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Gunman Opens Fire at Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California; Six-Year-Old Killed in Shooting in California. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired July 29, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] JONATHAN KINLOCH, CHAIR, 13TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Absolutely.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jonathan Kinloch chairs Detroit's 13th Congressional District Democratic party and is a vice chair of the state party. He says Democratic enthusiasm remains high, especially among African-Americans.
KINLOCH: In Michigan, when black folks vote, we win. And I assure you that the African-American vote will turn out in 2020.
MARQUEZ: So the other side of the coin, President Trump is certainly making a huge play for Michigan as well. He's been there several times since taking office. Democrats are not going to give up. But until there is that Democratic candidate picked and the process is done, then we won't know what is going to happen there. It's going to be a long 15 months. Back to you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Miguel, thank you very much for all of that.
And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN Newsroom with Bianca Nobilo is next. And for our U.S. viewers we do have some breaking news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your new day. It is Monday, July 29th. It is 8:00 in the east. We are in Detroit ahead of the CNN presidential debates. They take place starting tomorrow night. But we do have breaking news for you. Overnight a mass shooting at a fair in California. This happened at a popular food festival in the town of Gilroy, the Garlic Festival. You may very well have heard of it. Three people were killed, 11 others injured. Witnesses described complete chaos when the shots rang out. Police say the gunman used an assault-style rifle.
CAMEROTA: One of those killed was a six-year-old boy named Stephen Romero. There is his picture on the scene. He was at the festival with his mother and grandmother who were also shot and wounded. CNN has learned that investigators have identified the gunman, though they have not released his name yet. Authorities are searching for a possible second suspect.
BERMAN: Joining me on the phone is Christian Swain. His band, TinMan, was doing an encore on stage when the gunman opened fire at this Garlic Festival. Christian, thank you so thank you so much for being with us. I want to ask you what you saw overnight. But before I do that, I know this has been a very difficult night. Just tell me how you are doing this morning?
CHRISTIAN SWAIN, BAND WAS PLAYING ON STAGE DURING SHOOTING: Well, as you can imagine, John, I haven't slept a wink. It's a terrible thing to have to see, have to be a part of, to read about, see over years and years, and then to actually experience it yourself. I just don't know what to think.
BERMAN: This time it happened to you. You were with the band doing an encore about 5:40 p.m. Tell me what you saw.
SWAIN: Well, as you said, we were doing an encore. We were the last band to play at the festival. We were closing it out. And we heard a couple of pops. At first, I thought it was firecrackers. My guitar player actually saw the gunman. And then there was a pause. And Jack says that the guy was messing with his rifle. And then all of a sudden it just was mayhem. A lot of shooting, more than 20.
And we ran the opposite way. The shooter apparently was just several yards off the left-hand side of the stage. We ran to the other side of the stage, dove underneath it, laid low. And we knew -- we knew that the police would arrive instantly. There was security and enforcement all over the park. And sure enough, within a minute or so, it seemed it was over. We stayed down until the police came and said, hey, I think there's people under the stage. We said, it's the band. We came out, and they escorted us out of there.
BERMAN: In fact, it really did just happen a minute -- only lasted a minute before police arrived and neutralized the shooter.
SWAIN: Thank God.
BERMAN: But a minute can seem like an eternity. I know it can seem like an eternity. For anyone who has not heard shots fired in anger, that minute seems like forever. And you're just aren't sure what's going to happen. I know you did not get --
SWAIN: We smelled the gunpowder. We smelled the gunpowder. We knew it was that close.
BERMAN: And you didn't get a look at the killer.
SWAIN: No. No.
BERMAN: But you mentioned the guitarist did. What did he say he looked like?
[08:05:00] SWAIN: He said he had a green shirt on, a gray scarf around his neck, a baseball cap, some sunglasses. And he said that he definitely saw a rifle, or an assault-style rifle. Jack doesn't have a lot of experience with firearms. But after carefully piecing it together and talking about it, he said, no, it was not -- it wasn't a pistol. It was definitely something more extensive than that. And everything happened so fast.
BERMAN: Yes. And of course, we know one of those killed was a six- year-old boy, Stephen Romero.
SWAIN: A six-year-old kid. I've seen the picture. It's awful. It's awful. I just don't know how many times we have to go through this.
BERMAN: And this time it happened to you. Just tell me when was going through your head during that minute. Connect your feelings then to what you know has been going on in this country for years now.
