s just more the unusual.
MATTHEWS: By the way, how do they get the masks, the masks?
CAVANAUGH: Yes, the masks. And the full ballistic outfit and the rifles,
you know. Circling back around to see the crime scene maybe and they`re
still in the neighborhood. So, there is a whole lot of moving pieces to
this that we just don`t know. The chief may clear up some of those, Chris,
in the next few minutes.
But always the most interesting thing on these is motive, the human mind.
What makes people want to do these things. And we all want to study them
to see that we can stop them.
And, you know, it is just such an unusual target, unusual event, and a
vicious, vicious crime. I mean, we`re on the heels of Paris. We`re on the
heels of Planned Parenthood. You know, we`re seeing the world sort of
unravel in this gun violence thing for a lot of different reasons, a lot of
different criminal purposes. That`s just the world we live in.
But we`ve still got to try to break it down so we can do the best we can to
stop the next one.
MATTHEWS: Well, we`re just hearing now, our reporting is that the school
lockdown has ended. So that part of the drama has ended.
MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff is back with us with a better voice now. He is near
the police who are searching for that third suspect.
This is the live danger here – Jacob.
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Chris, so I don`t
know if you can see my pictures right now. But the law enforcement
officers, in fact right here directly next to me are setting up police tape
in one of the heavily armed tactical sheriff`s deputies here told me to
step back and, quote/unquote, “take cover”. I don`t know if that`s
precautionary. Words to get me become or get us media back.
But he did mention the word explosives. This is the word of a sheriff`s
tactical deputy to me here on the street. Again, I don`t know if that`s
just a precautionary language for this sheriff`s deputy to use to move us
back here. But that`s what they told us. And as you can see, if you can
still see my pictures.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I can.
SOBOROFF: They have an expanded perimeter here.
MATTHEWS: Are you close to the suspects` escape vehicle?
SOBOROFF: I would say we`re about – and you can see there, Chris, that
there is a woman who is poking her head out. Her house now is cordoned off
within the police tape. And she is sort of looking out worriedly at the
sheriff`s deputies, tactical deputies are outside of her house. I`d say
we`re in between where the event took place this morning and the event that
took place this afternoon where the officers encountered this suspects`
vehicle. That`s suspects plural.
MATTHEWS: Part of so many strange aspects, the suspect vehicle is so close
to where the crime scene occurred. It looked like all the hours that were
available to get away, they weren`t really exploited to get away. Is that
right? Am I right about that, Jacob?
SOBOROFF: Well, I can tell you again, Chris, that this manhunt is going
on. You know, with this walking distance, it might be a little bit of a
walk, but walking distance within the events of this morning. And that was
at 11:00 this morning Pacific Time. It`s now 4:45 Pacific Time here in the
San Bernardino County, Los Angeles area. And, you know, that is not far
away from the events of this morning.
MATTHEWS: Yes, striking. Let`s go back. Thank you. Hold on there,
Jacob, and keep taking the pictures.
Clint Van Zandt is an FBI profiler. He is an MSNBC analyst.
I`ve been waiting to hear from you, my colleague. Please tell us if you
can figure out what is going on here.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, what I think we need to understand,
Chris, is as soon as we get this third person in custody, and perhaps
anybody who supported them is what was the emotional glue that would enable
three people to bind this close. Now, you know, we always deal with this
lone white nut who goes in and shoots a place up and commits these terrible
acts. We know this is the worst mass shooting in America since Sandy Hook.
So, the question we`re asking is, you know, we understand, unfortunately,
we terribly understand in this country that one person can go in and commit
a terrible act like this. But what is the emotional glue that would bond
three people together that, you know, you would put your hands on top of
each other and say, OK, the three of us are going to go in. We`re going to
commit an act of mass murder. And we`re going to fight to the death.
Chris, of about 150 mass murders that the FBI has studied, only two of the
150 had more than one shooter. So there is still pieces that we don`t have
of this to understand. And we`re likely to find out there is more of a
support system perhaps than this last shooter that law enforcement`s
desperately looking for before day turns into night.
MATTHEWS: You know, I remind myself of a movie buff, as everyone knows now
from watching this program. All I can think about is the behavior of those
brother gangs from like “Shane”, the Ryker gang.
VAN ZANDT: Sure.
