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CNN NEWSROOM

At Least 12 Killed in Virginia Beach Mass Shooting; Auto Dealers Worry Tariffs Will Increase Prices; Mexican Foreign Minister Says He'll Meet Pompeo over Trump Trade Threat; North Korea Purging Officials after Trump-Kim Summit; Just Hours until Greatest Show in Club Football. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 1, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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MEGAN BANTON, WITNESS: I don't know what with possess somebody to just come in and just start shooting at people.

BOBBY DYER, MAYOR, VIRGINIA BEACH: Oh, my goodness, it's a tragedy of epic proportions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming down the stairwell with multiple alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have him on the other side.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A deadly mass shooting in Virginia Beach. A community in shock and mourning. Police continue searching for a motive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL (voice-over): Plus the promise of tariffs on Mexico from the U.S. president. The auto industry reacts.

Also ahead this hour, the greatest show in club football. CNN is live in Madrid, counting down to the Champions League final.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. This is CNN NEWSROOM, which starts now.

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HOWELL: We are following the breaking news out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. A disgruntled city worker went on a shooting spree, killing multiple people in a municipal building.

Police got to the building quickly but not before the shooter killed at least 12 people, seriously wounding four others. Police killed him after cornering him in a shootout with officers. One officer was shot but saved by his bulletproof vest. Police recovered a rifle and semiautomatic handgun equipped with

extended magazines and a silencer. A police scanner captured the moment that the police closed in on the gunman. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear the air. We have the suspect behind a barricaded door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay where you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay off the radio. We need a key or an access right now to the second story, north end of the building.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dispatcher, I have one a co-worker has the key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-five. I'm coming from the south side. I have a key card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming down the stairwell with multiple alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have him on the other side, 504. He is on the ground. Hold the air.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HOWELL: That audio gives you a sense of the tense moments playing out with police officers. Here's the thing, people who worked in the building struggled to understand what was happening. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BANTON: I just don't know why anyone would do something like that. I don't know what with possess somebody to just come in and just start shooting at people. I have an 11-month-old baby at home and all I could think about is him and trying to make it home to him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The terror played out in Virginia Beach, Virginia. For viewers around the world, here is a map where it is located. It's a popular vacation town on the U.S. East Coast. The police chief there described the shootout that ended the attack.

CHIEF JAMES CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE: I can tell you that it was a long gun battle between those four officers and that suspect.

We've recovered a .45 caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines that were empty at the time. The suspect was reloading extended magazines in that handgun, firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers.

I want you to know that, during this gun battle, basically the officers stopped this individual from creating more carnage in that building. When the suspect went down due to his injuries, our officers then immediately rendered first aid as they were removing him from the building to the waiting EMS personnel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Shortly after the gunman was identified, police focused in on his home as part of the investigation. Our Brian Todd was there.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here at the home of shooting suspect DeWayne Craddock. He lived in this attached home over my left shoulder, where the porch is illuminated. The police have been here all night, looking for different clues.

This is going to be one of the key components of the investigation as they piece together parts of this investigation. And one of the key parts of that is to try to piece together a motive for the shooting that left at least 12 people dead at that municipal center in Virginia Beach.

We know that the suspect, according to police, did come in with two guns, a .45 caliber pistol, semi automatic with extended magazines and a silencer, plus a rifle. So he apparently came in ready to do battle with police and he did do battle, according to police.

This was a --

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TODD (voice-over): -- long, drawn-out gun battle inside that municipal center. He went up to three floors and left victims on each floor and was engaged by police fairly quickly in a long gun battle, where they were able to stop him. One police officer shot and wounded but he was saved apparently, according to police, by his bulletproof vest.

Again, a key component of what we don't quite know yet and what police are trying to learn more about is the motive.

What set him off?

Sources tell CNN that Craddock was a disgruntled employee of the Virginia Beach Public Works Department. But beyond that at this moment, we don't know a lot and officers are here, FBI agents and others here, processing some evidence. This is going to be one of those key crime scenes where they are going to try to put all that together and hopefully learn more about the specific motive and whether he actually targeted people specifically in that building.

