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EARLY START

Gunman Kills Three, Wounds at least 11 in California; Coats To Step Down As Director Of National Intelligence; Trump Versus Congress; America's Choice 2020; CNN Business; Knife Hidden In American Teen's Hotel Room; Woman Next In Line To Puerto Rico Gov. Declines; Beijing Finally Addressing Hong Kong Crisis; $3 Million Fortnite Champ; FBI Manhunt For Pink Lady Bandit. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 29, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: Breaking news this morning on a Monday. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is "Early Start." I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, July 29th, it is 4:00 a.m. in New York, 1:00 a.m. in Gilroy California. Where we begin this morning with breaking news. A family, a food festival in California farm country turned into a deadly scene of terror.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the (BEEP)'s going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, shooting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A gunman firing round after round at the Annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy 80 miles south of San Francisco. Gilroy police say three people were killed in addition to the gunman and at least 11 people injured. A Chief Scot Smithee telling reporters overnight that officers confronted the shooter almost immediately.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOT SMITHEE, GILROY POLICE CHIEF: Officers were in that area and engaged the suspect in less than a minute. The suspect was shot and killed. We had many, many officers in the park at the time that this occurred, as we do any day during festival, which accounts for the very, very quick response time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Smithee says witnesses reported a second attacker, but he

said it's unclear what role that person might have played. CNN's Paul Vercammen is monitoring developments for us from California -- from Los Angeles. He joins us live. What do we know?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, we should note that we do not have absolute confirmation that there was a second accomplice or attacker. That is something though that police are looking into and they say this is still an active investigation. However, for right now, Gilroy police saying that there is a pause in their social media postings. We'll have to wait until later in the morning until we hear more, but let's hear what the police chief had to say when alluding to the possibility of the second suspect.

SMITHEE: We believe based on witness statements that there was a second individual involved in some way, we just don't know in what way.

VERCAMMEN: And the police chief also repeatedly using the term, they. He said they being a suspect or suspects went down a creek and then cut through a fence to get to the festival and then get near a stage where all of this happened as where the festival was winding down. Also all of it very tragic and now we hear that one of the victims, a 6-year-old boy. Back to you now, Christine, Dave.

ROMANS: Vercammen, thank you so much for that. Paul, keep us updated with the information. Thanks.

BRIGGS: Thousands were still enjoying the Gilroy Garlic Festival as it began to wrap up Sunday evening when shots rang out and triggering panic, confusion and a desperate run for cover. The first man you'll hear was a stage hand for the final music act of the day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bullets were hitting the ground. You could see them going up. That is when I called out, it's a real gun. And so the crew and the band ran and hid underneath the stage. So we were hiding underneath the stage. We could hear more gunfire happening. Eventually some gunfire happened and bullets were hitting the stage that we were hiding underneath and then eventually it stopped. There was people just calling out looking for hurt people. Eventually we came out and I could see that there was someone down and they were performing CPR on them. And later I heard it was the gunman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were looking for their kids, too, and as soon as the gunfire started, everybody scattered and people were yelling for their kids. And, yes, you just heard the --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you heard rapid fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a semi-automatic going off really close, too. People screaming and hiding and ducking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then I was in a phone booth, two shots rang out first, and at the same time the music started for the concert, so I thought it was like an opening act on the concert, but after a few seconds, there was so many shots, tat, tat, tat. I saw people falling down, kids falling down, I have to jumble with three of the kids. One bullet passed me very closely and it hit our friend's booth, a chair and the shrapnel went into her leg also, so she is injured there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Gilroy police are still looking for that possible second suspect. They're asking witnesses or anyone who took pictures or recorded video of the attack to call the tip line they've step-up, the number there on your screen, 408-846-0583.

[04:05:04] ROMANS: All right in Washington, National Intelligence Director, Dan Coats, stepping down next month. President Trump making that announcement on Twitter, Sunday. He plans to nominate Texas Republican Congressman, John Ratcliffe to replace Coats. Ratcliffe aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last week in defense of the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. He is not, but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law which is where volume two of this report puts him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president thank, Dan Coats for his great service to the country, but truth be told, the two were not always on the same page. Coats strongly defended U.S. Intelligence agencies in their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. And during an interview at a security conference last year, he was famously caught off guard by news of a Trump/Putin meeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do want to say we have some breaking news. The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say that again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You -- Vladimir Putin --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That is going to be special.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Special, indeed. President Trump escalating his Twitter campaign against a leading African-American Congressman over the weekend. On Saturday Trump attacked Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings calling his majority district a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess. That draw accusations of racism on Sunday. Trump responded by calling Cummings a racist and accusing him of doing a terrible job for the people of his district. More now from CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, President Trump on Sunday doubling down on his attacks on Congressman Elijah Cummings and his district following up on tweets that he had previously sent on Saturday bashing the Congressman suggesting that he should pay more attention to conditions in his district than those of migrant detention facilities along the Southern Border. And in one tweet on Sunday, the president calling Cummings a racist.

