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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Police: Gunman Planned Illinois Parade Shooting For Several Weeks; Russia Captures Key City, Moves Closer To Control Of Donbas; Two Top UK Cabinet Ministers Quit Boris Johnson's Government; News Conference On Illinois July 4 Parade Shooting. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 05, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Police now say the suspect planned the Highland Park parade shooting for weeks.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Part of his alleged plan, dressing in women's clothing to blend in with the crowd as they fled in terror.

Any moment, investigators will give another update on the deadly mass shooting that killed seven and left dozens injured.

Rudy Giuliani and a sitting U.S. senator part of the latest group of Trump allies to receive subpoenas tied to an investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Plus -- the struggles of war growing more desperate as Russian bombs get closer. CNN talks with Ukrainian families in the east who say they can't leave despite explosions all around them.


HILL: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Erica Hill, in for Jake Tapper.

We begin with the national lead. We are standing by for an update on the July 4th parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. We've learned earlier this afternoon a seventh person has now died as a result of that shooting. The suspect, who police say planned this attack for several weeks, sprayed the parade crowd with bullets from a rooftop.

Police say the gunman used a fire escape ladder to access the rooftop and in another disturbing detail, he dressed in women's clothing to help him blend in with the crowd as he escaped among the innocent people running for cover and safety.

CNN has also now obtained a photo showing law enforcement taking him into custody. You see him there faced down in the ground. His hands cuffed behind his back.

But police have yet to answer is why? Why this July Fourth parade? Why target so many innocent lives? We are learning more about those lives, two of the seven victims

killed have now been identified, Jacki Sundheim and 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo.

President Biden ordering flags at half staff to honor the victims. That order coming yet again as the Highland Park tragedy, it's another mass shooting, another moment of national mourning. And it leads so many to ask, was there anything that could have been done, any red flags to prevent this tragedy?

CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin starts us off with what we're learning about the suspected gunman in Highland Park.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In disturbing detail, Lake County sheriff's office now say the suspect in custody had every intention of carrying out his horrific Independence Day shooting as if the day, the date were circled on his calendar.

DEPUTY CHIEF CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We do believe Crimo preplanned this attack for several weeks. He brought a high powered rifle to this parade. He accessed the roof of the business via a fire escape ladder and begun opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration goers.

GRIFFIN: Police say the suspected shooter not only preplanned his attack but his getaway, too, dropping his high powered rifle, dressing as a woman and slipping away with the retreating crowds. It was that rifle purchased legally and traced back to him that helped police identify the suspect, track down his mother's car and make this arrest.

COVELLI: At this point, we have not developed a motive from him.

GRIFFIN: While police searched for a reason, it turns out there were warning signs, posted all across social media, music videos with dark images, depicting violence, a school shooting and a cartoon of a stick figure apparently meant to be the suspect, face down in a pool of blood in a shoot out with police.

The actual suspect was arrested without shots fired hours after the shooting. Despite the social media posts, an uncle who lived with the suspect told CNN and Chicago TV station WFLD, his nephew was not violent.

PAUL CRIMO, SUSPECT'S UNCLE: There was no warning signs. I saw him yesterday evening, and we went home. I said hi to him, when I came back down stairs, I said bye, he said bye. And that was it. That was normal standards of -- I saw no -- nothing that would trigger him for doing this at all.

REPORTER: Had he ever said anything to you or said anything to a family member that might have concerned people?

CRIMO: No, no, no, no, no. There's no concerns that I've seen at all. REPORTER: And the weapon, do you have any idea where he acquired the


CRIMO: I'm not sure, no.

REPORTER: You don't?




GRIFFIN: Police say in addition to the AR-15 style rifle used, the suspect was also able to buy a second rifle, confiscated from the car he was arrested in, along with several pistols at his home.


GRIFFIN (on camera): Erica, we've been talking to fellow classmates of his in high school, some former friends. Universally, they are shocked. They describe him as a loner, a very quiet person, a person who never talked about anything but also said he was bubbly at times and very gentle.

Two years ago, he seemed to have dropped out of society, broken off his friendships and as far as we can tell so far, those friends were not tracking him on social media or seeing these disturbing videos that the suspect was posting -- Erica.

HILL: Drew Griffin, appreciate it. Thank you.

Plans for picnics quickly replaced with planning for funerals. Vigils and prayer services for the seven lives lost in Highland Park, yet another town that is forever changed.

