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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 17, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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contractor, went there with the intent to kill. here's what we do know right now. alexis, who had access to that secured facility, stood on a fourth floor balcony yesterday morning using a shotgun that you bought last week in virginia and other guns, believed to be taken at the scene. he opened fire onto the atrium below. >> i was running and i heard gunshots. holy cow, that's -- i don't know, it could have been way above me but i wasn't stopping to think what was going on. >> investigators revealing today that alexis was troubled, that he had run-ins with the law in the past, including run-ins over guns. some friends, though, say they never saw this coming. >> he is one of my family too. you know, he's -- he's a good guy, you know. from what i know, you know. i can't say that he didn't or not but when he was with me, it's nothing -- nothing to be
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like to tell me he's going to be aggressive. no sign that he's going to shoot someone. >> investigators today still in the process of notifying the families of the 12 victims. they range in ages from 46 to 73. aaron alexis' brother-in-law saying this to those families late yesterday. >> this was something that nobody expected to happen, so, you know, i just want to let everybody know that whoever got hurt, the families and victims, the alexis family, our hearts go out to you. we apologize for the inconvenience of losing a loved one. we also lost a loved one. >> joining me live now, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, i know we continue to learn more about how he got into the navy yard behind me. we know now that he actually did not have access to building 197. what more do we know about how it was precisely that he was able to get into the building? >> reporter: well, he drove onto
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the base, we're told, or had access to the base. he had a pass for that because he was working as a military contractor. precisely how he got into the building is a bit unclear, but it does appear that he shot his way in. he shot a guard. he came with a shotgun he bought last week. then after he gets into the building, then he gets the other weapons. he gets the assault rifle and then takes a handgun from an officer that he wounded. so that appears how he got the three weapons that he used, even though he came in with just the single weapon. so it would appear that he shot his way in is the best way to put it, craig. >> pete, what more do we know about aaron alexis' mental health history? >> reporter: well, we know that he had a history of seeking treatment for some psychiatric issues, including paranoia. that he got treatment from the va, we believe more than once, for that. and, you know, even despite
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that, his friends say he was generally quite cheerful, that he occasionally complained about being depressed, that he complained that he wasn't doing well enough. he thought he should be getting better jobs after his service in the navy. he was complaining at one point about being paid too slowly. so he did have some frustrations about work. but how this gets directed toward the navy specifically, given that he's working for a contractor, how this gets focused on that facility, why, i don't know that we'll ever know the answer to why he decided that he had to do that. how one gets translated to the other. but what officials have been saying is that this was somebody who had some psychiatric problems and in the words of one person was rapidly deteriorating. >> nbc's pete williams for us here in d.c. pete, thanks. just a short time ago, secretary of defense chuck hagel laid a wreath at the navy memorial
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plaza in memory of the 12 victims of the navy yard shooting. the sounds of "taps" playing in their honor. [ playing "taps" ] authorities have identified seven of the 12 at this point. they are michael arnold, age 59. sylvia frasier, 53. kathy gaarde, 62. john roger johnson, 73. frank kohler, 50, kenneth bernard proctor, 46. and vishnu pandit, 61. pandit, apparently loved his irish setter. senator harry reid talked about the deadly shooting on the senate floor just minutes ago. take a listen. >> there are no words that can possibly ease the pain of the
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rampage and certainly the deaths involving a dozen human beings who were killed yesterday at the naval yard. i hope it's some small comfort that this city, this institution, the united states senate, and whole nation mourn alongside them. >> that was senate majority leader harry reid. again just a short time ago from the senate floor. a preplanned trip to jump start the gun control conversation on capitol hill now has yet another mass shooting to punctuate its push. gun control advocates from newtown alliance will hold dozens of meetings with lawmakers as well as a news conference as well with newtown families wednesday, there's a rally thursday. collin goddard is a survivor of
