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Breaking News

Shooting at Apartment, Restaurants in Pennsylvania

Aired March 1, 2000 - 1:42 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We continue to watch the developing story out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the community of Wilkensburg, a few miles from Pittsburgh, where a gunman is holed up, apparently holding hostages at the Penn-West office building, which houses many different offices, including a day care center. And there's a long-term nursing home center nearby as well.

Local police have that building surrounded. There have been pictures of them moving in in one area. But the latest information we've had is that they're wanting people that are still in that building to stay put at this time.

Prior to entering this office building, the gunman, apparently, shot five people. All five are in critical condition. One man, a 65- year-old man, with a head shot wound is at Mercy Hospital in critical. And the four others are at another hospital, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. All four in critical condition.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We are seeing some videotape from earlier, when SWAT Teams were in the area. Subsequent to these pictures, the local television reporters were saying that the situation seemed to have relaxed some. But within the past five minutes, we saw SWAT Team members, with guns drawn, enter that office complex, the West-Penn office center, where all those offices are located we were mentioning, Natalie. And they had their guns drawn and they were, indeed, not relaxed.

We understand it is a sprawling complex. We saw some of the children and some of the people who are in the offices there being led away by SWAT Team members. And folks in the area have been warned to stay inside their offices, inside their homes, and stay away from the windows. So this situation is indeed not over yet. And police are inside the building as is the alleged gunman, and their next job is to talk him out.

ALLEN: This all, apparently, started at the apartment home of the gunman, who called to have something repaired at his home. When the repairman arrived, apparently the gunman one of them at point- blank range, then left the apartment building after setting a small fire there -- went out. As we just heard a reporter from WPXI report, one person waiting for their food in the drive-through -- this McDonald's you're seeing -- was shot. Another person at this McDonald's was shot. So again, a total of five people. We also heard from an eyewitness that talked with our affiliate WTAE, who said the gunman came into her home and sat down at the kitchen table for a while, and said to her not to worry -- she was African-American -- he only was interested in shooting white people. We haven't received a further description of the gunman. All we know is that he had a handgun with him and this is ongoing in the community of Wilkensburg.

WATERS: The order of the shooting, as you indicated, perhaps started at the apartment house. The local reporters are saying it began at the McDonald's. But the order of the 911 calls suggests that indeed, the shooting began at the Woodside Garden Apartments, which is on Wood Street, near the McDonald's. And then the subsequent shootings at McDonald's and then at Burger King, and then, where it is now -- the situation is now -- inside the Penn-West Office Center, where police and gunman are somehow face-to-face.

We have FBI negotiators there to assist, if needed, but state police, local Wilkens police -- Wilkensburg is a suburb of Pittsburgh -- and we have Pittsburgh police all at the scene of the negotiations now ongoing, in trying to get this man with the gun out of that office building.

ALLEN: Someone inside that office building also reported saying that the man walked in and said he had one more bullet. We don't know yet if the SWAT Team is in contact with this man, if they know where he's located inside this building, and whether they're talking with him at this point.

We'll continue to bring you developments, as we pay very close attention to this breaking news story today.

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