Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   CNN Newsroom With Brianna Keilar  CNN  April 2, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

11:00 am
capitol police. two officers were rammed with a vehicle. . they are injured. a suspect is in custody. all three have been taken to the hospital we're told according to u.s. capitol police. but again, this is an unfolding story. security beefing up. our reporters and producers are on the scene. brooke baldwin takes up our coverage right now. >> i'll take it erica thank you so much. excellent job and if you are joining us as li at cnn thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin let me bring everyone up to speed as to what's happening on capitol hill. here is what we no he not a lot of information. a washington, d.c., fire spokesperson says they are responding to how they described as the security incident on constitution avenue where there are reports that someone rammed his or her vehicle there into two u.s. capitol police officers. and then on top of that we learned the driver, who ever this person was, got out of the vehicle with a knife.
11:01 am
we have that video now in which appears to show exactly that. i can tell you, a suspect is in custody. but at least two d.c. officers are injured. so we've got a lot of people helping us walk us through the breaking news, including lauren fox, our capitol hill reporter. she is inside the building. so, lauren, let's just start from scratch. a little while ago, you heard some sort of lockdown warning over the capitol loud speaker. what was happening? >> well, i had gone into the dirksen office building and trying to get back to my office in the capitol when we initially heard over the loud speaker the announcement that the capitol complex was shut down. you could move between the buildings but could not leave or enter the building at that time. and so i walked over to the russell office building, looked out the window and saw something similar to the police scene that viewers see right now on their screens. what we have learned is that an
11:02 am
individual rammed into two u.s. capitol plovrsz w. the officers injured at that map happen then the individual got out brandishing a knife. this source basing that on information they are receiving from the u.s. capitol police. i think it's just important to underscore for our viewers at home, that a couple of weeks ago, this area, the corner of constitution and delaware would have had security -- security perimeter around it meaning no cars would have been able to move up and down the main throe fair. it's a main through fair of washington, d.c. this was a huge disruption after the january 6th when the barriers went up. the last couple weeks the barrier has dom down. the exterj perimeter has been relaxed. but this has always been a key checkpoint. you have to show congressional id. vehicles have to be tagged a
11:03 am
certain way to make sure they are safe to enter in the capitol area where the dome is. obviously that's close to where the house and senate chambers are. it's a main entrance for the building. it's an area where, you see lawmakers on a friday afternoon or thursday afternoon when i they are voting their drivers will drive vehicles in. members enter and exit the building at that place. i think that's important to set the scene for the viewers at home. now lawmakers are on recess right now. so they aren't around capitol hill in the numbers we normally would see in a normal week. but obviously a significant security breach here on capitol hill. and just a few months after that january 6th insurrection, obvious areally anxiety still very high up here at the capitol, as everyone was as just starting to come into some kind of grasp of what the current situation might be able to be, weeks and months after that insurrection. >> it's a bit of ptsd for then working around the building. i was texts with members.
11:04 am
one congresswoman was reminding everyone is back home in home districts, just limited staffers and some members are there. but, you know, everyone just, like, just, felt sick to stomachs instantly seeing this news about the lockdown. lauren, stay with me. congressman. rowe khanna. tell me where you are and how you heard about this. you are in your car. >> i stepped out of my cannon office and i was going to get chinese food. when i came back i had frantic calls from someone on my staff saying get away, get away, there is an incident. and honestly it did bring back memories of january 6th. >> of course. >> i'm very grateful to the capitol police for what they've done. i've talked to one of the officers. and they said go into your car and everything is shut down. i've just been in my car. you know, there are members -- i'm headed back to my district
11:05 am
early next week. but there are a few people still here. and it's really sad, because i had thought once the barriers were removed that we were moving back to some sense of normalcy. but this just shows the level of risk that there still is and really sad this is happening at the capitol. >> just -- if you can elaborate more on that. because we know recently a lot of the barriers went down. and, you know, this capitol, your office, has apparently a massive target on its back. what -- what does that feel like as a member of congress? >> well, you know, for a few weeks, coming to congress literally was like going into a war zone. you had barbed wire fence all over. troops all over. i used to tell folks if i have such a difficult time as a member of congress getting in what hope is there for the public to get?
