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Erin Burnett Outfront

Death Toll Rises To 28, 117 Unaccounted For In Condo Collapse; Mayor: Weather Causing Some Temporary Pauses In Search; White Nationalist Group Marches In Philly Over July Fourth Weekend, Chanting "Election Was Stolen," "Reclaim America"; Biden Sounds Alarm, COVID "Has Not Been Vanquished"; Manhunt Underway After Killings Of Golf Pro And Two Others; Deadly Tropical Storm Hits Cuba, Nears Florida. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 05, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. You can tweet the show @CNNSITROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, the confirm the death toll is rising as crews sadly pull another body from the debris of the Florida condo collapse.

Plus, white nationalists echoing Trump's big lie as they marched through the City of Philadelphia. That city's Republican Commissioner, Al Schmidt, who has pushed back against Trump's baseless claims is our guest.

And an urgent manhunt is now underway this hour after a golf pro and two other people were found dead on a country club golf course just outside Atlanta. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening to you this holiday weekend. Welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT. I'm Jim Sciutto in tonight for Erin Burnett.

Breaking news, the death toll is rising tonight. We're just learning that another body has been pulled from the wreckage of the catastrophic condo collapse in Florida. Three bodies were found earlier today. That now leaves 28 people confirmed dead yet 117 still unaccounted for and missing.

The latest victims were found after the remaining units of the Champlain Towers South condo building were demolished early this morning. Last night we're told that portions of the building were only being held up by the rubble pile. The Mayor of Miami-Dade telling CNN that the demolition helped rescue teams get to new areas of the rubble today.

That building as you can see now completely leveled. That was it this before on the left and after on the right there after last night's implosion came. It comes as crews are now bracing for what could be severe weather from at least the outer bands of Tropical Storm Elsa now expected to hit on the western side of Florida, fortunately not the eastern side where this took place.

The storm is expected to pick up strength over the next day hitting the area in the south of Florida there with heavy rain, thunderstorms and possible flooding as well. Already the weather has forced crews occasionally to stop. This all comes as there were troubling new details about just how badly the building was deteriorating in the days, months, even years before collapse. Lots of missed warning signs.

Documents obtained by OUTFRONT detail the alarming conversations about the required construction. In one presentation from October of last year, residents were warned of a lack of waterproofing and that water was causing damage to the concrete. That's crucial. Leyla Santiago is OUTFRONT live in Surfside, Florida tonight.

Leyla, progress today they're saying now because they were able to bring down what was left of the tower. They're able to look more broadly in the debris.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Correct. Crews are now able to go into areas that they could not go into yesterday because that building was demolished. Jim, you mentioned it to the death toll now stands at 28, 26 of those individuals have been identified. They have had to stop the search effort twice because of lightning.

That said, the Mayor insists and we've seen it here the research is still very much active.


SANTIAGO (voice over): Tonight, the controlled demolition of the rest of the Champlain Towers South building Sunday has opened the way for search and rescue teams to broaden their efforts, official say, and continue their work safely.


MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D) MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: The search and rescue team has been able to search all sections of the grid on the collapse following the building demolition now that the entire area is safe to search.


SANTIAGO (voice over): The potential threat of Tropical Storm Elsa also impacted the decision making.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The worst thing that could have happened was to have a storm come in and blow that building down on top of the pile.


SANTIAGO (voice over): Rescue teams halted their work temporarily but resumed just over an hour after the demolition began. Today, workers hoping to access voids in the rubble that they couldn't before the remaining tower was brought down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The activity on that site, which I just came from a few minutes ago is more active and greater than I've ever seen since the beginning of this crisis.


SANTIAGO (voice over): This as new condo documents obtained by CNN show that a presentation was prepared for residents last fall and winter. On quote, "Why we have to do all this now?" The garage lacked waterproofing and 'water has gotten underneath and caused additional damage to the concrete.

Over the weekend in Miami Beach, two different nearby condominiums were evacuated in an abundance of caution. One, just miles north of Champlain Towers due to reported unsafe structural and electrical conditions.


