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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Another Mass Shooting In Illinois At An Independence Day Parade; Highland Park Shooting Suspect Still At Large; Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) Is Interviewed About The Mass Shooting In Highland Park, Illinois; FBI Joins In The Investigation And The Search For The Suspect; Doctor: Injured Victims Ranged In Age From 8 To 85; Six Killed, Dozens Injured In Illinois July 4 Parade Shooting; Robert E. Crimo III Identified As Person Of Interest In Shooting. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 04, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Welcome to a special edition of "The Lead." I'm Kaitlan Collins in for jake Tapper. This hour, breaking news on what is now at least the 308th mass shooting in America just this year. A 4th of July celebration in the city of Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb about 25 miles north of Chicago ended in tragedy today when a gunman opened fire on people just enjoying an Independence Day parade.
Authorities said that at least six people have been killed, five at the scene, one person dying at the hospital. At least another two dozen have been taken to the hospital with serious injuries and at least one of them is a child who has been critically injured. Witnesses have described a chaotic and horrific scene of terrified adults and children running for their lives.
The gunman is still at large and police say that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. The suspect carried out the shooting spree from a rooftop and is believed to have acted alone. Law enforcement officials say that it appears the suspect was targeting spectators and parade participants and had high powered rifle that was recovered at the scene is right now being urgently traced by federal officials to determine who purchased the weapon and where it came from.
Investigators are also searching social media for any threats or clues related to the shootings and we do expect to get another update from law enforcement, their fourth update within this hour. Right now, I want to go CNN's Adrienne Broaddus who is live at the scene in Highland Park, Illinois.
Adrienne, I know police say that this is still a very active situation, but what is the latest that they are saying and telling the community about what to know?
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlan, it is active. Updates have been coming in via phone and from law enforcement here on the scene throughout the day. Let's start with the parade route, which is behind me. This is still an active crime scene. If you look behind me, it's easy to notice there is an armed member of law enforcement here.
Folks have shown up to the scene trying to take some of the belongings they left behind, but at this hour, they are not allowed to do so. Not only is the parade route an active crime scene, but the surrounding business district, folks who live in the area here in Highland Park are still being encouraged to shelter in place.
This, because as you mentioned, that suspect believed to be somewhere between the age of 18 and 20 is still considered armed and dangerous, this after that person, investigators, was on the top of a roof in this area shooting people. At least six people died. Investigators say five of them, their lives lost here along the parade route. Another person died at the hospital.
At least 23 others were transported to area hospitals. This was the 4th of July parade. Some folks had been waiting for this day for nearly two years. Keep in mind, Kaitlan, we are emerging from a pandemic. I spoke with one woman who was here with her father. She described this as the loudest thing she's ever heard that's not natural. She said at least 50 to 100 rounds were fired. She also says she witnessed a man who was shot but he said he was okay because just his ear was injured as he bled from the face.
Another woman she saw was shot in the leg and she said she also saw one woman who she described as wearing a beautiful dress fall to her death after she was shot. That woman, Zoe, said she hid behind a dumpster with about 30 other people, including small children. There was a father there who asked her to look over his children as he went to go search for his missing son.
That father, she says, put his child in the dumpster because he felt helpless, but he thought the dirty dumpster was the safest place for his son. Listen in to more of my conversation with Zoe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: I saw people shot and killed around me and a lot of people hiding. A man actually went up one point to find his son and he asked me to watch his kids. So, we were all hiding behind the dumpster together.
And the kids, now, really little kids, they were like what's going on? I'm like, that's just fireworks, you know, people get silly with fireworks. I just stayed with them for about half an hour while the guy was out looking for his other son. They ended up hiding in a dumpster. They ended up -- his dad --
BROADDUS: Take your time. (Inaudible).
UNKNOWN: The dad ended up putting his children in the dumpster to hide and stay safe. And there was probably 30 of us just hiding in this little corner behind the dumpster.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BROADDUS: And that is an image she will never be able to forget. You see at this hour the North Brook Fire Department showing up on scene as this investigation continues. Kaitlan?
COLLINS: And I know that they said that they've identified those who were killed. They're still working on notifying the families. So, the tragedy of this is not even close to be being over. Adrienne, when it comes to the investigation part and still searching for this suspect, they did say that a high-powered rifle had been recovered from the scene. What else were they saying about the weapon and how they're using it to try to identify this person?
BROADDUS: They are trying to use that weapon to identify the person, specifically trying to find out who purchased the weapon. They want to know the life of the weapon, when was it purchased, if it was purchased legally. They are also, they, meaning investigators, searching social media to see if there were any posts leading up to what happened today.
We heard earlier in that news conference from members of law enforcement that there was a ladder attached to this building that the suspect shot from indicating possibly that the suspect could have scoured the area before. These are all things investigators want to determine.