11:06 am
and i really felt and i hoped that was temporary and that we could start getting back to normalcy. what often has happened is when there is a recess, because members are not here in the same numbers, i think there is less security, less folks, different members go back to different districts at different times. and unfortunately, you know, there was a breach. and there is a sense that now going -- simply going to work is something that has become dangerous. and i can't imagine saying that, that going to the united states capitol to represent your constituents is actually a dangerous thing in the united states of america. it's just deeply saddening. >> yeah, it is. congressman, i know you're not going anywhere. you are stuck in your car until the situation changes. we'll come back to you in just a bit. i appreciate you jumping on tv with me. commissioner charles ramsey, former d.c. metropolitan police chief, you are the perfect person to have in that seat as
11:07 am
this has all been unfolding. you know, we're looking at the picture. this is the car, the blue car that rammed into the barricade and apparently rammed into these officers, these capitol officers. explain to us what's rapping right now. obviously it's cordoned off, crime scene tape. what's happening. >> you have a lot going on simultaneously right now. because you've got metropolitan police responded to assist the capitol police. i spoke with the chief of the -- ever the metropolitan police. i know that they're there. you've got fbi responded as well. so right now they are coordinating their efforts in terms of who is doing what. they're also trying to find out more information about the driver. since this happened, i've been trying to get a glimpse of the license tag on that car. but with the trunk up i can't see it. >> hard to tell. >> as you know, it's not unusual for, you know, foreign tags for people from all over the country to be in washington, d.c. so there is no telling. but right now they are trying to
11:08 am
find out who is that person? what's their background? they've searched the vehicle. don't know if they got any weapons owner. remember, a couple weeks ago they found a guy outside the vice-president's residence with firearms and so forth. you know, the threat level in washington since january 6th is pretty high right now. >> we know that the suspect is in custody. what -- what are they asking him or her? >> well, they're trying to find out what the intent was, why were they there? what were they trying to do? it's unlikely this was an accident, someone just lost control of the car and slammed into the barrier. that has happened before at the capitol. but they're trying to find out in the person is willing to talk, exactly who they are, what their intent was. and that person may not be talking to them either. so they're doing everything they possibly can. if they have a name i'm sure they're going through social media, trying to find out where that person lives, if it's out of state as far as the fbi goes
11:09 am
they've notified the field office to get a warrant and go into that apartment or house or what have you. so all those things are happening right now. but this is in the very early stages. and so right now we don't know what took place. more information will certainly be coming out as time goes on. but, you know, i remember in 1998 when i was the chief there, we had the two officers killed on capitol grounds, you know, and i certainly responded there. but we had a lot of people there. we coordinated very quickly. in fact the metropolitan police was actually in charge of the investigation. unless there is a next us to terrorism, the fbi will play more of a support role than the primary role. but all that stuff will be determined right there at the scene. you'll figure out who is responsible for doing what. >> as i'm sitting here listening to you i'm looking at this video on loop. i don't know if it's national guard but members of law enforcement with shields walking through the hallowed halls of
11:10 am
capitol hill. and this is chilling. this is triggering for a lot of people who -- who come to work here, who serve the people. this is the people's house. this is the people's government. and here we are again. josh campbell, former fbi, what do you make of the images number one? and number two, what is the role of the fbi today? >> well, first, my heart goes out to both obviously the officers there, the victims that were apparently struck by this vehicle. but also i have a lot of friends on capitol hill that i know that continue to suffer from what took place on january 6th. as we were just talking about. your own place of business where you go to work every single day is a giant target and remains so. so i know they are on edge watching this. i say from an analytic the standpoint every time we see the emergent situation the first thing i try to do is look at posture of laughter in and around the incident. some of the images we've been seeing from moments ago, you
11:11 am
doeb see law enforcement officers rushing in. you don't see an influx of people. that tells us the emergent phase of in is likely over. they haven't given the all clear as far as threats. but that gives some comfort knowing you don't see a continued infusion of emergency first responders. the next thing, we have to assess what it is we're dealing with here. if you have ano a vehicle traveling towards a building at a high rate of speed. that is a deadly weapon. you couple that with with what we hear from the authorities that the suspect stepped out with a knife, another deadly weapon. so we are now past the phase of maybe this being an accident, because what we have seen thus far does not fit the mold of an accident. so this is obviously something that law enforcement officers will be looking at initially as a potential criminal act. that's why we have seen the infusion of resources. we know federal, state, local law enforcement have been arriving there on the scene. i got a statement from the fbi a short time ago saying they are sending in resources. as of this point, since it's on their capitol grounds, u.s. capitol police would be running
11:12 am
point. but you're going to see a host of resources trying to help identify who this person was to try to get the motive as well. and in these incidents there is not- sometimes there is a second suspect. there is a lot of time limits but they're not ruling anything out until they feel comfortable enough in their investigation that this hoe lone actor did not assistance. but that will be part of the robust investigation. this is taking time. . they're going to hold the crime scene foor a period of time while they process. they are putting up police tape around the veeb. a lengthy investigation ahead of them as they try to get to the bottom of what transpired. the last thing i'll say is we know the building has been a target of attack. it happened in january where obviously the insurrection there which caused the major spotlight to come on the u.s. capitol police, and other authorities about sharing intelligence and information. we know one thing happening behind the scenes right now are the law enforcement agencies probably looking through their own holdings trying to determine
11:13 am
was there any potential threat, maybe something they missed. that is textbook it happens in every case. uvrmt sometimes you see that happen pu but that would be happening behind the scenes right now. and we know from january 5th and 6th, the pipe bomber that we've been reporting on still has not been caught. if people think that washington, d.c., just because it's the seat of power, you have security cameras everywhere that's not a pan sea. there is going into this to try to identify this person. but thankfully there will be a host of resources from different agencies trying to bring everything they can to bear to try to get to the bottom of it. >> joshing campbell standing by. dana bash, i was right those were members of national guard. and anyone knowing the hallowed halls of congress and the capitol even some of the younger members is you. to see the pictures. never in a million years did we imagine that january 6th would have happened, right, to see national guard and law enforcement having to respond in
