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Breaking News

Sgt. Castle of Culver City, CA Police Department Discusses Hostage Standoff

Aired November 6, 2000 - 9:51 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to bring you the latest information now on the hostage standoff situation in Culver City, California in Southern California. Going to use live pictures from our affiliate KTLA and bring in Sgt. Lou Castle with the Culver City Police Department.

Sergeant, are you there?

SGT. LOU CASTLE, CULVER CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, I am. Good morning.

KAGAN: Good morning, sir. Can you explain to us exactly what's happening at this Target store?

CASTLE: We still don't have full details, but I'll tell you what we do know. At approximately 5:20 this morning, we received a phone call from -- apparently, from employees of the Target store that there was a robbery in progress. Responding officers arrived and set up a perimeter to contain the scene.

At that time, we had information that there were four suspects. At this time, we've got a number of employees that have left the store and are being detained for questioning. And we have three suspects that are being detained at this moment. We don't know if they're suspects or not. They've not been identified as yet. And still one suspect outstanding.

KAGAN: So the situation is not cleared yet. There still might be somebody inside that store?

CASTLE: That's correct. Officers have net yet entered the store and searched it.

KAGAN: Are there still hostages inside, as you understand it?

CASTLE: That's possible, too. We don't know.

KAGAN: I understand some of the confusion this morning was word that the gunmen potentially could have been wearing the same clothing as target employees. Is that right?

CASTLE: That's always a possibility. And at one point, approximately 14 or 15 people identified as employees exited out the back of the store. They were detained and we had a known store employee come and identify them. And three of them -- we're detaining the three people, I believe. It's possible that the three people that we're detaining now were just temporary employees that he doesn't recognize or they could be suspects who dressed themselves as Target employees. At this time, it's still unfolding. We don't have the details yet.

KAGAN: Because we actually saw some of those pictures live here on CNN as those people were coming out of the store. There were asked to be face-down on the ground.

CASTLE: That's correct. I saw it. I was watching that myself.

KAGAN: You were, OK. Well, if you're a hostage and you're finally free of the store, that can kind of be a scary situation to have a police officer pointing a gun at you, no?

CASTLE: Yes, it can be. You know, it feels like you're going from one bad situation to another bad situation. The problem is is that, at that point, as I said, we don't know if those are employees or if, in fact, the suspects have dressed themselves up as employees and they're still armed. So we're going to treat them in a way that guarantees both their safety and ours.

KAGAN: And so just to wrap right now, the situation still not resolved. There still might be some people inside, both hostages and another suspect?

CASTLE: That's correct.

KAGAN: All right, we will let you go, keep our eye on the situation. Sgt. Lou Castle from the Culver City Police Department, thanks for joining us here on CNN. Appreciate it.

And here's Bill.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Daryn. We'll certainly watch that. KTLA with the helicopter picture there.

A short time ago, we heard from the traffic reporter there, Jennifer York, who was on the scene there and filed a piece for us here at CNN, talking about the very latest from there. We'll watch it again. The Target store is the center point at the point of this story right now in Culver City in Southern California. More details as we get it.

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