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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 12/2/2015

Guests: Alex Vasquez, Daniel Danelski, Jason Leopold

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: December 2, 2015 Guest: Alex Vasquez, Daniel Danelski, Jason Leopold RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Chris, thanks to you at home for being with us tonight. It is now 9:00 p.m. on the East Coast. It is 6:00 p.m. in San Bernardino, California. Where law enforcement officials are still dealing with what looks like a still very active police situation tonight. This is obviously still an unfolding situation, but the key questions that are outstanding are, number one, the number of suspects. We know that two people are dead, who are suspects in this mass killing today in San Bernardino. We do not know if there were more than two people involved in this incident. We also do not know if anybody still may be at large. We were told that a third person has been detained. We do not have any information as to whether or not that person was involved in this morning shooting. That`s key question number one. The number of suspects, and that leads, obviously, to the question of whether or not this is over. Whether or not there`s anybody else who`s going to be taken into custody. Key question number two, explosives. We`ve had vague information from law enforcement officials that there may have been explosives found at the initial sight of the mass killing this morning, and that there may have been -- they intimated that there may at least suspicious, possibly explosive material at the SUV, at the vehicle, where the two known suspects are dead. The third key question, the third key question is motive, of course. We have no information whatsoever about whether or not -- whether there is any known motive here. The only intimation we have had about motive at all is from a representative from the FBI, who had said earlier, flatly, we do not know if there`s any reason to believe this is terrorism. He amended that statement, sort of shaded that statement, in a press statement moments ago, still without being definitive, by saying that they are re-advising their earlier thoughts on the question of whether or not it is terrorism. He said, it may be, it may not be. They do not know. But clearly, the blanket statement that they had no information as to whether or not it was terrorism has been shaded a little bit this evening, thus raising that prospect, which has additional implications in terms of believe it or not this matter is over. So, again, a lot of stuff that`s very important to know here, is stuff that we do not know. In terms of what we do know, it`s a pretty short list. Shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time in San Bernardino, some number of shooters, possibly two, possibly as many as three shooters opened fire at what`s called the Inland Regional Center. It`s a large facility. It`s a social services facility that serves people with developmental disabilities and their families. We do not know if that facility was targeted for any specific reason. We have no information on that one way or the other. It is hard to imagine a specific motive anybody might have, terroristic or otherwise, for targeting a social service facility that serves people with developmental disabilities and their families. That said, the president and CEO of that facility said the shooting happened in a conference area, basically, a large conference room, within that larger facility. It`s believed that a shooter or more likely, shooters, entered that facility, entered that large conference room, armed with what police describe as long guns. We don`t have further confirmed description about the weapons used beyond that. The police chief of San Bernardino said tonight that when they did find two dead suspects in an SUV, about two miles from the site of the shooting tonight, several hours after the shooting had been concluded, they did find what he described as assault-style weapons on them, which would imply semi-automatic rifles as opposed to bolt-action rifles or shotguns. We had been thinking over the course of the day that when we did finally get weapons information, it would be something like that, because of witness reports about the number of bullets that were fired and the pace of firing. It sounded like we were going to hear, it was semi-automatic weapons. We had heard from police that it was long guns and indeed the police in San Bernardino confirming tonight that when those two suspects were found dead in the SUV, either shot by police or shot at their own hand, we don`t know, they were armed with assault-style rifles, which would be semi-automatic guns. Some witnesses from the shooting this morning say the suspects or suspects were wearing masks and possibly body armor or at least some type of upper body gear that looked tactical. Just on an anecdotal level, it`s very hard to tell, especially if you`re just a lay observer and you don`t have technical expertise in the matter, it`s very hard to tell whether or not somebody is wearing a bulletproof vest. A lot of tactical gear or even load-bearing vests can look like bulletproof -- or body armor, excuse me. But witnesses describe at least something that looked like tactical gear if not body armor. The quote from the police chief at the press conference they gave today was that the shooters looked like they came prepared. We believe from the victims that most of the people who were killed and wounded were killed and wounded in one pretty confined area, in that one conference center area of the Inland Regional Center. We don`t know exactly what happened there, but whatever unfolded there left at least 14 people dead and at least another 17 people wounded. Now, in terms of explosives, there had been intimations today that the police had had bomb squad type responders obscene and that there had been some sort of device or devices found at the site of the mass shooting. A short time ago, the police chief confirmed that a potential explosive device was also found at the scene of the mass shooting, at Inland Regional Center. Again, the police are not being specific about that, but they said they believed it to be an explosive device. At some point today, again, the police chief has been a little bit elliptical in the way he has described this. The impression that he has given in his press statements is that police received some sort of tip or followed some sort of lead to end up at a house in Redlands, in nearby Redlands, California. These are all nearby cities, all part of what`s called the Inland Empire, which is basically due east of Los Angeles. And at this house in Redlands, police were investigating something and something happened that led to a pursuit of police following, at least two people, in a dark-colored SUV. This was about five hours after the shooting at this point. It was around 3:15 p.m. local time, and police located what they believed to be the suspect`s vehicle on the suburban street in Redlands, about two miles from where the initial mass shooting took place. We still don`t have official word on who those people were. We`ve received no information about their identity. But, we do know, according to police, that there was a gun battle with those suspects, on the street, in that gun battle. Police say that one officer was injured, but it was not a life- threatening injury, and the two people, there were two people in that SUV who were either killed by police or who killed themselves. But they were dead, apparently, of gunshot wounds inside the SUV. Police said that one of those people is a male and one of those people is a female. They said nothing else about them in terms