Return to Transcripts main page
At This Hour
Deadly July 4 Parade Shooting; Interview with Witness to Parade Shooting, Midwest Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League David Goldenberg; 2 Police Officers Shot in Philadelphia. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired July 05, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN "NEW DAY" CO-ANCHOR: I'm John Berman in Highland Park, Illinois. Boris Sanchez is with me in New York.
I am standing right now in what was the parade route of the July 4th celebration parade here in Highland Park, about 25 miles north of Chicago. The parade route and also this morning a crime scene, a very active crime scene. We'll tell you about some of the things that had been going on behind us just a few moments from now.
It was here, almost exactly 24 hours ago now, that a gunman opened fire from the roof of a building, about two blocks behind me, killing six people -- you can hear the sounds of it right there, wounding 25. It caused hundreds of people to flee the scene. A real moment of sheer terror.
You can see, actually, behind us now, some of the chairs that they left behind still littering the scene here. Police did find a gun on the roof of that building. Ultimately, about eight hours later, they were able to apprehend someone they were calling a person of interest. They also used the phrase, suspect. That person has been in custody now, overnight, and several hours. And investigators are going through his past. Trying to learn more about what might have led him to open fire on this celebration of the nation's independence.
Let's get the very latest on where the investigation stands this morning. I'm joined by CNN's Josh Campbell who's been on the scene here now for about 20 hours, at this point, chasing down leads. And there are two parts of this investigation going on. One has been happening right here. That's the forensic investigation. And then also, digging through this person of interest's past. Where are we, Josh?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, just a short time ago we saw an FBI team here behind us, what's called the evidence response team. These are the forensic examiners who come out. They were walking through this crime scene. Looking for any possible evidence, bullet casings, bullet shells, anything that they can use because again this now -- this person is in custody. So, there will be a prosecution. They're going to have to collect every piece of evidence.
I have to tell you, you know, that video that we just saw, we saw with our own eyes here just a short time here. John, you and I cover a lot of really tough topics. But seeing that FBI agent pick up that child's stroller, turning it over, looking for any type of bullet entry points, there are no words. Obviously, a community here that was rocked by this mass shooting. That's what's happening behind us.
Behind the scenes, there's the other part of this investigation. You mentioned the digital side. We know, based on our law enforcement sources that this suspect had a robust online presence. A very troubling presence. After each of these incidents, we always ask, well, were there warning signs?
It appears here and looking at some of these videos, that this may have been a red flag. I'll describe one of them, for example, you see the suspect posting an animation of sorts where there's a figure that resembles the suspect, conducting an attack, and lots of bloody, you know, gory things as well on some of this. So, that's what they're also looking at, again, to try to get to that motivation. Whether there were any people that may have known what the suspect was doing. Also, a whole other aspect related to this firearm.
The mayor tells us his firearm was obtained legally. Obviously, authorities are having to go through that. But a lot going on behind the scenes. This, obviously, a community here that is relieved that the suspect is in custody. But obviously, still mourning the loss of, you know, many of these residents.
And, you know, as you look behind us here, this is any town in USA. You know, my husband's family lives not far from here. I was talking with some of the residents walking around, walking their dogs. They were saying, we never thought it would happen here. That's the scene sadly we continue to hear community after community. No place is safe. And this is showing that there are no holidays for mass shootings in America.
BERMAN: And again, you know, the gun we are told was purchased legally. There are still a lot of questions about that. And just to be clear, this person of interest, not charged yet?
CAMPBELL: Not charged yet. We're waiting -- they have a period of time where they can hold him without charges. We understand that that's going on behind the scenes. Obviously, with deaths, there will be severe charges. Injuries as well. And then we'll have to see about the weapons violations as well.
BERMAN: All right. Josh Campbell, thank you very much. We'll let you get back to work. Keep us posted when you learn something else.
