Return to Transcripts main page


Gunman Kills 3, Wounds At Least 11 in California; Trump Smears Congressman Cummings' District as "Disgusting"; Investors Wait for Rate Decision from Fed. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 29, 2019 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: A gunman firing round after round at the annual Garlic Festival that's in Gilroy about 80 miles south of San Francisco.

Gilroy police say three people were killed in addition to the gunman, and at least 11 people were injured. Chief Scot Smithee telling reporters overnight that officers confronted the shooter almost immediately.


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


BRIGGS: Smithee says witnesses reported a second attacker, but he said it's unclear what role that person might have played.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: All right, thousands were still enjoying the Gilroy Garlic Festival as it began to wrap up Sunday evening when those shots rang out, triggering that panic, confusion and a desperate run for cover. The first man you're going to hear here was a stage hand for the final musical act of the day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bullets were hitting the grouped, you could see them go up, and that's why 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 people. Eventually we came out, and I could seize that there were -- there were someone down and they were performing CPR on them. And later, I heard it was the gunman.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you heard rapid fire?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then I was at the 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 for the concert, but after a few seconds, there were so many shots, and I saw people falling down, kids falling down. I had to jump over three of the kids, one bullet passed me very closely and it hit our friends' booth, her chair, and the shot -- into her leg also. So, she's injured there.


ROMANS: Just awful. Dan Simon is there in Gilroy for us with the latest. What do we know about the victims? What do we know about the motive and whether there was this second suspect?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Christine, first of all, this is just completely heartbreaking. We've learned that one of the three victims who was shot dead includes a 6-year-old boy named Stephen Romero. We understand his mother was shot as well and is being treated at a local hospital.

But what the police are telling us is that this all broke out about 5:40 in the evening at the end of this three-day festival that was really attended by tens of thousands of people each year. This is the 41st year of this Garlic Festival. And what police are saying is that the suspect, the shooter entered through a back way, he did not come in through the front door, if you will.

Didn't go through security, he actually crossed over a creek and then there's evidence that he actually broke through a fence to get into the festival. As you heard from many witnesses, it was pure pandemonium. People diving under tables, doing whatever they could to get to safety.

Police say literally within one minute, officers who were at the scene, they were already there, providing security for the overall event, engaged the suspect and shot him dead. But I now want you to listen to one of the musicians who was on stage as the shots rang out. Take a look.


CHRISTAIN SWAIN, MUSICIAN: We were finishing our set, we were the last band of the last day of the festival. 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, 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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:05:00] SIMON: Now, police say they are looking for a possible second suspect or an accomplice. They don't have many details on that, but based on some of the descriptions that they got from witnesses, they believe that there may be a second suspect out there, but they didn't provide any more information about that. But they did characterize it, Christine, as a man-hunt. I'll send it back to you.

ROMANS: All right, Dan, continue working your sources, come back to us if you have any new information. Dan Simon for us in Gilroy. All right, President Trump -- five minutes past the hour. Now, President Trump escalating his Twitter campaign against a leading African- American Congressman over the weekend.

On Saturday, the president attacked Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, calling his majority black district, "a disgusting, rat and rodent- infested mess, that's your accusation of racism." On Sunday, Trump responded by calling Cummings a racist and accusing him of doing, quote, "a terrible job" for the people of his district. More now from CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE 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 on those of migrant detention facilities along the southern border.

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 polish 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 his language, but that these attacks are 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.


MICK MULVANEY, CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: The president is attacking Mr. Cummings for saying things are not true about the border. I think it's right for the president to raise the issue of -- 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 homelessness 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, this bizarre impeachment crusade, I'd get fired.

And I think the president is right to raise that, it 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, 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.

ROMANS: All right, Boris, thank you for that. Meantime, a strong response from the "Baltimore Sun" to the president attacking their city as a rodent-infested mess. The paper hit back in a scathing Sunday editorial saying, quote, "better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one."

BRIGGS: Ahead of the CNN debates this week, the 2020 Democrats are united in condemning the president's attacks on the city of Baltimore and on Congressman Elijah Cummings. Here's how they responded.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), 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 people, not to be -- have a racist president who attacks people because they are African-Americans.

JULIAN CASTRO, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT, UNITED STATES: 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 and get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity.