of identifying them, other than to say they were dressed in assault-style clothing and that both of them were armed with assault rifles and with handguns. They made it seem like at least those people were each armed with at least two guns. Expect that we may get more specificity from police and law enforcement on that matter as the night goes on, particularly because that scene around the SUV does appear to be a settled scene, so presumably they`ll be able to give us more information about anything they recovered there. Now, it appears that in terms of those two suspects killed at that SUV, it appeared that one was killed on the street right next to the SUV, possibly a person either ejected from the vehicle or who tried to leave the vehicle. The other person appears to have been killed in the backseat of the vehicle. Shortly after that gun battle, SWAT team members could be seen trying to extract that individual who was inside the car, out of the back of the car. Now, as we understand it right now, I think we`ll get more detail on this, hopefully later on when we get another press briefing from the San Bernardino police department, but another person, a third person, was detained after that gun battle. Again, two dead people in the SUV. A third person detained. Now, it`s unclear at this time if that person is related to the mass shooting. There was a lot of implication tonight, particularly just from the news reporting of what was going on, and from people watching law enforcement activity in and around this neighborhood in San Bernardino. It seemed that they were searching for another suspect who was on the loose. It seemed at one point that they were doing a house-to-house search. But we now have definitive word from the San Bernardino police department, that the two people in the SUV were dead. The third person who they were looking for near the sight of the SUV shooting has been detained. Police are not saying whether or not that person was involved in either the gun battle at the SUV or the massacre, the gun massacre at the Inland Regional Center this morning. But importantly, police are also not saying the total number of suspects they believed committed that crime. So, with or without this third person in custody, this third person detained, we don`t know if that means everybody who is a suspect in this matter is in police custody. Joining us now from near the site of this morning`s shooting, the inland regional center in San Bernardino, is NBC News correspondent, Blake McCoy. Blake, thanks very much for being with us. What can you tell us from where you are tonight and this latest information? BLAKE MCCOY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you over the last few hours, especially after that gunfight with those two suspects, the scene has calmed down quite a bit. It feels like we`re moving into a second phase here, a more investigative phase right now. All of the lockdowns in this area have been lifted, although the attention is still focused on that building where the initial shooting took place, because as we did hear from police, there were some suspicious objects inside. At least one of them suspected to be an explosive device. So, they are moving very slowly around that building, trying to clear it. It`s now been seven hours since the initial shooting here. And, Rachel, at the beginning of the show, you said, we still do not know a motive, which, of course, is true. Police in this latest press conference did address one rumor, one thing that`s been reported widely today, which is there was a holiday party of health workers that was taking place. They rent out that conference facility. There was a holiday party of health workers taking place. And they heard also reports that there was a person who was in an altercation with people at that party and asked to leave, and the reports are that that was the person who came back and opened fire on the conference center. That is what police cannot confirm. But they did confirm that there was an altercation with someone in that conference center who left right before the shooting took place. MADDOW: And, Blake, two questions for you, just following up on that. Number one, is it clear that all of the fatalities or at least most of the fatalities were confined to a very specific location within that large social services center where you`re outside right now. Do we know anything about sort of the spread of the fatalities or if they were confined to one spot? MCCOY: It sounds to us that it was confined to that conference center. They opened fire and then they left on their own, because they were gone by the time police arrived. NBC News has spoken with the husband of one of the victims, one of the survivors, who`s in the hospital, and he is relaying the information that they came in, did not say a word, and started firing and then left. So, it was all in that conference area. We saw those horrific images, though, after the shooting, where triage centers had been set up in the middle of the street to help the victims who survived. MADDOW: Obviously, so many victims. We`ve got 14 dead and 17 wounded, so many people who are in the place, in the space where the actual shooting occurred, and hundreds more people inside that large facility. One last question for you, Blake -- you mentioned about the device which the police chief said tonight is believed to be an explosive device and obviously you said law enforcement is treating that matter with extreme caution. Do we know if they have detonated that device, if they have rendered it safe? Do we know anything about how, basically, bomb squad response has taken place around that potential device? MCCOY: We do not. All we know they`re moving very slowly around that building and they said the building is not secure, it has not been cleared. And we also know that some suspicious objects were found around that SUV, where the shoot-out happened, which you can, you know, it doesn`t take a brain surgeon to figure out that`s why they`re moving so slowly around that house where the search warrant was issued and where that police chase started, because if they were in that house before the chase started, they`re operating under the assumption that there could be more devices inside that home. MADDOW: Blake McCoy, NBC News correspondent -- Blake, thank you. I know we`ll be checking back in with you later. Joining us now, NBC justice correspondent, Pete Williams. Pete, I understand you have some breaking news you`ve just learned about potentially a name for one of the suspects? PETE WILLIAMS, NBC JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rachel. Just so -- I may have to stop here for a moment and take a call here, Rachel, but let me just say that several law enforcement officials have told us that one of the attackers is an American citizen named Sayeed Farook. And there is some connection between that name and the house that they`re searching in Redlands, California, which is about 70 miles from L.A., about 10 miles from San Bernardino. So, that`s one piece of information. The second thing is, Rachel, you heard the FBI special agent in charge out there in L.A. say they couldn`t rule out terrorism, but he said it in such a way that seemed like maybe they were thinking more about it than they were earlier. Here`s the way I understand that. That the early direction that the police were going in is the possibility that this was some kind of workplace dispute, and this was based on witnesses saying that one person - - you heard the police chief talk about this. One person came in, got mad, and then came back, and the theory was that perhaps that touched off something and that is what led to the shooting. For several hours, law enforcement people have been