SWAIN: Well, in the moment, you're just in the moment. You're trying to stay out of it, thinking that the police would come and do their job, and they did. I cannot say enough about the Gilroy law enforcement there. They were completely on it. By the time I got home, I saw there were law enforcement from all over the Bay Area that were sent down to help out in this crisis.
And one thing that I took away, the cost. All these resources that now have to go to this single event, and not doing their local job they get paid to do every day. And that just seems crazy to me. Luckily, myself, my bandmates, our sound crew, we're fine. We were unharmed. But there are several people that are going to have to live with this for the rest of their life. And this is not right. It's not fair.
BERMAN: No. It is not right. It is not fair. You talk about the cost. You can't even put a cost on the life of a six-year-old boy.
SWAIN: No. No, no.
BERMAN: Christian Swain, we're glad, we're so glad you're OK this morning. We're so sorry you went through that. We hope you get some rest today. Thank you so much for being with us.
SWAIN: Thank you, John.
CAMEROTA: OK, John. Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell. Josh, we now know that law enforcement have identified a subject. They have not released identity to the public. So now what?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, Alisyn, we're waiting on additional details from law enforcement which we expect to get more later on today. This is very important because what we heard from law enforcement officers yesterday is that they are imploring the public to come forward to provide information, to provide video, to provide any type of photos perhaps from the scene behind me, which was the festival.
And a key part of that will be the identity of the subject, getting that information out to the public so anyone who may know anything about this person can come forward with law enforcement. I can tell you, having been here and talked with some law enforcement officers that are familiar with this investigation, we're learning what we already knew, and that is there appears to be no community in this country that is safe from the scourge of gun violence. We've seen it in schools, we've seen it in places of business, we've seen it in concerts. And now, as you mentioned, a food festival here in this town, an agriculture community about 70 miles south of San Francisco.
A very lengthy investigation is going on right now in two parts. First of all, the forensic side behind me, we've saw a number of officers and vehicles moving in just about half an hour ago to continue to process that scene. But also we're hearing that they are looking outward and possibly the address of the person that they have identified, trying to gather information there again, to get to the bottom of was this person acting alone and what was that motive.
CAMEROTA: And Josh, as an investigator, how much stock do you put in the setting? The idea this was a food festival, the idea this was a family festival where grandparents were known to take grandchildren. One of the victims was a six-year-old little boy named Stephen Romero, that this town was an agriculture area and that it has a large Hispanic population. How much does that go into investigators trying to figure out a motive?
CAMPBELL: More questions than answers right now. For law enforcement officers, they are orbiting all those sets of facts that you just provided, again, trying to find out what was the motive or the commonalities here. We do know based on what the law enforcement officials told us yesterday that this subject apparently came to this location and cut his way through a fence, bypassed the security protocols that were in place, which might suggest that he put eyes on this location to determine what are the ingress and egress points, and bypassing those metal detectors to get in with weaponry to cause mass loss of life.
[08:10:12] The question that we don't have answered is the why, was he coming here to target someone? Was he seeking to kill indiscriminately? All of those questions will be part of that investigation law enforcement officers are conducting right now.
CAMEROTA: OK, Josh Campbell, thanks so much. We always appreciate getting your analysis and having you close to the scene for us. Thank you.
BERMAN: So rat and rodent infested, disgusting -- there's a stunning consistency about who the president chooses to attack with these words. We'll discuss after the break.
CAMEROTA: All right, we are in Detroit for the CNN Democratic debates. They begin tomorrow night. Of course, the stakes are incredibly high, but this morning we turn our attention to President Trump and his continuing racially charged attacks. The President again, using the word "infested" to describe a majority African- American city. Joining us now to talk about all of this, we have David Gergen, CNN
senior political analyst, and former adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton -- is that all? Nia-Malika Henderson, CNN senior political reporter; David Axelrod, CNN political commentator, and host of "The Ax Files" and Angela Rye, CNN political commentator, and former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Great to have all of you.
The President is continuing to tweet this morning about Baltimore and about Congressman Elijah Cummings. Angela, isn't the President of the United States the President of all the cities in the United States or only the ones he likes?
I am so --
DAVID AXELROD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Rhetorical question --
CAMEROTA: Well, actually it's sort of rhetorical, but it isn't that he thinks that he couldn't do anything about Baltimore. If he thinks Baltimore is so bad, he thinks he is powerless to do anything in Baltimore.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I think that he thrives more on sowing seeds of discord as he has done long before he was ever running for office, and I think those are just the facts.
