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Shooting Over in San Francisco, 11 Injured and 3 Dead. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 29, 2019 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARIE CHURCH, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. We are following the breaking news in the U.S. state of California, at least 3 people are dead and 11 injured after a shooter opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival south of San Francisco. I am Rosemary Church

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: And I am George Howell. Welcome to our viewers around the world. Here's what we know so far. Police say that they shot and killed a shooter. They also say the suspect may have had an accomplice.

CHURCH: Police have said the festival is still an active crime scene. A law enforcement source also tells CNN they have recovered a firearm and rifle ammunition. And you are about to see and hear video from the shooting, a warning, though, some of it is disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on? What's going on? What's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) they're shooting.


HOWELL: Local officials held a news conference earlier. They explain what they know so far. Here is what the Gilroy police chief had to say about what you just saw and heard. Listen.


SCOTT SMITHEE, GILROY CALIFORNIA POLICE CHIEF: There were reports of shooting on the north side of the Garlic Festival area. Boxers were in that area and engaged the suspect in less than a minute the suspect was shot and killed by -- it appears as if though they had come into the festival via the creek, which borders a parking area. And they used to some sort of a tool to cut through the fence to be able to gain access through the secure defense line.

And that is how they got into the festival area itself. We have one suspect we know that is down. We have some witnesses reporting that there may have been a second suspect. But we don't know if that suspect was engaged in any shooting or whether they may have been in some sort of a support role for what we have accounted for. We have at least 15 people injured. We have four fatalities that we know of, including the suspect.


CHURCH: And we are covering this story from multiple angles. Our correspondent, Paul Vercammen, joins us now from Los Angeles. So Paul, talk to us about this situation. It took a very long time for all of us to hear some of these details from police from police, and that had a lot of people very concerned. We since have found out that the suspect has been shot and killed. But this talk of the possibility of an accomplice has many people very ill at ease.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Rosemary. And you may have heard the police chief repeatedly used the term they. They possibly cut through this fence they believed to gain access to the festival. The police chief and others saying that there is security and they don't want people going into the festival. They were also dealing with -- when you talk about the release of information tremendous distances.

This festival is an open air festival. This park that it takes place is 52 acres. Also, you may have heard that a lot of the activity where the shooting was heard near a stage. Well, there are three stages in this festival. So they had or have a lot of ground to cover. As you heard the police chief saying that there is possibly this second person or accomplice, and they don't know just what that person's role might have been in all of this.

And that is exactly what you said, Rosemary, something that would alarm people who are wondering just what is going on with this reported possible second suspect.

CHURCH: And, of course, this we've found a lot of the times when any of this sort of breaking news develops, witness reports can be confusing. They can be contradictory. We may very well find out there is not an accomplice, because in the whole scene people get a little bit confused. But we will wait and see. We'll know in the coming hours.

[02:05:03] But just wanted to get some clarification on those numbers, because the police were saying 15 people were injured and the reporting seems to be going the direction of 11. Can you clarify what is going on there with those numbers?

VERCAMMEN: Yes. As you heard, the chief did say 15 injured. But now from what we understand, they're walking that back that is the authorities. And they are saying 11 injured. Three people at the festival killed and then the fourth fatality would be that gunman. So the refined numbers are 11 injured, 3 killed at the festival, and that fourth person being the gunman that was killed.

CHURCH: All right. And we will hear more in the coming hours, of course. And explain to us why authorities have been reluctant to share some of this information to make these clarifications.

VERCAMMEN: Well, I think the biggest challenge that we articulated earlier was dealing with this vast and sprawling a festival. This is called Christmas Hill Park. It's in the city of Gilroy. And you are dealing with a lot of numbers in terms of population as well. You talked about the reports. Well, this festival has about I'd say 100,000 people according to its website attended over the three days.

As we said, there are three stages. Colby Callaway among one of the performers, she performed yesterday, some rising country star. So it is very popular. Its situated in such a way that 80 miles south of San Francisco, it is not uncommon for people from Silicon Valley to drop down and see this. San Jose, they come up from the Salinas and the Monterey Bay area. So it is very, very crowded.

It's packed shoulder to shoulder. And as they were trying to, well, call in unsnarl of all the facts here, again, they have a lot of people to talk to, a lot of witnesses, a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of agencies were pouring into help out. They call mutual aid where they had fire departments, you know, not one from the city of Gilroy, but Santa Clara County, (Inaudible) helicopters and others, so a lot to reckon with in this large sprawling open area.