As CNN's Miguel Marquez reports, the Chicago suburb joins a growing list of American communities now trying to process inconceivable grief.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rapid gun fire leaving at least seven dead, dozens more injured at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

MICHAEL BLUMBERG, WITNESS: I heard about probably 30 shots, probably a series of 15, and a pause, and a probably another series of 15. And we told my wife to grab the kids and run. And again we just started moving.

MARQUEZ: America's latest tragedy, leaving yet another community stunned.

DR. DAVID BAUM, HELPED TREAT SHOOTING VICTIMS AT HIGHLAND PARK PARADE: And the injuries that I saw, those are wartime injuries. Those are what are seen in victims of war. Not victims at a parade.

MARQUEZ: Of the seven killed, Lake County coroner said five adults died at the scene and two at the hospital.

One victim has been identified as 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo. His family says the father of eight and grandfather of many had been visiting his family in Highland Park from Mexico. They described him as a loving man who was creative, adventurous and funny.

Another victim, 63-year-old, Jacki Sundheim, was a life-long congregant and a staff member at a nearby synagogue, serving as pre- school teacher and events coordinator.

In a statement, the North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe saying, there are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki's death and sympathy for her family and loved ones.

A total of 39 patients were taken to four area hospitals: 26 of them when to Highland Park Hospital, ranging in age from 8 to 85. Nine patients now remain hospitalized.

NATE HARRES, WITNESS: Everybody started running and there was panic. Total pandemonium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I just grabbed my dad and we ran. And suddenly everyone was running behind us. And people were just shot behind us.

ANGELA SENDIK, WITNESS: We walked a little closer and I saw someone like on the ground with his leg in the air and the girl like crying next to him. And then to my left, my mom and I saw like at least three more people on the ground like bloody.

MARQUEZ: Lily Wathen was supposed to march in the parade when the shots going off, her grandfather who was there to watch was one of the victims shot.

LILY WATHEN, GRANDFATHER WAS SHOT AT PARADE: I was at the metro station and all of a sudden, we heard these popping noises and people were saying it's just fireworks, don't worry they're signaling the start of the parade, and then, you know, the cops and fire trucks lined up by us turned on their sirens and started driving way.

And that's kind of when everyone said, oh, like, this is -- this is for real and we started running away.

MARQUEZ: She says her grandfather is doing okay and recovering. But for so many, the terror surrounding Monday's attack won't be something they will soon forget.

HARRES: It's horrifying. This is what we were sitting in. I don't think anybody is truly ready to process it yet.


MARQUEZ (on camera): So where we are standing right now is about where the parade started. I wanted to show you down the parade route, about halfway down you see the debris that was left behind, just a sign of how quickly people left and just how disturbing this image and this main street America still is. The city of Highland Park has now cancelled several public events through mid July and one person said this is such a lovely town. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere -- Erica.

HILL: Yeah. And that is certainly what we've been hearing. Sobering to put it mildly.

Miguel, appreciate it. Thank you.

Steve Tilkin was at yesterday's parade in Highland Park, there with his wife and her grandchildren when the shooting started.

Steve, we appreciate you taking the time to join us today.

As I understand it, you were, understandably, in disbelief at first hearing the shots, until your wife's 13-year-old granddaughter jumped into action as a result of her school shooter drills.

Can you walk us through what happened in those moments and how she helped?


STEVE TILKIN, EYEWITNESS TO SHOOTING: Yes, yes, I will. We arrived at the beginning of the parade itself, and we saw the marching band.

Right after the marching bands left or proceeded, then I heard what I thought were fireworks. I have no experience in gunshots, but I thought they were just fireworks. And I saw from the rooftop of a building across the street, it was above a salon, it was probably about 50 feet from me, and I thought what kind of jerk is going to set off fireworks during a parade?

I cannot see the people in the back of me, because we were essentially front row center. But our granddaughter had been through active shooter drills. She heard this, and she just hit the ground crying. She grabbed her brother, her nine year old brother, and shield him. My wife Lori (ph), who was standing with me in a state of shock, she dove on her two grandchildren.

I was still standing in a state of disbelief. And then I like two seconds later, I dove on them. But we were not in a situation where we were behind a barricade. We were totally open to the shooter, probably the closest potential victims to the shooter. And we were sort of frozen there, holding on to each other.

We waited for the gunfire to subside, and then there was a store that was adjacent to us, about 15 feet, and I said let's just take a run for it. So we took a run for it. We went in there.