MATTHEWS: They all come in and they all get killed. And they go in to
kill. And that is the kind of dramatic horror we`re looking here. Some
strange strain of anger that has brought them into this situation, it`s not
impulsive. You don`t wear masks, you don`t carry long guns on an impulsive
situation. So, something happen.
Let`s go now to the police with the latest official word from the San
Bernardino police at this press conference. Well, it`s coming up yet.
It`s coming up soon.
It was going to happen at 4:45 their time, 7:45 our time back here in
Washington. We`re look at everybody getting ready for this kind of thing.
But I`ll tell you, let me good right now. Let me go to Blake McCoy.
McCoy, Blake McCoy, let me ask you what you have. We`re now pretty much
zeroed in on three suspects, one still at large.
BLAKE MCCOY, NBC NEWS: One still at large, two down in that vehicle. And
Chris, it`s really remarkable to think that all of this is taking place
just a mile or two away from the initial shooting that occurred just about
a block away from me here.
MCCOY: Four hours later is when the suspects` vehicle was tracked down.
And when they started following it. Four hours. And those suspects were
still in this immediate area. You have to think officers thought they were
long gone by then. And when that suspect vehicle was found and they were
cornered, officers hightailed it over there, lights and sirens. Police
helicopters took off from this location and are now searching for that
third suspect. We do know two are down in that SUV. But remarkable to
think that with that much time that passed, that they were still in this
area four hours later.
MATTHEWS: Well, the interesting thing is, the police were still on the
lookout for a dark SUV within walking distance. I would have thought they
had given up, that the perimeter would have been so wide at the point a
couple of hours later that they would have given up on a dragnet. But here
they picked it up in a very tight dragnet.
MCCOY: And you would have thought that with that much time they could have
switch vehicles or at least made it far outside of San Bernardino County
and they didn`t. They were right here. It will be interesting to see what
the motive was, who these three people were.
We do know 14 people killed, of course, 17 people injured. It appears this
happened at a community room, some sort of gathering place at that site
that was perhaps being rented out by other county health employees. That`s
what we`re hearing hath at this point. We`re still working to confirm all
MATTHEWS: Well, thank you for that.
Again I want to remind everybody about the strangeness of this reporting
tonight. And if it seems uneven, let me explain. This is the first time
we`ve had television pictures because of a helicopter way ahead of the
actual human reporting. We`ve been trying to get information from the
official sources, from the authority there`s. Of course the San Bernardino
And we`re waiting for press conferences every hour or so, which we`re going
to have one any moment now. But of course we`ve been watching the action
way ahead of the reporting, and certainly way ahead of the official word.
So we`re getting this in stages. We`re seeing some of it before we know
what we`re looking at.
We watched what looked to be a standoff for very many moments there, maybe
an hour. It turns out the standoff was police surrounding a car, the
suspect vehicle there. We`re watching it right now. The escape vehicle,
if you will, with apparently two people in it. One dead, one wounded. We
believe as of now at least with one of the suspects, the third having
escaped somewhere into that neighborhood, which another irony here, which
is very much where the crime occurred itself.
So they didn`t race to escape. They didn`t seek to get on to a freeway and
head for Mexico or anywhere else. They just stayed in the area with their
long guns, and maybe with their masks. So, this is a – it`s a repellent
situation to report on with anyone.
Let me go to Manny Gomez in this. We have a moment or two.
Manny, how do you put this together?
MANNY GOMEZ, RETIRED FBI AGENT: – obviously planned this escape. This
wasn`t something that was put together overnight. And lo and behold, they
had plenty of time to get away further. They had plenty of exit routes,
whether it was south to Mexico, east to Las Vegas. But they chose to stay
in that nearby neighborhood. We`ll probably find out in the not so far
future why, but more importantly we need to get that third probably very
GOMEZ: – fugitive that is still out there. We don`t know what he has in
terms of weaponry. Does he have any explosive devices? The first
responders I`m sure are making every effort to try to put that community in
lockdown and to protect the citizens in those homes.
But at the same time, they also have to protect themselves from this guy –
GOMEZ: – who is out there running amok.
MATTHEWS: Armed and dangerous would be an understatement.
Let`s go to NBC`s Morgan Radford who is outside the Loma Linda Hospital
where some of the victims of the shoot having been taken.
Morgan, give us a report on the victims.