11:14 am
the way that they did and to see it now in a slightly smaller scale, three months later. >> um-hum. >> what are your thoughts? >> yeah, i mean you're talking about it being triggering. there is no question about it. and just for your average american to see that alert on your phone, turn on cnn and see that there is an incident at the capitol, it's triggering, never mind for people in the building. the good news -- in all of the buildings on the campus. the good news -- there are a couple of slivers of hope and silver linings. number one, unlike january 6th, which the differences are very vast. but one big one congress isn't in session. it's good friday. the house and senate are on two-week recess. and so whatever happened, whatever the motivation, you know, they were trying to stop work at the u.s. capitol then
11:15 am
they are misguided because there isn't anything going on on the house or senate floor right now. the second thing is, just looking at the pictures you see there on the screen, as lauren and our other reporters on the scene have been describing, that -- that barrier that kind comes up from the ground, that is standard. that was there before what happened on january 6th. and despite the fact that it looks like there have been capitol officers injured, the barrier for the car appears to have worked. that is another silver lining. that is a very different story, of course from the notion of this individual apparently having at least a knife, and maybe more than that. so, you know, those are the two things that i'm looking at right there. but it also bears repeating that there has been a very active -- you talked about this with
11:16 am
congr congressman khan an there had been a active debate about keeping the fences up making the capitol feel like the green zone in baghdad when i was there and you were there as well. and they took it down. had they not, that car would not have been anywhere near there. but that's just the reality. on the flipside again, that barrier did work. but, look, it's just another reminder that these capitol police officers and members of all law enforcement across washington and across the country, they are, you know -- they put themselves at risk. and they are vulnerable, no matter how much protection, what you see from national guard troops who remain, as we saw in the remarkable pictures of them walking through the hallways. it looked like of the dirksen office building, one of the three office builds on the senate side of the capitol where this is occurring. >> our own friend and colleague,
11:17 am
arian devo shot the video. dana thank you so much. i'll loop back with you in a moment as well. let's go to our chief justice correspondent evan perez hopefully with a little bit more information on the two injured officers. do you know anything, evan. >> what we're told, brooke, is that this man, this person in this vehicle rammed that barrier that you see right there and exited and apparently brandished a knife. now the question -- we know at least two of the officers were injured. where the injuries are we are still trying to verify. but they were serious enough that all three were taken to the hospital. it appears that the officers responded with -- by shooting at the suspect, again, there appear to be three people now injured, including the suspect who all three of them were taken to the hospital. to -- you know, it's not clear
11:18 am
exactly what -- what all ensued at that point, whether he said anything, this person said anything. but it's clear that right now if you look at the scene the -- the officers there are not concerned about a bomb or anything like that. that was obviously one of the first things that comes to mind. was, is there something in the vehicle that's of danger. i'm told law enforcement has gone through it. they are satisfied that there is no additional threat from the vehicle itself. and so right now, now they're trying to figure out who this person is, what brought them here. this is something that's been on everyone's mind, brooke, after what happened on january 6th. >> of course. >> after what happened on january 6th, law enforcement frankly has been concerned that people would be emboldened to try something else. obviously they've hardened some of the barriers. there is still some of the fencing there. there is still national guard. i run through that area, you
11:19 am
know, a lot. and you see national guardsman and women standing next to the capitol police and metropolitan police assisting in securing the perimeter there. that scene right there is one of the entry points. no matter what you do to protect the building and campus, there always has to be an entryway, some place for people to enter. and that will always be a weakness for the building and for that area. and that's what this person appeared to be taking advantage of. >> i've got a follow-up question. . because this is unclear to me. dana made this clear in the silver lining. number two was the barrier or barricade comes up from the ground. and it seems to have worked. >> right. >> did the car -- here is the car right adjacent to the barrier. but how were the capitol officers -- because we're reporting that they were hit, right, that the vehicle slammed into the officers. i'm presuming then they were adjacent to the barrier and were
11:20 am
perhaps physically getting in the way of the car? do you know anything more about what was happening? >> right. and that's not entirely clear, because. >> okay. >> -- at the beginning here there was always conflicting information. when you drive up on constitution avenue there, even -- if you approach on foot like i do, sometimes just running through there, you first encounter two officers who are standing before you get to the barrier. so this person would have had to drive -- and i suspect, again, these officers would have been in the way in order to get to the barrier, you have to go past a couple of officers and a couple of national guards soldiers who are standing there waiting to process people. there is a way for you to go in by foot. and also the vehicle can go through. and so you cannot get through before showing that you belong there. people have license plates. they have -- they have tags that show -- that you belong there.
11:21 am
for you to be able to even get to that place you have to be left through. again, it's not exactly clear where the officers were injured. but the person that emerged from the vehicle and was brandishing a knife, these officers were injured, both officers were injured. and that's where this -- the shooting -- ensued. >> you are pointing out that these officers started shooting. and evan hang with me. lauren fox, back to you on the hill. we know the suspect was shot at. and you have an update on the suspect him or herself. what have you learned. >> we are learning colleagues at cnn and myself hearing from sources that the suspect has died. that of course adds a layer here we did not know before. i want to lay out the scene. i know we talked about it. but i think it's important as we get more information to lay it out for viewers at home. what we know at this point is this vehicle rammed into a barrier right there on the corner of constitution and delaware as they were headed to
11:22 am
the capitol dome. that's what you see behind that barrier in a normal day. but i want to lay out here that after that happened in individual, sources tell us, got out brandishing a knife. officers shot this individual. and now we do know that that individual has died. brianna. >> it's brooke. it's brooke. i know you have a lot going on. >> sorry. >> you're good. thank you for pointing that out. the confirmation the suspect is dead according to sources into cnn. chief ramsey pack back to you. who how do with he know definitively the person was acting alone. >> well, you know, he is dead, that ends the whole speculation about being able to interview him. >> can't answer that. >> yeah, they'll start backgrounding and find out more about him. if he didn't have id on him. they obviously probably already fingerprinted him, running his prints.