All right. The parade here in Highland Park, one of the most popular in the area. People would come from all the surrounding towns to be here. And we've spoken to people who have been coming for more than 30 years to this parade every year. Something that they simply would not miss. So, the attack here, very much an attack on the heart of this area. [11:05:00]
I'm joined by CNN's Adrienne Broaddus now for some of these just dramatic and harrowing and sad witness accounts.
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed. I spoke with one witness who said she cannot unsee what she saw here. People, survivors, she described them, running away from danger. If you think about it, the chaos was beginning to unfold around this time yesterday. It's 10:04 a.m. local time. People were along this parade route, celebrating, having fun.
But today, 24 hours later, the grief is beginning to settle. Listen to this conversation from earlier in the morning from a mother. She describes what she saw when she was here at the parade with her family when she looked up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBY BROSIO, WITNESS TO PARADE SHOOTING: And I remember looking around, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. And I in fact looked up at the neighboring business across the street and saw the shooter on the roof. And I just -- I screamed that it was a shooter. And I got my daughter and we ran into my husband's store. And I yelled for my son and my mother and father-in-law and we all -- we were able to get in safely as my husband helped a whole bunch of other patrons get away from the danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROADDUS: And we heard from so many people, some found shelter in businesses. One father said, he put his children in a dumpster for protection while he went to go find other family members. And tributes, John, are beginning to pour in for at least one of the six deceased victims.
She was identified by members of her synagogue and one woman described her as someone who helped her coordinate her wedding. And she says, the most memorable thing she remembers about that woman, who she called Miss Jacki, was her smile. And the day she helped her fix the veil on her wedding gown.
BERMAN: Miss Jacki was killed going to a fourth of July parade. Adrienne Broaddus, thank you so much for that.
You know, and as we've been here all morning long, we've seen people come back here to the location where the parade took place. And it really starts to sink in now the morning after. In some cases, yesterday was all about getting out of the way, getting to safety. And today, they're really coming to terms with what happened here. And it's not easy. It's just not easy.
Joining me now is David Goldenberg, He is the Midwest Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League, the ADL. Also, a parent who was here at the parade with your three young children. Let me just ask you, what was it like for you to be here? DAVID GOLDENBERG, WITNESS TO PARADE SHOOTING, MIDWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: It was scary. Right. We were parked a little bit further down, about a quarter-mile down from where the shooting occurred. But we saw the chaos. We saw -- we heard band members and saw band members of the marching band come running down the street, yelling there's a shooter. And grabbed -- trying to scoop up our kids and get out of there and try to account for everybody. And it was chaotic and it was scary.
BERMAN: And a lot for your three kids to go through. And they've all had unique responses. Tell me about them.
GOLDENBERG: Yes, my little one has asked last night before going to bed, is this -- is there always going to be a shooter at every fourth of July parade? My middle one didn't want to go to bed until he talked to one of his best friends. He didn't want to -- he didn't quite -- he wouldn't even believe us but he needed to hear their voice. And my older one, she didn't sleep well.
Now, all three of them, we were fortunate, able to get them out to camp this morning. Because I think being with their friends is important. But what we've learned this lesson of listening to them. Trying to answer all those questions. Trying to be patient as we try to cope as parents and as residents of Highland Park. It's tough.
BERMAN: So, David, as I mentioned, you are the Midwest Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League. CNN has learned the identity of one of the victims. She was Jewish. She worked at a local synagogue. This town has a robust Jewish community. Historical Jewish community. Do you have any sense, have you heard anything that would indicate that this shooting was, in any way, religiously motivated or motivated by specific religious hate?
GOLDENBERG: We have not. ADL -- the minute this occurred, I called our -- we scooped up my kids and I called our office. And we did what ADL does and we went to work. We've been working with local, State, and federal law enforcement. We -- once we learned the identity of the individual, we've been trying to uncover and understand and work with them.
Our initial assessment to right -- to this point as of this point with what we know, we've not seen any direct ties that this was religiously motivated. That this was tied to extremism in the traditional sense. That being said, there's a lot more that we have to learn about this individual. But as of right now, we're not suggesting that.