Clearly these were coworkers, most of them, who he killed.

But was he targeting people specifically in that building?

We are told he fired indiscriminately. But again, specific motive and possible specific targets that he might have had, that's going to be pieced together in the hours and days ahead -- Brian Todd, CNN, Virginia Beach, Virginia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: One of the people working in the building spoke with CNN about what he went through. Listen to this account.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAND BAKHTIARI, WITNESS: The first thing I want to do is thank the Virginia Beach Police Department and all the emergency response people for doing exactly what they were supposed to do. And when they came in and got me out of the building, I know that they were there, doing what they were supposed to do and they knew exactly what they were doing.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You were in the building while all of this was unfolding.

BAKHTIARI: Correct.

LEMON: Tell me what you heard and saw, Zand.

BAKHTIARI: I was on the first floor. And my boss had just left. I heard screams in the parking lot. I assumed there was a car accident or something. Then he called his boss, who works right beside me and he told us that there was a gunman and we needed to shelter in place.

And we locked our doors and I immediately texted my loved ones and maybe a couple minutes after that, I just heard rapid, rapid gunfire.

LEMON: How long do you think it lasted?

BAKHTIARI: I'm not 100 percent sure, but maybe between 30 seconds to a minute.

LEMON: But the whole incident you think was, it only took about 30 seconds?

BAKHTIARI: No, just the gunshots that I heard.

LEMON: Just the gunshots. Did it feel like all this, that this was going on forever and not just the gunshots, but the entire thing being on lockdown and hiding?

BAKHTIARI: It's a little bit of a blur, but I mean, within 30 minutes, we were out. The SWAT team came and got us. They cleared, at least our floor. We were put in a secure location. And told to wait. I'm sure it seems, looking back, it seems like it felt longer than it actually did.

LEMON: What were you texting to your family members, you said?

BAKHTIARI: I was texting my girlfriend that, she didn't even know what was going on, it wasn't even on the news yet, just telling her what I was doing, I was sheltering in place, we were all fine, that everything was going to be OK. And once I got out of the building, I texted my parents and my brother

and told them that I was out of the building and everything was OK. And I think that might have been the first time they even heard about anything. That's how fast they came and got us.

LEMON: What did they say to you?

Did they respond?

BAKHTIARI: Yes, they responded. Shock and disbelief.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Joining me now to talk more about this is CNN law enforcement analyst and former Washington, D.C., police chief, Charles Ramsey, joining via Skype.

Good to have you, Charles.

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's good to be here.

HOWELL: So a disgruntled worker entering the building and opening fire. We know the attacker used a handgun with a sound suppressor so, unlike other shootings, many people in his path, they didn't hear the sound of gunfire.

RAMSEY: Yes, that is unusual. You know, a lot of people think that a silencer totally muffles the sound. It doesn't. But it takes a minute to understand that was a handgun going off as opposed to the regular sound of a gunshot. So I imagine it was confusing for people there.

HOWELL: So, look, as a city worker, Charles, this attacker would have obviously had knowledge of the building.

Could that have played a factor into how he moved from room to room, especially when police officers closed in on him?

RAMSEY: There's absolutely no question about that. He was a veteran worker. Been in the building God knows how many times. He had victims on all three floors. So he moved around and he moved around with ease. He had a .45 caliber semiautomatic with extended magazines. I don't think we --

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RAMSEY: -- are sure whether or not a rifle recovered belonged to him or not. But he clearly intended to kill as many people as possible. And because he knew the building, he knew where people would be gathered where you'd have clusters of building. He went in the building. Yes, he didn't waste any time.

These things go down fairly quickly and the police response was very quick. And he was still able to kill 12 people. I mean, it is just terrible.

HOWELL: Charles, would that have given him an advantage?

Again, when police cornered him and tracked him down, would that give him some advantage?

RAMSEY: Yes, there's no question about that. I mean, he knows the layout. When you get dispatched to a scene, whether it's a school or a factory or what have you, odds are you have probably not been in that building very often.

Now this was a municipal building. Officers probably go in and out of the building. But it doesn't mean they really know the layout that well, especially beyond the first floor. So he would have an advantage, especially since it appears he planned this out to some extent.