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the virginia tech massacre, a senior policy advocate for mayors against illegal guns. monty frank is legal counsel and on the board of the newtown action alliance. gentlemen, i would say it's good to see you, but unfortunately circumstances like this, it's never really good to see. i know the hearing this morning, the stand your ground hearing was postponed. tell me what else that you guys have planned for later in the week, and what impact, if any, do you think that yesterday's massacre is going to have on the gun control debate in this country? >> i mean yet again we've seen another mass shooting unfold in our streets. you know, at least 12 more mothers and fathers didn't come home last night. there are other family members who are still sitting in a hospital bed. even more family members flying across the country trying to find the status of their loved one. they never tell you the real status of someone in the hospital until you get there. and so it's a tough day to see yet this again unfold and tough again here just on the cusp of nine months since the shooting
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at newtown elementary school. you know, we need something to be done. we can't be standing on the sidelines anymore and not doing something about this. we're coming here to d.c. to continue that conversation. >> monte, what's the group have planned this week on the hill? >> well, it's heart-breaking that a hearing we planned to attend this morning on gun violence is postponed because of yet another mass shooting, gun violence. we are here as a preplanned trip and were here with victims from all over america. you know, yesterday's event brought me right back to 12-14 in my hometown, sandy hook, and thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. but we have work to do. we've got to stop this madness. i had breakfast this morning with a family from aurora. there are people on our bus from hartford. people flew in from chicago. the parade of gun violence
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continues. we're here to push congress. >> is there at least a thinking that since this happened in the shadow of the capitol, that since this happened three miles from the white house, is there some thinking now at least that maybe this, because of the location, will galvanize lawmakers? >> i don't think there's any one event. we've had congress people shot, we've had young children shot, we've had people at work shot, people at the mall shot, people going to a movie theater shot. i don't think there's any one particular event that's going to do it. but it's going to be when the overwhelmi overwhelming majority of americans say i want something done and i want to hold my elected official accountable. >> i want to put something on the screen right now and share this with the audience at home. one of the things that's especially startling is when you look at the sheer number of mass shootings in this country, one every month since 2009. there is the graph there. the rapid increase, when you compare it to the number of
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massacres over the past 50 or 60 years, to what can we attribute that? >> it's hard to say. i think certainly we've seen an erosion of the gun laws that were in place. you know, it's time that our lawmakers begin to reverse that trend and start putting into place common sense, constitutional gun safety measures that will as part of an overall strategy reduce the risk of further gun violence. not to mention we dodged a major bullet three weeks ago in georgia. this could have been the scene outside of georgia but for a courageous clerk in the office. >> all of the massacres don't always make the news. monte frank, collin goddard, thanks to both of you. thanks for your time. good luck this week. much, much more from here in
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washington, d.c. ahead on this hour. we're also going to spend some time talking to d.c. mayor vince gray. also be talking to congresswoman eleanor holmes norton about what comes next. [ female announcer ] we lowered her fever. you raise her spirits. we tackled your shoulder pain. you make him rookie of the year. we took care of your cold symptoms. you take him on an adventure. tylenol® has been the number 1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever for over 20 years. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®.
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dr. janis orlowski, chief medical officer of medstar medical center is making a plea to stop gun violence. take a listen to what she said in a news conference yesterday. >> there's something evil in our
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society that we as americans have to work to try to eradicate. there's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. there's something wrong. and the only thing that i can say is we have to work together to get rid of it. i'd like you to put my trauma center out of business. i really would. i would like to not be an expert on gunshots. >> we're going to hear more from that doctor coming up in just a few moments. i had a conversation with her a short time ago. my next guest is someone who's been trying to stop gun violence by pushing for stricter gun control measures not just in d.c. but nationwide as well, d.c. mayor vincent gray is here. mayor, thanks for stopping by. i know you're very busy. i want to start with something that you told "the washington post" back in january. this was on the heels of what happened in newtown.