CHURCH: There is, of course, we also learned from police there that they have no idea of motive. But what is intriguing here is that the suspect entered apparently via a creek and cut his way through the perimeter fence. So that has a lot of people confused as to possible motive, and certainly a very determined suspect here.

VERCAMMEN: That's right. And when they talk about the possibility of a second suspect, I think they might be leaving the door open to that this person might have been an accomplice who possibly could have aided the cutting of this fence. That remains to be seen. But as I pointed out earlier, we repeatedly heard that police chief use the term they.

So we will just have to see how this plays out. They are promising more updates and information as all of this unfurls. But as you pointed out, they have not, you know, sown up that last little bit about this mysterious, possible second suspect.

CHURCH: Yeah. Still so many questions to be answered here, and we will learn more, of course, in the coming hours. Paul Vercammen bringing us more on this story from his vantage point there in LA, many thanks.

HOWELL: Good insight there from Paul, certainly. Let's now switch over to our CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Josh Campbell. Josh is phoning by phone, and Josh, you know, I want to get into exactly how the suspect got into this area, because again, we understand that people were screened as they went in. Talk to us about the simple difficulty of securing an area like this.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yeah. George, well, it certainly shows, you know, it's important to point out that there's still a lot that we don't know. But this does suggests that there was a lot more planning that the subject would go through trying to scope out this area to determine what the security checkpoints are, where one could get in with a firearm, for example. And it appears he's been able to bypass those by cutting, you know, in

his way to one of the outer perimeters. Again, to get into that mindset, someone wanting to get into this location, the (Inaudible) loss of life which appears to have been his goal here, I will say one thing that's really I think notable as we are talking about the second possible subject that might be involved as well.

You have to put yourself in the mindset of law enforcement right now. This is one of the most difficult things for them to do whenever you have a witness that says that there might be a second person, because I'll tell you in looking back. We have studied these active shooter incidents. There was almost never a second person, even though in the chaos and the confusion of an incident like this you may have witnesses that say that they saw something possibly suspicious.

[02:09:50] That said, if someone says to law enforcement that they think that there was someone else involved, they have to exhaust every single lead in order to rule that out, which is going on right now with these here law enforcement officials tell us (Inaudible) earlier, they they're imploring the public that if you had videotape that possibly you were taking, you know, this was a fun event.

It would be unreasonable that people would want to be taking pictures and video as law enforcement wants all of that right now, because they want to go through, they want to look for clues to a find out whether this person acted alone or is there someone else out there who made that call.

HOWELL: And, you know, Josh, talk about the challenge for law enforcement getting into this particular area. We understand, obviously, there were police officials there in that location. But many police and, you know, support personnel came in from around Gilroy.

CAMPBELL: Yeah, absolutely. It is the fact of life in this day and age where you have mass gatherings of people that might pose a soft target. Law enforcement looks to that, and they try to (Inaudible). We can't help based on the security (Inaudible) that they have a lot enforcement presence there that they did conduct some type of security assessment.

And we know that based on the response time that law enforcement officials telling us at that press conference that law enforcement responded very quickly would show that they had personnel there in the area, so securing an event like this is obviously a challenge.

HOWELL: I think we might have just lost Josh there. But again, if we can bring Josh back in a moment, OK, Josh, are you still there? Yeah, we will try to bring Josh back in a moment. But again, you see these images of -- Rosemary, what seemed to be pure chaos as this played out. Police officials, as Josh pointed out, moved in quickly.

People ran, scattered, and there are so many accounts, so many stories of people who came very close to the gunman.

CHURCH: Yeah. We heard a lot of those witness reports for sure. HOWELL: So earlier, our colleague, Natalie Allen, spoke with one of

those witnesses. Jonathan Wackrow, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst also gave information, a former Secret Service agent. He broke down how authorities responded to the shooting. Listen to this.


JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have been training for these types of moments time and time again. You know, the immediate action of, you know, going to the threat, addressing the threat, and putting it down is what, you know, from a law enforcement perspective is an active shooter methodology.

I want us to take a step back here and just say that, you know, between the event organizers and law enforcement and security, it's at a high level it seems like they had everything in place in terms of trying to make this event secure. They had bag checks. They had magnetometer checks, which is the metal detectors. They had perimeter security so they had some sort fencing to (Inaudible) the perimeter.