BERMAN: That is interesting. And again, theoretically, you would be told pretty quickly in the investigation if there was reason for a concern?
Has there been anything, not specifically here, but last few weeks, last few months that has raised concerns for you?
GOLDENBERG: Nothing. I mean, this has been a normal summertime. Kids going to camp, hanging out at the pool, being together. I mean, just 10 days ago, nine days ago, a block behind us, at the Highland Park Art Center I stood with Congressman Brad Schneider and State Representative Bob Morgan, and other community members in an anti-gun rally. Literally, and there's -- in our exhibit, right now, outside there.
And so, it's -- that's the type of community where we stand on firearms and assault weapons. But for us, everything has been normal. And this was the most normal because we hadn't had a fourth of July parade where we all came together as a community, and we were excited to celebrate.
BERMAN: I spoke to a 17-year-old girl who was part of that "March For Our Lives" event a few weeks ago. And she specifically remembered someone telling her from the stage, it could happen here. It could happen here. And she didn't fully believe it two weeks ago. And then she was marching in the parade here yesterday. David Goldenberg, thank you for being with us. I'm glad you and your family are safe. Be well.
GOLDENBERG: Thanks for being here.
BERMAN: Again, Boris, what's interesting to see is as people come back here to the main area here, really getting a sense of the situation. Getting a sense of the horror and coming to terms with their own feelings about what happened.
Now, there were other shootings across the country within the last 24 hours. Two police officers shot in Philadelphia before the fireworks started there. Our Jean Casarez covering that.
Jean, what have you learned?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are asking for anyone that has any information to come forward because this is not solved.
Now, here's the situation. It was on the parkway. It was Philadelphia. They had just finished the fourth of July program. The fireworks were about to begin. Two officers were shot that were focused on security. I'm going to tell you more about that in a second. But the people started running because they realized something had happened.
According to witnesses, eight police cars were speeding after that along the parkway. People, witnesses say it was like a stampede. There was panic. Now, the officers did not hear any shots. We are understanding one of the bullets actually went into the forehead of one of the officers and went straight up lodging in the head. The other officer was shot in the shoulder.
Now, there are working theories here by the Philadelphia police department on the motive and the intent. I want you to listen to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, of what they are looking at right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELLE OUTLAW, PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: We don't know if this was a ricochet from celebratory gunfire. We don't know if this was intentional. We don't know if this was someone taking a shot intentionally at these officers from long range.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: Now, we are not hearing that they're finding any bullets that were on the ground. So, it appears as though there may just have been just two shots. And the question is why? The question is how? And the question is who?
So, the police say we're on this. Philadelphia, we are focused on it. We're not going to stop until we find out exactly what happened. But at this point, is a mystery. Now, the officers were taken by ambulance to the ER. They have been released. And, John and Boris, that bullet that went into the head, went into the forehead and went straight up. And that's a miracle. It truly is.
BERMAN: It is a miracle to have a bullet go through his head, but now they have been released. Very good news on that front. Jean Casarez, thank you for that report.
Here in Highland Park, the investigation continues. We've seen the FBI behind us working this crime scene. What's going on behind closed doors? What are they looking at this morning? We're going to speak to an FBI insider. Stay with us. Our special live coverage continues right after this.
BERMAN: I'm John Berman in Highland Park, Illinois. Welcome back.
We did learn this morning that the gun that was recovered at the scene here believed to be used to kill six people at this fourth of July parade was purchased legally. Although that doesn't answer all the questions about this firearm, described as a powerful rifle.
Joining me now to discuss the investigation, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe. Andy, nice to see you. What's going on behind the scenes now? Specifically with that weapon?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Sure, so John -- so, the FBI and local investigators are coordinating undoubtedly with the ATF to trace that weapon as far as they possibly can. They want to know the last time it was lawfully sold by a federally licensed firearms dealer. Paperwork would have been -- would have been produced and that record of that sale would be captured.