So he knew what he was doing. There's no question about that. He would have the advantage because he knows his actions. You are trying to figure it out and trying to locate him and trying to neutralize the situation.

HOWELL: You touched on this. As far as weapons, we understand a .45 caliber handgun was used; investigators found a rifle; multiple magazines and extended magazines were used.

What does this tell you about the gunman going into the situation?

RAMSEY: Well, he planned on an awful lot of carnage. I mean, the average .45 caliber semiautomatic -- or at least the one I had -- carried 14 rounds. With

one in the chamber, that gives you 15. With the extended magazine, you can carry 30. It depends on the magazine itself. They come in different sizes.

So he had multiple extended magazines. So he had a lot of ammunition. If he had not been taken down when he was, there's no doubt in my mind more people would have either been wounded or killed.

HOWELL: Charles, at this point, the motive is still unclear.

It raises the question, were there warning signs?

What can businesses, people do to identify risks like this as early as possible?

RAMSEY: Well, you know, one of the things that will be part of the investigation is to kind of backtrack everything, to find out what it was that made this individual disgruntled to a point to become violent.

We have a lot of people disgruntled in the workplace but they necessarily don't go out and kill people. They're going to have to really dig deep. What I would say to people is this. If you have a person who is really being threatening -- and I don't know if this guy was threatening beforehand or not -- but certainly don't take it lightly. Report it. Pay attention to that sort of thing. And if it is serious enough, give police a call and at least have it

looked at. But I don't know if this was an actionable type of situation or not.

Did he behave in a way that would really allow law enforcement to take pro-active steps?

We'll find all that out during the course of the investigation.

HOWELL: Charles Ramsey with perspective. Charles, thank you.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

HOWELL: We'll have much more on the tragedy in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a little later in the show. You will hear CNN's interview with the mayor of Virginia Beach as he faces the challenge of trying to help that city come to grips with what happened.

Also ahead, one of the biggest purchases most people make is a car. If the U.S. president makes good on a new threat, vehicles may suddenly cost you a lot more. Stay with us.

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HOWELL: President Trump's threat of tariffs on Mexico: trade tensions could come to a head on Wednesday when the Mexican foreign minister will be in Washington, D.C., to discuss the threat to his country. He and U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo already have talked by phone.

Mr. Trump has promised to impose escalating tariffs on June 10th if Mexico doesn't stem the flow of migrants crossing the U.S. border with Mexico. While analysts say the tariffs will hurt the economies of both countries, one White House adviser says it won't hurt consumers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why American consumers' prices on all of that stuff coming from Mexico?

PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP TRADE ADVISER: So this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Trump tariffs. China, for example, bears the burden of the tariffs in the form of lower exports, lower prices for the products, lower profits for the companies. People say that somehow American consumers will pay for this. It is simply not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: But many U.S. retailers dispute that claim. They say prices will go up. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and lawmakers in both parties also oppose the new tariffs. Republican senator Chuck Grassley released a statement, calling Mr. Trump's threat a "misuse of presidential tariff authority."

He adds, making good on the threat "would seriously jeopardize passage of the USMCA."

The USMCA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, a replacement for the current North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. Automakers have backed the new arrangement but they are pushing back on the idea of tariffs against Mexico. Vanessa Yurkevich explains why.

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VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The impact of these tariffs on the U.S. auto industry would be significant. And that is according to U.S. auto manufacturers, who are weighing in on these new tariffs.

Every American car manufacturer gets its parts from Mexico and some even import fully assembled vehicles. We are in Lyndhurst, New Jersey at Frank's GMC where the owner tells me that his best-selling vehicle is from Mexico. So he is concerned about these tariffs and the effects they will have on his business, customers and employees.

FRANK PEZZOLLA, FRANK'S GMC: Well, if you are a consumer looking to buy one of these nice SUVs --

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PEZZOLLA: -- how would you feel about a 5 percent increase?

A 25 percent increase would probably be a disaster. I don't know how we would deal with that. We have 115 employees that depend on us and depend on us selling these vehicles. So I am concerned and I don't want to see them affected in a bad way.