Who was this 18 to 20-year-old? Where is this person? Investigators said he may or may not be in this city. Right now, the city as in Highland Park or somewhere else. But when they find out who purchased that weapon, who manufactured it, that could answer a lot of questions. Kaitlan?
COLLINS: Absolutely. And those are huge questions. Adrienne Broaddus, thank you for the latest.
Now, I want to bring in Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider. Highland Park is in his district and he was en route to the parade when the shooting happened this morning. Congressman Schneider, thank you so much for joining us. A, I know you have a lot on your plate, a lot going on. What's the latest that you're hearing about what happened today?
REP. BRAD SCHNEIDER (D-IL): Well, Kaitlan, thank you for having me and thank you for covering this story. I was en route. This is the second of five parades we typically do on the Fourth of July. This is my hometown. We actually just moved out of the park a couple of months ago.
It's a great community, the Highland Park parade, thousands of people line the route every year gathering together, standing shoulder to shoulder, happy, celebrating our nation's independence, but also celebrating our community. The parade floats, our school kids, whether it's the band or a drama club, it's the local's civic organizations, social service organizations. And it's something that everyone looks forward to throughout the year.
And today it was shattered by the burst of gunfire. An evil individual decided to just take the lives of six people, destroy the lives of countless others and our community is reeling tonight. It's important tonight that we find this perpetrator. I'm grateful for the first responders who were there immediately, for local law enforcement not just in Highland Park, but around the area, the county, the state, as well as federal, who are doing everything they can to find this person.
But we also still have to recognize that what happened today is happening around the country. Today, someone with a high-powered assault weapon destroyed the lives with our neighbors, families and friend because he was able to get a gun, climbed up on a roof and decided to kill people at a parade.
COLLINS: And obviously that's terrified your constituents. And I'[m wondering, have you -- what have you heard about the victims, those that have been killed as a result of what happened today?
SCHNEIDER: So, we've heard very little. I know that they've identified the people. I've heard stories of a couple of the victims from friends and family members, at least two of the victims, one deceased, one I'm not sure the status of, are -- were grandparents.
And this strikes home. I suspect when this is over and done, 31 people injured, 6 killed, 24 taken to the hospital. I suspect we'll all know somebody, multiple people, and they will run the spectrum of ages and be from all different parts of our community.
COLLINS: Absolutely. And one of those was a child that was taken to the hospital they said, in critical condition. What have you heard about the suspect given this person is still at large? They have not apprehended anyone yet or put anyone in custody. What have you heard from authorities about this person and how they're tracking them down?
SCHNEIDER: I've heard the same thing that's publicly available. They believe it is a white male, young as 18 to 20 years old, longish black hair. I've heard reports of carrying a large yellow back pack. But beyond that, we don't know anything. What we do know is that this individual came to what is a community celebration, like celebrations all over this country on the 4th of July. And in an instant shattered the community.
COLLINS: And what have you heard from people in the community? You know, there's now several hours, they haven't found this person yet. They're learning about neighbors and friends and relatives who have either been killed or injured in this. What are they telling you about this? What do they want to see from you?
SCHNEIDER: So, what I'm hearing initially was shock. You know, as I mentioned, I was just arriving at the parade when the shots rang out, immediately left the area, stopped at a corner. There was a gang -- a gang -- there was a group, large group of mostly kids with some adults trying to call their parents and tell them they were safe.
I stopped, pulled over and offered to allow them use my phone. There was a lot of cars trying to get through that corner so I helped the park district personnel clear out the traffic so everyone could get away safely.
But from shock I think we go to grief and just the knowledge that our community was destroyed, lives were destroyed in our community like it was today. And this is a grief that is happening in too many communities across our country. This is, as you mentioned at the top, 308 mass shootings in our country and it is only July 4th, I mean, less than half away through the year.
This is unacceptable. No other country is experiencing this. There is no magic solution or one thing that can solve all this, but there are things we can do, you know, there's a background checks supported by over 90 percent of the population. Just working to lower the temperature and helping people talk to each other. There's a lot what you can do in our country to heal the wounds and seek a safer place for our communities.
COLLINS: Well, Congressman Schneider, on that note, I've heard from so many people today that I've spoken to who have lived in Highland Park for decades. For so long they have gone to this parade a million times before and they say they've never thought something like this could happen in their communities.
But unfortunately, that is something we are now hearing time and time again, whether you live in Uvalde, Texas, whether you live in Buffalo, whether you live in Highland Park, but it is happening in places where people once thought this could not happen.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. I lived in Deerfield for 30 years. We just moved to Highland Park, they're sister communities. In fact, the Highland Park parade is at 10:00 and it goes right into the Deerfield parade an hour later, so, they're very much connected. And no one thinks this could happen in our community, but that's true across the country. No one thinks this could happen and it shouldn't happen in any community.