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you said, quote, we don't have a foolproof system, but it's hard for me to envision it happening in the district of columbia given the constraints that people have and would have to overcome to be able to pull that off. you said that in january and then, then yesterday. what happened? >> well, this is a federal installation. obviously over which we have no control. we work very closely with our federal partners, but this is a military base that was involved here. we had nothing to do with issuing the credentials that this person had in hand. so again, these are procedures that will have to be looked at. we look forward to working with the federal government on this, but again, this is an instance involving a military installation. >> to give folks who may not be familiar with southeast d.c. a little perspective, we are roughly three miles from the white house. >> right. >> we are in the shadow of the
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u.s. capitol. if you can't stop gun violence from happening here, what are folks around the country supposed to think? what are folks sitting in middle america supposed to think about the ability to keep them safe? >> first of all, i don't think we've made earnest efforts at all at good control. in the wake of sandy hook, for example, what have we really done? we could have done background checks, we could have done a woman on assault weapons, there are other steps that could have been taken and really we have virtually nothing to show for that horrific experience. >> we sure do talk about it a lot. >> we talk about it a lot. we have those that are advocates for the use of guns, the second amendment of course, and then it's almost like they run out the clock and wait until something else happens. >> to those who say this is not just about guns, because as the picture emerges of this gunman, it sounds like there was some mental health issues based on what we heard from a friend. he enjoyed playing violent video games a lot. is it just about gun control?
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>> well, obviously gun control is a factor in this. there appear to be certainly some mental health problems involved, but also one of the questions we have to raise is, you know, why, given this man's history, was he issued credentials to be able to get into the navy yard in the first place. it's a military base. he had a questionable history with the navy in the past. so those are all questions that will be a part of the ongoing investigation and maybe the ones that are up front. beyond mental health and beyond the gun control issues. >> you also indicated yesterday at one point, i heard you say you think maybe sequestration played a role in some of this. how so? >> well, the question is are any of our government installations, government agencies now opting for less expensive ways of doing things? that may involve contractors. that's a question that needs to be answered. i don't know the answer to it. but we've been concerned about the impact of sequestration here in the city, that budgets are being ratcheted down on, people
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are having to make due with how they're getting work done in ways differently than they had in the past. that's a question that should be answered as a part of this investigation. >> d.c. mayor vincent gray, thank you for your time, sir. thanks again. >> thank you. >> again, the city continues to move forward. there's a baseball game that's supposed to happen here, that's going to happen here this afternoon at 1:00. that game that was rescheduled from yesterday, the nationals taking on the braves. it will be a doubleheader. meanwhile, as i just indicated, not far from here the white house, as you can see, flags there, flags at half staff at 1600 pennsylvania avenue and across the country as well by order of president obama. they will stay that way through friday in memory, in memory of the lives lost here at the washington navy yard. stay with us, we'll be right back after a quick break. play close.
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the shooting rampage inside the navy yard behind me here in the nation's capital, including a live report from the pentagon in just a few moments. first we want to go to richard lui standing by in new york with some of the other top stories making news today. the death toll from the massive flooding in colorado is now at eight. we're watching that. that number could rise. search and rescue teams working with the national guard resumed operations yesterday after bad weather had grounded most air rescue efforts the last couple of days. >> weather is the horrible part right now. with this weather, the helicopters aren't able to fly, and that really makes it hard for us to get our people in and get other people out. >> let's go to nbc's leanne gregg who has been monitoring the situation from boulder. the good news right now is the unaccounted for has been going down. >> reporter: that's true, that number has been changing from the beginning. it's gone down drastically today to 600 at one point. and we expect that number to
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drop significantly again. because as people are restoring their power, getting cell phone service and getting to laptops, they are able to reach out to their friends and family members. so the big push today, of course, is to take care of some of those people who have been stranded without their power, without any cell service and without even any roads that are passable. as many as 1,000 people have been stranded in larimer county and the real focus today is that air rescue. they have been up, the sun is out, the weather is great. yesterday they also made a lot of progress. more than 20 helicopters got into the air and brought hundreds of people out. today they're hoping to do the same. so so far that is going well. search crews also are on the ground looking for people. some fema crews, experts in search and rescue are here. 12,000 people have been evacuated and there are more still who need to get out and find their way to safety. >> nbc's leanne gregg, thank you so much for the very latest for us.