MORGAN RADFORD, NBC NEWS: That`s right. We`re standing outside of Loma
Linda hospital. But, in fact, there was a bomb threat that was called in
within the past two hours, and it was just lifted within the past hour.
And you can imagine that`s in the middle of a very chaotic scene here,
choppers leaving the hospital and emergency vehicles coming in.
We actually spoke to a woman who`s guarding the family entrance to this
hospital. And she spoke to three or four members of different families,
one of whom was a young man who was just waiting to hear any news he could
on his uncle. So the families of the 17 victims that we now know of are
waiting. And officers from the hospital have said they do not expect any
new victims to come in tonight, but we did just see in the last hour, an
officer who did suffer nonlife-threatening injuries, but injuries related
to today`s shooting, coming into this hospital. So right now it`s a
MATTHEWS: Did they get to the hospital – it looks like they made to the
hospital fast enough to deal with trauma. Is that case? They don`t –
you`re not hearing horrific stories of people dying in the hospital. Was
that the case? They got there fast enough to deal with the shock trauma?
RADFORD: That does appear to be the case, although it`s still a very fluid
situation. People are coming in, and now, you can probably even sirens
behind me now. So, it`s unclear exactly what state people were in when
they arrived here and what conditions their health was in, but we`re
keeping an eye on it for you right now.
MATTHEWS: Morgan, thank you for that. It sounds like not bad news at
least from the hospital, at least yet. Thank you so much for that
Let me go back to Jim Cavanaugh.
I think I`m going to leave you at any moment probably for the night. The
hour is getting near the end with it and we`re still hit with a situation
of a lot of information, but nothing coming together yet, Jim.
CAVANAUGH: Chris, you know, I think it`s interesting the point you`re
discussing with Clint, with Manny Gomez there, these guys were not far
away. But, you know, I don`t find it necessarily unusual in this kind of
When we think guys want to escape and get far away, we`re usually thinking
about motives of greed and robberies and bank robberies and they`re going
to have a reason to get away. And a lot of these killers like this – look
at Paris, Abaaoud there, even though that was a terrorist motive, we don`t
know this will be that, but he went back to the scene.
For 45 years in bomb and arson investigation, we talked about and taught
and had suspects return to the scene. They wanted to watch what was going
on. And this is also something we see in these shooters. These guys
didn`t want to leave. They want to see their work. They want to see the
chaos. They want to see what`s going on.
And I also don`t think they live very far away. I mean, I think they`re
probably people that live maybe in the county, maybe in the neighboring
county, but they`re not people who have traveled across the country for
this activity. They`re local people, and they thought they could, you
know, go back and see the chaos. And they`re not really afraid of a patrol
officer encountering them, because they believe they could kill and get
So, you know, that`s kind of the criminal mind that`s taken over here in
this masked killing. It`s almost a bomber-type mentality, mass killing and
they want to see the chaos.
MATTHEWS: Let me get you to flesh that out.
Jim, thank you for that, because I always – most of us grew up with the
idea the criminal returns to the scene of the crime, whether that`s legend
or reality, but you say there`s something to it. Would they have stuck
around and watched people suffer from the wounds?
CAVANAUGH: I think so. I think they want to see all the action. You
know, we see this in arsonists sometimes. They want to see the fire trucks
screaming to the scene, they want to see the blaze, they want to see the
hospital. In this case, think of the chaos there.
The fire engines, the paramedics, the people screaming, the news media, the
helicopters. They want to see all of this, Chris, because they did all of
this. And so, you know, it`s part of their whole operation.
Like I say, terrorists in Paris want to do it and even wants to film it
with a cell phone, maybe for later propaganda. That`s a little different
twist on it, but they do want to see their work and the chaos they`ve
wrought on people.
MATTHEWS: Yes, top of the world, ma.
Anyway, we return right now to wait for the police update.
Right now we`re joined on the phone by Officer Christina Wood with the
California Highway Patrol.
Christina, thank you, officer, for joining us. Give us a sense of the
police action we`re watching now on television.
CHRISTINA WOOD, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL (via telephone): Yes, thank you
for having me. You know, first as part of the California Highway Patrol,
we want to send our condolences and our heartfelt – just, as you can tell,
we`re still active in this and still fluid and kind of all thinking in
here. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, first and
foremost. This is a very scary situation and it`s a situation that we
MATTHEWS: When you`re hunting for someone armed and dangerous, what`s the
rules of engagement? Shoot on sight or what?
