tv Way Too Early MSNBC July 8, 2016 2:30am-3:01am PDT
happened. the problem is, it never should have began that way. i think that the problem that a lot of officers have right now, especially when dealing with minorities, is that they don't de-escalate situations. and it's becoming ridiculous. i mean, his hands were up. >> meanwhile, at a prayer vigil in baton rouge last night, louisiana's governor john bell edwards pledged to do more to create a better relationship between law enforcement and the community. >> there are no simple answers. but i think we can start by working to restore trust between law enforcement, and the community. we have to introduce young people to law enforcement earlier, so that there is trust, that there is confidence, and we have to make sure that law enforcement people are the professionals that we all want them to be. that they understand -- >> coming up we'll have the latest from dallas, texas, five police officers dead, six more wounded.
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>> don't shoot. don't shoot! don't shoot! >> oh, [ bleep ] >> go, go, go! go, go, go! run, run, run! oh, my god. there was a gun! >> a chilling account of terror on the streets of downtown dallas. welcome back, everyone, to "way too early," i'm alex witt. and that is the breaking news we're following from the heart of dallas this morning. one of the deadliest shootings targeting police in recent memory. 11 shot, 5 of those officers are
dead this morning. a tense standoff with one of the suspects in that deadly ambush on the dallas police reportedly ended around 2:30 this morning local time in dallas. police are telling our affiliate in that city that the suspect has been, quote, neutralized. the police chief says that suspect was barricaded inside a parking garage, exchanging gunfire with officers from an elevated position. we do not know if he was shot by police or if he took his own life. but here is a bit of what officers were dealing with. >> the suspect that we are negotiating with that has exchanged gunfire with us over the last 45 minutes has told our negotiators that the end is coming, and he's going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement. and that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and in downtown, so we are being very careful in our tactics.
>> again, police are telling our affiliate in dallas that the suspect has been neutralized. three people were in custody. one who turned himself in has been let go. but this all started around 9:00 last night in downtown dallas when rifle fire rang out near what had otherwise been a peaceful demonstration against this week's police shootings in minnesota and louisiana. and once again, 11 officers were shot, of those, 5 have died, 4 of those officers are from the dallas police department. the other, a d.a.r.t., dallas transit officer, identified as 43-year-old brent thompson. he is the first officer from that department ever to be killed in the line of duty. he had been on the force since 2009. three other d.a.r.t. officers shot are expected to recover. they are misty mcbride, omar cannon, and jesus retana. right now police believe the attack was coordinated. the suspects working together with rifles and positioning themselves in strategic locations right near the route of the peaceful protests.
police are investigating if more people may have been involved. right now officials are sweeping the downtown area for explosives. the faa shut down air traffic over dallas for awhile earlier this morning. also a nearby college campus has been put on lockdown. we're joined by nbc's jacob rascon, who joins us once again live in dallas this morning. jacob, i know you have covered many of these protests around the country. earlier i heard you describing this one as being somewhat different in that it was very peaceful, and that the police officers were not necessarily lining the route, they weren't cloaked in their protective gear. they were walking among the protesters. >> and we've seen that, in fact, around the country, alex, at a lot of police departments have chosen to, instead of showing up in their riot gear with their shields and helmets, they instead show up just in their regular uniforms. often there are other officers in riot gear not visible, ready in case anything happens. but we are in the heart of
downtown dallas. behind me the streets where the protests began, and then ended. it started at 7:00 and went until 9:00. you had about 800 people or so and right after the organizers of the protests told everyone to disperse that it was over, time to go, after a peaceful protest suddenly, of course, we heard the shots ring out. i have a couple of witnesses. we've been talking to many witnesses all night. this is the walker family. a father and son who were there at the time. for you, what was the most terrifying part about all of it? >> well, the most terrifying part was us being separated, and not knowing where the bullets was coming from. and seeing an officer just drop right in front of you. they were there to support us, so as you said -- >> they were helping us. >> so they didn't have riot gear on. they was there, it was a peaceful march, and a guy just pulled up and started mowing down officers. >> the irony of all of this, of course, is that it was a protest about officer-involved