saying to me, does that really make sense? Doesn`t that seem a bit fishy? That you would get mad at your coworkers and come back with two other people and you all dressed in assault gear, with assault rifles and a getaway car and you would be willing to kill people right in front of your eyes? Does that seem like an escalating argument? So, they`ve always thought -- or they now think there must have been something more to this. What the "more" was, they still don`t know. And they`re hoping that maybe they`ll find some answers in this house in Redlands that they`re searching, searching very carefully, not because they believe there are explosives there, but because they can`t be sure that there aren`t. And that`s why they`re treating it that way. MADDOW: Pete, in terms of this potential name for a suspect, Sayeed Farook, do we know if that`s the person dead in the SUV or if that`s the person detained. Do we know which person in that scenario that name pertains to? WILLIAMS: No, we don`t, Rachel, and back to you. MADDOW: Pete Williams actively reporting this out right now. Pete Williams, obviously, NBC`s chief justice correspondent, reporting information, again -- it`s law enforcement sources telling NBC News that a person who may be involved in this scenario is an American citizen, the name that we are hearing is Sayeed Farook, and the way that Pete just described it there in that short report, that he may be linked to the house that they are searching in Redlands. Now, we`ve heard this from Blake on the scene at the site of the shooting, we heard this from Pete in terms of talking about that house in Redlands, which may have led to the name, the first name we`ve had associated with any suspects in the this case. In both instances, one of the reasons that these are being treated -- both as live scenes, but also as places where law enforcement are moving very slowly and very cautiously and we don`t expect any definitive information soon, is because of the potential involvement of explosives here. Now, I don`t want to speak more definitively than we know from the reporting, and what we have heard from law enforcement has been a little woolly on this subject. There`s a lot of may be, could possibly be, could be investigated as rather than declarative statements. But from what we are told by law enforcement, it seems that there may have been an explosive device, at least one, left at the site of the initial shooting this morning. That is what Blake McCoy was just describing as why that initial shooting scene is still being described as a live scene and why law enforcement is describing those buildings as not cleared and they`re moving so carefully there, there may be an explosive device or more than one at that scene. We`ve also heard a description that there may have been something that was described as a pipe bomb or something like a pipe bomb that was thrown possibly during the course of the confrontation of the suspects in the SUV, which resulted in a man and a woman dead in an SUV, after a gun battle with police, which lots of shots were fired and one officer was injured. There`s two reports of explosive devices or potential explosive devices. We`ve also had the San Bernardino police chief describe suspicious items around the SUV. Again, not stating definitively, but intimating that those may have been explosive devices, or that they are worried that they might be. Asked directly if the suspects had suicide vests, the police chief said he had not heard that. The other instance which they are considering at least the possibility of either booby traps or other explosive devices of some kind, the potential of explosives, is at this house in Redlands, which apparently led to the SUV chase and led to the SUV shoot-out, and to the dead suspects, and that also may have led to the first name, according to Pete Williams, that can be associated with those suspects in this case. Again, an American citizen, Sayeed Farook. Joining us now is NBC News law enforcement analyst and former ATF agent in charge, Jim Cavanaugh. Jim, let me just ask you, in terms of what I just summarized about potential explosive devices and what we know about weapons and continuing threats -- does that comport with what you understand tonight? JIM CAVANAUGH, NBC NEWS LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right, Rachel, exactly. You see, what would happen is, you treat the scene of the mass murder with any package found there, as if it could be an IED or a homemade bomb. And so, you just methodically, you know, if everybody`s wounded, day come in with the bomb squad, they have robots and x-ray machines and they can check that out. Now, the house at Redlands that we described and you showed earlier, they forced a door with a ram on the front of the bearcat SWAT vehicle and they`re going to go in there as well with robots. This is maybe, looks like the house where the shooters went to, the man and a woman who are deceased in the SUV, were picked up on police surveillance leaving. So, that`s only -- I looked on the map -- that`s only a 15-minute drive. From San Bernardino to Redlands, a 15-minute drive away. So, if they went home, they could have had a third actor with them, who could have got of that location. So, SWAT has to be careful about that. And the left again, at leas the man and women left, we know, maybe more, but at least they left, because they`re now deceased. They could have went in there, Rachel, and gathered up more ammunition and load it up again -- MADDOW: Jim, let me interject just for a second and it`s specifically on that point. We`re now being told that police having previously said that some sort of pipe bomb-type device was thrown at them, police are now saying that did not happen. So, in terms of what you`re just describing there, what might have happened at that house, what they might have had stored at that house, what they might have accessed at that house after the shooting and taken with them on the way to this gun battle with police, police are now saying at this point that they`re no longer claiming there was any sort of pipe bomb- type device thrown at police after they left that house in Redlands. CAVANAUGH: Right, exactly. So, they could have went there and got nothing. They could have went there and got some food, you know, it`s four-hour break in here. So, they could have went out and got some food, they could have went out and got some ammo. They have got a camera, they got a lot of things to go back. They were followed back to the scene and, of course, when they got closer, San Bernardino PD engaged them and they had the shoot-out. So, they have to treat the house also like, you know, there could be explosive devices in there and that`s the methodical process. And once it`s free of any explosives, Rachel, and what will happen is it`s going to be a forensics scene. And agents and detectives want to get the computers, laptops, cell phones, anything in order to get the cell phones off the bodies, who are these people and what motivated them to do this. And I think you were very on point, and as Pete was, this third person that ran and jumped over the fence, is he an actor, a shooter, or is he just somebody trying to get away from the gun battle between these two known killers and the police and he ran through the yard. So, we just don`t know that, yet. It`s still unclear, really, is it just these two people that were killers or was there three or four. We really don`t know that, yet. MADDOW: Jim, in terms of what we heard from Pete, he raised this interesting issue, which actually is sort of -- it`s not -- I don`t want to say a theoretical issue, but it`s about practice and the receive wisdom of law enforcement. Pete was saying the previous sort of working