And that's why we need federal action. The idea of a universal background check just as an example. The House has passed legislation to achieve the universal background check. It's stalled in the Senate now twice. But again, it shouldn't be partisan. It's not Republican or Democrat.
This guy wasn't targeting one party or the other. He was targeting parade watchers and people in the parade at a community who were celebrating together, celebrating America and the very idea of America, whether it's Democrat or Republican.
And we need to make sure that in this case the bad guys can't win, but the spirit of our nation, the ideals of the founders of -- E pluribus unum, from many, one -- that we work to achieve that and not let the bad guys win.
COLLINS: Well, Congressman Brad Schneider, we know that your community has a lot of healing ahead of it. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us and give us that update.
SCHNEIDER: Thank you. Appreciate the opportunity and we appreciate the good wishes coming from across the country.
COLLINS: Absolutely. The FBI is also now part of this investigation into the deadly mass shooting that happened in Highland Park. What we are learning from the Justice Department, that's next.
COLLINS: Staying on the breaking news out of Highland Park, Illinois, a multi-agency investigation is now under way as authorities are continuing to search for the suspect who opened fire at a 4th of July parade. The FBI is now on the scene. Let's bring in CNN's Evan Perez. Evan, right now this early on, what is the FBI's role in this investigation?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, you know, one of the things that the FBI is good at is trying to help these local police departments that don't have perhaps the resources to try to figure out, you know, to try to find people who they are trying to look for at this point.
Again, there's very little we know. The police probably know a lot more about exactly who they're looking for. They have the firearm that has been recovered. This is believed to be a long gun. This is something that the ATF now is taken possession of and is going to do the tracing to figure out when it was bought, by whom it was bought.
If this person is 18 years old, it's possible that they may not be the person who bought the firearm. So, who is the person who bought the firearm? Again, that's something that the FBI and the ATF can help track those people and conduct interviews.
Obviously, this is -- there's a lot of practice in recent years for these types of incidents. The FBI just put out a report just a few weeks ago, Kaitlan, that described how active shootings like this one are up about 50 percent just compared to last year. Almost 100 percent increase versus 2017.
And they've had a lot of time to study the type of people who carry out these types of attacks and they know a lot about how to, you know, track down these people. So, those are the types of resources that President Biden said he's asking federal agencies to help the local police department there to try to solve this shooting and figure out, bring this person, whoever this person is, into custody.
COLLINS: And, Evan, in addition to tracking where the gun was purchased, where the ammunition was purchased, what about how they're asking for the community to help when it comes to social media for this person, videos from the parade, all of those factors that, you know, we've learned in recent years, unfortunately, have been so critical in helping them with this?
PEREZ: Absolutely. I think that's one of the key things that the FBI can do. In Uvalde for instance, one of the things that they provided the assistance of, you know, to the local police was collecting all of those social media posts, which ended up helping people understand a little bit about exactly what went on in the days before the shooting.
A similar role could be played here. Again, we don't know who we're talking about. We don't. It is possible that the local -- the authorities and FBI already have an idea who they're dealing with. They can look through social media histories, they can look to see whether there's any connection with known groups, including extremist groups, which is obviously a thing we have seen in recent shootings.
And they can try to see if anybody on the scene has video of that rooftop, which is obviously right there above the parade route, to see who went there recently. And that obviously, they can look to see whether there's any surveillance video from the nearby businesses. I assume this being a commercial district, there's tons of that kind of evidence that the FBI can process and help police put together what exactly happened.
COLLINS: And Evan, you just said, you know, we don't know who this person is, who the suspect is. We just have a description of them. And obviously, the assumption would be maybe authorities have a better idea of who this person could be. When something like this happens and you're in the early hours and there's still a manhunt under way, how do the authorities decide what to keep private and what to make public?
PEREZ: Yes. That's one of the things that I think is key at this hour. I think they're not telling us right now who they think may have done this. It's possible they already have a pretty good idea. You know, one of the things that they want to do obviously is if this person is still alive, they want to preserve as much of this information for a possible investigation, for possible charges if that person is brought in and is taken to trial, for instance.
So, there is some of that goes into making the decision as to what to share. At this point, it looks like one of the things that the authorities are asking for is just help from people, witnesses, people who might have a video and so on. And so that might be an effort to help establish that whoever, you know, they are looking for is indeed the person that carried out this attack.
But, you know, at this point, just because they're not telling us doesn't mean they don't know a lot more. They might be -- they could be doing searches. They could be trying to talk to people who may be connected to a suspect. All of those things could be happening behind the scenes without us knowing.
COLLINS: Right. Evan Perez, all very helpful information so, thank you very much.
COLLINS: Right now, authorities are holding a news conference at a hospital that has treated many of the victims in today's parade shooting. We'll listen in. (BEGIN VIDEO)
UNKNOWN: Doctor, can you spell your name at all please, sir.