YURKEVICH: This comes after a tough year for U.S. auto manufacturers who have already had to deal with slumping sales, record layoffs and tariffs on steel and aluminum. And according to one auto expert, the cost of U.S. vehicles could go up by $1,300 per vehicle. That is no small amount of money for the average American -- back to you.

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HOWELL: Vanessa, thank you.

Let's get perspective now with Natasha Lindstaedt. She is a professor of government at the University of Essex, joining me from Hamburg, Germany.

Great to have you with us.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: Tariffs clearly the weapon of choice for the U.S. president. The timing is notable. It is happening on the heels of a successful trade agreement with the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Wouldn't that muddy the water?

Tariffs on a deal that has yet to be ratified?

LINDSTAEDT: I think that is why Trump's closest advisers, financial advisers and key Republican colleagues, are upset about this latest maneuver to try to implement this tariff system on Mexico in order to curb immigration.

It jeopardizes all of the work they put in to getting the big agreement, the USMCA agreement, which was supposed to be a better alternative to NAFTA. This was a key campaign promise.

He is deciding to go against this all in order to deter immigration and this tactic is unlikely to work. It is not very well thought out. And as you reported, it will have huge effects on U.S. automakers.

You see shares of General Motors down by 4 percent. Shares of Ford down 2 percent. It will have an impact on consumers. Over $1,000 more to buy a car. If tariffs are implemented at 25 percent, that will amount to an $87 billion annual tax increase for consumers.

So it is the consumers paying the price. And it will have huge effects on the Mexican and American economies.

HOWELL: So that's the economic timing with the USMCA in the backdrop. Let's talk about the political timing.

Let's not forget; this was a challenging week for the president, hearing Robert Mueller speak publicly about the Russia investigation.

What do you say to those who suggest this was a way for the president to essentially turn the page and move on past news that maybe he didn't want to hear?

LINDSTAEDT: That was actually my first instinct when I saw the announcement on the huge tariffs on Mexico. It seemed to come out of nowhere. All of the talk was about the Mueller investigation and the fact that Mueller had stated clearly that Trump was not exonerated. And Trump went on a Twitter tirade and seemed angered by Mueller.

He seemed to want to pivot attention to what is going on at the border. That is the area where he can connect with his base, who want to stem the flow of immigration and see Trump taking tough tactics, such as deterrent policies on Mexico.

He has been able to convince some of his base, if not all of his base, that tariffs are good and this is something that U.S. needs to do to be more competitive and this is going to be the way forward in order to deter the immigration coming in, which has risen to really, really high levels in 2019. So I think he thinks this is a good political tactic to gain support

of his base and it does distract attention from what was taking place with the Mueller report.

HOWELL: You say it could be a distraction. There is an election around the corner. The economy is a big deal.

What would tariffs mean for the United States?

What would tariffs mean for Mexico?

We're already hearing the auto industry push back against it.

LINDSTAEDT: Right. It will have a huge effect on the U.S. and Mexican economies. We already mentioned that $90 billion of Mexican auto parts and vehicles are exported into the U.S. that effects very complex supply chains. It will have a huge effect on the auto industry.

It will affect consumers in agriculture because Mexico is the number one supplier of --

[04:25:00]

LINDSTAEDT: -- agricultural goods to the U.S. and it will affect the U.S. in terms of dealing with other countries.

Other countries will see that the U.S. is unpredictable and has threatened with tariffs as a weapon. We see it with India and Turkey, Mexico, China and the E.U., sort of dancing around it with Japan.

What incentive will they have to make a trade agreement with the U.S. when they cannot trust what the U.S. is going to do under the Trump administration from one day to the next?

It creates all kinds of uncertainty in the U.S. economy. And one thing we know about economic growth, it is not good to have uncertainty and instability. That is the biggest problem. He needs to convey certainty.

And to be able to communicate to other global partners that the U.S. is trustworthy. So we are going to see stock markets affected and consumers affected. I can't see how this possibly, if implemented, is good for Trump in the end. The economy is all he has at this point.