11:23 am
find out who he is and then they'll go backwards to find out -- doesive a social media page at all? where did he live? can they execute a search warrant? i mean, that's the process now that investigators will be involved in. i'm sure the fbi will play a critical role, because no doubt that will go probably beyond the district of columbia during the course of the investigation. i'd be surprised if it didn't. so that's what they are doing now is trying to find out exactly what the motive was, what this person was trying to do. you know, and hopefully -- i just have to say, those two ovrtsz -- i feel for the officers on the capitol police. they just buried one of their own not long ago. >> right. >> and now you have two officerseninged. >> three, three are in the hospital. >> well, yeah. i mean, you know, that's -- that's not good. one -- i'm seesing was med i vacced. and that's never a good sign if they have to med i vac you out
11:24 am
of a location. >> i was listening to the producer and you hear i eyou saying med i vac not a good sign. the tweet for everyone watching from u.s. capitol police the press staging area will be the upper senate park near the fountain planning upon a 2:45 p.m. bereave briefing. we'll take that live 20 minutes from now to learn as much as we possibly can in the early, you know, in these early moments of a situation like this. again, if you are just joining us, you are looking at pictures of this blue car. listen, we don't know much. but what we do know is that someone rammed this cars into this barricade there at delaware and constitution, right there near the capitol. police tape surrounding the area now. rammed the car, rammed into it sounds like three capitol police officers, who wound up shooting the suspect. the suspect jumps out of the car with a knife. and as we just confirmed, the
11:25 am
suspect is now dead, three officers according to evan perez are in the hospital. and of course this is extraordinarily triggering for anyone -- any american, this is the people's government. and, again, you know has been under attack in just three months since that capitol insurrection. jonathan wacknow, formers u.s. secret service. you're watching this unfold and hearing bits and pieces come out as we cover this live. what are you thinking? well, listen, you know, i've been in these situations at the white house when we had vehicles ram into the barriers, almost exact same type of barrier structure that dana had described earlier is at the white house and other locations around washington, d.c. i think what we are seeing is the capitol police at its finest right now. they were- you know they had a highlightingened sense of awareness since january 6th. they saw the threat, had officers injured. and they responded immediately. the vehicle was the primary
11:26 am
threat. once it hit that barricade, the suspect exited. and you know, presented the officers with a weapon. and the threat was then neutralized. they did a good job. the good guys won on this one today. the systems work. whether it was the -- the people, the officers that responded to the incident, the physical security barriers that have been put into place proved their value today. they absolutely worked. and the overall system, the response by all municipal aid entities responding to this location was very well coordinated. i think we are taking a lot of lessons from january 6th. and we have rectified the derveo. deficienty. an incident commander was put in place to coordinate the responding entities coming to. that's why you didn't see today what we saw on january 6 which
11:27 am
was a lot of confusion. today seemed there was an organized, structured response to the scene. again, in the immediate moments you have to render that vehicle safe. make sure that there were no explosives. once that's done, the level of anxiety starts going down. now you start looking at, was this a diversionary tactic? are there other multiple attackers coming into the capitol? they have to go through the investigative process to see ifs in a lone acroor part of a coordinated attack? you know, that's probably still ongoing. so there is going to be an increased security presence around the u.s. capitol and other key locations. i am, you know -- with a high degree of confidence i'm sure that the white house and the naval observatory and other key locations around washington, d.c. elevated the security posture in the moments immediately following this incident. again, this is a whole of law enforcement approach to addressing this issue. and i think it was done really well today and the investigation will continue on to answer the
11:28 am
question, why did this happen? and what was the intent of this individual. >> jonathan thank you as always for your expertise. before i go to arion. diana, just so i'm precise and numbers because i heard evan report three officers in the hospital. you're telling me it's two, correct? two injured officers. so it's two injured officers. arian de vogue. you normally cover the supreme court for us. it's my understanding you're on the beeper line, the phone. you are the one who took the photos of the line of national guard troops. is this dirksen? where are you? or where were you. >> you know i'm usually across the street working at supreme court. of course everything is closed down. i happened to come to the dirksen building, an office building adjacent to the capitol. i was just sitting because i'm getting an id here. auchlds on the overhead i heard
11:29 am
this warning that we had to stay in place. and what was really extraordinary is that the moment a door opened and i'd say about 30 to 40 men and women dressed in camouflage. walking in lines but very calmly walked down the sidewalk, up the side down the hallway and up the stairs. . and i looked and i happened to be sitting sort of a command center office. and there was a lot of flurry. officers coming in and out. and then i looked up again and probably about five to seven minutes had passed. and then i saw those officers now coming back all tolgt in the camouflage, uniformed behind those shields. what they were doing is coming out through the dirksen building, again adjacent to the capitol, and going out, no panic. but it was clear that they'd been here, right, ever since that insurrection.