BRIGHAM TEMPLE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: Yes. My name is Brigham, B-R-I-G-H-A-M, Temple, T-E-M-P-L-E. I'm the medical director of emergency preparedness for the NorthShore University Health System. And introduce yourself.
MARK TALAMONTI, CHAIRMAN, DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY, NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: My name is Mark Talamonti, T-A-L-A-M-O-N-T-I, and I'm the chairman of the Department of Surgery for the NorthShore System.
UNKNOWN: DO you want to (inaudible) today?
TEMPLE: Sure. So, for those who didn't hear, just a brief rundown of what occurred today here at Highland Park Hospital. Shortly after the events that occurred in downtown Highland Park, our team here at Highland Park Hospital was notified of multiple victims that were involved in a mass shooting or casualty event.
Our team very quickly activated one of our internal messaging codes called code yellow, which is for mass casualty and trauma response, to mobilize our surgical teams, to bring in other resources. And within a very short amount of time started to receive a number of ambulances from the emergency medical services system. We received in total about 26 total patients, 10 of which were transported by ambulance.
During that time in a very short amount of time, we had nearly 20 additional physicians and more than 20 additional nursing and support staff here in our emergency department as well as in other areas of the hospital to help take care of the patients that were brought in. And all of those individuals came as a result of following our protocols.
We also put in an extra safety or security protocol where we locked down the hospital, hence, why we're meeting out here in the parking lot as we continue to try to maintain a very safe environment in our hospital for our patients and our staff.
UNKNOWN: Doctor, could you talk a little bit about the injuries you saw.
TEMPLE: So, of the 26 individuals that showed up here at highland park hospital, 25 of those did sustain gunshot wound injuries. Some of them were minor, some of them were much more severe and some of those patients were in critical condition when they did arrive here to the hospital.
UNKNOWN: Any commonality between the gunshot injuries? Were they all different parts of the body?
TEMPLE: They were all different parts of the body, extremities as well as other more central parts of the body as well.
UNKNOWN: Do you have any specific number on what conditions those 25 (inaudible)?
TEMPLE: Yes. So, of the 25 who came in with gunshot wounds, 19 of those individuals were able to be treated and actually discharged home after they had had their full medical evaluation and treatment. Several others did arrive in more serious conditions and did have to be admitted. We had one that had to be transferred over to Evanston Hospital under the care of our great neurosurgical team. We had a couple of other patients that need to be admitted to either our trauma surgical team, which are represented here, as well as to some of our orthopedic trauma surgeons.
UNKNOWN: Doctor, could you give us of -- an age range of the people being treated?
TEMPLE: Absolutely. So, the age range ranged from about 8 years old was our youngest patient, up to 85 years old.
UNKNOWN: How many children?
TEMPLE: I can't give you a specific number on the number of children, but it was definitely around four or five.
UNKNOWN: What happened to the emergency room when you get that many gunshot victims coming in (inaudible)?
TEMPLE: Well, we immediately have to make space for all these patients to come in and hence why I commented before how we use some internal processes to mobilize resources. Our wonderful surgical and trauma staff were immediately alerted through emergency messaging that we had a number of patients that were going to need emergency medical services and their evaluation.
On top of that, many other emergency physicians, pediatricians, internists, surgeons, trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists and others were also notified and mobilized to help take care of the number of patients that were coming in.
UNKNOWN: Your staff looks more (ph) shake up. What is this like to have to deal with such an (inaudible) trauma?
TEMPLE: Well, I think, listen, there's been a lot of different events that have happened in the United States and this obviously now has hit very close to home. It is a little surreal to have to take care of an event such as this, but all of us have gone through extensive training.
We go through a number of different programs, training. We have -- we practice for these events even though we hope they never happen. And so, I think our team very admirably handled the situation today. Of course, we provide services that include social work and we have others involved that our team, as well as our patients, will have a chance to talk to therapists and counselors to debrief after something that is so traumatic. UNKNOWN: And if anyone has a loved one in the hospital, anything they
need to know or if family has all been notified?
TEMPLE: So, families have all had the opportunity to actually come into the hospital and wait. We had liaisons working with those family members and all of those family members have been reunited with the patients that were here and treated at our NorthShore hospitals.
UNKNOWN: Anybody from the nursing staff that perhaps might want to talk?
TEMPLE: Does anybody from the nursing staff want to talk? Come on up. So, this is Barb Croak. She's one of our emergency medicine nurses. She also does a number of administrative roles here at NorthShore and has a wealth of experience.
BARBARA CROAK, VICE PRESIDENT OF NURSING, NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: Good afternoon.
UNKNOWN: Tell us what it was like for the nurses (inaudible).