HOWELL: You know, you talk about how you feel this was not a well planned or well laid-out issue. There is an internal tug-of-war in the White House. The president overruled a pair of his top economic advisers in deciding to move forward with Mexico, urged on to do so, like Peter Navarro and President Trump's adviser Steven Miller.

There are indications, Natasha, that this came together last minute.

LINDSTAEDT: It feels like it came together very last minute. It didn't seem very well planned. It seemed very emotional. That's the way immigration policy by Trump seems to be. It is not really well thought out but more of an emotional response.

It is not thinking of the long term. You could think maybe they should increase aid to Central American countries to stem the flow of immigration. Instead, in March he announced he wanted to cut off aid. And these countries weren't receiving very much aid to begin with.

If you look at Honduras, only about $118 million in aid; whereas countries like Colombia are receiving over $500 million in aid. So a well thought out, comprehensive plan, would work with the Mexican government and Central American countries in order to build up the countries and provide a more hospitable environment for people to live in so it wouldn't create this migrant crisis.

HOWELL: Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you, Natasha.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you.

HOWELL: The latest on the breaking news out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. We will have that after the break. We'll tell you what we learned about the mass shooting and you will hear from that city's mayor.

Also, the United States responds to reports that North Korea executed some of Kim Jong-un's top negotiators. All of the details ahead as CNN NEWSROOM continues in the U.S. and worldwide.

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HOWELL: We continue following the breaking news here on CNN. The latest deadly mass shooting that happened in the state of Virginia. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. Welcome back to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world.

We want to bring you up to speed on what happened there. Here is what we know. A disgruntled city worker went on a shooting rampage, killing multiple people in a city municipal building. Police got to the scene quickly but already 12 died, four seriously wounded.

The gunman died after a long shootout with police officers. One officer was shot but saved by his bulletproof vest. Police recovered a rifle and a semiautomatic handgun equipped with extended magazines and a silencer.

The mayor of Virginia Beach, Bobby Dyer, is shocked by this tragedy and he says the city is now focusing on the victims and their families. Here is part of what he told CNN earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOBBY DYER, MAYOR, VIRGINIA BEACH: It's a sense of shock to many people. You know, this is not Virginia Beach, but this is an unfortunate situation that happened. And we're going to deal with it.

And we're so proud of our first responders, that really came about and it was, oh, my goodness, a tragedy of epic proportions, but that being said, once we get over the shock of it, you know, we're going to move forward as a city, as a community.

We're going to be there for the families and, you know, don't forget, you know, the people that were victims of this tragic event, you know, they were family members, they were co-workers, they were a vital part of the community of Virginia Beach and they will not be forgotten.

Our hearts pour out to the families and the friends and you know, what we -- we're still in the process of going through the identification and you know, some of the necessary details that we have to go through at this point.

LEMON: You have identified the suspect, but are not releasing his information as of yet, correct?

DYER: Not at this time. Because you know, once again, we made the conscious decision to withhold the name and focus on the victims and their families at this point.

LEMON: Was he known to law enforcement?

DYER: Once again, the details of this are still, you know, not known, but be assured we have a tremendous magnificent police force. We have the safest city for a city our size and I think that's why this is such a shock to us, But be assured that our police are going to do their due diligence and get the information out as in the proper sequence.

LEMON: In these situations, the folks in your community are looking to the mayor for guidance and leadership.

What are you saying to members of your community tonight, Mayor?

DYER: Be strong. We are a city of resolve. And, you know, we're going to come together as a community. You know, this does not define Virginia Beach. What defines Virginia Beach are the many fine people in the neighborhoods, where people work in Virginia Beach, they live in Virginia Beach, they come to Virginia Beach and play.

We're going to come together as a community. And we're going to be there for the families and we're going to be there for -- and let's not forget, there were a number of other employees, that were in that building, at the time that are going to have the nightmares. But this situation --

[04:35:00]

DYER: -- was a nightmare that no one ever wants to live through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: That was Don Lemon, speaking with the mayor of Virginia Beach.