A lot of other people were in there at the time crying, tears all over the place. HILL: It is -- as I understand, it is remarkable first of all. So

many of us who have kids who went to those active shooter trainings, it really stops you in your tracks to hear, you know, that a 13 years old, sadly, she knew what to do on that street where as you point out, you had no cover.

You made it into that store. As I understand it, the owners were really great with everybody, ushered everybody into the basement. There were about 20 or so other people there. How is everyone doing in that moment?

TILKIN: There was a number of people in tears. A lot of the kids we are really unaware of the complexity and seriousness of the situation.

You know, we found a lot of people that were just sitting in a corner. I found one person that was in a closet, a storage room alone, just sort of in a fetal position. Sorry, it was hard. It was very hard.

And then we heard the police come down with their assault rifles, because they thought that the shooter might be down there. So it was like something out of a TV show. It was just unreal as we are going around each corner saying clear.

At one point, I decided to go upstairs to the main level where the store is itself, the retail level, and I went to a window at the front just to look out, and I saw that there was a body about eight feet from where we were standing. That body was surrounded by a pool of blood. And I realized how close we were to getting shot.

HILL: That is a lot to process, to put it mildly. And I hear that -- and the understandable emotion in your voice, having been so close to that tragedy, have been a part of that tragedy.

How are you and your wife and her grandkids? How are you all holding up today?

TILKIN: I think we are doing pretty good. I mean, it is reasonable emotion based on what we have gone through. It is important that we talk about what we saw and do things that are positive, talk with friends, and relatives, you know?

So, I think it is doing that kind of thing, trying to do life affirmative things, going for walks in nature. It is recognized that this will be a process. It's not going to be over in a week because we wanted to be over. It is going to be something that is going to stay with us. But we will just have to deal with it.

And then also find a way to encourage our legislators to find a plan, for Republicans and Democrats to work together to say that this carnage cannot go on. It's just unacceptable. We just can't say how much more carnage is acceptable. It is not acceptable at all, period. So there has to be a plan that our legislators can put together to help solve this crisis.

HILL: Yes. I feel like I say this every time. Unfortunately, but, hopefully, your voice and those of so many others that we heard from yesterday and today in this aftermath are asking for the very same thing.


Perhaps now is the time they will be heard.

Steve Tilkin, thank you for taking the time to join us today and for sharing your story.

TILKIN: Erica, thank you very much for the call.

HILL: As I mentioned, at the top of the hour, we are waiting for an update from police about the parade shooting. We are going to bring that to you live as soon as it begins.

First, though, I just want to update you on some more news from across the pond. Downing Street, is it now a dead end for Boris Johnson? Members of his own cabinet resigning today over the latest scandal plaguing the prime minister.

Plus, trying to survive in a war zone. CNN talks to Ukrainian families trapped by Russian shelling.


HILL: Turning to our world lead, Ukraine says it has repelled a Russian assault on the village of -- one of the few remaining pockets still controlled by Kyiv inside the Luhansk region.

Now, this comes after Ukraine's military withdrew from the city of Lysychansk, which is the last holdout city in that eastern region. Ukraine says Putin's forces are now pushing toward the neighboring Donetsk region, where every city in that region is under assault from Russia's shelling and attacks. That's according to the head of Ukraine's military in the area.


CNN's Phil Black reports now as the intensifying fighting in the east.


PHL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's no easy, safe way to the most eastern frontlines to the Donbas. Russia has kept the highways, so soldiers, weapons, locals and aid deliveries must all take the back roads.

This Red Cross operation is to Siversk, the small town closest to the region's most intense fighting. The team unloads and very quickly families arrive to load up.

The noise of war -- close and loud. No one reacts.

Natalia is collecting food for her husband and two children. She says they can't leave the town because they fear losing their house and the vegetable garden they rely on to survive. Only a fool isn't scared, she says. But there is no way out. We cannot leave our place. Lyubov arrives with her young children. She says they stayed as the

Russians approach because she doesn't want to risk being separated from her eldest daughter, who lives in a nearby village.

She says, "I called her once. She told me, they are not leaving. Then we lost connection. I don't even know if she's okay."

Lyubov agrees to show us the home where she hopes they can safely wait out the war.

It's a walk to the other side of town. But we soon realize that won't be possible.

Their neighborhood is under fire. Incoming artillery from somewhere close -- so close you hear the artillery piece fire and the projectiles flash before impact.