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here's a look at some of the other stories topping the news now. the white house says a new u.n. inspector's report on syria's chemical weapons backs up the president's argument that the assad regime has behind a deadly attack last month. russia's foreign minister, however, remains unconvinced and continues to point the finger at the syrian rebels. the report released yesterday confirmed that the nerve gas sarin was used in the attack that left more than 1400 dead. and the secret service is taking no chances after the shooting rampage that unfolded in washington yesterday. they arrested a man for allegedly throwing a firecracker over the white house north lawn fence. police have not yet filed formal charges against that man. off the coast of italy, a team of engineers pulling off the very complicated salvage operation to free the wreck of the costa concordia. amazing stuff here. it took about 19 hours to finally right that ship. the operation cost $800 million. the cruise liner ran aground in january last year. 32 people died in that incident. the captain is facing
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manslaughter charges. and britain's prince harry spending the night in a giant freezer to get some practice in for his trek to the south pole this winter. he was subjected here to about 20 hours of below zero temperatures and wind speeds of about 45 miles an hour. harry will join a team of injured british servicemen and women in a race against the u.s. and other countries. e burns family bbq. guys, you took tums® a couple hours ago. why keep taking it if you know your heartburn keeps coming back? that's how it works. you take some tums®. if heartburn comes back, you take some more. that doesn't make any sense. it makes plenty of sense if you don't think about it! really, honey, why can't you just deal with it like everybody else? because i took a pepcid®. fine. debbie, you're my new favorite. [ male announcer ] break with tradition, take pepcid® complete. it works fast and lasts. get relief from your heartburn relief with pepcid® complete.
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today, u.s. military officials told nbc news how they believe suspected gunman aaron alexis got into the building where 12 people were killed. joining me live now, nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski and nbc's mark potter who is live at the thai restaurant where aaron alexis worked in ft. worth, texas. mik, let me start with you. i understand we've got more details about his security clearance. what more can you tell us about that? >> reporter: well, craig, the suspect, the deceased in this case, aaron alexis, had what is called a common access card, a cac card which allows access to all military facilities. you flash this card and you can get in. now, to enter the building, building 197, that would have in some areas of that building would have required additional access on a daily basis. but obviously because as he entered he was armed and he shot his way up a stairwell, that was
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out of the question. but i can tell you that he also had a low level security clearance because as a computer i.t. specialist, working for a subsidiary, a subcontractor of hewlett-packard, he was working on systems that did have some classified information. so he would have required at least that very low level security clearance. and i can tell you that according to officials here at the pentagon, millions of individuals worldwide have that low level security. many army privates are automatically qualified for that security clearance because they may deal in some relatively low level classified information. so it wasn't unusual that somebody like alexis would have had that security clearance, craig. >> mark, i know that alexis worked as a waiter where you are there in texas. we've heard from the restaurant's owners who say they
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are shocked. what kind of picture, what kind of picture are people painting of him there? >> reporter: we've got a new person that we talked to this morning, the wife of the owner here at the happy bowl near ft. worth where alexis worked, spoke to us not too long ago and she paints a sort of complicated picture of him as well. a mixed picture. she said that she knew him pretty well, that he was a nice guy, a great conversationalist. the guests here at the restaurant, the customers here all seemed to like him. she also said that he had a bit of an angry side, that he felt frustrated. as a vet he felt he wasn't being cared for properly by the government. he had a problem with his benefits. he was also concerned contractors he was working for were not paying him properly. he also felt discriminated against. he felt a sense of racism, that he had a very small circle of friends. we also talked to another friend of his, michael, who spent time with him and who granted an interview with us yesterday.