In the meantime, officials are searching for answers. My colleague, John Berman spoke with the former FBI governing council James Baker about what investigators are doing now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES BAKER, FORMBER FBI GENERAL COUNSEL: So the main investigative priority is to make sure that people are safe. In other words, that there are no other people who were connected to or involved in the violent events that took place sadly today. And so investigators are trying to run down every single possible lead with respect to whether anybody else might have been involved.

One of the things they're going to do is to go to any locations that were owned, rented by the shooter. So for example, house and apartment, storage shed, car, things like that. One of the most dangerous things is that people like this sometimes will booby trap locations like that. So the investigators have to proceed very cautiously.

But what their main priority is, is to protect people and make sure that there's no remaining immediate threat to anyone in the community or anywhere else. And to bring whatever people who might be involved to justice.

I'm not saying there are, it's probably a low probability. But that's safety of the community is what they're worried about most.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: And I know very quickly, you also look at this and have concerns about the waves of people who are affected.

BAKER: Absolutely. I mean, starting with, you know, the victims who are killed, obviously and then the victims who are wounded, the other victims who were not physically wounded but who were there whose lives who at risk and who are therefore victims. And then you have all of their families, they're all going to be traumatized by this.

I think people sometimes don't focus also on the impact of this has on, especially the first responders, law enforcement, emergency services, that type of thing and then their families as well. This has a rippling effect throughout the community.

The good news is that there are an amazing amount of highly trained, highly professional law enforcement and emergency services, professionals who are trained, unfortunately, to deal with these kind of situations who are kind of come to the assistance of the community. It's quite impressive to watch and it's very awe inspiring, but -- and unfortunately they know how to do this very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: That was former FBI director James Baker with John Berman. Stay with CNN as we continue to follow this developing story, this deadly shooting that took place in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The U.S. State Department is investigating disturbing allegations by a South Korean newspaper. It is reporting that North Korea executed some top officials. This following the summit with Kim Jong-un and President Trump that ended without a nuclear deal earlier this year.

One of the rumored victims is North Korea's special envoy to the United States, Kim Yong-chol. We are following the story with Paula Hancocks.

Paula, remind us of the significance of Kim Yong-chol and what we know so far.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, Kim Yong-chol is effectively the lead negotiator or was with the United States. We do need to caution viewers that this is simply one report from a South Korean newspaper, based on an unnamed source. Clearly there are questions still out there.

We have heard caution from the secretary of state Mike Pompeo asked about this report, saying he is aware of it and they are looking into it. The same from Steve Biegun, who was Chol's counterpart in North Korea. We heard from the senior diplomatic source in the United States that it is clear these officials have disappeared. They disappeared from view. They have no independent information or intelligence to suggest what "Chosun Ilbo" is reporting.

This newspaper has got it wrong in the past as the intelligence agency here in South Korea. It is not an exact science trying to figure out who is in and out in the North Korean regime. The only way we know for sure is when North Korea announces it.

In 2013, the when Chan-song Tek, the uncle of Kim Jong-un was executed. We knew that for certain because it was announced by North Korea. There is a small chance we will never know what has happened to these officials.

Kim Yong-chol has not been seen since the Hanoi summit in February with the U.S. president and Kim Jong-un which ended without an agreement, which was a failure for the leader Kim Jong-un and also Kim Hyok Chol, who was once the right hand man, who hasn't been seen since April.

It is clear there has been a shakeup. Those at the foreign ministry appear to be taking the lead when it comes to the United States.

HOWELL: Reiterating, Paula, this information coming from a newspaper in South Korea, based on one source.

[04:40:00]

HOWELL: So whether we see more confirmation or not, time will tell.

But historically speaking, Paula, is it fair to say that Kim Jong-un reacts harshly with people around him when things don't go the way he wants them to go? HANCOCKS: Absolutely. There have been some very public reports from North Korea of executions, his uncle back in 2013. We know that North Korea would have been very surprised by the fact that the Hanoi summit ended without agreement.

It would have been humiliating for Kim Jong-un. He publicly told his people that the summit would happen. He believed he would come back with some kind of agreement or at least a statement that he could point to as a success.

So there is going to be an element of making sure that none of the blame falls at the feet of Kim Jong-un for that summit not going the way they wanted. The very fact there has been a shakeup, that the foreign minister and his deputy as well appear to be more in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiations. We are seeing more of them.