Now the White House is trying to spin the president's attacks and sort of polished them. Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney was on one of the Sunday morning talk shows, suggesting that the president often does offend people with this language, but that these attacks were not based on race. Mulvaney making the case that the president was trying to fact check Cummings on his descriptions of conditions at these border facilities. Listen to more from Mulvaney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The president is attacking Mr. Cummings for saying things that are not true about the border. I think it is right for the president to raise the issue. Look, I was in Congress for six years. If I had poverty in my district like they have in Baltimore, if I had crime in my district like they have in Chicago, if I have (inaudible) in my district like they have in San Francisco and I spent all of my time in Washington, D.C., chasing down this Mueller investigation, as bizarre impeachment crusade, I'd get fired. And I think that the president is right to raise that and has absolutely zero to do with race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Two important points here, Dave and Christine. First, related to Congressman Cummings description of these border facilities, they line up with what we've heard from numerous outlets, from CNN's own reporting that conditions at these facilities are horrendous. Secondly, if you look at the president's tweets, he doesn't actually fact check Cummings or dispute his descriptions. Mick Mulvaney with a bit of spin there. We should point out that the president's tweets overall were inaccurate. The district that Congressman Cummings represents happens to be one of the most educated, and most affluent, predominantly African-American districts in the country. Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. Boris at White House, thank you, Boris. Meantime the "Baltimore Sun" did not take kindly to President Trump

attacking their city as a rodent infested mess. The paper hit back in a scathing Sunday editorial saying quote, better to have some rodents living in your neighborhood than to be one.

BRIGGS: Ahead of the CNN debates this week. The 2020 Democrats are united in condemning President Trump attacks on the city of Baltimore and Elijah Cummings. Here's how the candidates responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's unbelievable that we have a president of the United States who attacks American cities, who attacks Americans. Our job is to bring people together to improve life for all not to be have a racist president who attacks people, because they are African-Americans.

JULIAN CASTRO (D-TX), 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This guy is the biggest identity politician that we have seen in the last 50 years and he engages in what's known as racial priming, basically using this language and taking actions to try to get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity. That is how he thinks he won in 2016 and that is how he thinks he is going to win in 2020.

BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR, 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president is trying to distract people from the larger reality of this country, so he uses the racist appeal. There is a conman reality of Donald Trump to classic baking switch maneuver every time.

[04:10:07] SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: To be attacked by a president issuing racist tweets is beyond insulting, it is disgusting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: You'll likely hear more during the debates lineups all set. Countdown is on. Two big nights, 10 candidates each night. Tomorrow night and Wednesday night at 8:00 Eastern live from Detroit here on CNN.

ROMANS: All right. It's all about the fed this week as policy makers meet to decide on a rate cut. That decision could be the start of a summer rally in stocks. In June Fed share Jerome Powell said the central bank would act to sustain economic growth since that time. Sine that moment in June, the S&P and DOW have rallied 10.1 percent and 9.4 percent. Does the economy need the boost though? That's the question. At 10 years old this is already the longest economic expansion in history. With looser monetary policy from the fed, it could go on longer even as manufacturing showed some weakness in the first half of the year. American consumers remained very strong here. The economy slowed slightly in the second quarter growing at just 2.1 percent. Another way the economy could get a boost in ending the trade war with China. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin and the Trade Representive Robert Lighthizer, they traveled to Shanghai for the first high level face to face trade talks between world's two biggest economies since talks broke down in May. It's about to get very interesting on the money front here.

BRIGGS: It looks like everything is being done to kind of juice the economy ahead of an election.

ROMANS: You know, when you look at fiscal policy, you look at monetary policy, economy, 2.1 percent not as strong as many expected. But still hanging in there just fine. A lot of stimulus coming your way, folks.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a new revelation in the case of two American teenagers accused of killing an Italian police officer in Rome. Where police say the murder weapon was found next.

[04:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: A knife believed to have been used in the fatal stabbing of an Italian police officer was found hidden in the hotel room of two American teenagers suspected in the killing. Court documents also reveals the two teens Finnegan Elder and Christian Natale-Hjorth, accusing each other of committing the murder. CNN's Barbara -- Barbie Nadeau has more from Italy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The investigation has taken a turn. Photos leaked to the Italian press show a disturbing situation at the time of the interrogation. One of the young American men is shown blindfolded. The police have confirmed to CNN that they have opened up a two-prong investigation into themselves. One of the questions they're trying to answer is who blindfolded that -- a young suspect and why. The other part of the investigation is who leaked the photo.