The shells fall within the same tight area. Again. And again.

We saw all this while only a little further to the east, the Russian forces were claiming an important win, taking the city of Lysychansk.

Yeah, come to us! Did you go?


BLACK: The battle for Lysychansk is only a relatively short distance from here. This is likely to be the frontline very soon. But, already, Russia's heavy weapons are falling among these peoples' homes in this town.

It's not safe to stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was close. Come on.

BLACK: But all of these people remain, scared, confused, hoping beyond reason the violence to come will pass them by.


BLACK (on camera): Erica, what we saw in -- is really only a small sample of the firepower Russia is focusing on Ukraine's positions. But it shows what they are up against. Why such an unequal -- Ukraine can't compete with the size, the power of Russia as artillery. It's why it's grinding momentum appears, for the moment, to be almost unstoppable.

But Ukraine doesn't believe it will stay that way. It says when it receives more, new powerful weapons from allies, it will stop Russia's advance and it will start rolling it back -- Erica.

HILL: It is heartbreaking seeing those families, wondering how long they can safely stay when they know they can't go.

Phil, I appreciate the reporting, thank you.

Keep calm and move on. More drama inside 10 Downing Street. Could it signal the end of Boris Johnson's time as prime minister?

Plus, any moment, police had to give an update on the parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. We're going to bring that to you live.



HILL: We're back with more in our world lead. A huge blow to the government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- two of his top cabinet ministers and a top Conservative Party official resigned today in a move that could spell the end of Johnson's leadership following months of scandals.

The resignations come after the prime minister admitted he made a mistake in appointing a Member of Parliament accused of sexual misconduct to his government.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo is live in London for us.

So, Bianca, these moves have really thrown the British government into crisis. Why are these members quitting?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're trying to exert maximum pressure on a prime minister who has shown complete reluctance to resign over a series of scandals that would've ended any other prime minister's career. And the letters of resignation were punchy, indeed.

We heard from Chancellor Rishi Sunak who said: The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently, and seriously. I recognize this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe the standards are worth fighting for. And that is why I am resigning.

And, Erica, in the last few hours, I counted there are seven resignations so far -- the trickle is becoming a stream. Sensationally, one of the prime minister's MPs, also vice chair of his political party, resigned live on air, speaking to a television anchor.

Let's take a listen.


BIM AFOLAMI, VICE CHAIR, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY: I just don't think the prime minister any longer has not just my support, but he doesn't have I don't think the support of the party, or indeed, the country anymore. And I think for that reason, he should step down.

TV ANCHOR: You are vice chairman of the --

AFOLAMI: Probably not after having said that. But yes.

TV ANCHOR: Let's see if you retain your position. You're not resigning as vice chair of the Conservative Party?

AFOLAMI: Well, no, look, I think I have to -- you have to resign. You have to resign because I can't serve under the prime minister.


NOBILO: What we're hearing tonight, Erica, is the fact that MPs and ministers are saying that because Boris Johnson doesn't show the integrity and trustworthiness that is required of a prime minister, they simply can no longer serve.

HILL: We'll continue to watch where that goes, Bianca. Appreciate it. Thank you.

I want to take you now down to Highland Park, for this update. Let's listen.

JENNIFER BANEK, LAKE COUNTY CORONER: The active shooter in the area, Central Avenue and Second Street, Highland Park. While an Independence Day parade was in progress, the Lake County coroner's office was notified and responded to the scene.

It is with a heavy heart and that I bring to you the names of the victims of that tragedy: 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein of Highland Park, 35-year-old Irina McCarthy of Highland Park, 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy of Highland Park, 63-year-old Jacqueline Sundheim of Highland Park, 88-year-old Stephen Straus of Highland Park, 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico.

We have also been notified that there is a seventh victim that died at a hospital located outside of Lake County. I will now give the microphone to the mayor of Highland Park, Mayor Nancy Rotering.

MAYOR NANCY ROTERING, HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS: The Highland Park community, like so many before us, is devastated. It is impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard. Our focus the last 36 hours has been on the perpetrator of this heinous crime.

As we know put the names and faces of those lost yesterday, family, friends, guests, longtime residents at the Highland Park community, our focus shifts to the victims on those left behind. This crisis has devastated entire families, and our community in a single moment, and we know that it will take time to heal. On behalf of the community and the world that mourns alongside a sight offer loved ones of those who passed our condolences.