theory had been that there may have been some sort of argument that happened at this gathering, at this sort of holiday party or banquet at that event. It led to an argument, the person went away, went and got help and weapons and gear and came back and shot the police up. That had been sort of one scenario that had been floated today, described as possibly what happened. That led to some sort of theory that this could have been an extension of some sort of workplace disgruntlement or something, and it just didn`t - - Pete was saying, it didn`t seem to make sense to a lot of law enforcement minds, that there was a disgruntled workplace environment situation here, that that you wouldn`t necessarily be able to rope other people into it to help you commit mass murder. That it seemed like something else that was coming from a different mind-set. When Pete described both that theory and law enforcement skepticism about it, I wondered what your view was of that thinking. CAVANAUGH: Well, I mean, that is the right view, in my estimation, at the time, given the facts you know, as facts develop, you can see what may be possible. Look, if these people were only 15 minutes away, a man and a woman, who may be husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend or brother and sister, if they`re only 15 minutes away, certainly the scenario of being thrown out and being bent on revenge, if they`re close family members, and being able to drive 15 minutes away, change, load up, get your rifles and your gear and go back and kill everybody, as a revenge motive of workplace violence is not out of the realm of possibility. Doesn`t mean it`s absolute. The preparations, I think, is what sets you off from somebody being thrown out of a meeting. But if somebody lives close by, you know, they could go back and come back within an hour and do that. Of course, workplace violence, of course, just massacring everybody, we`ve seen that happen before. Usually, we`ve seen lone actors, but a family member, a close other, sometimes can be involved. MADDOW: NBC News law enforcement analyst, former ATF agent in charge, Jim Cavanaugh -- Jim, I know we`ll be back with you. Thank you very much. I want to go back now to near the site of this morning`s shooting, to NBC News correspondent Blake McCoy. Blake, we were talking earlier about the possible presence of potentially explosive devices on scene. Police say they`re now about to approach those in some way? MCCOY: Yes, a local police officer just came up to us and said, prepare for an explosion. They didn`t want us caught off guard. They said, this will be a planned explosion, and that`s because they`re preparing to blow up one of those suspicious devices inside this Inland Regional Center. So, clearly, after getting a closer look at it, it was suspicious enough that they have determined that they need to detonate this device, neutralize it, so to speak. MADDOW: Blake, to be clear, have they -- they`ve told you that this explosion is something that you are going to -- it`s going to be big enough that you are going to know that it`s going on, even though, obviously, you`re outside the facility? Or are they blowing it up outside the facility? MCCOY: We are about two blocks away, but they said it could be loud enough that we could hear it here. They didn`t want us caught off guard, and, of course, the neighborhood around us has been on high alert all day, so any sound of explosion would certainly have people rattled. MADDOW: NBC News correspondent Blake McCoy, we will keep an eye on what`s going on there, if that is, in fact -- if they are, in fact, going to have a controlled detonation. I want to go now to Alex Vasquez, he is a cameraman for KNBC who has been on the scene all day and who has captured some of the most harrowing footage we have seen. Alex, thank you very much for being with us. ALEX VASQUEZ, KNBC (via telephone): Good evening, Rachel. MADDOW: What`s your location now and what`s your understanding of how this story is continuing to evolve right now in terms of this being a live scene, Alex? VASQUEZ: Rachel, I`m on the south end of the actual crime scene, on the south end of the building. The way this played out, I happened to be out -- I cover the Inland Empire, for Riverside County and San Bernardino County. I was about two miles away when I heard the initial call on the police scanner. The calls started coming of an active shooter inside a building, people have been shot. So, I immediately drove my news van to the scene. And as I got here and got my camera is when I started hearing gunshots. I heard a couple shots go off and I started running towards the building. By the time I got there, there was already people running from the building who had been shot. They were basically collapsing in front of me. I saw one pickup truck actually pull up and people jumped into the back of the bed of the pickup truck, just trying to get out of the building, out of that area, and he drove them, and all were wounded, drove them to the end of the street where firefighters were waiting, they unloaded the pickup truck and several victims got out of them. Unfortunately, one of them actually that they put down in the triage location where I was, ended up passing away. MADDOW: Wow. VASQUEZ: But it was a very chaotic situation when I got here. It was something that -- you always say as a journalist, you want to be professional and do your job, but you can`t help but try to want to help these people. I lent my cell phone to a couple of the workers who wanted to call their family and loved one to tell them they were OK. MADDOW: Alex, so when you arrived, the gunfire you were hearing were from the perpetrators? That was a law enforcement response that you were in the middle of? That was the crime, that was the initial shooting by the perpetrators? VASQUEZ: I believe so, Rachel. I was still about a half block away when I parked the van. I didn`t want to pull up on to the crime scene, because I could see a line of law enforcement coming behind me. I didn`t want to block the roadway. By the time I parked and was reaching for my camera, I heard three to four gunshots one after another after another, and I don`t know if it was law enforcement or it was the actual shooters, but I ducked down and grabbed my camera and started running towards the building. MADDOW: Alex, because you have been there from the very, very, very beginning, one of the things we`re watching, part of the reason we`re all still live on this tonight is because it does still feel like it`s an active scene. We`ve got the police on site at -- at the site of the initial shooting, saying they`re about to do a controlled detonation of a device they believe may be an explosive device that was left on scene. We`ve also got a very active police scene at a house in Redlands, which they believe is linked to people who end up deceased in that SUV a few miles from the shooting scene. As you`ve seen this unfold over the course of the day, is it your sense right now that things are wrapping, that things are under control, or does this feel like this is still an unfolding, still spreading situation? VASQUEZ: I think it`s still unfolding, to be honest with you, Rachel, I`m still seeing a lot of law enforcement driving up and down the streets, very quickly, I`m looking at the sky and seeing at least a few helicopters, not just media, I can tell they`re law enforcement, they`re flying a little lower. So I don`t think this is controlled quite yet. Listening to the police scanners, I`m hearing a lot of people calling in, saying that they found something suspicious in the backyard, that was close to the building. So, there`s a lot of speculation still going on. I just talked to a couple of law enforcement