CROAK: So, we have an amazing team of nurses who every day give 1,000 percent of their time and talent to their profession. They all immediately go into emergency mode and they are trained in trauma and pediatric care as well. They have extensive training. They are amazing people. They showed their proof in COVID and now with this absolutely upsetting and tragic mass shooting, they came to the call to duty.
They were fantastic. Multiple nurses taking care of one patient at a time because there's family members, emotional support is needed, advanced trauma care, advanced emergency care, EMS personnel. So, amazing squad of nurses, very proud of them. I'm very, very thrilled to call them my colleagues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: We've been listening to an update from doctors at the hospital treating most of the victims from today's shooting in Highland Park. I want to bring in CNN's Brynn Gingras.
And Brynn, I know you've been following the latest on these victims. And you just heard them there saying that the ages of those who were brought into the hospital, the 26 people, they were from ages eight to 85.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Eight to 85. And listen, the good thing to come out of that was that a majority of the patients that went to that hospital, Kaitlan, which is North Shore, Highland Park, the nearest hospital to where the shooting occurred have been discharged. He said 19 in all treated and discharged. But he also said, that doctor, that a majority of the patients that came in today were victims of gunshot wounds and he said pretty much everywhere, right? He said that the limbs and the abdomen and multiple areas where gunshot wounds happen to these people.
And he said that, you know, yes, those ages, four to five of them were children, an eight year old being the youngest of the -- those -- that age group. So, certainly, it's just devastating. You know, it's just admirable, the work that they do so quickly. Said that the hospital went into a code yellow, bringing in doctors and crisis counselors and trauma surgeons all within, I was told, about a half an hour of when the shooting took place. The hospital went into lockdown. And then they had people doing support staff where they could reunite people who are outside the hospital in with the patients that were inside.
So, certainly we know, Kaitlan that there are two other hospitals in that area. There's the North Shore, sister Hospital in Evanston, which is a trauma one, he mentioned that there was -- I think he said one patient that was transported there, probably more critical care was needed for that patient. And then there is a third hospital where we learned from the fire department people were transported as well. But certainly this gives us a clearer picture of the moments after the shooting, and currently of all the patients being treated from this mass shooting.
COLLINS: Absolutely. And Brynn, you know, sometimes you have seen the chaos that happened after this shooting started. They were still in the middle of this parade, people just left behind everything. I think sometimes the concern is are some of these injuries from the chaos that ensues people trampling over one another? Did they give an update on whether or not that was part of it or most of these just gunshot wound victims?
GINGRAS: Yes, most of them, it appears, were gunshot wound victims. And that was the initial reporting that we were getting from, again, this particular hospital which saw most of the victims. We were told it was a vast majority of gunshot wound victims.
Now, again, gunshot wound victims can be anywhere on the body, right? So, it sounds like luckily, there are some victims who were treated and were able to actually go home and they may be a part of that gunshot wound victims sort of crowd so to speak. But that -- there are other injuries that we learned about, just like you're describing, Kaitlan, people who are just in chaos and confusion and getting trampled. I mean, we've seen video, I was watching someone trying to get away which is pregnant.
COLLINS: Brynn, absolutely, I want to come back to you in these victims. We are hearing from President Biden. We want to see if he comments in today's shooting.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- through our hearts, we've always come out better than we went in. We've been tested before, gestures were being tested today. But we've never failed because we have never walked away from the core beliefs and promises that define this nation. Chief (ph) among those promises, is the proposition that we are all created equal. We say that so often the time your kids in school, sometimes we wonder sometimes whether just rhetoric, but that's where an idea. The only country based on an idea, not geography, not religion, not ethnicity, but an idea. We're all created equal. The laws are instituted among people to protect the vulnerable, to check those with power and to guarantee the pursuit of justice.
And to realize these promises, requires a principled patriotism. A patriotism that recognize that no person, no party, no interest can take precedent over the American project. Project that has come up short many ways, which continues even in this hour. A project that says we're all in this together. And the ambitions of a few cannot be allowed to prevail over the aspirations of the many.
That's how I see America on July the fourth as big and a big heart a place where we debate and disagree, yet we're united by a love of country. And as has been before in our history in times of war and division of growth and change, the Fourth of July comes at a critical moment.
Our economy is growing but not without pain. Liberty is under assault, assault both here and abroad. In recent days, has been reason to think that this country is moving backward, that freedom has been reduced. That rights we assumed were protected are no longer, a reminder that we remain in an ongoing battle for the soul of America as we have for over 200 years.
I know it can be exhausting and unsettling, but tonight, I want you to know we're going to get through all of this. For all that we have faced that we aren't going to get through this and look how far we've come. We're reclaiming our way of life in a pandemic. Vaccines are nearly available to every American, restrictions lifted the Fourth of July, together again at the White House.
And for all the challenges, America is the strongest economy in the world. More people working and starting businesses, more young people graduating from high school and college than ever before.