That's how he thinks he won in 2016, and that's how he thinks he's going to win in 2020.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK STATE & 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 con-man reality of Donald Trump. It's a classic bait-and-switch maneuver every time.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To be attacked by a president, issuing racist tweets is beyond insulting. It is disgusting.


BRIGGS: You're sure to hear more during the Democratic presidential debates, that's two big nights, ten candidates each night, tomorrow night and Wednesday night, 8:00 Eastern live from Detroit right here on CNN. ROMANS: All right, it's all about the Fed this week as policy makers

meet to decide whether to cut interest rates, that decision could be the start of a Summer rally in stocks or a continuation of a Summer rally. Look, in June, the Fed Chief Jerome Powell said the Central Bank would act to sustain economic growth.

Since then, the S&P 500 and the Dow have rallied about 10 percent. Does the economy need the boost? Well, at 10 years old, this is already the longest economic expansion in history, with loser monitory policy from the Fed, it could go on longer. Even as manufacturing showed some weakness in the first half of the year, American consumers remain strong.

The economy slowed slightly in the second quarter, grew about 2.1 percent. Another way the economy could get a boost would be to end the trade war with China.

[05:10:00] The Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer traveled to Shanghai this week for the first face-to-face trade negotiations since talks broke down in May. And that should be interesting.

BRIGGS: Should be fascinating, indeed. OK, ahead, a new revelation of the case of two American teenagers accused of killing an Italian police officer in Rome, where police say the murder weapon was found, next.


ROMANS: All right, 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 that killing. Court documents also reveal the two teens Finnegan Elder and Christian Natale-Hjorth are accusing each other of murdering that police officer.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau has more on this case from Italy. Barbie?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, we're here today at the funeral of this 35-year-old police officer who was stabbed allegedly by the two 19-year-old -- 19 and 18-year-old young men from San Francisco.

[05:15:00] It's an emotional time. There are people from every contingent of the Italian security forces here.

Meanwhile in Rome, the suspects are in custody, and we're hearing more and more about the investigation including a police officer telling us early today that the knife apparently, allegedly found in the hotel room was brought from the United States by elder. This is according to the police.

So, if he had the knife with him, he identified it to police as his own knife. Now, the investigation goes on, it could take many weeks until we understand completely the dynamic, and that these young men have adequate legal advice and can start telling us a little bit more about their side of the story. ROMANS: Barbie, police are saying what? That they think this was some

sort of a drug -- a drug robbery gone wrong?

NADEAU: That's right. The way that -- police have pointed the scenarios these two young men on early morning Friday went out to buy cocaine. They were able to find someone, find a pusher who sold them cocaine that ended up being crushed aspirin. Angry, they went back to find the pusher, they stole a backpack and then things get a little bit murky.

Two undercover police officers, including the one who was stabbed to death 11 times with this about 7-inch knife perished in this -- in this terrible crime. Now, the police officers were not armed, they were under cover and there's a lot of confusion about those details.

Why, there were undercover officers without back-up, without arms? And those are the sorts of things that we're looking into and in terms of the investigation. But today is really focused on the mourning --

ROMANS: Right --

NADEAU: Of the community and all of Italy for this lost police officer --

ROMANS: Yes, the funeral for that police officer in the very Church where he was just married earlier this Summer. Just a sad story all around, Barbie, thank you so much for that.

BRIGGS: All right, Beijing finally addressing the deepening crisis in Hong Kong. In a news conference today following 8 weeks of furious protests, riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters as the two sides fought pitched battles in residential areas.

CNN's Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong with the latest. Ivan, the fear has been that China, Beijing would deploy troops to Hong Kong to squash those protests. Did they squash those fears in this press conference?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, they were asked about that, and said, hey, you should take a look at the mini constitution that governs Hong Kong to see whether or not this could take place. Basically, the local authorities could theoretically summon in the people's liberation army which has barracks around this former British colony if they see the need.

What we saw here this weekend was a very turbulent weekend, scores of people arrested in two-straight days of violent clashes between the riot police and the demonstrators. Both sides accusing each other of violence and unnecessary use of force.