friends who were here at the scene. They told me, it`s not quite over, it`s not clear yet. There may be someone else out there that we`re looking into. I think this is going to be a long investigation, an ongoing investigation all through the night. MADDOW: KNBC cameraman, Alex Vasquez, I appreciate you still being with us so many hours into this. Thank you. VASQUEZ: Thank you. MADDOW: Joining us now from Loma Linda Medical Center in San Bernardino is NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford. Morgan, thank you for being with us. I understand the medical facility where you`re at both is a site where a lot of the wounded have been brought today, but also, it`s a site where there was a bomb threat at the hospital, after some of the shooting victims had already been brought there. Is that the case? MORGAN RADFORD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Rachel, I was standing right here when that bomb threat was called in, because as the sirens are continuing and all these details are emerging, one thing that all sides seem to state is their support for the victims here. Five adult victims were brought here, two in critical condition, two in fair condition, and one whose condition is still being assessed. At 2:30 p.m., while again as I mentioned, we were standing here, a bomb threat was called in right behind me, but than an hour later after a K-9 crew came in to assess the situation, they lifted the ban to realize that this really was not a credible threat. The office right here at the hospital did say that they are not expecting anymore victims from today`s shooting to appear tonight, and they said tomorrow, they will continue treating them, business as usual. MADDOW: NBC News correspondent, Morgan Radford -- Morgan, thank you for that. That`s such a strange side bar story to this today, to have a bomb threat at the hospital in the middle of all of this, even though it was cleared, just a very rattling development. And, of course, today`s shooting in broader context, comes just five days after last mass shooting in the United States, which was last Friday, November 29th, that was the lone gunman in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who killed three people and wounded nine others at a Planned Parenthood facility there. Before that one, the last huge stop all other news mass shooting story was a month before the Planned Parenthood one. It was the Umpqua Community College shooting at Roseburg, Oregon. That was a single shooter, nine people killed, nine injured. Before that, nine people killed in South Carolina, at an African- American church. Those nine people targeted and killed because of their race. Before that, Isla Vista, California, May of last year, remember that one? Yes, right, six people dead in that one, seven wounded. The young man who mounted that assault there killed himself as well. September 2013, it was 12 people killed, 3 injured at the Washington Navy yard. Before that, it was not just our country that stopped, but a big portion of the world stopped when 20 first graders and 6 staff members and teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That was December 2012. And those are just kind of the front of mind ones, right? Those are just some of the recent American mass killings, gun massacres that at least temporarily brought all other news to a halt. Those are just the ones you can remember without thinking too hard. There are tons more mass shootings. Today`s incident is the 335th or possibly the 336th this year -- the 336th time this year in which at least four people were shot and killed or shot and wounded in a single incident this country. More than 300 this year so far and the year still has a few weeks to go, because what`s called a mass shooting is almost literally an everyday occurrence in the United States now, even massacres in which there are large number of fatalities, they happen frequently enough, we don`t even remember them all, without a reference list to look at, just in the couple of years. But even with that pattern, there is one way in which today`s mass shooting high-fatality gun massacre absolutely does not fit any recent or historical pattern in the United States. And that is the very unusual fact that today`s shooting is thought to have been committed by multiple shooters. I mean, of all the high fatality mass shootings in modern U.S. history, and there have been a lot, there are only a couple for which there was more than one shooter. The Columbine High School shooting in April of `99, that was two high school student shooters, they killed 13 people. There was a middle school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1998, where an 11-year-old and a 13- year-old worked together to shoot and kill five students and teachers. Other than those two instances, though, of school kids shooting up their own schools, the only other one I know of, with multiple shooters, was an attack back in 1983 in Seattle, where a gambling club got robbed. And in the course of that robbery, the three robbers killed 13 people at that club. But other than those very unique instances, out of all of the mass shooting, high-fatality number of massacres we have had in this country in modern times, there just aren`t high-fatality count mass shootings where more than one person commits the massacre. It is almost always one person. But police reports tonight suggest it`s multiple shooters here. That appears to be what happened in San Bernardino today. And, obviously, that has led to fears today that this might have been a terrorist attack, that there might have been a terrorist motive for this attack. The FBI is certainly getting -- dismissing that prospect less this evening than they had been earlier today. They had previously been totally agnostic on the subject of whether or not this might be terrorism. Tonight, the special agent in charge in southern California intimating that police and law enforcement are looking more seriously at that prospect than they might have been earlier in the day, although we don`t know why. Honestly, in terms of firm information, we have no information one way or the other about whether or not it might be terrorism. And, of course, if it`s terrorism linked to a larger organization, that is important in terms of whether or not this is an ongoing subject, whether this is an ongoing incident, whether or not this is linked to something that is still operational. Whether or not it`s terrorism, the motive is always important at one level in terms of us understanding what happened here. But at a human level, regardless of a motive, the human toll here is just enormous. With 14 people killed and 17 wounded, this is the deadliest mass shooting in America since Sandy Hook. It`s one of the top ten deadliest gun massacres we`ve ever had. Joining us now from San Bernardino is MSNBC correspondent, Jacob Soboroff. Jacob, what`s happening where you are now? JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m a little less than a mile and a half away from the Inland Regional Center where the shooting happened this morning. The street there called Cooley (ph). They blocked off this neighborhood, these officers just told me they`ve evacuated the neighborhood right up the street. This is the second neighborhood I`ve been to over the course of an hour that has been completely shut down. No in, no out. You`re not seeing the kind of tactical officers we saw on this corner a little while ago, but in full military regalia, assault weapons drawn, gunners out on top of these tactical vehicles. And they are searching basically block by block. We don`t know what they`re searching for, but to echo Blake McCoy who you`ve heard a little while ago, they`ve given us a heads up about potential