I just returned from an important trip, the military will understand, to Europe, to NATO meeting, where we're relying on what we can do to rally the free world to defend freedom. Before I left for Europe, I signed a law, the first real gun safety law in 30 years.
And things will get better still, but not without more hard work together. You all heard what happened. You all heard what happened today. But each day we're reminded there's nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life, we to fight for it, defend it, and earn it by voting, to refine, evolve and extend the calling of America to move forward boldly and unafraid.
And this day reminds us of what brought us together long ago, what binds us still in our best what we strive for. It's we the people, not a hollow phrase in America, we the people doing all we can to ensure that the idea of America, the cause of freedom and justice and equality, does more than survive the divisions of our time, but that it shines like the sun to light up the future of our world. I know, I know, we can do this.
I know many Americans look around today and see divided country and are deeply worried about that fact. I understand. But I believe we're more united than we are divided. Even more, I believe it's a choice we make. And I believe it's within our power to choose unity and unity of purpose.
As I look out tonight here at the White House, I see so many military families who understand the essential American truth. It's a greatest honor to serve as your commander in chief. And Jill and I are humbled to be with you tonight.
Tomorrow, we'll be bestowing the Medal of Honor. The highest military award to heroic service members who represent the best of America, the backbone, the sinew, the spine of America. And on Tuesday -- on Thursday, I'll bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award to extraordinary Americans who embody and endure the enduring character of this nation.
All of them, all of you are reminders that we're a great nation because we're a good people. It's because of you I've never been more optimistic about America than I am today. An optimism that digs deep, never gives up, that's America. That's America.
So on this day amid the storm and strife, may we commit ourselves to a principle patriotism to the large and complex mission to protect and make a more perfect our union, make real the declaration of our independence, ensure that America's river a place not marked by the thirst for power at any cost, but by a covenant of trust and hope and promise.
Happy Fourth of July America. May God bless America and may God protect our troops.
Enjoy today. Enjoy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
COLLINS: And we just heard from President Biden speaking today after a deadly mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade outside of Chicago. These are the events that were scheduled at the White House today. Of course, this shooting raising so many questions about events that are happening around the country.
CNN White House Correspondent MJ Lee is now joining us live.
MJ, we heard the President allude to the shooting. He didn't specifically mention what happened in Highland Park, the six victims that have been killed, but we do know the White House issued a statement earlier today. What are they doing behind the scenes to assist with this shooting as this investigation is underway?
MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kaitlan, it was clear even though as you said the President didn't explicitly mentioned this mass shooting. He clearly did revise the speech a little bit to at least allude to what happened. He turned to the crowd gathered here for a picnic on the south quad at one point and said, you all heard what happened. He also said that each day is a reminder that there's nothing that is guaranteed about our way of life.
And then he spoke a little bit more broadly about the country having been tested before. And he said even from the deepest depths of our worst crises, the country has always come out stronger. So clearly trying to strike a more optimistic tone here on this July 4 celebration.
But you're right that hours ago, earlier this afternoon, we did get a statement from the President expressed a shock at what happened in Highland Park. Of course, he said that he had spoken with the governor, the mayor and is offering federal law enforcement resources to try to track down this suspect.
I think, it's worth pointing out it is just kind of jarring if you think about the number of times that this President has had to add a speech or put out a statement or really alter reschedule to address a mass shooting here in the country, even just in the last couple of months as you know very well, whether it is a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, whether it is the mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
And the other thing that we heard from the President just now he said, right before I left for my foreign trip to Europe, I signed into law a bipartisan gun reform law. He obviously took pride in that happening. The fact that that was able to pass through Congress and on Capitol Hill, it is just so rare for this kind of reform to become law. And obviously, this is a president who is grappling with the reality that even days after that, there was another mass shooting in the country.
So, just really jarring and awful that on a day like July 4 when people are gathering to celebrate, you saw those scenes, you've been playing it over the last few hours, children, families running for safety, just really awful that this kind of thing is happening on a day like today, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: Yes. And he's referencing that legislation. But we heard one of the witnesses earlier said that they believe that bipartisan gun legislation is really just window dressing, that they wanted to see more change. MJ Lee reporting for the White House, thank you.
It's been a horrible human toll today in Highland Park, Illinois where six people at least have been killed. More than 30 have been injured including children. The ages range from eight to 85 we're hearing from those who are treated at a hospital. And all of this comes as a massive manhunt is still underway to find the gunman. We'll talk to a criminologist about the suspect's possible motives and where he could be, next.
[17:48:06] COLLINS: We're following the breaking news out of Illinois where a massive manhunt is underway this hour after six people were killed to dozens more injured after a shooter opened fire during the Fourth of July parade. I want to bring in Casey Jordan, a criminologist and behavioral expert.
