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Breaking News

Gallinot: Santa Monica Gunman Releases Woman, Some Children

Aired July 4, 2000 - 9:10 a.m. ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We talked earlier about the hostage situation underway now in Santa Monica, California.

Back now, live, is CNN's Jim Hill, who is near the pier there for the very latest.

New information I understand, Jim? what do you have?

JIM HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bill. We understand that within the last half hour some hostages have been released by the gunman who is -- has been holding at least four and as many as six people hostage on the Santa Monica Pier that you can see behind me here in Santa Monica, California.

We've been told that a woman and some children were released within the last half hour. However, that leaves still some hostages in the custody of this suspect. And at this point police are still not sure exactly how many hostages there are.

We can talk about this in some detail now with Santa Monica police Lt. Gary Gallinot.

Can you tell us about this latest development in terms of the release of some hostages?

LT. GARY GALLINOT, SANTA MONICA POLICE DEPT.: Well, we've had three or four hostages that were released in the last half an hour. What we are doing right now is in contact with the suspect telephonically. We believe there's still four to six hostages left inside the Playland arcade.

HILL: Now tell me something about the suspect in terms of what the suspect was wanted for when originally confronted and just how you're treating this in terms of the danger posed?

GALLINOT: Well, we'd received information from San Bernardino County sheriffs, which is in a county adjacent to Los Angeles County, that there was a homicide suspect down here on the Santa Monica Pier. The suspect was involved in three separate homicides in San Bernardino and Los Angeles County earlier in the month of June. We took one suspect into custody. The suspect that is held up in the Playland arcade was an accomplice to that suspect, and fled from police, went inside the arcade, came out to the rear of the arcade and opened fire on our police officers. Three officers were shot, one civilian, maybe two civilians were injured. They've all been transported to local area hospitals where they're in good condition.

HILL: Now at this point, is the situation basically stable? do you have this man isolated? and do you believe that you've stabilized the situation in terms of establishing contact with the suspect and negotiating?

GALLINOT: Yes, we have the suspect contained inside the Playland arcade. We've thrown a phone in to him, so we have telephonic contact with him. And he has been talking with us. Certainly it's a good sign when a suspect does release hostages. Our primary concern is with the safety of those hostages that are still left in the Playland arcade and hopefully bring a successful resolution to this where the suspect will give himself up and we can take him into custody.

HILL: OK, thank you very much.

Again, that is Santa Monica police Lt. Gary Gallinot giving us the latest information: that three or four hostages, a woman apparently, and some children, have been released in the last half hour by the gunman who continues to hold anywhere from four to six people hostage in the arcade section of the Santa Monica Pier.

Back to you.

HEMMER: All right, Jill Hill, thanks, for the very latest there in Santa Monica.

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