explosives in the area. And our previous location actually told us to take shelter. We are further away now from the search that was going on than we were just a little while ago. MADDOW: And, Jacob, when they moved you and told you that they were concerned enough that they wanted you in a different place than they already were, did they tell you, we`ve identified explosive devices, did they say, we`re investigating that possibility. It`s possible there are explosives and that`s why we feed you to move. How definitive were they? SOBOROFF: It was actually sort of a very quick, aggressive posture by the officer, sort of saying, explosives, take shelter. It wasn`t, we may or may not. You know, from my perspective, I can`t answer that for you, Rachel. But what I can tell you, they continue to push people back from these searches that are ongoing. So much so that they`re telling all of the residents in the neighborhood behind me they`ve got to leave that area. MADDOW: Jacob Soboroff, MSNBC correspondent, thank you very much. In 1969, California passed a will called the Lanterman Act. California State Assemblyman Frank Lanterman was an institution. He never married, famous for wearing the same brown suit every single day. He was such a workhorse. He was so devoted to his job as a legislator and he passed so much consequential legislation that they called him "Mr. California". When Assemblyman Lanterman was horrified by terrible living conditions at one California state hospital, he put forward legislation to give rights to people with developmental disabilities and to set up a statewide infrastructure throughout California to respect those rights, to help people with developmental disabilities, to support them and their families, and the Lanterman that he wrote was signed into law by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan, in 1969. That law was way ahead of its time. It established in law that people with disabilities and conditions like autism and epilepsy and cerebral palsy, they and their families have the right to receive support and services so they can live full lives with all the dignity they deserve. So that`s how California got this statewide mandated by law network of regional centers to provide social services and help to people with developmental disabilities and their families. This is a map that shows where they`re all located throughout the state. There`s 21 facilities, because they`ve divided up the state into 21 regions and each region has one of these centers. And this one in the Inland Empire, this is the one that was the site of this mass shooting today, and it`s believed to be the largest one of these 21 facilities in the state of California, the Inland Regional Center. It was created by that act, by the Lanterman Act, this was passed in 1969 and signed by Ronald Reagan. This facility in San Bernardino serves more than 30,000 people in the Inland Empire, in this area around San Bernardino and Riverside counties, due east of L.A. Again, more than 30,000 clients and they`ve got more than 700 staff at that facility. So, you`ve sign these aerial views all day and got an idea, but this is both a very big facility and a very busy facility. Part of the mission of these facilities is that they provide lifelong care. If you have a developmental disability or somebody in your family does, they will provide social services to you and they`re mandated that they must, by law, from the time that you are born, until the time that you die. And so, it is multi-generational services, where they bring in people`s families in a way to support them through all different challenges of life with disability. And so, these are busy, busy facilities, big, with a lot of comings and goings. And the sheer size of that facility and the complexity, and the well-used-ness of that facility is part of the reason why it has taken hours and hours and hours to even partially clear that location tonight. To get through there to make sure there weren`t anymore suspects still in the facility, to make sure all the dead and the wounded were recovered. To make sure all the survivors were brought to safety. And tonight, even parts of that facility are still not cleared, as they say, they are preparing to carry out controlled detonations of what they believe are improvised explosive devices of some kind. One or more, that they have found on site. Joining us now is David Danelski. He`s a report for the "Press Enterprise" newspaper in Riverside, California, and he was caught up in the middle of this afternoon`s shoot-out between police and at least two people suspected of carrying out today`s shooting. Mr. Danelski, thank you very much for being with us. I appreciate your time. DAVID DANELSKI, PRESS ENTERPRISE (via telephone): Rachel, how you doing? MADDOW: I`m good. I`m sure I mispronounced your last name. Can you say it for me? DANELSKI: Danelski. MADDOW: I`m very sorry. DANELSKI: That`s OK. MADDOW: Can you tell us what you ended up in the middle of when you found yourself at the site of this shoot-out today? DANELSKI: Yes, we sent a lot of reporters out to San Bernardino to cover the story and I was going to different parts of town. I was actually at a community center where families were waiting for loved ones to be bused back from the facility where the shooting occurred. And a lady there talking to people on the street said she had heard that there was a sighting of the SUV that the suspects were in in a different part of the city and she got this through a text of a friend who was there, said that they`re in a lockdown in this other part of town. So I went to check that out. So I was driving to this other part of San Bernardino and on my way, I noticed I saw two or three police officers with lights blazing, heading in a different direction, and I thought, I wondered what was going on. Police were crawling all over town, hundreds of police cars were all over the place, but this seemed like something -- my reporter`s instinct kicked in. They turned on San Bernardino Avenue, a big wide street, and the next town east of Redlands. And then I heard what sounded like thunder or something ahead of me, driving 30 miles an hour, and I heard kind of a whipping sound in the air. And it was really strange, I didn`t recognize it as anything, but I figured later it must have been bullets flying. I pulled over the car and I grabbed my camera and I started walking to where I saw some police kind of looking towards a house on the other side of the road and then I heard gunshots again, a little bit confusing as to what`s going on. I walked up the block, about half a block to get closer, and then I looked behind me and there were waves of police officers with guns drawn. Police of all different stripes, all different agencies, different cities, county people, state police, you know, California highway patrol, all with guns drawn. And then shooting erupts again, and everybody gets down, I crouch behind the police car and one officer yells at me to get down. And we -- and I managed to, you know, take a few pictures, and I kind of worked my -- when there`s a lull, I kind of worked my way across the street, trying to get away from where the shooting is, between different police cars, and I finally found in the front yard where there was a block wall and I laid down on that, and waited for that, and there was a long silence. And then, what was actually an even scarier police officer encounter, two police officers came up at me with guns drawn, I yelled back, I`m a reporter, they yelled, what are you doing here? I said, I got caught up in it, I wasn`t trying to do anything, I was just here. And they let me go. And I went to one house down, and there was a couple people on a porch and they let