11:30 am
and they were moving very calmly, as you saw, through the hallways to go outside. >> and as i'm -- i'm mindful of the national guard, chief ramsey, back to you of course. the capitol insurrection, january 6th, a couple months ago, and there was a lot of confusion and frustration over, you know, calls to the national guard, why aren't they getting to the capitol sooner? and here you go. talk about major changes three months later. bang! they're inside. >> yeah, and i believe they still had some actually on the grounds. i don't think they had withdrawn all of the national guard. i don't know. but if they had they certainly have a quick reaction force in place now. because not much time passed before you started seeing a significant presence of national guard. which is a good thing. and i heard jonathan earlier. he is absolutely right. i mean, this is something that is encouraging because at least
11:31 am
things worked this time. i mean the barriers worked. the officers were able to neutralize the threat. guard and other resources were able to get to the capitol quickly. i mean this is all important stuff. and granted, you know, in light of january 6th, the threat level has been elevated. but this is the way it should be. >> this is the way it should be. let me read for everyone. i've got a wire from barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent just on d.c. national guard. this is from a spokesperson, the d.c. national guard deployed an immediate response force composed of national guard soldiers and airmen to the capitol complex this afternoon to support the u.s. capitol police due to operation alsecurity we cannot discuss further details regarding the qrf. no national guard members were injured in the incident at the capitol. again, a reminder we're going to be getting a briefing from u.s. capitol police in about 15 minutes from now. two of their officers were injured as it sounds like they tried to stop the suspect from
11:32 am
getting anywhere near the capitol. josh campbell i'm going to pop you back on tv. talk to me about possible motives and how law enforcement go about determining with a suspect who is now dead, how they figure out why he or she he want wanted to do this. >> it's obviously the first challenge when you have a suspect who can no longer be interviewed. we'll have -- that vehicle to to see if they can pull identification, license plate from the vin number, whether the suspect had identifying information in the car or on his or her person. that will be the first step to try to make that identification. i will say that, you know, there is a lot we don't yet know in the early hour. a couple of things that we can read into that tell us that there is no longer an emergent situation, the first is the fact that authorities are about to hold a press conference here in a short period of time. they wouldn't do that if they were still trying to focus on some kind of threat. we also know based on foot annual we've been seeing you don't see an emergent posture by
11:33 am
authority. that's a good thing. we appear to be beyond the emergent phase. but when we get to the why, why did this happen, at first whenever this first happened we were asking ourselves whether it was intentional, whether perhaps an accident. the new piece of information that we got that the suspect not only rammed the vehicle but then stepped out wielding a knife, tells us the norts are going to be treating this as a criminal act, someone who was involved in an accident doesn't step out with a deadly weapon. one thing i look at as well we do this unfortunately after so many of these violent incidents we cover is try to look at what's going on at the scene. if this person's goal was to cause mass loss of life, this was not the way to go about doing it. to go towards the building, that sure is a target, symbolic. but also heavily secured. you have enemies of the national guard, obviously members of capitol there securing it, a lot of the barrier systems in place but also congress is in recess right now. you do vermont some members and their staff there certainly. but again to try to get in the
11:34 am
mindset of what was the goal intentional -- >> josh to that point with let me jump in. >> yeah. >> >> because the point is -- we can't ever crawl into the mind of this, you know, individual who did this. but the congress isn't in session. >> right. no exactly. and you know, around the capitol for those who know washington, d.c., you have -- obviously capitol police that are there in and around the building when when there are votes, which means when you have members of congress leaching speculative house and senate office buildings and going to the main chambers you'll see a beefing up of security for the reason you have a lot of the i.v. ps moving in and around the building. they are in recess. even if this person wanted to cause you know some mass incident here they oscarly didn't do their homework and we don't know what went into the mindset. but what i'm trying to read into what could be the possible focus of the building? that leaves me and again with he don't know but obviously the building itself as a symbolic
11:35 am
target, which all that represents. we don't know what range of motivation this is across any type of political strum, ideology, too early for that. but it teals me there is a lot here that investigators have to work with. because there is nothing apparent from the initial indication of the very little information we have thus far leading us to a clear reason why in happened today. >> all right, josh, thank you. stand by. jessica dean covers capitol hill for us here. at cnn. jessica, i know you are back there in the bureau. where were you when the -- the announcement came over the loud speaker, lock down, and what can you add to the conversation. >> brooke, let me give you an idea of what this is. we are in a tiny little booth here deep on the senate side of the u.s. capitol. >> you're on the hill. >> yes, i'm here. and i was down at my desk on the other side. and we heard the alert go out telling us to stay away from windows, doors, which of course everything goes through your mind. but what was especially weird, i
11:36 am
have to tell you, this is a senate friday, which typically is quiet even when they're in session, as josh noted. they are in recess. there are very few people here. so it was eriely quiet when that went out. i poked my head out and went looked down the stairs. you could hear the pin drop except for the announcement going out. from that point we started piecing to what happened. i went downstairs to the ground level of the senate building and was looking over the video that you see right now. so i could see that from inside. we're still on lockdown, not allowed tovg outside. you can see a large law enforcement presence there. of course, other capitol police officers were standing right next to me. and you have to acknowledge the fact that just a few months ago what happened here, that is still very heavy in the air here for so many people. >> of course. >> and it certainly hung heavy in the air today as people tried to figure out what was going on.