I thank those who have organized vigils to help support the weight of our shared sorrow. We have listed those in our website, and while we are hurting, we know that we will continue to come together and support each other as we always do, in difficult times. We are Highland Park strong.

COVELLI: Thank you, Mayor.

There were some questions that are last press briefing about prior contacts that law enforcement may have had with Crimo III. We have done some research, gathered some reports, and I am going to relay some information from two prior instances that occurred here in Highland Park.

The first was in April of 2019. An individual contacted Highland Park Police Department a week after learning of Mr. Crimo attempting suicide. This was a delayed report, so Highland Park still responded to the residents a week later, spoke with Crimo, spoke with Crimo's parents, and the matter was being handled by mental health professionals at that time.

There was no law enforcement action to be taken. It was a mental health issue and handled by those professionals.

The second occurred in September of 2019, a family member reported that Crimo said he was going to kill everyone, and Crimo had a collection of knives. The police responded to his residence. The police removed 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from Crimo's home.

At that time, there was no probable cause for arrest. There were no complaints that were signed by any of the victims. The Highland Park Police Department, however, did immediately notify the Illinois state police of the incident.

Shifting gears a little bit, talking about the investigation itself.

The community has been absolutely terrific with providing information to law enforcement (AUDIO GAP) we are asking the community if they are able to dig a little (AUDIO GAP) specific instances from the event, based on video surveillance, recovered by our investigators, we are very certain that there was a female witness who saw Crimo drop an object inside of a red blanket behind Ross at 6:25 Central Avenue, immediately following the shooting.

We have not been able to identify this witness yet, but we are asking if you are the witness, and you are hearing this, please call 800- CALLFBI. Investigators would like to speak to you about this.

We are also asking that anyone with any firsthand information about Crimo relevant to this investigation also call 800-CALLFBI. Please keep in mind we are asking for firsthand information that could be relevant, and help investigators. We are not asking for third-party information, or information heard through the grapevine -- only if it is firsthand knowledge that you have.

To update the victim count, including those who have perished, there are approximately 45 injured or deceased from this incident. At about 5:30 this evening, the state's attorney's office will be holding a press conference and we anticipate an announcement of charges at that time.

With that, we'll take some questions.

JOSH CAMPBELLL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, they will look at this and say this is not what we saw here. You're view on that, and how are these things supposed to be handled? How do you stop the shooter if someone is calling police saying that we have a problem?

COVELLI: So the question is, the response of the September incident? The police responded there. Police can't make an arrest unless there is probable cause to make an arrest, or someone is able to sign complaints regarding the arrest. Absent of those things, police do not have power to detain somebody.

Now if there is an issue where there is a necessity to involuntarily commit somebody to the hospital, that's an option. But that wasn't an option at that time. It did not fall in that category.

But nonetheless, Highland Park police did notify the Illinois state police of that.

REPORTER: If you see someone (INAUDIBLE) how do you view that?

COVELLI: The threat was directed at family inside of the home.


COVELLI: So, in order to purchase a gun legally in Illinois, one has to possess a FOID card. It is a process that is solely managed by the state police. I am not able to speak to that process.

REPORTER: You mentioned how much the community has been helpful in this case with videos, with sending information to you guys, so many people I have been talking to are asking how we can prevent this in the future. Given the amount of social media posts with disturbing content that he posted, would you recommend that community members in this community or others flag this information?

You said you weren't aware of it beforehand, if you are aware of it, could this have prevented anything like this considering the red flag law and other laws in the state?

COVELLI: So, the question is essentially, social media, if we would have known about the post, would we have investigated it, do we encourage the community to report those? The answer is, absolutely.

If the public sees something that is concerning online with anybody, they should notify the social media network is posted, and they should notify local law enforcement, and that is when we get involved and we conduct an investigation. Law enforcement is going to do everything they possibly can to ensure the community is kept safe. But if we do not know about it, it's hard for us to investigate.

REPORTER: If there were red flag laws in these states, would this potentially (INAUDIBLE)?

COVELLI: So, in the case of September, the knives that Crimo possessed, they were confiscated, and they were secured for safekeeping.


COVELLI: So, at that time, there was no information that he possessed any firearms, any rifles. Would that be enough if he is making threats? It's a case by case basis. I don't want to speak broadly to the issue.

It depends on the circumstances. There are circumstances where law enforcement does have that authority to obtain a seizure order, but it is situational dependent on every single time.