Then firefighters ordered residents to evacuate a low-rise condominium complex after a building inspector flagged a floor system failure in a vacant unit and damage to an exterior wall according to a city spokesperson. Officials say the priority right now is search and rescue of victims, but investigators continue to search for answers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we find out that this was entirely avoidable because of action or inaction, it's still an obviously a tragedy, but it makes it just so much more acute and so important for us to act.


SANTIAGO (voice over): For some the demolition of the remaining tower was emotional. Yet it allowed others to finally make their first visit to the site of the tragedy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wasn't able to come earlier because the sight of the building still affected me greatly. And today, because the building came down, I think I manage to make it all the way up to the memorial site.



SANTIAGO (on camera): And Jim, I visited that memorial site today. It's about a block away from where the building was demolished and where it collapsed. And you could still see dust in the air. It was a lot of raw pain there. We found people sobbing, people who had to kind of muster up the courage just to go what they really wanted to avoid. I spoke to one couple here from New York and they said that this

reminded them of 9/11, watching the workers dig through the debris. A lot of people felt that it was tough to see that building demolished. With that building went a bit of hope, but then you heard from others like mercy in our story who said this is what she needed to be able to move forward. I have not spoken to one person here who did not say they are praying for miracles tonight on day 12.

SCIUTTO: I was thinking exactly the same thing, Leyla, the dust in the air reminiscent of the wreckage of ground zero. Leyla Santiago, thanks very much.

Well, OUTFRONT now Shankar Nair. He's a structural engineer and member of the National Academy of Engineering. Shankar, thanks so much for taking the time tonight.


SCIUTTO: So lots of questions as we begin to look at pictures of this. And attention has been drawn to the condo's construction in one particular area, I want to show a photo for our viewers here. And this gets to vertical columns. This is in the parking structure.

What's visible here, you know this well, I just one explain to the viewers, is that there are just two to three steel rods coming out from each side of the column to support the surrounding concrete. The original design drawings, though called for more steel reinforcement. As you look at this picture here, given its location, is that a crucial clue to you?

NAIR: Well, it is but it doesn't explain anything really. Because the fact is what we see here is what engineers consider a classic example of punching shear failure and that the column just punched through the slab. The way these things are built is that you first build the column up to the bottom of the slab, then you pour the concrete slab and then you continue the next storey or column.

So the slab is continuous across the columns, so it shouldn't break the way you see here. This is a punching shear failure and the rebar, the steel bars are supposed to prevent that or, at least, increase the resistance of that. But the oddity here is that a structural engineer could do a quick calc of this calculation and he would find that even without any reinforcing bars going through the slab in that location, this really should not have failed the way it did so something else was wrong.

Now suddenly, without the bars, the capacity of that connection would have been much, much less than required by code. But under the conditions at the time when it failed, it really should not have failed, benign weather conditions, no earthquake, very little load just a couple of cars maybe, it should have had enough capacity to stand up. So there's something wrong with the construction or deterioration of something, who knows?

SCIUTTO: A possibility. NAIR: It may be just the columns were too high, who knows.

SCIUTTO: Right, a possibility of multiple causes. There's another area that witnesses and other engineers have drawn attention to and that's part of the pool deck, which as you know collapsed just moments before the entire building came down. And you can see in these photos here, a clean break in part of the slab, the concrete slab over the pool. Does that location, is that location in your view and the collapse of it prior to the rest of the building, is that a key indicator?

NAIR: Yes. I think that is a very tantalizing clue as to how all this developed. That clean break you see around the pool in the slab, that indicates there was a construction joints there.


That means a joint between slabs formed at different times and that's quite normal. Excuse me. But there should be a lot of reinforcing going across that joint and the drawings show how much there should be. And there appeared to be, from what I saw, there appeared to be much less steel across the joints than they should have been and that alone could have caused the collapse.

SCIUTTO: So that raises this question, because we obtained documents that showed concerns were raised about the quality, the deterioration of concrete prior. Here's part of a presentation that was delivered to residents just last December, a few months ago. It had a slide with this quote and it said, "Install new drop panels at the three columns and strengthen several slabs."