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let's listen to a little bit of that. >> he didn't come out of his room much. like i said, he played a lot of the online games where they were shooting all the time. and we would joke with him about that sometimes because they were like, well, you know, his computer screen was life-like, it was big. wow, it's like you're shooting people a lot, you know. we would joke about that. >> aaron alexis was a buddhist and she describes that as a religion of peace and, therefore, she has no understanding how this could have occurred. craig, back to you. >> mik, before i let you go, what more can you tell us about alexis' discharge from the navy? >> reporter: well, despite the problems he had in the navy, insubordination, some misconduct. he was granted an honorable discharge, which was an early honorable discharge and something that they call the volunteer transition system. in other words, he was able to
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ask for an early discharge under this enlisted transition program, and the navy granted it. now, one could surmise that the system is used to ease troublemakers out of the navy, because that appears to be the case here. navy officials can't say that actually happened in this case, but it's a system whereby the individual asks for an early honorable discharge under this transition program and in this case the navy granted it and he was honorably discharged. so any service record would simply say honorable discharge, no asterisks. >> jim miklaszewski from the pentagon for us, mark potter from texas for us, a big thanks to both of you. certainly a difficult day for survivors of the navy yard shooting, a difficult day for their families as well. during his remarks yesterday afternoon, president obama called employees, employees
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behind me, called them patriots and also pointed out the irony of the attack. >> these are men and women who were going to work doing their job protecting all of us. they're patriots. and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they face the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home. >> joining me live now, retired navy commander, kirk lipold, was the commander of the uss cole back in 2000 when it was attacked by terrorists docked in yemen. two of his former shipmates were on the third floor of the building behind me, building 197 yesterday morning at the time of the shooting. commander, thanks for coming by. >> thank you. >> you are very familiar, very familiar with that building, very familiar with what goes on in that building as well, the type of work that goes on there, sea systems, the largest of the
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five commands in the navy yard headquarters. you've also said in the past that that building is a target for terrorists. what makes it so? >> well, when you look at what goes on there, the sensitive and classified nature of how we build our ships and the weapons systems that go on it, clearly given the recent events we've had in syria and the fact that the navy has always led the way when it comes to america defending our security interests around the globe, it makes sense that the navy, unfortunately, becomes a target. that building where we designed those ships of the future and today in fact becomes itself a target because of the work they do. >> i understand that you've had an opportunity to talk to the shipmates that i just mentioned who were inside that building yesterday. how are they doing? what did they tell you about what they saw and heard yesterday? >> one of the first things i wanted to do was make sure that i knew that two shipmates of mine that were on uss cole with me were safe and sound, that they had survived the event. they said when the event first happened and they heard the shots going off, they
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immediately recognized it for what it was. it was some type of gunfire. they rounded up people in their office, took charge and immediately began to move them to an evacuation through the fire escapes. getting everyone down in an orderly and calm manner. there was no panic as they were doing that. they wanted to make sure that they got everyone to safety as quickly and expeditiously as possible. >> how safe is that building behind me? how secure is that facility? >> it's a very secure building. i have no doubt that when the investigation is complete, it is going to point to the fact that alexis probably got entrance in there by shooting his way in or walked in and began firing in order to gain access and get past the security that was right up front. >> would he have been able to pull off what he pulled off yesterday without some sort of thorough working knowledge of the layout of that building? it sounds as if this was something based on what you've heard and read, something that was not necessarily rehearsed but certainly something that was premed kaitated and planned? >> absolutely. you can tell by the way he
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executed this attack, the fact that he killed the number of people that he did. the fact that he was able to get to the third floor and not only shoot people on the third floor but aim down into the atrium shooting them as well. he had some foreknowledge or idea of what went on in that building and what the layout was to get where he needed to be. >> just to clarify, your contention is there was not some sort of security issue here. there is not going to at the end of the investigation, no breach is going to be revealed? >> i wouldn't say that. i would say that we need to do the investigation to find out was there a security breach. if there was a shortfall, where was it, why did it occur and what do we need to do to fix it not only here in this building but other buildings throughout the navy. >> commander, thank you so much. i do appreciate your time. >> thank you, sir. i am sick of this. i must have touched a chord in america. >> a doctor's candid comments on gun control after treating
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victims from the navy yard shooting. i've talked to her about what it was that moved her to say those words. also, the conversation about gun control in this country. what will it take for it to become action? i'll talk to connecticut senator richard blumenthal, also d.c. delegate eleanor holmes norton as well. with angie's list,ly re-done the house. i was able to turn my home into the home of my dreams. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most.