So they were doing everything correct, and we still had this tragic event, which leads me to believe that the motivation of this attack or to breach the perimeter, to come in through offense like to launch an attack, this wasn't a crime of opportunity. To me, this is seemingly more of a targeted attack. The individual was focused on somebody or some group there to go through all of these different, you know, ways to come in and launch this attack.

And I just think that once we, you know, understand who this attacker was, start looking at their social media, everything that will lead us to understand what the intent was. I think that we're going to find it focused on a small group of people or a single individual that this person was focusing on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What makes you think that?

WACKROW: Well, again, the -- all of the obstacles, you know, you had a fortified event space, law enforcement on horseback, bikes we heard earlier, a pretty heavy law enforcement presence that this person had to, you know, basically avoid detection. They entered in through perimeter fencing. Again, they were -- their intent was not just to cause harm for the entire.

But I think it's focused -- if you are going to take that type of action to get into a fortified area like that, I mean you are trying to send a signal to either a group or an individual. And I think as more facts come out, I think we will start seeing what that motivation was. I think that motivation is going to focused on a smaller group, not an attack on the entire event itself.


CHURCH: And at this stage, it is worth mentioning that the police think it was a random attack, but we will, of course, learn more in the coming hours. Earlier, our Dan Simon spoke to two women who were at the festival who found themselves very close to the shooter. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you heard the gunfire, tell me exactly what was the first thing that you did?

[02:14:56] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ran. When I heard the first pop, like I said, we thought it was fireworks. And then I saw him and said -- her and said oh my god, and we just we ran around the back side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought he was going around the back side of the park. As soon as they want the backside, I said oh my god where is Miranda and the baby. That's when my panic mode was. And I was trying to hide behind. There was a big van there. So I was trying to go around and see where the kids were. But I saw the baby started come out and I grabbed him, so I was panicked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was on the other side of the field. I just kept running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to hear from authorities in just a few minutes. But I wonder what questions do you have? You were a part of this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so scary -- what is this world coming to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't even be safe, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean assault rifles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did they get them in? Did they hide it the day before?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I have heard several witnesses say that security was pretty good.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were on horses. They were on motorcycles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But when did they hide them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where metal detectors to get it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it was a rifle, so how, you know, how did he get that in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a walkway, and then there is a chain link fence and there's a creek on that side, so he could've jumped over the fence right there. And no one saw him, and then came straight to us. Because that's my thinking, everything could've been hidden -- because they don't patrol that, it's like, who knows what they did?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so scary you can't just go and have fun. And I never ever, ever had this close to people. And it could've been us asked if I don't have to go to the bathroom we would get right into it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would've been shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would've, because we were standing right there. We wanted to check out sandals so we walked and it just happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm so -- this gun thing is just killing me. I mean how to people get it to do this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would they want to do something like this? Why would they want to come out and hurt so many people? If they were having it so bad, why don't you take your own life?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a few questions. Have been at this festival before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, lots of times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my fifth year working it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's festival, entertainment, music.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's family. And you know we were at the kids section. I mean there's a lot of if's and but's. He was at the end of the festival.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's still kind of unreal, but it's so close because the people that got shot, we know them. And it is so scary, you know?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's like my best friend, you know, and her husband. I took care of their child. It's like now what do you do, you know? (Inaudible) I can't even go see what's happening to people, you know what I'm saying? I have no contact with them right now. I'm not a relative so what do you do?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still haven't process it, you know? We hugged each other and said you know thank god it could've been us, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just too much to handle. I just can't comprehend it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know how her granddaughter is going to process it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's ten years old. She saw the whole thing. She saved a three year old. She grabbed him and hid him. She's only 10 years old.


HOWELL: It's terrifying.

CHURCH: Chilling.

HOWELL: -- what people went through there, keeping in mind that right now this is still an active investigation. There is a manhunt on for a possible accomplice. Of course, we will continue to follow this and bring you more of this breaking news out there at California, along with other stories that we are monitoring from around the world. Stand by.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We continue to follow breaking news out of California where a shooting at a crowded food festival has left at least 3 people dead and 11 others injured.

HOWELL: All this happening in the town of Gilroy just south of San Francisco, California. Police say that they shot and killed the suspect who appeared to be firing a rifle at random. We believe that he cut through a fence to get into the festival. Authorities add that the scene is still active and that they are searching for a possible accomplice, a possible second suspect.