11:37 am
i was asking them if they knew anything at the time. they were still trying to piece it together. what we do know right now, sources telling me and my colleagues, that the suspect in this case is dead. we know that any rammed that car -- are oh attempted to ram that cold war into the barktd there, injuring two capitol police officers, here, again a force that has seen so much and lost -- and experienced so much loss recently to have this happen now today is simply, i think unbelievable for so many people. but here we are. and brooke, you know, people worried about this when the fencing came down. i walk in sometimes through that entrance. and before the fencing came down it was all there, barricaded national guard members there. u.s. police there and then you go in through a security checkpoint beyond that to get into the building. as so many noted, this just recently came down. and you're now able to drive up and walk in there so just, i
11:38 am
think for a lot of people it's unbelievable to see this unfolding. but, again, the news to take away right now and see we know that the suspect -- we have confirmed with sources the suspect is dead and that these two u.s. capitol police officers have been injured. we're waiting to hear on the stauss of them. and brooke i know you noted this but we are expecting to hear from capitol police soon. i'm not sure what time it is. but i think around 2:45. >> exactly. exactly. but just, you know, thinking of these two capitol officers who were there doing their jobs. >> um-hum. >> only recently buried one of their own. and here they are a couple of months later having to respond to this. jessica, thank you. stand by. let's go to as you mentioned the briefing, the capitol hill police will be brechg records reporters. we'll take it live. brian todd is on the scene near where the briefing will take place. brian, tell me what you've been able to see from your vantage and what you know. >> reporter: well, brooke, the
11:39 am
media has been pushed 100 yards or so away from the incident taking place. you can see it over my left shoulder. our photo journalist will zoom in. you see the police and security vehicles there. oscarly the security posture here is very heavy at this moment. tensions are very, very high. this unfolded a little over an hour ago as we've been saying. sources telling us the suspect in this case is dead. one of the police officers was stabbed tp two police officers who were injured here, you know are in the hospital. their condition is not clear at this point. but one police officer sfabd in this incident. and the suspect is dead after being shot by police officers. we have the account of course from multiple sources that the -- the car itself rammed into a barricade, that barricade would have been there on constitution avenue over my left shoulder there. the barricades remain here all the time even after the fencing at the capitol was taken down recently. the security posture up until
11:40 am
this incident had been reduced slightly. the fencing taken down, the raiseser wire fencing tank down. thousands of national guard troops left the city. but thousands of national guard troops remain. and we are told they are helping to secure the area as well. that's what we have for you at the scene, brooke, still very, very tense and security very railroad heavy. we hope to hear from officers shortly on more details of what uvrlded. >> should be a couple minutes away from the press briefing. brian todd thank you so much. we'll come back to you. brian mentioned the presence of the national guard, let's go to the pentagon and our correspondent there barbara starr more how they are helping protect the capitol grounds. barbara. >> the national guard troops moving very quickly through the capitol hallways moments ago, a and then a group of several dozen national guard troops walking down to one of the checkpoints. and these troops moving through the capitol hill complex we are told are now part of a so-called, immediate reaction
11:41 am
force that has been deployed. s in the backup force of the national guard to try and help out, to provide more security when it's needed. you saw them with shields and other equipment. this is part of how they are outfitted to help when they're needed for in kind of activity. there is about 2,300 total national guard devoted to the capitol hill mission to protect the complex. this is just a small part of a separate 300 immediate reaction force group. and why could they be there today? how could they react so fast? well the difference between today and january 6th is they are already on site. they were approved to be there. the capitol police didn't mind having them there. obviously. the city had national guard out in washington, d.c. back on january 6th, the capitol hill police had not approved to
11:42 am
have that national guard on site when the insurrection unfolded. and they couldn't all dee -- they didn't have enough manpower. today very different. necked get several dozen quick reaction forepersons right throughout and help secure the checkpoints brooke. >> barbara, thank you. we are looking at some officers. looks like they are approaching what i imagine will be the podium for this press briefing happening. here we go. let's see if they step behind the microphones. let's see if we get answers. way too early on motive. but hopefully we can get the update on the officers' condition. two officers we're told in the hospital. the suspect is dead. let's listen. >> capitol hill police dlds. you're hear from chief yoganan pittman with the capitol hill police and chief konte with m p. d. >> good afternoon everyone. i'm acting chief for the united states capitol police.
11:43 am
it's with a heavy heart that i come here this afternoon to shed some light on the incident that occurred at the united states capitol. at kplks 1:02 hours this afternoon, a suspect entered what we refer to as the north barricade of the capitol. the suspect rammed his car into two of our officers and then hit the north barricade barrier. at such time the suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand. our officers then engaged that suspect. he did not respond to verbal commands. the suspect did start lunging toward u.s. capitol police officers, at which time u.s.
11:44 am
capitol police officers fired s upon the suspect. at this time the suspect has been pronounced deceased. two u.s. capitol police officers were transported to two different hospitals. and it is with a very, very heavy heart that i announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries. we are not able to release any information, names, age, date of birth or anything of that nature at this time because we still have to notify the next of kin. i just ask that the public continue to keep u.s. capitol police and their families in your prayers. in has been an extremely difficult time for u.s. capitol police after the events of january 6th and now the events that have occurred here today.