Meanwhile, in Rome hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects to this 35-year-old police officer during a public wake. We saw officers from various contingents of the Italian security forces. We saw people from the Catholic Church, nuns and priests and we saw everyday citizens laying flowers, paying their respect and praying in front of the casket of this young 35-year-old police officer, who was a newlywed who had just returned to the force after his honeymoon.

Meanwhile though in the United States the friends and family of these suspects in this horrific crime are telling kind of a different story about the people that they knew. Let's listen to what one of the neighbors had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My position in Fin, I don't see him doing that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NADEAU: Here in Italy though of course the mood is very different. The focus right now is on mourning this lost police officer. On Monday the funeral will be held in a small town near Naples in the same church where he was married in early June.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Such a tragic story there. Thank you for that, Barbie.

The woman next in line to be Puerto Rico's governor does not want the job. Wanda Vazquez Garced, Puerto Rico's secretary of justice tweeting she does not want to be governor of the U.S. territory saying in Spanish that she has no interest in occupying the position. Vasquez was next in line for the job after embattled leader Ricardo Rossello announced his resignation Wednesday. Now, normally the Secretary of State would be next in line, but the man who was Secretary of State, Louis Rivera Marine resigned under the same groups chat scandal that led to protest at Rossello resignation.

BRIGGS: Beijing finally addressing the deepening crisis in Hong Kong. In a news conference today following eight weeks of furious protest, riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters as the two sides fought pitch battles in residential areas. CNN's Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong with the very latest. Ivan, good morning.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. It was a turbulent weekend here in parts of Hong Kong. Two days of protests. The police did not give permits for demonstrators to march and yet many of them did and these devolved into violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators. Both sides resorting to the use of force. Scores of people hospitalized. Dozens of people arrested as a result of this. The police denouncing the protesters for using violent tactics and the protesters denouncing the police for using violence as well.

Now that has prompted this department of the government of main land China which oversees this former British colony to take an unprecedented step sending a spokesperson out to address the issue and the eight weeks of protests and increasing violence here in the streets of this island city. And the central government in China coming down very firmly in support of the autonomous -- semi- autonomous Hong Kong authorities and also denouncing what it describes as violent extremists and a violent minority and making it clear that the residents of Hong Kong have to choose between rule of law, basically following Beijing and following the protesters.

[04:20:21] That puts the Hong Kong authorities in a somewhat difficult position, because they're trying to acknowledge that some of the protesters are, in fact, peaceful, that they're not using violence.

Meanwhile, there are warnings from business interests here, like the American Chamber of Commerce, calling for leadership, calling for some concessions from the Hong Kong authorities saying that all of this turmoil is putting at risk the reputation that the city had long enjoyed as a Bastian of stability and prosperity in this part of Asia. Christine, Dave.

BRIGGS: That controversial extradition bill that started all of this was shelved. Was it ever killed though or is it still lingering?

WATSON: It's still lingering. And that is one of the complaints that the demonstrators have right now, though their list of complaints has grown as this summer of discontent has deteriorated further into violence.

BRIGGS: OK. Ivan Watson, live for us in Hong Kong this morning. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, 21 minutes pass the hour. A 16-year-old boy just won $3 million playing Fortnite. More on the teen champ, next.

[04:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: The FBI is on the hunt for the so-called Pink Lady Bandit. She is wanted for robbing four banks in Pennsylvania, Delaware and North Carolina since July 20th. She has that nickname because of the distinctive pink hand bag she carried during at least two of those robberies. Authorities say she is between 5'2" and 5'4" inches tall, 130 pounds. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to her capture.

BRIGGS: Now a picture typically hands the baseball over to the manager when he is being taken out of the game, but there is nothing typical about the Cleveland Indians Trevor Bauer and what he did Sunday. That is Bauer right before he was pulled from the game Sunday at Kansas City throwing the ball deep and gone over the center field wall. Bower's meltdown came after he given up seven runs and five innings, he apologized for his behavior after the game calling it childish and unprofessional. He said, he is an intense competitor and the frustration just built up.

ROMANS: All right. Here how is this for intense competitor. A $3 million grand prize to the new Fortnite champ, Kyle Bugha Giersdorf. The first ever championship for the online video game at New York Arthur Ashe Stadium. This was also the biggest ever payout to a single player in an E-Sports tournament. Giersdorf finished with 59 points, a huge lead over the second place finisher. That was Harrison Chang who took home 1.8 million. At 24 years old Chang was one of the oldest players competing.

BRIGGS: It kind of makes me think twice about yelling at my son for playing that game all day, all weekend.

All right. Next here, the latest on our breaking news. Three people killed as a gunman opens fire on a festival in Gilroy, California.

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