Dr. Jordan, thank you so much for joining us, because obviously the first concern is with these victims, the second is this manhunt that's underway. And we're told that police are looking for a white male between 18 and 20 years old, black hair, a slight build, is he maybe wearing a blue or white shirt. Is that enough to help identify this suspected gunman?
CASEY JORDAN, PROF. OF JUSTICE & LAW ADMINISTRATION, WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIV.: It's not enough to identify him, but it is where we start with building a mass shooter typology or what we sometimes call an investigator profile. And just the fact that we are going on with the information that he's young, 18 to 20 years old and male and Caucasian tells us a lot already. From there, we build out and we try to figure out, and again, as Evan Perez was mentioning in an earlier report, it talks about the fact that they're looking at social media and of course, video footage, everything.
We're trying to figure out what could be the motivation, we believe that this shooter climbed a ladder and did the shooting with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. So a certain mount of planning went into that.
After motivation, we're going to look for anticipated gain, we're going to look for victim selectivity, which currently appears to be random and the victim relationship. Again, they were from eight to 85 years old, so it doesn't appear to be a targeted shooting. But just because it's in a public place, Kaitlan, a lot of people jump to the conclusion that it must be terrorism, and that's when you're using violence or intimidation to promote a political agenda. We have no indication so far that it is based on a terroristic threat.
Usually somebody would get on social media or contact the media and take credit for it by now. But because it was in a public setting, on the heels of other shootings that we've seen like this in Uvalde, Texas, of course, and at the tops grocery store, it strikes fear in our hearts. And what we really need to do is backup from that and just go through what we know. And that's what the authorities are doing right now.
COLLINS: And when you talk about the fact that they say this gunman fired from a rooftop of a nearby business, they believe he got up there from a ladder that was attached to the building in an alley behind the back. And they say, you know, he was targeting -- this suspects -- they said he was trying to be discreet. What do you read into that?
JORDAN: Well, let's put terrorism to the side for a moment because we know from the Boston Marathon bombing, if you want to get a lot of people, there's other ways to do it than just a high powered rifle. But we would consider the possibility that this person is mission oriented, filling a personal need within him perhaps for revenge, but more likely for thrill, again, because it was a high powered rifle.
And if it was thrill based and because we believe that this is a young man, 18 to 20, Caucasian, probably lives in the area. And think about the shooters from Uvalde and from the Tops grocery store, basically disaffected youth with simmering anger, rage issues, who had a personal private life that really their parents don't know anything about and sometimes have a gun that their parents don't know anything about.
So right now, in addition to the social media, and to everyone collecting the video footage and small businesses looking at their security footage, what we need to be doing is have every family, every parent, every person out there who knows a white male 18 to 20 who lives in that area, where was he today? Where was he this morning? Does he have a gun is gun? Is the gun where you think it's supposed to be? Do you have that gun and is it stored where you want it to be? That's the kind of tipster stuff the public helping the authorities which will get this suspect detected, isolated, and hopefully apprehend it as soon as possible.
COLLINS: Absolutely. You know, that's what the community definitely wants to see the fact that he's still at large several hours after this shooting happened during this parade.
We've got a press conference starting. Thank you so much for joining us. We are going to go to our fourth update from officials.
LOU JOGMEN, HIGHLAND PARK CHIEF OF POLICE: Again, my name is Lou Jogmen, L-O-U J-O-G-M-E-N, and I'm the Chief of Police for the city of Highland Park, Illinois. On behalf of the city, we extend our condolences to the family and friends of the loved ones who were impacted by this horrific incident that took place in Highland Park this morning.
Our investigators have been working tirelessly on this active shooter investigation through law enforcement partnerships and community information and leads, a person of interest has been identified. His name is Robert Bobby E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O the third. He is 22 years of age. He is believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit vehicle license plate Illinois D, David, M, Mary, 80653.
We have numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working on apprehending this person of interest. We continue to receive tips from the public and law enforcement partners and we are following up on every one of them. Individuals who have information to share with the police are urged to contact 1-800-CALLFBI. Thank you
DEPUTY CHIEF CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Quickly try to answer some questions, please understand that we have teams out very actively trying to apprehend this individual. He is considered armed and dangerous. Community should not approach him.
If they see him, know his whereabouts, see the vehicle dial 911. He -- we are considering him very dangerous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it the gunner? What led you to this guy's name?
COVELLI: I can't get into that yet, but investigative leads has led us to this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry, can you repeat the name again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's he from?
JOGMEN: At this time we're just going to give you the name and license plate information. We're concerned about everybody's safety. So, Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, the third. Twenty-two years of age. Believe to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit. Illinois license plate D, David, M, Mary, 80653.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any updates of the shelter in place changes? I know that there are some changes regarding the (INAUDIBLE).
COVELLI: OK. I'm going to take that.