11:45 am
so i ask that you keep our u.s. capitol police family in your thoughts and prayers. at this time i'm going to turn it over to the metropolitan police chief, mr. robert conte for the metropolitan police department's portion of this investigation. thank you. >> good afternoon, i'm robert conte, acting chief of the metropolitan police department. our members responded to the u.s. capitol today just after 1:00 p.m. to investigate an officer-involved shooting. at this time the metropolitan police department's homicide division as well as our internal affairs division will now take over the investigation with respect to the shooting death that occurred as well as the offers's death. there is not a lot of information we can release to the public at this time. but we certainly -- i will be
11:46 am
working closely with our partners at the park police, the u.s. capitol police. at this time i just want to extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the entire metropolitan police department to all of the officers at the united states capitol police for their service. and unfortunately for the loss of life that have occurred here today at the united states capitol police. >> chief is there an ongoing threat here on capitol hill and the neighborhood? what can you tell residents living here as well and folks working in the area. >> at this time it does not appear to be an ongoing threat. obviously we are in the early stages of our investigation. we need to obviously understand the motivation behind this senseless act. so the metropolitan police department will certainly be doing that. >> you said the suspect -- any reason to note that he was known to capitol police or m p. d. beforehand. any indication he had been around the capitol before hand spotted or something like that. >> it does not appear he is
11:47 am
known to the capitol police or metropolitan police department at this time. >> sir. >> is this a terrorism incident. >> it does not appear to be terrorism related. but obviously we'll continue to investigate to see if there is some type of next us along those lines. >> change at all what's the mission look like the next couple of days. >> i'll refer that to the united states capitol police. >> chief, did the suspect say anything or yell anything at the time? >> i would say that at this time the investigation is still in its preliminary stages. so we don't have that information. and the capitol police, as far as its security posture remains in a steady state at this time. we are very thankful for our national guard partnership. we do have national guard on campus. but the security posture at this time remains the same. >> you said that it -- you said that obviously -- ewe you're still looking at motive i understand that. any reason to believe there was any specific target -- specific member of congress the suspect
11:48 am
may have been trying to go after? any indication who that may have been. >> we do not have the suspect on file with the u.s. capitol police. so there is no indication at this time that there is any next us to any member of congress. >> yes, ma'am. >> was there alcohol involved did you find any of that in the car. >> we can't confirm that. but the investigation is ongoing. >> any records in the car. >> the suspect did exit the vehicle with a knife in hand. and at that time he started to lun j did -- >> any weapons. >> no that part of the investigation is still ongoing. the scene is still being processed by metropolitan police department. so we will have additional information at a later time. >> ever come in contact -- you mentioned the lunge but did the suspect come in contact and wrestle with the police there. >> the investigation is ongoing.
11:49 am
from what we can see from video at this time i do not see the suspect wrestling with a u.s. capitol police officer. but when he exited the vehicle the knife was clearly in miss hand and he did start to run toward the officers. so at this times in all the questions that i am going to take. i'll turn it back over to the metropolitan police department's chief. again, i ask you to please keep the united states capitol police family in your thoughts and prayers at this time. it has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for us. but we will get through this and we do appreciate the community support. >> the second officer -- can can you tell >> hey, folks, we understand you guys have a lot of questions. obviously, this is a complex situation. we'll be putting out more
11:50 am
information as we can on social media. if we decide to do any more briefings later on, we'll, of course, let you know right away. thank you. >> can you take one more question? >> one question i have, looking at the grand fabric of all of this, uscp has changed their intelligence the way they're sharing it. they've been doing what they can to try to beef up the security here and still they're under attack. what is the answer? >> yeah, well, i think just our responsibilities and duties as law enforcement officers, we're here to protect and serve the community. clearly, this is someone who was actively trying to just get at whoever, whatever. we just don't know right now. we have a responsibility to investigate that, to get to the bottom of this. whether to tackle law enforcement, whoever. we have the responsibility to get to the bottom of it. >> is he at the scene or the hospital, sir? >> as you heard from the u.s.