But between that sale and how it ends up in the shooter's hands, there's a lot of questions remain. There could have been private exchanges of possession or sales of that weapon through a series of people and ultimately it lands in his hands. So, what investigators want to establish is a clear, kind of, chain of custody, if you will, as to where that weapon went from the time it was first sold until it was used yesterday.
BERMAN: I want to play some video from the moments that the shots rang out here and get your take on what you're seeing and hearing, Andy. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: A lot of shots there, Andy. A lot of rounds fired and very quickly. What do you hear?
MCCABE: So, John, this is very likely a semi-automatic rifle, like an AR-15 or an AK-47, something of that nature. The semi-automatic meaning you can -- as fast as you can pull the trigger, that's how many bullets you can let loose. It also has likely a high-capacity magazine because you hear lots of firing and there is no pause for reloading the weapon.
And finally, what that spree -- that spray of bullets tells me is that this individual is firing indiscriminately into the crowd. You don't hear the sort of pause that a trained marksman would use if they were looking for a particular person. It is just -- you can't possibly aim fast enough to keep up with the rhythm of how quickly he's pulling that trigger. So, it is just indiscriminate fire from a very high- capacity military weapon.
BERMAN: We did just learn, Andy, that law enforcement officials are going to brief, going to update the public in the next hour on the status of the investigation. One of the things we haven't heard yet is if this person of interest who was taken into custody last night has been charged yet. That's obviously something that you would assume is likely. Also, we could learn more about possible motivations going through these videos. We know that this individual has posted. What would they be looking for there, Andy?
MCCABE: So, they're looking, first, John, for evidence of planning, of intent. How long he was thinking about staging this attack? They are, of course, also looking for other people who may have helped him in his preparation or an execution of the attack. Maybe supplied him with the weapon or provided him with planning assistance or just people who knew what he was all about.
You know, I think -- the heart of what we've been talking about a lot lately with the Red Flag Laws. So, you know, it has been a lot of excitement over the fact that the recent national legislation provides incentive to the States to institute Red Flag Laws. Well, if we have -- and yet another situation where we have a mass shooter who was putting out plenty of signals that possibly his network of associates and family knew about. But yet no word was ever passed on to law enforcement, really calls into question how effective can these Red Flag Laws possibly be.
BERMAN: One of the questions that was raised as soon as the shooting happened, there is a robust Jewish community here in Highland Park. So, people were wondering was the Jewish community targeted. I was just speaking to the Midwest Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, he said he had not heard anything to that effect yet. And one might think that he would be notified or he would have caught wind of that by now, Andy. One of the things police said initially though was the shooting up here intentional yet random. Explain what the combination of those words mean.
MCCABE: You know, intentional, I'm sure, is a description of the lengths that this person had to go to to execute the crime, right? He had to find access to the building. He had to go up that ladder. He had to bring the rifle with him. So, those are all very intentional acts that lead to only one end here, that's the shooting from the roof.
Random speaks more to the target selection. So, if the people that we know were shot are all different descriptions of people, men, women, different ethnicities, different religious backgrounds, what had -- what have you. That leads investigators to conclude that he wasn't targeting a specific type of individual, specific race, specific religion. He was just shooting anybody he could get to off the roof of that building.
And I would expect that if investigators had an indication that, for instance, Jewish community or Jewish targets were being selected specifically, they would certainly have coordinated with the ADL on that by now.
BERMAN: And, again, we do expect to hear from law enforcement in the next hour. We'll bring that to you live the second it happens for any new information. Andy McCabe, thank you so much for being with us.
MCCABE: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: We're going to have much more on the investigation from here. Also, you can hear more over the next several hours from witnesses. People who were here and saw this horror. Again, six people killed in this mass shooting, the latest mass shooting in the country. Our special coverage from Highland Park, Illinois, continues right after this.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to get you back to Highland Park in just a moment. But we are following other important news including this. New this morning, NATO's 30 member states have formally approved the membership bids of Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. And now the legislatures of the individual countries must agree.