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Festival Turns into a Day of Mourning; DNI Dan Coats Exits from President Trump's Cabinet; Controversial Bill Still Unresolved in Hong Kong; American Teenagers in Trouble for Killing an Italian Police. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired July 29, 2019 - 03:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We are following the breaking news out of the U.S. State of California. A mass shooting that took place there.

I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. And here's what we know so far.

At least three people were killed and 11 injured after a shooter opened fire at a Gilroy Garlic festival. Police say they shot and killed the shooter. All this happened in Gilroy south of San Francisco.

The garlic festival is a popular food and music event that brings in tens of thousands of people.

HOWELL: A law enforcement source says they recovered a firearm and rifle ammunition. They also say the shooter may have had an accomplice. Video has come to light showing people running, people trying to escape doing the best they can to remain safe. And you're about to see and hear some of that video. We do warn you before you see it these are disturbing images.


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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are those fireworks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My god. They're shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who did at a garlic festival?


HOWELL: Local officials held a press conference earlier; they explain what they know. So far here's what we heard from the Gilroy police chief, listen.


SCOT SMITHEE, POLICE CHIEF, GILROY POLICE DEPARTMENT, CALIFORNIA: This incident tonight started at about 5.41 p.m., there were reports of shooting on the north side of the garlic festival area. Police officers were in that area, and engage the suspect in less than a minute, the suspect was shot and killed.

It appears as if though they had come into the festival via the creek which borders parking area and they used some sort of a tool to cut through the fence to be able to gain access through the secure fence line, and that's how they got into the festival area itself.

We have one a 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 the first that we have accounted for.


HOWELL: CNN is covering this story from multiple angles this day. Our correspondent Paul Vercammen is live in our Los Angeles bureau there where it is just after midnight, 3.03 here on the East Coast. And Paul, this is still an active investigation, what's the latest you're hearing about where things stand now?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George and Rosemary, you heard the police chief allude to the possibility, nothing firm but possibility of a second suspect or accomplice, so they are leaving that door open and as the police chief was speaking, you may have noticed that he talked about they may have cut through a fence and we don't know if that is an indicator of that.

I should also walk something back. The police chief has said 15 were injured, that was in his press conference, when we've been showing you the graphic it says 11 injured. The police went ahead and told CNN that it was indeed 11 injured.

Now let's set the scene for you as this festival is winding down, in recent years from eight to 100,000 people have attended this three day event, a band is on stage and this band is called Tin Man from the San Francisco Bay area and they are closing the festival according to multiple witnesses and the band itself. And then that's when the shots begin to ring out.

And we'll hear now from some witnesses who saw it all take place.


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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ran. When we heard the first pop, like I said, we thought it was fireworks and then I saw him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We said to each other, my God, and we just ran around the parties and back up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ran on the back side.

[03:04:58] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coming to the opposite way he was going the backside of the party parts, as soon as I'm around the backside of the (Inaudible) I said, my God, where is Miranda and the baby? That's what my panic mode was.

And I was trying to hide behind -- there was a big band there so I was trying to go around the band so I could see if I could see where the kids were. And then I saw the baby start to come out to his mom, like, my God, I saw Miranda grabbed him. So, I was -- I was panicked. I didn't know what to do.


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

VERCAMMEN: We are going to hear from authorities in just a few minutes but I wonder what questions do you have? You were a part of this --



VERCAMMEN: I mean, what questions --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just so scared what does this world has come to. You know, you can't even be safe?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, assault rifles?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did they get them in? Did they hide them the day before? You know, who are these --


VERCAMMEN: Because I've heard several witnesses say that security was pretty good.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was good. They were all from Gilroy P.D. and they were on horses, they were on motorcycles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure. But where do they hide and when do they hide.