This as you know is one of several meetings, warnings and engineering reports in the last couple of years that came in raised questions about the building. And I wonder as you look at them, should these have raised major red flags? Should these have created immediate urgency to address potential structural problems or was it more of a judgment call?

NAIR: I think it should have raised questions. What they said about deterioration and inadequate drainage and so on, those are long term issues, not necessarily an immediate concern. But when they talked about not enough rebar and requiring drop panels, that should have been much more of a wake-up call.

SCIUTTO: Understood. Well, listen, there are a lot of questions to be answered and it is early in the investigation. We always have to have that proviso. But Shankar Nair, thanks so much for your time.

NAIR: OK. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT now, Pablo Rodriguez. His mother and grandfather - grandmother rather, are still unaccounted for after the collapse. And Pablo, thank you so much for taking the time. I've watched this from afar. I can only imagine the weight and the pain that you and the rest of your family are going through. My first simplest question is just how are you and how is the rest of your family doing? PABLO RODRIGUEZ, MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER MISSING AFTER SURFSIDE BUILDING

COLLAPSE: Thanks, Jim, for having me and letting me continue to tell the story and bring attention to this. We're struggling. Every day we try to move forward a little bit more. My mom always said keep moving forward, don't go back even to get momentum just keep going forward. So we're trying to keep that in mind. But you said it, the weight is really the most excruciating part.

SCIUTTO: I'm sure. The demolition of the remaining structure has now allowed rescue crews access to the entire site. And today, we've seen some remains discovered. There's still hope holding for the possibility of a miracle. I just wonder as you look at that progress, does that give you some hope? Are you still holding out hope? What are the rescue teams telling you?

RODRIGUEZ: For hope that they're alive? Jim, I really don't have any of that hope. If there's a miracle, I'm going to be ecstatic. You'll definitely know about it. You won't need a camera to hear that. But I'm not hopeful that that's going to happen. I am hopeful that they continue to do their work.

I mean, they've been nothing short of amazing. The conditions that they're under is - there's just no words for how thankful we are for the work they're doing and their families for sharing them with us. It's definitely a physical and emotional toll on them as well. And as a family member, I just want to thank them for continuing to look for my mom and grandmother.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Who's taking care of you, I wonder? We have heard and we've shared some stories on CNN about the community stepping up and doing all it can to help families like your own. Are you getting love and support down there through this?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, Jim, I am. Particularly from friends, family. Our friends have set up a meal train. They've been sending food to the house. My high school class from Berlin (?) took up a collection to help out. Everybody keeps calling asking what they can do. They'll take my son out for lunch, for a happy meal just to keep them entertained, busy. So we have a big community down here and a lot of support that we're getting.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Those meal trains, I've seen them in action. They work. They make a big difference.

RODRIGUEZ: They work. They make a huge difference because I'm really not even in the mood to eat, but it kind of forces you to sit down and eat and kind of just take a moment.

SCIUTTO: You've heard the discussions and I'm sure you're reading about it, questions about where there missed warning signs in the building. And I wonder are you getting answers to those questions? Do you feel let down by anyone who had oversight over this prior to this disaster?

RODRIGUEZ: We're not getting answers to those questions. Those questions I do have and every piece of information that comes out, I have more questions. For example, what the previous guest was talking about the pool deck and how the steel wasn't the proper amount.


How does that pass the city inspection? How does that not get caught for 40 years? How is the building allowed to get into this condition? You had pool maintenance work that was done over many years. You had concrete work that was done over many years. How was this missed for so long that it reached this.

And you see that reform can happen because you have inspections that are taking place now on older buildings and within less than two weeks two to three buildings have been evacuated now. So it's a preventable thing that more could have been done.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Listen, it's the fairest of questions and we're going to keep asking those questions from and any government officials we have on but also engineers. But meanwhile, Pablo to you and your family, we really do wish you the best. We knew you're going through just a little slice of hell here.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. It's a living nightmare. And the weight just compounds that. I know I'm not the only family that's going through this. I'm in contact with a couple other families as well and they're on the same position, so I appreciate it. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Please take care. Our hearts go out to you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thanks, sir.