11:51 am
capitol police acting chief yogananda pittman, with a heavy heart she had to stand there before reporters, really before america, not soon after burying their own officer, brian sicknick, after the capitol insurrection, announcing one of these two officers has also died. lauren fox covers the capitol for us here at cnn. lauren, obviously, our thoughts and prayers to this family who has not even been identified -- or, rather, notified. we don't know the name of this officer yet. but another u.s. capitol police officer, protecting american, dying. >> that's right, brooke. look, this is absolutely heartbreaking. this force has already been through so much, especially after the january 6th attack. when you think about what happened during the insurrection and now a couple of weeks later, just a couple of months later,
11:52 am
this happening again at the u.s. capitol. it's a reminder of what these men and women do every single day when they show up for work. they keep us safe. we see them every day going in and out of these buildings. i think it's an important reminder to viewers, the u.s. capitol is a staff of thousands of people, including these u.s. capitol police officers who work to keep it very safe. now, you know, we learned a couple of additional details as part of this press conference. they were asked specifically if this was a target, if this individual was trying to target any one member of congress. they said they did not have this person in their files. at this time, they didn't have any further information about what that motive was. this investigation, of course, still ongoing. just devastating news here that one of the capitol police officers has been killed in this incident. just a reminder to our viewers at home, this individual rammed
11:53 am
into a barrier here at the u.s. capitol at the north entrance of the capitol on the corner of constitution and delaware. that person, this was confirmed moments ago in this press conference, got out of the vehicle, brandishing a weapon, brandishing a knife. they were then shot by a u.s. capitol police officer. we have now learned that the suspect is dead and that a u.s. capitol police officer has died. brooke? >> lauren fox, thank you. brian todd to you, about 100 yards from that there at the news conference. we also heard that there doesn't appear to be an ongoing threat. >> reporter: yeah, brooke, the chief of the d.c. metropolitan police said there did not appear to be an ongoing threat at this time. he also said this does not appear to be terrorism-related at this time. every official at this news conference and officials cnn has
11:54 am
talked to has said this is very early in the investigation. they do not as of now have a motive for this incident. if my photo journalist can pan to his right, my left, we can get a better look now of where this occurred just beyond these national guardsmen. that's constitutional avenue. that's the area where the suspect rammed into the barrier at around 1:00 this afternoon. according to acting capitol police chief yogananda pittman, the suspect got out, brandishing a knife and lunged at sfrdz, stabbing at least one of them. you heard the horrible news moments ago from chief pittman that that officer has died. they are not releasing the name of that officer just yet. we do not have the name of the suspect just yet. motive is key. we peppered both chief conte and chief pittman about possible motives. i asked if the suspect yelled or
11:55 am
said anything when they got out of the car and ran over towards the officers. they're not giving that information yet. they may not know it yet. they're probably still interviewing other officers and witnesses who were at the scene, brooke. again, what you get a sense of here is that this horrible incident unfolded probably over the course of just a few seconds. this seems to have taken place in a quick, short amount of time, around 1:00 this afternoon. it probably unfolded and unfolded within moments. the officers did fire at the suspect after the suspect clear clearly stabbed one of the officers. the officer, unfortunately, did succumb to their injuries a short time later. probably at a hospital here. i asked the officers here if the suspect actually died at the scene or a hospital. they were not able to give those answers, brooke. here you have it. a synopsis of what we're told occurred. the suspect is dead after having been shot by police officers. one u.s. capitol police officer is dead.
11:56 am
another has been hurt. we do not know the condition of that officer. as of now, we hope to get that soon. this unfolded just over my left shoulder on constitution avenue right next to the capitol, right next to the capitol grounds. police are not able to say what the motive was, what the suspect was trying to do, whether he or she was trying to get at someone at the capitol, inside the capitol or maybe just trying to get inside the grounds with the vehicle. i asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle. chief pittman was not able to give those answers either, brooke. again, a very, very violent episode just steps away from the capitol occurring a little less than two hours ago. >> awful. awful. again, hearing chief pittman say it's an extremely difficult time. please, keep the capitol police in your prayers. evan perez, back over to you. i know you were chatting earlier about -- i know you're a big runner. you're running around capitol hill and you know exactly where this is and you know exactly where these capitol police
11:57 am
officers stand right before, you know, this barrier where this car slammed into. it gives you a sense to imagine that one of these officers has died from his or her injuries after this car slammed into him or her before slamming into this barrier. >> right. these officers put themselves in the way before this vehicle even gets to the barrier just because of the way the setup is for you to enter the complex and for you to be able to get to the parking areas. you have to first go past a couple of officers. there's also a couple of national guards soldiers posted right there at the entrance. this suspect would have rammed into the officers and then rammed into the barrier, which is where you see the vehicle. it's important -- a couple things really stand out, brooke. one is the suspect was wielding a knife. this is a country where it's
11:58 am
pretty easy to get a gun. and so that's one of the first things that occurred to me. certainly occurred to law enforcement. the investigators who are on the scene is why is that? we've seen a lot of attacks in europe, in other places. a few in this country as well with knife attacks. that's one of the first things people immediately want to know. if you heard from the acting police chief there for the capitol police that at this point, they don't know of any connection to terrorist groups. that's an important thing at least at this point that at least from what they can see at this point, they don't believe that it is connected to islamic terrorism. that's one of the things we've seen in other countries. a lot of knife attacks. this is obviously something that's still very, very early in the process. they're still working to investigate the background of this suspect. they're going to the suspect's home. they're going to try to figure
11:59 am
out anything on social media or any other thing on their social devices to see what the motivation would be. it is strange in a country where it's not that hard to get a gun that this person comes out wielding a knife. so that bears, i think, more watching from the law enforcement side. just going back to -- i think you have been heartbroken with what's going on with the capitol police and what they've had to bear. beyond officer sicknick who died after the insurrection and obviously right now two people are charged with assaulting him, there's also two capitol police officers who committed suicide after the insurrection. and many, many more have been hurting from what happened that day. that's one of the things that i think the chief there, yogananda pittman was getting at, these officers are going through a lot, they were attacked
12:00 pm
relentlessly for hours, and that is something a lot of them are carrying right now. and then now you have this incident. we've been talking how after the 6th there was a lot of concern that other groups or other people might be inspired to try to do something just because of what happened on the 6th. and, again, that's one of the top things investigators are looking at. >> i so appreciate you making both of those points, especially the second one. thank you, thank you. stay with me. we are at the top of the hour. you are watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. breaking news we're covering this afternoon. we have just learned a capitol hill police officer is dead and another officer is injured after someone rammed this vehicle, this blue vehicle in the middle of your screen, in the middle of all the crime scene tape, rammed this car into these two officers, and then ultimately into that barricade. you see the word "stop" on the white metal, ramming the car


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on