Now, one witness tells us she was standing right next to the shooter when he started the attack. Miquita Price describes the horror of what she saw firsthand. Listen.


MIQUITA PRICE, SHOOTING WITNESS: He was still shooting. And he stopped (Inaudible) I started to run into a truck. And (Inaudible) shooting, there was a lady (Inaudible) truck. And behind that enterprise (Inaudible) the lady and her daughter in a chair, and the lady was like no you're not. And the guy was still shooting. And one of my family members jumped over the fence and run. And that's when he went out, and we had one of the scariest feelings. It was like a nightmare, because I don't believe this is (Inaudible) right now.


CHURCH: And another eyewitness told affiliate KABC that his cousin was shot during the chaos. He also explained how the horrific scene unfolded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your cousin, your 12-year-old cousin was shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we were almost like in a fence. We're really close to a fence. (Inaudible) so we just found out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it sounds like she got shot while you were running away from the gunfire and the gunman.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So were you outside the fairgrounds when she was shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fairgrounds, like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because you said you are in the woods afterwards, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was shot before -- way before (Inaudible). She was already bleeding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was she crying? Was she saying that she was in pain?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, a lot of times, like, she was hurting a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you get her out of there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, she was running like fast. That's when we didn't know she got shot because she was running normal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe it was a shock to her and she realized something was wrong all of a sudden.

[02:25:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, probably just adrenaline, because she wanted to get out of a bad situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finally, you said (Inaudible).


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you eventually get help? How did she end up here at the hospital? Was there an ambulance that took her? Was there help (Inaudible)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we went out in to the woods and we just waited a little bit, but we know our family was going to come at some point. We were just waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then a family member drove her to an ambulance, is that correct?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Was he saying anything to you guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. She was crying. She said she was in a lot of pain (Inaudible) and to call her mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I know that her mom, her parents are at the hospital right now as are your parents who I've spoken to. This is not what you expected when you came out?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are very calm right now. I can imagine it was absolutely terrifying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was calm. It was really, like, it was freaky (Inaudible). I was in shock.


CHURCH: Some terrifying eyewitness reports there. We will have more of our breaking news coverage on the deadly mass shooting in California when CNN Newsroom returns in just a moment.


HOWELL: And we continue following the breaking news out of California. I am George Howell.

CHURCH: And I am Rosemary Church. We want to recap this top story.

[02:30:00] At least three people dead and, at least, 11 injured, after shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California. Police say they shot and killed a suspect.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And we've seen more scenes like this, come to light, showing people running for cover, doing their best to protect themselves while all of this was happening.

We are going to speak with one of those people now. Cleana Miller is with us. Cleana is an eyewitness of the shooting. She recorded video from the scene. As you see the video, we do warn you, it is graphic. But Cleana, good to have you with us, of course, we're thankful that you're safe.

Tell us about what you saw. Because we understand, as all this was happening, you have a bad knee, right? And it was hard to get away?

CLEANA CLECLE MILLER, EYEWITNESS, GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL SHOOTING: I have a bad knee, a bad leg, and I could not get away. So, basically, I just had to stand there and prayed. You know, I prayed, you know, everything will be OK.

And I (INAUDIBLE) but some, in the beginning, when I heard it, I thought maybe somebody was using firecrackers, but when I saw people screaming and running, and I was like, OK, is this real?

And then it stopped, then I heard more, then I said, OK, let me record. This is not safe. This is real, I guess.

CHURCH: And Cleana, how --

MILLER: I was like, in disbelief.

CHURCH: How long did this all take, this shooting, from the start to the very finish? And what were your thoughts throughout all of that?

MILLER: As we're -- I want to say, maybe five minutes. I want to say if that -- and then I started kind of, you know, walking a little bit closer, and I'm seeing people screaming and yelling and then I'm seeing somebody giving CPR, and I'm like, is this real?

Like, I mean, it's like, it was -- I was in disbelief, like, I can't believe this was happening. And then I see a man with blood all over him, I'm like, oh my goodness.

HOWELL: Cleana, you know, one thing about this, and people are looking at all of these different videos that are coming in, it was just pure chaos, just pandemonium, people running --

MILLER: Yes, because --

HOWELL: -- anyway they could go --


MILLER: Yes, because a lot of mothers couldn't find their children.

HOWELL: Right.