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someone going to a school like that and really get to learn your classmates. just knew him throughout the years, crossed paths here and there professionally, but he is going to be missed. >> one of the 12. thank you, commander. thanks again for sharing some thoughts about your friend as well. earlier this morning i talked to dr. janis orlowski, the chief medical center at washington medical center. she was the woman that was moved during that news conference yesterday to express her frustration about rampant gun violence in this country. i talked to her this morning a few hours ago about the three victims who were being treated at her hospital and also about where our country goes from here. take a listen. >> let's start with the three patients that you guys are treating there and have been treating. what's the latest on their condition? what can you tell us? >> sure. i can tell you that the police officer had surgery yesterday. he is in fair condition this morning. he's doing well, considering his injury. the woman who had a gunshot to
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her shoulder, she is also in fair condition after surgery. she's here with her family and i would say she is doing well considering what she has been through. the final gunshot victim, who was treated here at the hospital center, is a young woman who was shot in the finger and in the head, and she's the young woman that i had mentioned yesterday that the bullet did not go through her skull. very luckily it grazed the skull but did not go in. she's in good condition this morning. this morning when i went in to visit her, she actually asked if she could go home, so i'm really happy to report that all three are doing well. >> let's talk about the comments that you made yesterday that have drawn so much attention. you said in short that there's something wrong, there's an evil in our society. when you approached the microphones yesterday, were you planning to say something like that or were you just -- were
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you just moved by the moment? >> i -- i have to say that i did not plan that at all. i was trying to deal factually with the information that the reporters were asking me about and then i got a last question from a reporter and she said, dr. orlowski, you deal with gunshot victims all the time. is there something different about this tragedy, about these gunshot victims that you'd like to comment about. and my initial response was no, you know. anyone who's involved in senseless violence, it's a terrible tragedy and we deal with them professionally, but personally we always wonder. and so i initially was going to say no. and then i have to tell you, i just -- you know, i just spoke from the heart. i am sick of this. and i must have touched a chord in america because i've had a number of people who have called, who have e-mailed, who have twittered and they are sick
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like i am of this senseless violence. and i know that we always point to washington and say they have to do something or, you know, something has to be done. you know what, we have to do something. we need to do something to stop this senseless violence. and it's not just the discussion about guns, it's the discussion about mental health within our communities and what we can do with people who have problems and who need the love and support and professional care that we can provide them. so i think this is something that we need to speak to, that we have to get up as americans and say, you know, enough of this. let's do something about this. let's do it as a community. >> you know, dr. orlowski, i'm glad you brought that up, but it does seem like in this country any time there's a mass shooting, whether it's newtown, whether it's aurora, there's always a conversation that happens in the days after and then at some point that conversation goes away. are you at all concerned that
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your words will do very little to change things? >> you know what, i am concerned. i am concerned that they might not have any lasting effect. but you know what, if we don't say something, if we don't speak out, then shame on us. so it wasn't planned, wasn't intended, but i mean every word of it. we've got to do something. i know it sounds trite to say put my trauma room out of business. wouldn't that be a wonderful time if we could do that, if we could get rid of this useless violence? >> dr. janis orlowski, we'll leave it there. thank you so much for your time and your insight. >> thank you very much. nice speaking to you. >> in tragedies like this, stories of heroes always emerge in the aftermath. this time is there's no exception to that. among the heroes yesterday, a man named omar grant.
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he helped a blind colleague to safety. earlier today he talked about helping his co-worker take shelter when the gunfire started. >> i proceeded to take his arm and led him into the cafeteria. while people started wondering if they also heard gunshots, we heard three more shots. >> the two and a third man left the building together once the shelter in order -- once the shelter in place order was lifted. clay. mom? come in here. come in where? welcome to my mom cave. wow. sit down. you need some campbell's chunky soup before today's big game, new chunky cheeseburger. mmm. i love cheeseburgers. i know you do. when did you get this place? when i negotiated your new contract, it was part of the deal. cool. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right.