REPORTER: There is a report that Crimo visited the synagogue here in town during Passover. Do you know anything about that? Can you speak to it?

COVELLI: There is nothing I know about at this time.

REPORTER: You mentioned that the weapon, the rifles were legally purchased in this general Chicago area. Can you specifically say when they were purchased?

COVELLI: They were purchased after that September incident. I don't have the exact dates, I believe it was in 2020, 2021.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) whether we had any additional information, is there any new information --


COVELLI: Investigators have been really tirelessly working since Crimo was taken into custody, trying to determine motive. At this point, there is no definitive motive that he had.


REPORTER: Has he been talking to investigators?

COVELLI: He has been talking to investigators.


COVELLI: I don't have that information.


COVELLI: It was the rifle, and it was in a red blanket.

REPORTER: You have the information that he may have tried to check himself into a hospital?

COVELLI: No. We do not have that information.

REPORTER: After that September incident (INAUDIBLE). Can you explain that? What are the options for officers?

COVELLI: Based on that time, based on those circumstances, that was not an option. It did not fall into that category.

REPORTER: What would it require to fall into that category?

COVELLI: Again, it's case by case specific.

REPORTER: Where Irina and Kevin McCarthy, husband and wife, brother and sister, what's their relation?

COVELLI: I will have to get back to you on that. I don't know.


REPORTER: How many handguns were there, where they legally purchased? Anything on them? How -- the sheer number?

COVELLI: So, he had purchased five. Five fire arms. Five firearms, it includes rifles, and guns as well.

REPORTER: So the other three legally purchased, and they were handguns?

COVELLI: There were a combination of which I do not have the exact count. At least two rifles, some pistols, and possibly a shotgun. Those were seized at his father's home, pursuant to a search warrant yesterday.

REPORTER: What was the size of the knife collection, did he ever get it back?

COVELLI: I would have to do a bit of research on that.


COVELLI: Approximately a year.

REPORTER: Is there any information about the seventh victim who passed --

COVELLI: Not yet, but we are working on obtaining some information.

REPORTER: What county is that victim in?



COVELLI: That would be my -- yes, if charges are filed today, it is very likely he will appear in court tomorrow morning.

REPORTER: Was there evidence that -- was found in the car? (INAUDIBLE).

COVELLI: Evidence technicians are collecting a lot of shell casings, but as far as anything of evidentiary values, that is the extent.

REPORTER: In the car, there was a rifle --

COVELLI: In the car, there was a rifle.


COVELLI: I would have to check and get back to you.


COVELLI: He was -- he drove around to a number of places. He drove to Wisconsin, then came back to Illinois, that is when the alert person who recognized the vehicle description from the press briefing called 911 and he was stopped.

REPORTER: Were you able to speak to any federal investigation, any possible federal indictment or (INAUDIBLE) federal system?

COVELLI: So, the FBI, the ATF, our federal partners, the Department of Justice, are very involved in this case. I cannot speak for them, all I can say is they are on the ground here working with us in lockstep.

And I can take two more.

REPORTER: Do you know where in Wisconsin?

REPORTER: Going back to the September incident, and you notified state police, what was a follow-up from state police. Was there any monitoring given what has happened on social media announcement (INAUDIBLE)?

COVELLI: Do you want to speak to that?

MASTER SERGEANT DELILAH GARCIA, ILLINOIS STATE POLICE: My name is Master Sergeant Delilah Garcia. I'm a public information officer, deputy chief.

So, basically in September of 2019, ISP did receive information from Highland Park, the police department, and at that time, the individual in the report did not have a FOID card or anything to revoke, or review. So at that point, we -- that FOID was our stance on that.


GARCIA: At that time, basically, he didn't have a pending application. So, there was nothing to review at that time when he got that notification. We didn't know, a few months later, something else would happen.


GARCIA: Involuntary commit someone?

CAMPBELL: Right. (INAUDIBLE) To follow up on -- after looking at the facts from that was that an option you considered? This person might need to be involuntarily committed?

GARCIA: There was no FOID application at the time.

CAMPBELL: Correct. But the lead came to you, right? This person had knives. Obviously, there was the threat was posed. So, your role was only where he had a firearm or not?