VERCAMMEN: There were metal detectors to get in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. We didn't have to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But this was a, 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 --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or maybe they hid it the day before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- and no one saw him, and they came straight to us, because that's what I'm thinking, everything could have been hidden behind there. Police they don't patrol that because it's gate -- it's fenced off. It's like from that part of fence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, who knows what they did, but I just, you know, it's so scary. You can't just go and have fun, you know. And I never ever, ever had this up and this close to people and it could have been us if I didn't have to go to the bathroom, we would have been right in that tent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would have been shot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would have been shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know we would've because we were standing right there with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I said let's go to the bathroom I We went to check out sandals, so we walk and, you know, it just happened.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or the people is thinking 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 this so bad why not you take your own life and leave everybody up.

Why leave everybody else, you know.

VERCAMMEN: Just a few questions. Have you been to this festival before?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've worked this festival. This is my fifth year working it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We used to go all the time. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We used to go all the time. I live in Gilroy. I've been in Gilroy for 35 years.

VERCAMMEN: It's a food festival, entertainment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Entertainment, yes.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's family. I mean, thank God he wasn't where the kids are in the kid's section. I mean, there's a lot of if's and was, if he was in the end of the festival --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And still, we haven't process this, it's still kind of unreal but it's so close because the people we -- that got shot we know them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We work with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's so scary, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And (Inaudible) for 10 years. That she's like my best friend, you know, and her husband. I take care of their child. It's like, now what do you do, you know.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They got locked down there as (Inaudible) where they're at, it's locked down, well, I can't even go and see what's happening to them, you know what I'm saying. I have no contact with them right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because you're not a relative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not a relative so what do you do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like I said I'm still haven't processing it. It's like, you know, like we hugged each other and said, you know, thank God, it could've been us, you know. Just two minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just too much. It's too much to even do all this stuff, like --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we don't know how her granddaughters are going to process it. She had, you know --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She saw the whole thing.

VERCAMMEN: She's a year old?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten. Ten. She saw the whole thing.

VERCAMMEN: Ten years old?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She saved a three-year-old. She grabbed him and hid him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's 10 years old.



VERCAMMEN: Gilroy is a city of about 55,000 people, it declares itself the garlic capital of the world. The mayor is saying he grieves what happened tonight with shocked and sadness. Rosemary, George?

CHURCH: Yes, totally understand that and it's horrifying when you hear some of these details. Paul, just wanted to get some clarification on that point because of course, the police have mentioned the possibility of this accomplice but they don't know for sure and they are going on witness accounts on that, they are obliged to follow through on that, and there may not be an accomplice.

VERCAMMEN: That's exactly right, Rosemary and George. And of course, they diligently are, and that's why they wanted to make sure that everyone realizes that this as far as they are concerned still an active investigation, it's the term that they use.

Of course, they are dealing with distance as well, this Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, some 52 acres of vast expanse, multiple stages so they are going to diligently talk to any witness possible and they want anyone who thinks they saw something to come forward and say something.

As again, there is this mystery out there and that mystery is, was there a possible second suspect and accomplice in this horrifying day and one normally is a tranquil festival in a small size California city.

CHURCH: So disturbing, it makes everyone feel very uneasy. Paul Vercammen, thank you so much for reporting on this story for us from L.A.

HOWELL: Just to hear the fact this festival is so central and important to Gilroy the garlic capital.


HOWELL: You know, to just understand what people went through that this happened, it's tragic by all accounts.

We heard earlier from Cleana Clecle Miller, one of the people who was there. An eyewitness to the shooting.

[03:09:58] CHURCH: Yes. And she recorded video at the scene, a warning though, some of the images are graphic.


CLEANA CLECLE MILLER, WITNESS: I had a bad knee (Inaudible) and I could not get away so basically, I just had to --


MILLER: -- stand there and pray. You know what I pray, you know, that everything will be OK. And I saw people running.

But from -- in the beginning when I heard it, I thought maybe somebody was having fire practice, but when I saw people screaming and running and I look like, OK, is this real and then I stop then I heard more gunshots, OK, let me record, this is not safe. This is real, I guess.

CHURCH: And Cleana, how -- 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: Adverse, I want to say maybe five minutes, I want to say if that and then I started kind of walking a little bit closer and I was seeing people screaming and yelling and then I'm seeing somebody getting CPR and I'm like, is this real? Like, it's like, I was in disbelief, like, I couldn't believe this was happening. And then I they see a man with blood all over him and I'm like 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 --


HOWELL: -- anywhere they could go.