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alexis was staying at a residents inn. at this point we're told police have interviewed all but one of
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those contractors. even as it was unfolding, monday's mass shooting in d.c. was reigniting talk about guns. democratic senator richard lumenthal here. this is what your colleague dick durban said a few hours ago. >> god forbid we go on with business as usual today and not understand what happened yesterday. the vast majority of americans think this is just common sense. we can protect the right of law abiding citizens to use guns in a responsible, legal way for sporting and hunting and self-defen self-defense, but we've got to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of those that would misuse them. >> senator, this happened less than three miles from where you
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are in newtown, we spoke after colorado as well. is there different this time? >> it's the accumulation of horrific tragedies brought back many of the horrible memories when i went to the sandy hook are house and saw the people killed in this horrific tragedy. i hope it will elicit the feelings she had, janis orlowski, she was sick about it. she wanted her trauma center put out of business. we need to do something about this evil in society. shame on us if we don't. mental health has been part of the comprehensive part. i hope we can call this as a call to action on the
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anniversary of the newtown tragedy. >> congresswoman, i understand you're planning a moment of silence in the house this afternoon. >> when congress returns i'll ask for a moment of silence for the 12 federal employees whose lives were lost at this facility yesterday. these were federal employees at a military base. increasingly that's what our military bases are, old-fashioned federal employee buildings. you asked about newtown. we've seen that you can get guns into a school but we didn't expect you could get guns into one of the most secure facilities in the united states. those guns proliferate are bound to get where they don't need to get. >> what more have you heard about access here? >> i understand he did not have his own security badge. i hope that is the case, that it
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was the security badge of someone else. if he had his own security badge, then we have every reason to wonder how you'll ever know who enters a place should enter a place. >> it's a bit reassuring to see people walk by here with their nationals jerseys on, ball caps on headed to the game this afternoon. it appears as if the city is starting to return to normal. >> and the reason they are is that the sea systems command is a neighbor. it has helped reinvigorate this whole part of washington. it helped bring nationals ballpark here. we don't want it walled off, a wall historic but our neighbors, my constituents go in there in the evenings to use their banquet hall. that's the kind of relationship we want with a federal facility. >> senator, you're there on the hill. your colleagues this morning, how is this affecting them. you said it's different this time. forgive my scepticism, sir. we've seen the polling. we know what an overwhelming
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majority of folks in this country want to see. are your cleex sounding any different than what we were after what we saw in newtown, what we saw in colorado. >> a lot of my colleagues were shaken by the physical proximity and the randomness of this violence and also, i might add, the need, perhaps, for greater scrutiny and oversight over these employees of independent contractors not only in this area but also other areas of national security. so my hope is that this senseless killing will help us break through the gridlock that so obstructed us the last time. we lost that vote in april, but that was not the last vote. the majority leader has committed to bring back these bills. we need more fact before we draw conclusions about what kind of gun was used, how there was access to it. but clearly work is necessary on this problem. >> congresswoman eleanor norton
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here next to me. big thanks to you. connecticut senator richard blumenthal, thanks to you as well. thanks to you for watching this tuesday. that's going to do it for me in washington, d.c. at the navy year. it, of course, will remain to be seen what, if anything, comes from all of this. we do know that the dialogue will start, as it always does, after shootings like this. mental health, gun control, the role of violent video games in our society. we'll talk about it ad nauseam. we'll see if anything happens. "now" with alex wagner is up next. shop around-- see who does good work and compare costs. it doesn't usually work that way with health care. but with unitedhealthcare, i get information on quality rated doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me, and my guys, make better decisions. i don't like guesses with my business, and definitely not with our health. innovations that work for you.
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it's your move. searching for answers. who is aaron alexis, why might he have done it and can we do anything to make sure this doesn't happen again. it's tuesday september 17th, and
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this is "now." twelve victims are dead and eight injured after a former navy reservist opened fire yesterday morning at the washington navy yard. what president obama called yet another mass shooting. it all began yesterday at 8:15 in the morning when the suspect aaron alexis a 34-year-old computer contractor, a man who was honorably discharged from the navy in 2011 arrived at the washington navy yard. he then made his way through security and proceeded to open fire in building 197, a workplace for 3,000 navy military and civilian personnel. alexis allegedly stood on the fourth floor of the atrium shooting victims down in the first floor cafeteria. chaos quickly ensued as fire alarms rang, hundreds of employees fled the building and first responders rushed to the scene. within minutes d.c. officers killed alexis in a firefight.


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