It is very clear that they have put some blame on previous negotiators. Whether or not they put this much blame, we don't know.

HOWELL: Paula Hancocks in South Korea. Thank you.

President Trump is setting the stage for next week's state visit to the United Kingdom. In an interview with the British newspaper "The Sun," he criticized outgoing prime minister Theresa May for the way she handled Brexit and expressed support for Boris Johnson, saying he would be an excellent replacement.

Theresa May is to step down as the Conservative Party leader after Mr. Trump's visit, triggering a leadership contest.

During the interview, Mr. Trump also said he didn't know Meghan Markle was, quote, "nasty," after he learned she said she would move to Canada if he won the presidential election. Mr. Trump is expected to have lunch with her husband, Prince Harry.

Thousands of Liverpool and Tottenham fans have descended on Madrid for the Champions League final. CNN has been speaking to the mastermind of Liverpool's 2005 triumph to see if history will repeat itself.

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HOWELL: Welcome back. Kickoff is only hours away for the Champions League final in Madrid. It is an all English face-off with Tottenham and Liverpool. We have Amanda Davies live with us.

Amanda, talk about the fans and the tickets, which are pricy, and the buildup of the event.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, we are still over 10 hours from kickoff. We are outside the stadium in Madrid, about eight miles or so from the center of Madrid. I can tell you there are fans here at the stadium already, we think trying to get their hands on one of these very elusive match tickets.

It is a little bit like Willy Wonka and the search for the Golden Ticket for those spectators wanting to be inside the stadium. I lost count the number of fans who asked us if wed' got any to spare. It is an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 fans who traveled to Spain from the U.K. But only 34,000 tickets for the Champions League final actually being made available to the spectators.

We have spoken to fans from Malaysia and Israel without tickets, all still hoping to get inside. Prices, we heard somebody paid $5,000 for one ticket. Somebody else offered one for $10,000 but felt that was too much. European football governing UEFA sent a warning saying do not buy tickets on the black market. They made a number of arrests with people offering fake tickets.

It really is a worry. People are so desperate to be inside. They could hand over large sums of money but not actually get a ticket that is valid to get inside the stadium. There are lots of fans here in Madrid. They decided they just want to enjoy the party and be in the city when either side makes a bit European football history -- George.

HOWELL: Amanda, the Spurs are the underdog. Are Liverpool favorites here?

DAVIES: Yes, I think on paper, Liverpool are favorites. They have by far the better record in the head-to-head matches in recent times. They lost just one of the last 14 meetings. They finished ahead of Spurs by 26 points in the Premier League this season.

But all of the soundings from the press conference we attended yesterday, defender Andy Robertson saying the games against Spurs this season, both which Liverpool won, were very close. They were their toughest games of the season so far.

It is Liverpool as well with the Champions League experience, of course. They were beaten in the final this time last year. This is their ninth appearance in the decider overall. Spurs here for the first time in European football's top club competition decider.

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool boss, says that experience from last year, he thinks, will be invaluable.

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JURGEN KLOPP, LIVERPOOL MANAGER: We had a sensational champion campaign last year which ended with a really strange football game, which we lost against Real Madrid. On the way back, if somebody would have told us you get another chance next year, we would have signed that contract immediately.

And here we go again. That's been just amazing, getting this chance again.

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DAVIES: "Here we go again." Neither manager in their press conference giving anything away about their starting lineups. Klopp did say Roberto Firmino is fit but didn't say if he will start. The big question for Spurs is Harry Kane.

Will their talismanic striker come back into the starting lineup?

Again their manager said he will not make a decision. He will leave it until this morning. But 10 hours or so to go until we find out and the big kickoff.

HOWELL: We will find out soon. Amanda Davies, thank you.

[04:50:00]

HOWELL: In the United States, the central part of the country is dealing with heavy rain and causing the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers to breach their banks and could put thousands of homes in danger.

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[04:55:00]

HOWELL: Thank you for being with us this hour for CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell in the CNN Center in Atlanta. More news after the break. Stay with us.

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