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

HOWELL: Right.

MILLER: One mother like, begging and help me, and crying like they wouldn't let her over in the area, and she was like my children was over there, they would not 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 as some people could not leave, no shuttle buses were coming 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 -- when we were on our way home, on the

freeway police was coming, it was only beside the freeway like we hear siren, so I'm like it must be really, really bad, I thought it was -- I thought it was finished, but I guess it was, it wasn't over at all.

HOWELL: Cleana --

MILLER: They had police coming in like that.

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

MILLER: I know. I've seen it on TV but I'm kind of feeling like this is disbelieve. I'm kind of --


HOWELL: Well, 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 as carefully as you did get away, what was going through your mind? What were you thinking?

MILLER: I was wondering like is really real. I was on my way to get some garlic ice cream. I was just (Inaudible). I was on my way to get some garlic ice cream and then I look back and I hear they're still -- the next thing I hear people running, I'm like they're just running from firecrackers.

Because what I'm hearing (Inaudible) some children or I'm hearing some kind of scary bombs or whatever so I'm used to it. So, that's one time the reason I didn't 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, my gosh, this is real.

CHURCH: And Cleana, as you are 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 is chaos and mayhem, how did you actually get out of the central of all that -- of all of that and actually then get on the highway as you mentioned.

MILLER: Where I was standing, I was over there where they eat where they do the food, and so, the -- where the people were running from we're in the middle, it was like they were from the middle of the festival.

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

[03:14:56] CHURCH: Totally understand. It's difficult to digest at all.

MILLER: It was -- they -- it was empty. Like, everybody leaves. 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 is the shuttle, how do 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.


MILLER: It was quick.

HOWELL: 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 they were taking control of the scene?

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

HOWELL: You know that --


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


CHURCH: Cleana Miller sharing her eyewitness report with all of us. And just shocking and disturbing.

HOWELL: It is.

CHURCH: All of us. As people's minds are trying to digest --

HOWELL: Right.

CHURCH: -- what has occurred here and try to get some answers, and we're still trying to get some answers because there is still -- there is still a lot we don't know about this.

HOWELL: An active investigation underway.

CHURCH: Yes. And of course, as a mentioned earlier, the garlic festival is a major event in the small city of Gilroy, it's attended by thousands of people each year.

HOWELL: It is very important to that city. The festival's director struggle to express how the shooting has impacted his entire hometown. Listen.


amazing community, a tightly knit community, we are family. We have the wonderful opportunity in this community to celebrate our family through our garlic festival.

And for over four decades that festival has been our annual family reunion and it is such a sad, just horribly upsetting circumstance that this happened on the third and final day of this year's festival.

Our 4,000-plus local volunteers work so hard every year and to have seen this event in this way this way is just one of the most tragic and sad things I've ever had to see, and we all feel so upset for those that are impacted, friends, families, and neighbors. It's just a horrible thing to experience and we couldn't feel worse.

First, you go out to the friends and families and loved ones of everyone that was affected by this. We couldn't be more thankful for the really immediate response of the first responders, the police personnel that were on site, they did an amazing job of controlling the situation as quickly as they possible could, and we thank them for that.


CHURCH: Clearly, in shock and very emotional there. It was garlic festival executive director Brian Bowe. And we will have more news on this breaking news just after this very short break. Do stay with us.


CHURCH: Well, as we've been reporting there has been a shooting at a food festival in Northern California. At least three people were killed, 11 were injured after a shooting at the Gilroy garlic festival.

HOWELL: Police say they shot and killed the suspect but there is a manhunt underway for a possible accomplice.

I want to show images from the scene here. The Gilroy Police Department saying the scene is still active and they are warning people to stay away from it.

A hospital spokesperson saying those people who are injured they are in fair to serious condition. of course, we'll continue to monitor what's happening in Gilroy and bring you any details as we learn them here on CNN.