me into their backyard and I waited it out there. After about a half hour there, a police officer came to the house and asked everyone to stay inside. They said that they had found a bomb and they were going to detonate the bomb and they didn`t want anyone to get hurt, so everyone should go inside and they were also looking for more bombs, and you could see police officers looking under cars and whatnot. And this officer, what are you doing with a notebook and a camera? I said, well, I`m a reporter. And he said, well, I could get you out of here. So, he escorted me out of the crime scene and about a block away, there was yellow tape, and the very first reporters were arriving, TV people and whatnot, and then once I got behind the yellow tape, you started seeing heavy artillery, tank-like SWAT units coming in and things like that. MADDOW: David, in terms -- when you -- throughout this entire process, particularly when you first arrived on the scene and as you say, pretty sure what you were hearing was bullets whipping by, how much of a view did you have of not just the police response, but the suspects, in terms of who was shooting at police, who was on the other side -- DANELSKI: I never saw -- in this whole ordeal, I never saw the suspect s or their car. Just shooting going on in the area I was. And I think I was just behind it enough not to see the action. And they -- and I could see the police officer were pointing their guns and directing it towards a house or yards on the north side of the road, and I think that the suspects were taking cover somewhere off the road. But I didn`t see, you know, their vehicle or any other vehicle I could tell, anything. There was a lot of shooting going on, and it was very scary, because you didn`t know if you were -- which side of a car to duck behind. You know where it was coming from. MADDOW: You know you`re in the middle of something, but you`re not sure what the polls of the two things you`re in the middle of. DANELSKI: Yes. And police were running by, but more than anything, it was just the waves -- just waves of law enforcement, guns drawn, agitated people, you know, professional, but everybody`s, you know, scampering about. And it was a very high-stress, difficult situation. And a situation that wasn`t comfortable to be in, by any means. It was very scary because I didn`t know what was going to happen. MADDOW: David Danelski is a reporter for "The Press Enterprise", caught up in today`s shootout between police and suspects in San Bernardino. David, what you went through was, indeed, very stressful with, and you`re going to continue to feel that stress for a long time. Take care of yourself. And I`m sorry you ended up in the middle of it, but thank you for telling us about it. DANELSKI: OK, thanks for talking to me. You have a good day. MADDOW: Thank you. MADDOW: Let`s listen in right now to KNBC`s coverage. They`ve got a reporter at that house in Redlands, California, that we`re looking at here. I`m sorry, can we -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- also interesting, she said, they had pipes that looked like pipe bombs in the black SUV. They had things that looked like fuses, and she compared that to the Tsarnaev brothers during the Boston marathon bombing, where they appeared to have pipe bombs that they threw at officers there. They were not the real deal. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this case, yes, not the real deal. Let`s check back with Robert Kovacik (ph). MADDOW: I was dropping in on our L.A. station, KNBC. In terms of the -- in terms of the fact -- the ways in which this is still a live situation tonight, it seems like what you need to know is that there are two separate locations where there`s continuing police activity and in which police are saying the scene is not clear. And in both of those instances, as far as we can tell, the reason police are saying the scene is not clear does not have anything to do with potentially suspects on the loose or additional gunmen who they are trying to subdue or find or capture, as far as we can tell, and again, I will stand corrected on this if this turns out not to be the case, but what we understand from law enforcement is both of these scenes, this house in Redlands, California, and the site of the initial shooting, the mass shooting this morning in San Bernardino. The reason neither of those sites is being called clear is because of the fear of explosive devices or the possibility of explosive devices at either or both of those scenes, including the possibility, at least, at the San Bernardino site, that there may be controlled detonations, some time soon. At least that`s what they`ve told reporters on the scene, that they should suspect. Joining us now is Jason Leopold. He`s an investigative reporter for Vice News. He`s been reporting from outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino tonight. Jason, we`ve just been trying to get -- come to grips and get specific about in what ways that scene where you are in San Bernardino is still a live scene. What`s going on there tonight and how does it compare to what you`ve seen there over the course of the day? JASON LEOPOLD, VICE NEWS (via telephone): Hi, Rachel. It`s still very much a massive federal law enforcement, local law enforcement, and, you know, we`re seeing Department of Homeland Security, police vehicles here. There is FBI. A SWAT vehicle just left the facility. And we`re getting some unconfirmed reports about the fact that there may be some explosive devices, as we mentioned, improvised explosive devices still there. What`s really interesting, Rachel, is that a number of residents in the area here have gathered on the corner of orange about a block away from the Inland Regional Center. Many of these residents are a bit upset. They say that -- they told us that gun violence in this neighborhood in this community is a regular occurrence. And there are incidents that happen on a daily basis. They`re concerned that doesn`t get obviously much attention. And this is getting attention. There`s a woman out here right now who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Several other people were shot that day. So, there`s a number of people coming out sort of discuss the fact that this is not unusual for this community. You get a sense they`re somewhat immune to this. There is certainly no fear that this happened. And also they`re very used to these types of incidents. MADDOW: Yes, it`s not normal for any community to have 14 dead in a single incident. LEOPOLD: No, not at all, but I was really struck by the comments by some of the residents here who literally live, you know, half a block away from where the shooting occurred. MADDOW: Yes, absolutely. "Vice News" reporter Jason Leopold, it`s great to get that on-site perspective. Thanks, Jason. Chris Hayes was talking about this earlier this hour in a way that I thought was really effective and important, which is to think about, as an American culture, the way we focus on these mass shootings and we marvel at the frequency of these mass shootings while basically studiously ignoring and posing no -- and proposing no policy solutions to the everyday gun violence that in total claims many more lives than these individual incidents like these do, that is an American pathology right now, which we have not even started to come to terms with. But there are different do I understand of violence in our country. We have an incredible number of high fatality mass shootings, like the one that we`ve got today. We also have an incredible number of low fatality, meaning one or two people killed, one or two people shot. Gun incidents, gun violence shootings that happen all over this country every day in a way that barely constitutes news in most communities and in communities where it`s very prevalent almost never does. Just a short time ago, our L.A. station KNBC interviewed a social worker who was in the same building where this mass shooting took place today. She heard gunshots and she was told to take cover and this is what she said happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two gunmen came in and open fired on everybody. They just started shooting everybody and just taking lives of innocent people in that building and nobody knows why. REPORTER: They didn`t say anything? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They didn`t say anything. REPORTER: And he ran for cover under a table? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the young man ran under the food table and stood there until they could get out a side door or something he said and then they ran out. REPORTER: Did you see victims when they were escorting you out. Did you get of a sense of what was going on around you? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we were escorted around the building, I did see clothing to some of the people, the gurneys with some of the paramedics and firefighters. Just impeachment and a panic, frantic all over the place, screaming and yelling, like a bloody warpath. It was just crazy. REPORTER: Have you thought at all about how you try to get past this? I mean, you`re a social worker, you deal with a lot of probably things that most people don`t have to deal with. I know it`s still brand in new, but just wondering what your thought process is. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My thought process is I`m going to go to the gym and just let the gym workout take me wherever it takes me. And I`m a prayful person, and I just pray for all those families that lost their loved ones and never knew that was going to happen today. REPORTER: Do you know anyone today who did lose a loved one? Did you meet anyone? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I did not. No, I did not. REPORTER: And you believe also of those people were in that conference room from what you understand? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. Yes. REPORTER: We thank you so much. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. REPORTER: Who`s waiting inside for you? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My twins are. My kids are, yes, they are. A boy and a girl. REPORTER: Were they texting information about what they knew of this mass shooting. You said you didn`t have access to a television or radio. You logged on to your phone. Were they communicating to you like mom, this is what`s happening. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, mom, this is what`s happening. They had a black SUV. The news saying there was three men. They got away, did you eat all day, are you safe? My phone died so I couldn`t talk to them thereafter. REPORTER: Going back to work? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are closed until Monday from what I understand. REPORTER: How do you explain this to your kids? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never take anything for granted. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was a woman named Linda Revis (ph) in the building during the shooting today. It`s hard to know whether to call somebody like that an eyewitness or a survivor when you have 14 killed and 17 people wounded in such a huge, huge massacre today in San Bernardino. I want to go back live now to near the site of the shooting to NBC News correspondent Blake McCoy. We spoke with Blake a few moments ago because he had been warned that police had warned that there might be a controlled detonation. Blake, I take it that has not happened yet. MCCOY: We had not heard it at least, Rachel. I can`t say it didn`t happen. If it was small, we didn`t hear it. But we have certainly not heard anything yet. I can tell you, the scene out here right now that law enforcement is working with is they have three very active scenes. You have where this initial shooting happened around 11:00 a.m. local time, 14 people killed, 17 injured at this Inland Regional Center. Then two miles away from here, you have the shootout with the suspects in the SUV. They were killed in the SUV. A police officer injured. He will be OK. And then you have that third site right now that law enforcement is at in Redlands, California, which is only about six miles from here. The home that these suspects were traced to, that led to that initial chase. So, three very active scenes at this point, possibly suspicious devices from all of them. So, they`re moving very slowly at this hour. Rachel, we should tell you that the amount of law enforcement out here in San Bernardino is absolutely massive. They came from the entire region from Los Angeles, which is an hour away. The ATF, the FBI, it`s truly incredible the response because of this shooting. MADDOW: And, Blake, just to be clear, you`re right to point out there are, in fact, three sites being treated as live sites by police tonight, all of them, as far as we can tell, being treated as live because of the possibility of explosive devices. From your understanding, Blake, do we have direct confirmation from law enforcement sources on the record that it`s not just that they fear explosive devices, but that they have they confirmed there are bombs that they think are working explosives? Is it caution at this point? Or is it confirmed? MCCOY: It is caution, but it sounds like informed caution. They say the devices looked like explosives. So, it`s not just a suspicious package that we hear about all the time. They said the device actually did look like explosives in at least within of these locations. MADDOW: NBC News correspondent Blake McCoy talking to us tonight from San Bernardino Blake, thank you. And again, that site where Blake is right now, which is near the site of the shooting, the Inland Regional Center this morning, that is where police say they are about to carry out a controlled detonation of something. Obviously, they are treating it as if it`s a bomb. I think Blake is being adequately and sort of perfectly specific there in repeating what police have said, which is not that it is a bomb, but that it looked like a bomb. They`re calling it a device. So we`ll see when that detonation happens if it hasn`t happened already. We don`t know that it`s happened. They said we should expect it at the Inland Regional Center. We` also been told by police that the reason the site of the SUV where the shootout with police happened and where two suspects are deceased, the reason that`s being treated still as a live and uncleared scene is also again because of devices they described as suspicious, which were around the vehicle. With the implication being that those were also explosive devices. And then, again, that third site, the house in Redlands, which we don`t know exactly how police ended up at that house in Redlands, what led them there, what the lead was or the tip was that they were following there. But there was a connection between that house in Redlands, the two suspects that ended up in that SUV, and the ultimate shootout that led to that two suspects being dead in that SUV. Again, they`re being described as a man and a woman, armed with handguns and long guns. Those two suspects deceased. We don`t know if there`s another suspect that police believe are at large. They do say they have one other person in custody, but they will not say whether or not they think that person was involved in today`s shooting. Our continuing live coverage of the situation in San Bernardino continues now on MSNBC. Stay with us throughout the night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END