GARCIA: Right. REPORTER: And state law doesn't allow to flag someone and say, hey, we are flagging this person, they should be -- are you allowed to say --


COVELLI: More questions regarding that procedure from the state police will be forthcoming. We know there's going to be questions directed to the state police on procedure, how FOID card applications were, when a notification comes in from local law enforcement, that is much better answered by the state police. It's very hard to speak to their policies and procedures.

One more.

REPORTER: Where in Wisconsin travelled to, and how did you track him? Was it iPad --

COVELLI: I want to get into how we know he was in Wisconsin, but we know he traveled through the Madison area before turning around and coming back to Illinois.

Last question.

REPORTER: Did his parents have -- were his parents involved when the knife was taken -- did they report that he was threatening and that's the reason why they came to the house --

COVELLI: A family member reported he was being threatened. So --

REPORTER: In other words, a family member reports the knife being there but then you find guns --

COVELLI: I am not quite following your question. The police responded -- the police responded in September, OK, to this call. They responded, they took the knives out of the home. They filed the paperwork with the Illinois state police.

At that time, there was no function to make an arrest. There was no --

REPORTER: But the parents, they're watching him buy five or six or seven guns.

COVELLI: I don't know if the parents were. I can't speak with that.

All right. Thank you, we will be back at 5:30.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, guys. Just a reminder, we're going to the west side of the scene --

HILL: So, you just heard an update there from Highland Park, from law enforcement, also the lake county coroner, about the shooting at the parade there on July 4th.

The coroner, importantly, releasing the names of six of the victims. We, of course, learned late this afternoon that a seven person had died. We do not have any details on that victim, not an age nor a name. But we do know more about those six victims now who have been identified who range from 34 to 88 years old, all except for one, residents of Highland Park.

We also learned from local officials there that there was a report -- two reports made to the policed locally. One in April of 2019 after there were concerns a suspect had attempted suicide. In September of that same year, 2019, a family member of the suspected reported to police that he had said he was going to kill everyone. He had a collection of knives. Police responded they said that threat was directed at family members.

When they were asked, they responded, they said there was 16 knives, a sort, and a dagger from the home. There was not cause to arrest, no palpable cause. They noted the because no one signed a complaint there, they could not contest or resident without probable cause -- they did though then, as was protocol, from what I understand, notified the Illinois state police.

I do want to know, as we are piecing through everything we are learning while releasing the new image of the suspect, dressed in women's clothing, as you see here, we just learned about this at an earlier briefing today. Police saying he dressed and that disguise yesterday in an effort to blend in with the crowd when he was fleeing after firing more than 70 rounds so he could flee among the crowd, blend into the crowd as they were fleeing in terror, looking for safety.

I want to bring in Juliette Kayyem, as we continue to piece through more of what we know here.

Juliette, one -- there are a number of things that stood out to me there. Not just that there had been two calls, right? Two concerned calls, one about a suicide attempt, that call apparently came in a week after that attempted suicide. Another when the suspect reportedly threatened family members he was going to kill them all.

There was a lot of follow-up there, I think essentially getting at, where all the I's dotted, where the T's crossed. The reality is, it sounds like local law enforcement did what they were supposed to do.

What should we take away from a further action was there?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. I think some of the reporters, not Josh, he got the right question. Some of the reporters clearly had it wrong.

April 2019 is the first contact at suicide. So, that's viewed differently because you are not a threat to the community. So, mental health professionals are brought in.

September 2019, a family member says he had a bunch of knives and is threatening everyone in the family. No one in the family then is willing to press charges. So, I think this goes to would did the family know. I said in an earlier hour, I don't believe his uncle who is going

around saying we knew nothing -- the family clearly knew something. They say they felt threatened by him.

But because they are unwilling to press charges, the police don't have sufficient probable cause because they only have with the family members said to arrest him. You are allowed to have that many knives.

Then he has a couple years in which he is clearly becoming more violent and there is nothing triggering to the police at that stage. No interaction with him between 2019 and 2022 and all the guns were bought lawfully, because that's the nature of gun ownership in this country. So, I don't -- I think they did everything right. I mean, you look back and say magic wand. It doesn't work that way.

HILL: It was interesting, too, as we are hearing some of the questions there, as you point out, not from our Josh Campbell, this came from another reporter, someone who is asking about -- is it necessary to purchase the firearm in Illinois, and the public information officer from the Illinois State PD was asked specifically about how this 2019 call over concerns about knives could've impacted that and said, look, there was no application on file at the time for a gun. And because charges were not filed, it would seem that's why that would not show up.