You had scenes of clouds of tear gas through the tightly-packed neighborhoods of one of the most densely-populated cities in the world. So, a lot of bystanders caught up in the extreme discomfort of this. And this has been kind of eight straight weeks of protests.

And as they have progressed, both sides have gotten more and more violent. We've seen demonstrators hurling bricks and metal bars, in one case setting fire to a cart and hurling that at police. Police now firing tear gas and these kind of non-lethal rounds directly at demonstrators horizontally.

And meanwhile, you've got financial and business interests in this international financial hub expressing concern that this is doing economic harm to this city. Dave, Christine?

BRIGGS: All right, in that controversial Extradition Bill shelved, but not killed entirely. Ivan Watson live for us in Hong Kong, thank you.

ROMANS: Hong Kong stocks closing lower last night because, indeed, they're worried about what this is going to mean for the economy --

BRIGGS: Yes --

ROMANS: The region --

BRIGGS: And we should be concerned now --

ROMANS: Poor and --


BRIGGS: Ahead, a star is born at the Tour de France. The youngest winner in over a century, and the first from Colombia, Coy Wire has that story in the "BLEACHER REPORT".


BRIGGS: Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer let his frustrations fly along with the ball. Coy Wire has that story in the BLEACHER REPORT. Terry Francona seemed a bit caught off guard by his pitcher. Good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: What are you doing, man?


BRIGGS: That's a politely --

WIRE: Dave and -- yes, you know, no doubt, not the best of days for Cleveland's right-hander against the Kansas City Royals. In less than five innings, Bauer gave up eight runs, nine hits, four walks. That's when Manager Terry Francona came to pull him out of the game, when instead of just handing the ball over as he always sees, Bauer hurled the ball over the center field fence.

I mean, this is about a 350 foot heave. Francona, as you mentioned, Dave, clearly not impressed after their 9-6 loss to the Royals. Bauer apologized.


TREVOR BAUER, PITCHER, CLEVELAND INDIANS: It's unbecoming. It was childish, unprofessional, there's no place for it in the game. Happy it didn't result in any physical injury for anybody else. I mean, I realized a number of people are injured.

[05:25:00] I want to be clear that my frustrations were with myself, my inability to stop the situation, to keep the team in the game.


WIRE: All right, let's go to the pool. Swimming sensation Simone Manuel is the queen of the splash-and-dash, becoming the first American woman to sweep the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle at the world championships.

The Stanford grad from Sugarland, Texas has become a dominant force in the sport. Her seven total medals are the most ever by a woman at a world championship. And what a moment for Nathan Adrian; the five- time Olympic gold medalist who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January and needed to pass a scan last week in order to make the team.

Well, not only did he make the squad, he captured silver in the 4x100 meter Medley relay yesterday to go along with the gold he won in the 4x100 meter freestyle Medley earlier in the world championships. Both Adrian and Manuel hope to keep momentum flowing for team USA as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

History on the streets of Paris as a 22-year-old becomes the winner of the Tour de France. Egan Bernal is the youngest champion in the 110 years and the first from Colombia. He won the grueling three-week 2,100 mile race by just 71 seconds.

Finally, for those parents out there thinking about kicking your kids off the video game, watch this.


WIRE: That's 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf gamer named 'Bugha' winning the Fortnite World Championship yesterday. The grand prize, $3 million for him. That's the most ever for a single player in an E- Sports tournament. The first-ever championship for the online videogame was played in New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium, the same court where the U.S. Open tennis matches are played.

Second place, Dave, took 1.8 million bucks. I mean, you think about this, Shane Lowry earned less than 2 million to win the Open Championship as a golfer there, and nearly 200 universities that offer scholarships for this, so, might have some parents re-thinking the games.

BRIGGS: Yes, and you talked about the U.S. Open tennis tournament played there, the winner there makes $3.85 million, they've been playing it since 1881. So, Fortnite catching up fast. Good stuff, Coy Wire, thank you my friend. Romans, what's coming up?

ROMANS: I'm still going to make my --

BRIGGS: I'm still going to yell at my son -- ROMANS: Yes, I know, I know --

BRIGGS: Yes, still going to yell at him --

ROMANS: Thanks so much. Twenty seven minutes past the hour, next. The latest on the breaking news. Three killed as a gunman opens fire on a festival crowd in Gilroy, California.