shootings. you yourself said that you showed up to the protest because you had some negative energy, you described it, you had seen the recent shootings, you had come to let some of that out. >> well, you know, as a chaplin i'm taught to love everybody but today i came down here as a black man who was tired of seeing other black men killed. and i have a son here who's going off to college and i said i got to do something. i've got to do something. so we came down here just to protest, and you know, we got separated. and it was just terrifying. >> yes. >> and then quickly, if you could tell me now, though, seeing what happened, what are your feelings? what are your thoughts about what happened? >> nobody needed to die tonight. because, i mean, this was supposed to be a good thing. bring everybody together. everybody was, you know, working with the cops. we were -- we had blacks, whites, asians, hispanics, everyone was about this. and to have it just marred by
two people that just had a vendetta against police, there's just nothing that should not have happened. >> right. and we'll have to end there. thank you so much for your time. the walker family, ernest and ernest. father/son separated during the shooting. just now waiting for their car, which is still behind us as law enforcement, of course, continue to sweep the area for possible explosives. alex? >> all right, jacob rascon covering things live in dallas as you've been all night. thank you for that. let's bring in nbc law enforcement analyst and retired atf special agent in charge jim cavanaugh who's been following this story as well all night. jim, let's talk about the psychological effect this is going to have on the dallas police department and those officers in d.a.r.t., the transit department there. >> yeah, body blow to both agencies. to lose four officers at dpd and one at d.a.r.t., smaller force, 200, 300 officers there. they're going to recover. they recovered instantly, alex,
as the patrol division surrounded that parking lot while they were being shot down, and cornered that guy. that's exceptional police work. exceptional police work, at least one shooter we absolutely know. now the chief talked about two. but it's really gets foggy there until they give us some more detail. but nevertheless, they cornered this one at the parking garage, and they did that under rifle fire, riflemen from an elevated position, and these are, you know, patrol officers who were there, you know, guarding the march. some of them got their tactical rifles from their cars as we saw in the photographs. but they were able to contain that shooter in there, and likely the shooter was going to try to get away. he was in a parking garage. he could have shot from the parking garage, jumped in a vehicle and escaped during the confusion. but he wasn't able to because of the good work of dpd. so that's the first step on, you know, their recovery to come back. it was instantaneous.
>> all right. very quickly, jim, i just want to note that you are wearing your badge, and you have a black band around your badge, i mean it's difficult for you, as well, on a personal level. >> well i think cop in the country feels that way to lose five guys, just awful. >> okay. jim cavanaugh. an emotional morning. thank you very much for that. all of this is going on with the president abroad at a nato summit. and we're joined by nbc's ron allen who's been covering the president's trip in warsaw. certainly took a different tactic this morning, ron, having the president address the situation in dallas before being able to address the global situation which he is addressing there at the nato summit. talk about that and the unusual circumstances here. >> well, dallas became the top of president obama's agenda when this happened in the early morning hours here in europe. the president saying that the white house offered the people of dallas, the dallas police force, every support possible.
he offered his condolences to the families of the victims, and support for them, as well. he said that all the facts are still pouring in, but there was still one definite conclusion that there was no excuse for gunning down police officers. here's a bit more of what the president had to say. >> we still don't know all the facts. what we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. police in dallas were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests. these law enforcement officers were rg toated. i believe that i speak for every single american when i say that we are horrified over these events and that we stand united with people and the police department in dallas. >> the president was clearly
troubled by what he has learned about this horrific incident. just yesterday, arriving in warsaw, the president had taken the unusual step of speaking out about the deaths of the two black prus secretaries in minnesota and louisiana in recent days. this is a president, of course, who has been criticized in speaking out in support of peaceful protests at the -- or perhaps not speaking out as forcefully at the same time about police officers and what they go through in the line of duty. clearly today and last night the president saying that law enforcement officers have a very tough job. he spoke out specifically saying that in the past, he's received letters from police officers saying that they feel under attack and that we need to support them in every way. clearly going forward now the president saying that the community of dallas, the police force there, will receive every bit of support that the white house can offer. today the focus on trying to solve essentially what happened, apprehend all the suspects, and support the families of the victims who were there.