What we've seen is that the President in some way, experienced some carnal benefit to attacking people of color. Last week, he started with the squad. This week, it's Congressman Elijah Cummings, who has done a yeoman's task of just really helping us to understand all of the responsibilities at bay for him to be the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
I think the other thing that's disgusting is now it's gone beyond Congressman Cummings, but now he's also attacking Reverend Al Sharpton. So, it's like anybody that has a base of support from African-American people, you now have a target on your back and it's dangerous. It's dangerous.
BERMAN: And I think the big picture here is it's not just about Baltimore.
BERMAN: It wasn't just about the four Democratic Members of Congress and it's not just about Elijah Cummings, it's about a larger choice the President has made, David to send a message and to govern and run in a certain way.
AXELROD: Yes, I mean, I think he has fully cast his lot with polarization, with making these racist appeals. He thinks this is the ticket to getting reelected. And you know, he was -- he was told in the last campaign, "Don't do those things. It'll jeopardize yourself." And he won.
And I'm sure he is sitting there thinking, "I'm going to do things the way I want to do things instead of what these geniuses tell me to do." And I think we're going to get a steady diet of it. The question is, at what point do people say, this is exhausting. We cannot wake up every single day with the President of the United States who divides the country on purpose and who inflames with tweets and tantrums and starts gratuitous fights.
And I think that's a potential political risk for him with those -- that small segment of voters that still isn't sure.
CAMEROTA: Is that what will hear, Nia-Malika tomorrow night from the debate stage? Will all 10 of them just say, "This is exhausting"? I mean, or will they be more specific? The question always is for Democrats, how much to dive into all of this stuff?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, I think so. Because in some ways, the President is laying a trap for Democrats. If you listen to anything Bannon has said about identity politics, talk about race and racism, they squarely feel like -- feel like it basically benefits Donald Trump.
And some of the data actually show it has two benefits. One of which is that it riles up, it engages Trump's base, but it also in some ways, at least around the edges, depresses the black vote, too, because people just get so sort of fed up as David is talking about in some ways, but it's sort of a pox on both their houses. They're just exhausted by the whole system and become unengaged.
Some of the focus groups, I've heard people talk about, you see some of that come up with some of the African-American voters, particularly younger African-American voters.
So, I think if you're a Democrat, this is very challenging, because it's destabilizing, right? We haven't had a President talk about race and talk about cities in this way, and really just govern to a small segment.
Obama, when asked often, you know, about black issues, for instance, would say, you know, "I'm not just the President of black Americans, I'm the President of all Americans." And I think you if you're on that stage tomorrow, you've got to kind of turn away from the negativity and have a kind of big picture vision of this country and an inclusive vision for the country as well.
BERMAN: There are people comparing him to George Wallace.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Listen, I've been around this track for a long, long time, since the early 70s. And there's no one that he resembled more than George Wallace. And George Wallace was a complete racist. He believes in racism.
It is a little unclear sometimes the way Donald Trump is just playing us and making racial comments in order to mobilize his base. But nonetheless, the way it comes out, the way it strikes people, is at the heart of our politics, we have someone who is actually a very, very strong candidate for reelection, who is playing the race card every day, every week that he can, and it destroys something, it destroys the fabric that holds us together as a people.
I actually am surprised that it would drive down the black vote. I would think it would drive up the black vote.
[08:20:08] GERGEN: The people would be so angry and want to get out there and say, "We can't deal with four more years of this."
RYE: Well, I think the challenge that we have is that Donald Trump is bringing to the surface things that have been packed away, but not necessarily gone. And so the reality of it is, is if you're talking about Russia hacking elections, whether or not we could really win if people turn out that is what you're dealing with, people who already felt like they were never represented by this country's government and feeling systemically oppressed. That is the reality of it.
I don't think that we should be apathetic and sit home, but I can understand why that would be a challenge.
GERGEN: But do you think, it is likely to happen to happen? The black vote?
RYE: I think it could, especially if so, for example, the party in which I vote for, has not spoken to these issues in ways that are even satisfying to me, right? It's like, "Oh, well, you know, he hasn't done enough to even talk about impeachment." And I'm like, "What's at stake? You have Members of Congress -- Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- who are experiencing death threats. I'm trying to figure out what will it take? Right? And if you're not satisfactorily addressing these issues, because you live in a battleground state, I have a problem with that.
CAMEROTA: It's not just black voters. I hear all the time from people -- some people are energized, some are exhausted. It's a personal thing about how you receive this information.