CHURCH: Well, other news we are following, here in the U.S. the revolving door within the Trump administration continues to spin. U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is stepping down next month.

HOWELL: And Coats joins a long list of senior officials who have left the cabinet during President Trump's term in office, Mr. Trump and his repeated complains about U.S. intelligence agencies and Coats made Coats job arguably one of the most politically fraught in Washington. CNN's Boris Sanchez picks up the story 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, quote, "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. 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's 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 that the president, we were 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 relationship with Vladimir Putin, to North Korea, Iran, ISIS, and the list goes on.

We were 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 had been considered for a different posts 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.

HOWELL: Boris, thank you.

Now to Italy where friends, family, and a grieving community are coming together at a church in Rome all coming together to pay their respects to a police officer who was allegedly killed by two American teens, tourists.

CHURCH: Yes. The officer who was married just last month was stabbed while confronting those teenagers and now the two suspects are blaming each other for the crime.

Barbie Nadeau has more now from Rome. BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The investigation really has evolved

in the last 24 hours, photos were leaked, a very disturbing situation inside the police office during or before the interrogation of one of these young suspects.

What we've seen our 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 just returned to the force after his honeymoon.

People lined up by the hundreds in central Rome to pay their respects in front of his casket. We witnessed 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.

[03:05:01] In California, though, we are hearing a very different story. Neighbors who knew one of the suspects say that they can't imagine that their friend and neighbor could've committed such a crime. Let's listen to what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My positions are thin, 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.

HOWELL: Now to the Iran nuclear deal, remaining parts of it may have been discussed in a meeting in Vienna to try to salvage this agreement.

CHURCH: All sides expressed strong opposition to sanctions on Iran. Tehran's top nuclear negotiator says his country will continue to reduce its nuclear commitment if Europe does not provide relief from those sanctions. But he seems positive about Sunday's meeting.


ABBAS ARAQCHI, IRANIAN SENIOR NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR: The atmosphere was constructive and the discussions were good, I cannot say that we resolved everything but I saw -- I can say that there are lots of commitments to the JCPOA and its survival.


HOWELL: He also said some preparations were made for ministerial meetings to take place soon but there is no date or location set at this point.

Now to Hong Kong, police and protestors are blaming each other for violence that played out over the weekend. Forty-nine people were arrested on Sunday. This after the two groups faced off in the city's financial district. The day started with peaceful protest, gatherings 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, that's when thousands of people in an unauthorized protest marched in a border town near China. After eight weeks straight of pro-democracy protests, the confrontations between police and demonstrators are escalating.

HOWELL: Matt Rivers is following the story, live in Beijing. And Matt, what has been the response to all of this?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, George, for the first time actually since these protests have kicked off we are hearing from officials at the Hong Kong and Macau affairs office here in Beijing, that would be the government department that is most directly tasked kind of with liaising with Hong Kong and Macau, both, you know, two -- one country two systems as we call in Hong Kong, is independently administered although it's a part of broader China.

And this is the first time that we've heard a press conference being conducted since these protests really started, George. And the protest -- the press conference, rather, is still ongoing but in their opening statement which I just listened to, there was a spokesperson with the department, not a director level, not a minister level just a spokesperson, basically saying things that we have heard from the Beijing government before after these protests.

Saying things like the incidents are illegal, the damages are illegal, that these protests were started by violent protesters and not by ordinary Hongkongers and they reaffirmed their support, notably for the chief executive Hong Kong Carrie Lam who has been a frequent target of protesters throughout this two months that have called for her to resign, Beijing is reaffirming its support for her.

So, the fact that Beijing is coming out here with a spokesperson and not a minister. This is just a spokesperson within this particular department. I think it shows you that Beijing doesn't want to get too involved in what's going on here in Hong Kong. They are not trying to, you know, talk about and have Xi Jinping talk about it, but Beijing is clearly having its say here about what's going on in Hong Kong.

HOWELL: Matt Rivers following the story for us live in Beijing. Matt, thank you.

CHURCH: And thank you for watching. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Moon to Mars is next.