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Culver City, California Public Information Officer Holds News Conference on Target Hostage StandoffAired November 6, 2000 - 10:56 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: Just getting more information now out of Culver City. Going to bring back Randi Joseph, the public information officer out of Culver City.
Randi, can you hear me? Good morning to you.
OK, now getting information now she is live on camera talking with the reporters. Let's pick it up right now in Culver City.
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RANDI JOSEPH, PUBLIC INFO. OFFICER, CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA: ... that anybody coming out of the building, questioning them to make sure that they were, in fact, not employees and they were suspects, or vice versa.
QUESTION: Any shots ever fired, Randi?
JOSEPH: No shots were fired, no one was injured. The rescues that you guys see behind me are here just in case of the event of an emergency. But it's been a good day in that nobody has had to use them.
QUESTION: Are they employees, do you know?
JOSEPH: We don't know at this time. That's going to take a lot of questioning and a little bit more detective work. We now have detectives on scene. Originally, we had officers and SWAT team members on scene to cope with the situation. We had hostage negotiators on scene. And as I said, it's a joint effort of Culver City, LAPD and the sheriff's department to make sure that we got everybody out safely. That's what we've done. Now we're doing a systematic search of the building to get any weapons out, get any other evidence, any other clues that we can get. We'll probably be here most of the morning so that we can make sure that we find out who these people are, what they did and make sure that they stay...
QUESTION: How did you single them out? Did the employees identify them? Did they -- how did they...
JOSEPH: It was probably a combination. I believe some of the employees may have been able to tell who did not, in fact, work there, and also who brandished a weapon at them, because the suspects did come in, they did brandish weapons, they did make demands for the employees to get down on the floor. However, weather or not they came in in Target uniforms or they left in Target uniforms in order to mix in with the employees who were leaving, that we don't know at this time. Right now, we concentrated on getting on scene, securing the area, getting the employees out safely and getting those suspects out as well.
QUESTION: All told, how many employees...
JOSEPH: I'm sorry, one at a time.
JOSEPH: Right now, I think they were just pleased and relieved that they were safe and that the police were there and they felt real comfortable. Right now, they're sitting on the bus relaxing. We're getting them something to drink, we're continuing to question them to make sure that, you know, they're giving us all the information they can so we can prevent this from ever happening.
QUESTION: All told, how many store employees have been brought out safely?
JOSEPH: We believe we have between 30 and 40 employees total coming out of the building. In this last -- we had 15 earlier this morning. In this last group, approximately 20-25, and among those was one of the suspects.
QUESTION: What do you think they were after?
JOSEPH: Money. That's usually what armed robbers are after.
QUESTION: No products?
JOSEPH: I have no -- you know, we have no way of knowing. They'll be questioned further, but presumably they were looking for cash. It's our understanding that someone knew when the alarms were turned off at Target and when the perfect time to come in...
HEMMER: All right, Randi Joseph there speaking with reporters. She is the public information officer in Culver City. Again, as you see from the map right there detailing Southern California, just on the out edge of Los Angeles.
Again, the good news now, no shot, no injuries. We got her back now?
All right, let's take her. Again, Randi Joseph in Culver City.
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JOSEPH: ... were able to get them pretty quickly.
QUESTION: Did they ever make any demands, did they threaten in any way?
JOSEPH: We're talking to the employees right now to get a little more detail on what the suspects said to them, what kind of demands they made other than that original "get down on the floor" and, you know, "don't look at us" kind of thing. We don't have any more information on the information they gave us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve, that's Randi Joseph of the Culver City...
HEMMER: All right, again, Randi Joseph. What we do know, no shots fired, no injuries. That's the good news out of Southern California.
Again, this situation went down 5:00 a.m. local time, about 8:00 a.m. Eastern time earlier today. We've been tracking it for about three hours time right now.
What we don't know right now, though, according to Randi Joseph, because we did not hear the proper question as to whether or not there are any suspects still inside the building, and if indeed all the employees have exited the building. We do know between 30-40 employees have been let out in a couple different groups; and also two suspects are in custody.
If you're just joining us, this a robbery situation that took place at the Target store in Culver City, California. Again, it seems to be winding down right now, but, again, inconclusive if, again, it is completely wrapped up at this point.
We'll track it. More information throughout the morning.
What you're seeing right there, by the way, as we've shown throughout the past hour, those are employees being let out of the store as a precaution for law enforcement officials on the scene, to put the hands over the head and make sure everything indeed is safe and OK with the folks exiting that Target store.
We'll track it, let you know what happens throughout the morning here.
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