JOGMEN: Yes, go ahead.
COVELLI: So, what we said in our last update that stands, the main area, those four square blocks, we're asking people just to remain extra diligent, stay there. We'll get police escorts outside of there. Be very vigilant. This person is on the loose.
We're working to try to figure out if he is local or if he has taken off to another area. We have multiple teams doing that right now. So, we ask give our law enforcement some time to do their job and try to apprehend him safely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's he from?
COVELLI: He's from the area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Highland Park?
COVELLI: From this area. We'll have more on that later. Additionally, we will have photos going out shortly of him and a similar vehicle that he is believed to be driving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the first letter of his last name?
JOGMEN: C. C, Charles, Crimo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crimo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any updates (INAUDIBLE) separated from the families? COVELLI: We don't have updates. Again, the reunification posts at the Highland Park Police Department is still there. Anybody that's been separated or looking for family, they should be going there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a silver Honda Fit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say again the whole name and the license plate?
COVELLI: Do you want to give the name?
JOGMEN: Sure (INAUDIBLE).
COVELLI: His name is Robert. He goes by Bobby. Middle initial E as in Edward. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, the third. He's 22.
And again, he's believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit. Illinois license DM80653.
OK. About an hour 6:00 we'll be back up with more updates and we'll let you know how our apprehension efforts are going. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is the governor going to be at that meeting?
COVELLI: Six o'clock, we believe.
COLLINS: We just got quite an update from authorities there. Now, the first time revealing a name of a person of interest in today's shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. They say the person they are looking for is 22-year-old Robert E. Primo. He goes by Bobby. They say they believe he is driving a 2010 Silver Hyundai.
And they are asking people for help, any kind of tips that they can get. But they say this person is considered armed and dangerous. They say they consider him to be very dangerous.
I want to bring in former Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Juliette Kayyem, who has been with us this entire show talking about this.
And Juliette, what did you take away from that fourth update that we just got from the officials?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASST. SECRETARY, DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I was texting with your producers that they had a name or they had an apprehension because there would be no other explanation for the delay, they have to protect the law enforcement piece of this. So just a couple of things, one is, this is a serious man hunt but it is made easier because they have a name and they have a car.
The second is they do -- they did allude after asked several times, he is a local. I don't know if he's specifically from that area but he is known to the community. And they said at the beginning it was people coming forward. So this is another case where potentially family members and others were aware of some behavior that would explain this. We don't know if this person has a criminal record.
And he could be a different way. He could be anywhere. But based on what they said they have a clear sense of the areas he may be in. And that's where they're looking. They promised once again, another press conference in an hour.
As we've been talking, I thought that this would shut down in the ways that we want it to, right, because there's just so much tragedy at least this part will be over probably by the -- by midnight, because it is very hard. When you have all law enforcement looking for you, it is often very hard to hide. So, horrible, horrible day, but at least on this piece, there is some closure or beginning to be closure.
COLLINS: Yes, they said earlier, they have dozens of dogs, dozens of drones trying to help them find this person of interest that they just named for the first time, a 22-year-old male that they did say they believe is from the area. What is the timeframe here? What are they trying -- obviously, they want to find this person as soon as possible, but what kind of window are they working in?
KAYYEM: The nighttime, honestly. So it's 4:58, so we've got about three more hours of daylight is going to be the most important thing right now. It's going to be easier to find someone and then we're out and about so we'd be able to identify someone. They're releasing the picture right now, I think, or they said soon after. So, everyone can be helpful as we've seen in many of these cases to identify where he may be.
He does not -- we have not heard anything about whether he has a history. But once again, the -- unfortunately, the shootings are semi easy. I mean, it's easy to get guns in this country. It is -- there's lots of soft targets. The escape often isn't when law enforcement of every level local, state and federal tried to escape. It's very rare to have -- we know some instances, of course, but it's very rare to have someone be able to hide out for very long at the most recent history for days. We certainly know with the Boston Marathon bombers, but in other cases even from the past they've been caught quickly.
COLLINS: Juliette, what else are they doing with this information? You know, we talked about what they're making private what they're making public. In the next minute or so, can you tell us what the authorities are doing right now with the information that they just made public?
KAYYEM: They're building the case. So, I mean, this is the most important thing. If he's apprehended alive, he should go to jail for a very, very long time. And so, what they were clear to say is, as you've heard, we are still protecting the evidence at the crime scene. That's absolutely essential.
And then the second is, who is he? Why did he do what he did? How did he get access to the guns?
KAYYEM: And is there anyone else? Is there anyone else?
COLLINS: Absolutely, all big questions and we'll see if they're answered.
Juliette, thank you so much.
And you've been watching a special edition of THE LEAD. I'm Kaitlan Collins in for Jake Tapper. And our breaking coverage of this deadly shooting in Highland Park will now continue with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".