MILLER: There was one mother, like, you know, begging, helping, crying, like, they wouldn't let her over in the area. And she was like, my children were over there. They wouldn't let her over there. So I really hope and pray that she found her children, as well as other mothers.

And then they had to find people, and saying people could not leave. No shuttle buses were coming in, at all. It was very -- a lot of chaos, it really was.

CHURCH: And Cleana, at what point did you realize that the worst appeared to be over?

MILLER: Even when I was -- we were on our way home, on the freeway, police were coming. They were on the other side of the freeway, like, with sirens, so I'm like, it must be really, really, really bad. I thought it wasn't -- I thought it was finished, but I guess it wasn't. It wasn't over at all. HOWELL: Cleana --

MILLER: They have police coming in like that.

HOWELL: You know, Cleana, people see things like these in television and, I mean, it's terrifying to see on television, what --

MILLER: I know I see it on T.V. but I'm kind of feeling like this is disbelief. I'm --

HOWELL: That's what I want to ask you. I want to ask you just, you know, what was going through your mind, knowing that, you know, getting away was going to be difficult for you, and as slowly and as carefully, you did get away. What was going through your mind? What were you thinking?

MILLER: It's just children and like, is this really real? Like, I was on my way to get some garlic ice cream, I'm just so excited. I was on my way to get some garlic ice cream, and all of a sudden, I hear these children, and the next thing, I -- people running.

I'm like, they're just running for firecrackers, because where I live, I'm always hearing some kind of, children, or I'm hearing some kind of cherry bombs, or whatever, so I'm used to it. So -- and that's one time the (INAUDIBLE) really, you know --

HOWELL: So, initially, you didn't think it was real?

MILLER: I didn't think it was real. No, I did not, until I started seeing people covered in blood and stuff. I was like, oh my God. This is real.

CHURCH: And Cleana, as you're talking to us, we are looking at the very footage that you recorded on your phone, and we can see all of the police cars and there's chaos and mayhem, how did you actually get out of the center of all of that -- of all that, and actually then get to the highway, as you --as you mentioned?

[02:35:06] MILLER: Where I was standing, I was over there where the tent is, where they do the food. And so, where the people were running from, were in the middle. It was like they're from the middle of the festival.

So, I basically -- when I started seeing the sirens and the police, I kind of walked over there. I made my way over there. Then, I saw police. Like I said, I saw a man doing CPR. It was a lot.

CHURCH: Totally understand. It's difficult to digest it all.

MILLER: where the food was, it was empty, like, everybody left. I mean, they were gone, like, everybody was gone. It took a while to get out of there because I had to, like, ask, like, where's the shuttle? Like, how can you get out of here.

HOWELL: You know, one thing that we hear from police officials is that the response time, Cleana, was pretty quick. And I wanted to ask you, did you feel like the police officials got in there pretty quickly and did you get a sense that, you know, they were taking control of the scene?

MILLER: Yes, I did.

MILLER: They came really quick. But there were also police inside the festival because you have police that were on horses as well. So, how they -- how would somebody get up in there with a gun, I'm not sure.

HOWELL: You know, that --

MILLER: I know when I came in, I was not armed, but they did check my backpack.

HOWELL: Well, I do know, Cleana, that they're looking into that, that's part of the investigation, and they have some thoughts about how the suspect got in, so I think we're going to learn a lot more certainly in the hours and days to come.

Cleana, we appreciate your time and we're, again, thankful that you are OK. And, you know, we'll stay in touch with you, you know, just to get a sense of what you went through -- wen through is just incredible.

CHURCH: Unbelievable.


CHURCH: And we're also getting reaction from one of the band members who played at the festival, let's take a listen.


CHRISTIAN SWAIN, BAND MEMBER AND WITNESS: We were finishing our set, we're the last band of the last day of the festival, 5:30 had come and, you know, we're kind of told, OK. That's it. And the crowd asked us to play one more song. We launched into that song, we got about halfway through it.

We heard about three pops to the left side of the stage, facing forward, and then, you know, there was nothing. And then all of a sudden, there were a whole bunch of pops. And we ran. You know, we ran to the other side of the stage, got down to the -- underneath it, we crawled underneath it, everybody laid down. It was quiet.

And we waited until the police arrived, which happened within 5 to 10 at the most, maybe 5, closer to five minutes, because, you know, the place was crawling with security, as it should, with the event this size. And they secured the area.