HILL: That's exactly right. And also, the red flag law in Illinois is only two years old. I don't even know if it existed at the time. Basically, this idea that the gun seller, if the gun purchased it could've been stopped, a red flag law could've been invoked in 2019 is not reality, at this time.

Let's bring it up to reality which is, there is a red flag law in Illinois. We know in Illinois, there's 115 cases that have been involved, 62 percent of them come from a single county, which doesn't include where he lived, DuPage County. That is because laws are not self executing.

Now, we need to educate law enforcement tells community members, look at, have concerns about someone, something, about someone, something we can do. We can actually try to protect the community. And this is key because it is those community members and family members who are going to know.

Now, this family in particular, I am not sure, I am not sure we are not going to find out more about them if -- an uncle who says nothing is wrong, and a mother whose car is used. And so, we may find out more about this family the. Guns are in the house. So (AUDIO GAP) challenge.

HILL: We were told they were in a father's house. We were told that he had legally purchased five firearms. We know at least two rifles.

One was apparently used from the rooftop. It was one found in the car. Some pistols, possibly a shotgun, we are told, seized at the father's home.

What's interesting is that we learned there is no definitive motive at the time. But he is talking, Juliette. He is talking to investigators.

If you are sitting there in that room, what are those questions being asked to get to that motive and keep him talking?

KAYYEM: So, there's a lot going on. There's a lot of rumors going on. I thought was very clear to say, don't come to us with rumors, we are trying to figure out what his motive is.

But I thought was interesting from his perspective is that we know in the next hour the prosecutor is going to come out with charges. Covelli was very clear, the police deputy sheriff, the police officer, was clear that they, at this stage in the interview process, which they are conducting, do not see a particular motive.

I think what he might be clueing in, and we will find out in an hour, is that motive was not based on religion, on race, on any of the protected classes that would rise to the level of either a federal hate crime or even Illinois has a hate crime statute. So, it may be that this is a more traditional, is that the way I want to say? The criminal case in the sense that this is what witnesses -- this is going to be a mass murder charge.

So, we'll find out more. There's a lot online. And also, you know, for the things you are hearing, the presence of these online materials we are seeing, in terms of Instagram or videos, go to -- they may go to motive. In other words, he was targeting a particular area or a particular parade because it was on July 4th.

But they also may go to a sense of himself as being something larger. This is what we saw in the Columbine killers, that he wasn't as horrible as he thinks he is. He is actually greater. So, we will be careful on motive in this case.

HILL: Really quickly, only about a minute left. I found it interesting as well that they were very -- specific, saying there is a female they need to call, a female witness who they said they believe likely saw the suspect dropped in a red blanket near the scene, he later clarified he believes that object was a rifle.

What does it take to make that kind of public lead? Do you think they actually know that woman is?

KAYYEM: No, my belief is that they have a picture of her looking at it or possibly touching it. And they can't get an image of who it is, or maybe someone who does not want to be notified by police or is just scared. People are terrified. To come forward, to put yourself out there can be really scary to people.

What he was saying was, you know, we got you, we know who you are.


And come forward because we need this information, which will be essentially, was there a rifle? This is the scenario they are envisioning. Was there a rifle that he carried down because he leaves the military style weapon on the roof, and was planning then and on ground slaughter? We just don't know.

They need to find this woman. What does she know? What did she see? When did he drop? It hopefully, she will come forward.

HIILL: Hopefully she will. We are expecting -- we just heard there -- that there will be another update. We are going to hear from the states attorney in a short bit here. So, we will be continuing to watch for that.

Juliette, always appreciate your insight. Thank you.

KAYYEM: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: And we will be right back.


HILL: Breaking news out of Highland Park, Illinois, where six of the seven people who were killed have now been identified. They range in age from 34 to 88. Dozens more were injured in that shooting at the July 4th parade in Highland Park.

Police at a press briefing just wrapped, announcing there were previous interactions with the shooting suspect. One of those in September 2019 was when a family member of the suspect called police to say that the suspect had said he was going to kill everyone, specifically was talking about his family and the house, he had a collection of knives.

Police responded, say they removed 16 knives, a dagger, in a sword from his home. They took those weapons. They say they did not have cause to arrest because no one signed a complaint. We will get you the latest as we continue our coverage.

I'm Erica Hill, in for Jake Tapper.

Wolf Blitzer picks things up now in "THE SITUATION ROOM".