and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. in three delicious flavors. i'm not about to swim in the slow lane. stay strong. stay active with boost®. as we mentioned before the break, one of those killed in this ambush was dallas transit officer brent thompson. his chief, james spiller, spoke with msnbc earlier about this difficult morning for this department. >> the entire department is devastated, as well as the entire agency. it's a horrendous loss for all of us. and as you said, it's the first time that it's happened. been in constant contact with his family, as well as all of our officers, our president and ceo, as well as dallas police department. so, it's something we're going
to get through it. we're going to make sure we take care of those injured officers, as well as officer thompson's family, and you know, we've gotten a lot of well wishes throughout the country from other police departments, as well as citizens from all across the united states, sending their sympathies. and we're passing that along. we're grateful to be receiving all of those. >> and that was james spiller there, d.a.r.t. police chief talking about his loss. of brent thompson, one of his officers. last night in the midst of the officer-involved shootings dallas police also released a photo of a man whom they said was a person of interest. that man surrendered to police for questioning and this morning dallas police said he cooperated, he was interviewed and released. earlier in the night our nbc dallas affiliate kxas spoke to a man claiming to be the brother of this man pictured there. he told reporters that officers have the wrong person. >> i knew. i had a feeling because of this situation, with him having an ar-15 with him, when shots
started firing, i said bro, give your gun to the cops so there's no misidentification, there's no question, nothing like that. and even though he gave his gun to a cop they still got him plastered all over the media like he's a suspect. >> saw you saw him hand his gun over -- >> 100%. at this point, whatever cop was on that corner there, he gave it to that cop. he don't have his gun. >> so you are confident -- >> 100%. my brother was marching with us. and so, because he's my brother, and i understood -- i understood the severity of the situation my first instinct was to tell him get that gun away. the fire is coming from a different location. but i knew, i knew, because he had his firearm, that someone was -- a cop could misidentify him or something like that so i made sure he gave his gun to a cop. >> do you know where he went? >> he was on his way home. he was on his way home. and he told me -- i'm telling the police, i'm telling the country, whoever -- >> and the police are pulling you away right now. >> whoever put this picture out as my brother the suspect, mark
hughes is not a suspect. his gun was not loaded. and when the fires -- when the shots started firing, he gave his gun to a law enforcement officer. >> that is the brother of mark hughes who apparently gave his ar-15 gun that he had carried with him to that protest, handed that over to police. we're going to be right back and we're going to talk about history of violence in dallas right after this. get ready... to show your roots. with root touch up from nice'n easy it blends with leading shades, even salon shades. in just 10 minutes.
suffered through another attack on its law enforcement. on the morning of june 13th, 2015, james boulware parked his armored van in front of the dallas police department's headquarters. he then opened fire on both parked police cars as well as the headquarters lobby. after officers returned fire he fled the scene, a ten-mile police chase followed and after a dramatic standoff which lasted for hours, a police sniper eventually shot and killed boulware. police later found a bag of pipe bombs outside their headquarters. thankfully no police or civilians were injured in that incident over a year ago. but the ambush in dallas occurred just blocks away from another site of historic sniper violence in american history, the assassination of president john fitzgerald kennedy. dealey plaza's just a short walk away in downtown dallas where chaos came suddenly on another day when thousands gathered in the streets. nbc's robert mcneil had this report from the ground. >> it's approaching 12:30 p.m. dallas time. the crowds in the tall business
district are overfilling the sidewalks. some throw streamers and torn paper in a miniature ticker tape parade. the reporters look at each other, there have been no incidents. at 12:32 the motorcade turns into a parkway, the crowds are thinner. nbc's cameraman in the car ahead of us takes a passing shot of a building then three shots are heard like toy explosions. he jumps from his car running towards the president with his camera running. people scream and lie down, grabbing their children. >> it was a child who informed police officers he saw a shooter in a window of the school book depository. that does it for me and "way too early." "morning joe" picks up our breaking coverage of this devastating news from dallas. five officers killed, six wounded in that am-dush style sniper attack on police officers. stay with us. using 60,000 points from my chase ink card i bought all the fruit...
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trust number one doctor recommended dulcolax constipated? use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief of hard stools. dulcolax, designed for dependable relief is that a cop? dude, that's a cop down! dude, that's a cop down! >> gentlemen. there's four cops down. >> four? >> yeah. he shot five seven times.
>> it's a dude? >> no, it's a sniper from up here somewhere. >> it's a sniper? >> you hear the shots. get down, get down. >> it is 6:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. in dallas, texas, where last night there was one of the one of the deadliest shootings targeting police in recent memory. 11 officers shot, five of them killed. a tense standoff with one of the suspects in that deadly ambush on dallas police reportedly ended around 2:30 this morning local time. police tell our affiliate in dallas that the suspect has been "neutralized." the police chief says that suspect was barricaded inside a parking garage exchanging gunfire with officers from an elevated position. we don't know if he was shot by police or took his own life. here's a little bit of what officers were dealing with. >> the suspect that we are negotiating with that has exchanged gunfire with us over the last 45 minutes has told our