They came and got us because they were -- somebody said, oh, there's somebody under the stage. We were, like, yes, yes, yes, I'm with the band. We're the band. The police came and removed the awning in the front, we crawled out, and then they immediately moved us away from the area. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And earlier, Julissa Contreras, a witness to the shooting, also, spoke with CNN. She described the terrifying scene as it unfolded in front of her.


JULISSA CONTRERAS, WITNESSED THE SHOOTING: When he started shooting, when I saw him, he was about 15 to 20 feet from me. He came around from the end of the center tent, between those tents and these large inflatable slides where there was a lot of kids playing on it.

And he just started shooting. He was, you know, he looked like the average guy. You know, he's white, about in his 30s, under 6 feet, he was wearing, like, tactical gear, had a baseball cap on, sunglasses and he had a semi-automatic rifle. And he was just shooting left to right, right to left.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: What was his demeanor? Could you read anything on his facial expression?

CONTRERAS: He seemed serious. He didn't look angry. I mean, he was wearing a hat and glasses, so expression wasn't really something I could read on his face, but he seemed like he was very well versed in what he was doing. He moved tactically. He seemed like, very confident in his use of the gun and he was -- he was dressed for what he was there to do.

ALLEN: What did you do at that time? Did you run?

[02:40:09] CONTRERAS: When I first heard the shots, they were coming from behind the tent I was standing in front of. It's a food tent. And I started backing up because I wasn't sure what that sound was. I thought it was fireworks for a moment, and I realized they're not fireworks.

And so I kind of started running away and I hid behind a different tent where there were merchants. But I could still see over the tent.


HOWELL: It is interesting, though, Rosemary, to hear these witness accounts and many other people, look, you had a festival, you think it could be fireworks, and then you realize, all of a sudden, no, this is serious, this is real.

So many times, time and time again, we are hearing that from people who were there. Of course, we're going to bring you the latest more on this mass shooting at a festival in California. Stay with us, our continuing coverage right back, after this break.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. This hour, we have been following breaking news, at least three people are dead and 11 injured, after a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California.

HOWELL: Police say they shot and killed a suspect. A man hunt is now underway for a possible accomplice, a second suspect. And these are images from the scene, how the Gilroy Police Department saying that the scene is still very active there and they warn people to stay away at this point.

A hospital spokesperson saying also that those injured are in fair to serious condition. We'll continue to monitor events there in Gilroy. We have correspondents and teams there. And as we get new information, we'll bring it you here on CNN.

[02:44:47] CHURCH: We certainly shall. But now, for some other news we are following, it has been a revolving door at the White House, as the Trump administration continues to spin. U.S. Director of National intelligence, Dan Coats, is stepping down next month.

HOWELL: He joins a long list of senior officials who've left the cabinet during the president's term in office. Mr. Trump repeated complaints about U.S. intelligence agency and -- agencies and Coats job. Arguably, one of the most politically fraught in Washington.

The two have then head-to-head and disagreement all over intelligence. CNN's Boris Sanchez has more now from the White House.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on Sunday confirming recent speculation about the future of his director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. The president announcing on Twitter that Coats would be departing the administration in August.

Take a look, President Trump writing, "I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence. A former U.S. Attorney John will lead and inspire greatness for the country he loves. Dan Coats, the current director will be leaving office on August 15th. I'd like to thank Dan for his great service to our country. The acting director will be named shortly."

It's interesting that President Trump thanks Coats for his service. Considering at the president, we are told by sources was frequently made furious by public statements that Coats made that contradicted the president on a wide array of issues from Russian election meddling, to his -- a relationship with Vladimir Putin, to North Korea, to Syria, Iran, ISIS, and the list goes on.

We are told by sources at the White House that the president met privately with Coats and Vice President Mike Pence several weeks ago. And Coats essentially told him that he would be leaving the administration around mid-August.

The president apparently picking John Ratcliffe, a congressman from Texas to replace him. Ratcliffe, someone who the president is a big fan of and someone who last week grilled Robert Mueller during the special counsel's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

The president apparently a big fan, Ratcliffe, have been considered for a different post within the administration. Now, it appears he's going to be the president's nominee to be the next director of National Intelligence. Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

CHURCH: We turn now to Hong Kong, where police and protesters are blaming each other for violence over the weekend.

HOWELL: 49 people were arrested Sunday after the two groups faced off in the city's financial district. The day started with a peaceful gathering of tens of thousands of protesters.