WOOD: Stop the threat. You know, learning to engage an active shooter,
we`re trained to go towards the shooting, you know, we`re the one that goes
towards it while everyone else goes away. That`s what we`re here to do and
that`s what we did.
MATTHEWS: Did it surprise you that these suspects, two of them in custody,
one dead, of course, the other one wounded, apparently, in custody, two of
them down, altogether, one still at large, that they didn`t really try to
get away. They`re still in the area.
WOOD: You know, every situation is different. Every suspect is different,
and in this case, it seems that they stuck around. It`s not always the
case, but we`re always on our toes for that instance. In this case, it
MATTHEWS: What is your sense, as an officer confronting people with long
guns, as opposed to people with pistols? What do you make of it? The fact
that all these of these men had masks on, they committed this mass
shooting. They tried to kill 30 people. They killed 14. Certainly,
bullets were fired at people successfully up to 17 and 14, it`s 31 now.
What does it tell you that they had long guns and one of them may have one
WOOD: You know, obviously, the fact that they were – the descriptions
that we go as far as long guns and maybe what they were wearing, you know,
they were prepared. This was planned. And it`s a scary world right now
that we`re seeing this more and more.
And while we hope we never have to respond to an active shooter incident,
being prepared through training as law enforcement ensures our response to
diminish the threat and to provide immediate life-saving assistance.
That`s our whole goal.
MATTHEWS: If you`re out there right now going door to door, looking for a
suspect in a mass shooting, a major mass shooting where 31 people were shot
and 14 are dead already, would you assume that that suspect, that fugitive
did not want to get caught?
MATTHEWS: He did not want to be taken alive.
WOOD: He may have stayed in the area, but of course they don`t want to get
MATTHEWS: Or taken alive.
WOOD: That`s subjective, you know, who knows? We come across all sorts of
people, people who do suicide by cop or people who run from us. So, you
never know who`s going to come across.
MATTHEWS: What does suicide by cop mean?
WOOD: Well, unfortunately, some people, they put themselves in a situation
where, you know, it requires us to take action and sometimes that involves
lethal action. It`s never what we want. It`s not how we want it to end.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Christina Wood of the California Highway
Patrol. Thank you for joining us.
We`ll go right now to the press conference and find out what we can
officially right now from the San Bernardino police officials, including
the chief. It keeps being delayed. I keep thinking we`re going into this,
There you can see the cameras and the microphones are set there for all the
various organizations who are covering this. Of course, this is one of
those stories that has grabbed the nation`s attention. This is not a local
story. It`s become a pattern.
Mark? It`s a pattern now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an absolute pattern and one that`s been
accelerating for reasons that are complicated, except the fact that
Congress refuses to do anything about it. Here`s a way how it`s local.
MATTHEWS: Have you noticed the conservatives are all saying, we`re going
to pray for the victims, which is fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re all going to pray for the victims.
MATTHEWS: That`s not really their role.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step two after you`re a policy maker after you give
your regards and sympathies is to actually do something about it. They
know what to do. We know what`s effective. They don`t do it, because
they`re afraid of the gun law.
But California has something interesting going on. They have pretty good
gun laws, but they could be better. The lieutenant governor of the state,
Gavin Newsom and the group the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence are
working to put an initiative on the ballot that would significant tighten
gun laws in ways that may have been relevant to the shooting. We don`t
know about this shooting, but almost always when you have –
MATTHEWS: California is a state that doesn`t seem to me that intimidated
by the gun lobby. I mean, Feinstein`s been out there for years, tough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there`s also a tough and aggressive anti-gun
control group out there that does its best.
MATTHEWS: It`s not like Pennsylvania or Ohio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not, there are a few NRA members and more people
who, because they live in concentrated areas, want to do some good. But
there`s going to be a ballot initiative that might or might not have
affected this. It`s going to ban high capacity magazines, some of the kind
that make mass shooting mass.
MATTHEWS: I`m glad we can do this. I`m glad you can get your platform
tonight, which you deserve in this horror. I mean, we`ve got to think
about it when it happens because we don`t think about it otherwise.
We`re expecting a live news conference with the police in San Bernardino,
California. They promised to update every hour, on the hour.
Right now, MSNBC`s coverage of the mass shooting continues with Chris
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