AXELROD: But I think that the political argument is there's a price for that exhaustion. There's a price for the sideshow of bitterness and racism and that is you can't get anything done. You can't get anything done if you're being divided every day.
And I think that there is that -- I think there's a body of evidence that this is a good argument for Democrats, and because it has the virtue of being true.
BERMAN: So Joe Biden entered the Democratic campaign on this issue.
BERMAN: He staked his entire entry into the race around Charlottesville. So, it does beg the question when the candidates are here on the stage behind us tomorrow night, and Wednesday night, how much do you focus on this -- on the division that the President is sowing? How much do you focus on other things?
AXELROD: Well, I think the President has sort of set the stage here. And I can't imagine that this isn't going to be part of the discussion. And if Biden has a smart strategy, I think he will try and reclaim that mantle and not get dragged down into side fights and minutiae.
There is a huge thing at stake. That's how -- John, you pointed out that's how he started his campaign. He has to pick up the threads of that argument in the debate tomorrow night.
CAMEROTA: You know, this is a sidebar, Nia-Malika, but one irony of all of this attack this morning and over the weekend on Baltimore is that Baltimore happens to be the place where his top adviser and son- in-law, Jared Kushner, and his companies own 9,000 rental units.
CAMEROTA: When ProPublica and "The New York Times" looked into it and did an investigation, they had 200 code violations for -- wait for it -- mice and maggots. His rental units are infested -- Jared Kushner's -- with mice maggots.
HENDERSON: Yes, yes. And this -- you know, maybe at some point, the President will have a sidebar conversation with Jared Kushner about the dilapidated state of some of these buildings that he is renting to folks.
AXELROD: Yes, I'm sure that'll happen.
HENDERSON: But it's also -- you know, I mean, Baltimore, I used to live in Baltimore. I worked for "The Baltimore Sun." I mean, some of the global effects that we've seen in some of these Midwestern cities, the same in Baltimore.
I mean, this was a proud city manufacturing was there, but it had been gutted by a lot of the things that that Donald Trump likes to talk about, right? Tariffs and trade and working class, black working class people live here, too and had been --
AXELROD: Can I just point one thing out, we -- you know, we lose all these episodes, because they come so rapidly. This is the same exact attack he launched a John Lewis. You know, the same language, same attack, same lack of truth, because both those districts have median incomes above the national average.
GERGEN: Briefly, one of the thing about this time, John and Alisyn, that what we forget here is that cities actually are where a lot of the progress is being made in this country. That's where the innovation is. That's where you have people -- there are mayors who are well-connected with their communities, and take on the cities in general, where so many people of color live is just -- it just compiles not just the racism, but sort of misunderstanding what's going on in this country.
The hope of a lot of people right now is in our cities.
AXELROD: But the base of Trumps votes is not.
GERGEN: I agree.
AXELROD: So it is polarizing between rural and urban ...
AXELROD: ... is central to his theory.
BERMAN: I get it, I get it, but it's all America. And one of the things that concerns me --
AXELROD: I am not making this value judgment. I am just telling you what he is doing.
BERMAN: I know, I know, but one of the things that does concern me about elections in general and how we, in some ways, frame our entire discussions around the Electoral College, is we forget that a person in Baltimore is every bit as American, you know, as someone in McComb County here.
It just, you know, somehow when you divide people up like this, it doesn't achieve the progress we all need.
AXELROD: Well, we've never really seen a President of the United States make this his project -- dividing the country. We've never seen it before.
BERMAN: All right. Thank you all very much. Terrific discussion.
[08:25:07] CAMEROTA: Be sure to tune in for the CNN Democratic Presidential Debates. Two big nights, 10 candidates each night. It is tomorrow and Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Live from Detroit only on CNN.
BERMAN: All right, the President again is continuing his attacks on Baltimore this morning. But people in the city are fighting back. Baltimore's Mayor joins us next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to this Special Edition of NEW DAY. We are in Detroit this morning ahead of the Democratic presidential debates tomorrow and Wednesday.
This morning, the President's attention remains on Baltimore. The President continues to stoke racial divisions with his attack on the majority black city and Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Joining me now on the phone is Baltimore's Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young. Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for being with us this morning. The President it is at it this morning.
What would you like to tell the President of the United States as he continues to go after your city?
BERNARD "JACK" YOUNG (D), MAYOR OF BALTIMORE CITY: I like to tell him stop --