CHURCH: But when the crowds began to move, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to push them back. They say, protesters were throwing bricks at them and it all followed similar scenes on Saturday.

HOWELL: And that is when thousands of people in an unauthorized protest that's when they marched in a border town near China after eight weeks of straight pro-democracy protests there. The confrontations between police and demonstrators are escalating.

We're also following developments out of a story in Italy. Friends, family, and a grieving community there gathered at a church in Rome to pay last respects to the police officer who was allegedly killed by two American tourists.

CHURCH: The officer who was married just last month was stabbed while confronting the teenagers about a reported robbery. Barbie Nadeau has more now from Rome.

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The investigation really has evolved in the last 24 hours. Overnight, photos were leaked of a very disturbing situation inside the police office during or before the interrogation of one of these young suspects.

What we've seen are photos of the suspect blindfolded with his head down sitting among police officers. Now, police have confirmed to CNN that they are investigating just why that young man was blindfolded and they want to know as well who leaked that photo to the press.

In Rome today, though the focus has been on the victim. The 35-year- old Carabinieri police officer, a newlywed who'd just returned to the force after his honeymoon. People lined out by the hundred in central Rome to pay their respects in front of his casket.

We witnessed a police officers and various security forces in uniform to pay their respects. On Monday, he will be buried in southern Italy, near Naples. The funeral will take place in the very church where he was married in early June.

In California though, we're hearing a very different story. Neighbors who knew one of the suspects say that they can't imagine that their friend and neighbor could have committed such a crime. Let's listen to what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My vision of Finn and I don't see him doing that.


NADEAU: Of course, back in Italy, the mood is very different. The focus is on the victim. Barbie Latza Nadeau for CNN, Rome.

CHURCH: And we'll have more of our breaking news coverage on the deadly mass shooting in California when CNN NEWSROOM returns in just a moment.


[02:53:43] HOWELL: Back to our top story this hour, the "BREAKING NEWS" were following, at least, three people had been killed and 11 people injured during a mass shooting at a Northern California festival.

This started at an annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California just as it was wrapping up Sunday evening. And according to local police, the suspect was confronted in less than one minute and killed.

CHURCH: Yes, and police say they believe the gunman cut through a fence to gain entry to the grounds. A manhunt is underway for a possible second suspect.

Well, earlier we heard from a resident nearby who described how she tried to help in the chaos.


SYDNEY LEAL, RESIDENT, GILROY, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): I live around the area less than a mile the event, and immediately was called and asked for I was there, and then, promptly heard that there was a shooting. And so, I -- first thing I thought of was that people come from out of town and they're booked in some parking lots into the festival, and I couldn't imagine what that would be like during a shooting having to kind of escape that and get back to your car.

And so, I just jumped into my car and decided to run around the perimeter to see if anyone just needed a lift to their car in the area or if they lived in the town and needed to be taken home.

CHURCH: And so, how many did you help? I mean, how did that work out?

[02:55:02] LEAL: Well, I saw a lot of people they drive up to the perimeter before the entrance because the police did a great job of kind of setting a boundary where people could go in and out. And I just saw a lot of concern faces, and I was asking around. And fortunately, a lot of people -- are live there, so, they are able to be home.

But I came across a group of people around my age -- around 22 years old and I was just asked then, I give (INAUDIBLE) a ride to your car. And they said, "No, we live in the town, but can you take us to the nearby high school," which is kind of a little bit away from the park. And two young individuals onto my car, a man and a woman, and the young man in my front seat was basically just frantic and saying that he gotten (INAUDIBLE).

Why didn't really understand what he said by done, I just said, did you see anything? And they basically just -- that he saw a man jump over the fence. He even went to -- they start of described what the gun looked like. I'm not familiar with the gun, so I don't know exactly what he said.

He said it had an extended magazine, and that I asked him how old he -- must or was? And he said he was around 30 years old from what he could see, that he was running and it was very hard to kind of grasp all that, that he's very frantic, I just say I could hit a leg, don't come at my foot down because I got a nicked in my leg (INAUDIBLE) my short.

CHURCH: Right.

LEAL: And so, I just ended up taking him to the local high school, where he was meeting his father.


HOWELL: And we're just hearing from so many people, these really are terrifying stories.


HOWELL: And at the very latest, we understand this is an active investigation that's where we are at this hour. I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church and our coverage continues on the deadly mass shooting in California here on CNN after the short break. Do stay with us.