SCIUTTO: And OUTFRONT next, really an alarming story, dozens of white nationalists heard pushing Trump's big lie about a stolen election as they marched through Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia, Republicans City Commissioner there who has stood up to Trump's lie is my guest.

Plus, President Biden sounding the alarm tonight as concerns grow inside the White House about the highly contagious Delta variant spreading particularly in areas with low vaccination rates in this country.

And a golf pro shot to death on a golf course just outside Atlanta, Georgia. A manhunt is now underway, an urgent one, for the killer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fourth of July you think of fireworks and it's not fireworks and there's a guy on the ground.




SCIUTTO: Tonight, Donald Trump's continuing big lie led to a disturbing site over the July 4th weekend in the birthplace of this country, 200 members of the white nationalist group patriot front marched in downtown Philadelphia carrying a sign you see right there that says 'reclaim America'. Police say they also chanted as well as the election was stolen.

The Mayor's response to the group, "I'm personally, personally appalled and disgusted."

OUTFRONT next, Republican City Commissioner of Philadelphia, Al Schmidt, as well as Melanie Zanona. She's a CNN Capitol Hill Reporter. Thanks to both of you.

Al, let me begin with you. Listen, it's the year 2021. I am amazed that we shouldn't be given the activity of these groups across the country, but in the year 2021 in Philadelphia marching through the streets of Philadelphia, buying Trump's big lie. Tell us what we should take from this.

AL SCHMIDT (R), PHILADELPHIA CITY COMMISSIONER: Well, the images are disturbing seeing white supremacists marching anywhere in America. I would have thought this is something we settled in the middle of the last century. But it's really not surprising. It's not surprising that white supremacist groups would embrace the big lie or it's at the center of their outlook that they are anti-democratic and that they're authoritarian in nature.

And it's also not surprising that they would march in Philadelphia. The birthplace of our democracy and also a place that really embraces diversity as much as we do.

SCIUTTO: I mean, the images reminiscent of Charlottesville, frankly, four years ago. Just briefly Al, by not challenging these groups and by spreading things like the big lie, is your party encouraging these groups, at least giving them something of a pass?

SCHMIDT: It should be very easy for leaders of my party, the Republican Party to denounce people like this and the easiest thing that they could do, if they can't bring themselves to denounce it, they should at the very least stop lying to them, because it's all this lying about the election that is emboldening and encouraging groups like this.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Well, Melanie, former President Trump spent a lot of time at his rally this weekend in Florida, still pushing the big lie. I do want to play something specific he said among many other false statements, but have a listen to this one.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They said today I heard and there's a word disinformation, it's called. If you say it enough and keep saying it, just keeps saying it, they'll start to believe you. We can't let that happen.


SCIUTTO: Now, he was accusing Democrats of doing that. But it sounded something like projection, given the amount of disinformation and the pattern. Well, the Trump (inaudible) repeating the big lie.

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes. You're right. And when Trump says these lies, his supporters believe him. The majority of the Republican Party right now truly believes the election was stolen and so what you have is GOP lawmakers and officials who continue to embrace the falsehoods instead of rejecting them and that is incredibly dangerous.

I mean, it's a pure political calculation on their part. They don't want to alienate the base and they don't want to provoke Donald Trump who still has a tight grip on the party and who has made clear that he's going to reward folks who back them up on this front and punish those who don't.

SCIUTTO: Al, the big lie is not just (inaudible), it's central to, for some Republicans, their political message, article in The Washington Post today about candidates in 2022, multiple candidates for congressional and other offices spouting this.

You also have in the State of Pennsylvania now a GOP-led Senate there considering an Arizona-style, frankly, fake audit of its own. Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano who actually traveled to Arizona to study that sort of dog and pony show there, held a private briefing for Republicans last week with a plan.

I mean, as someone who received death threats for defending the integrity of the election after Trump himself singled you out to your credit, I'm just going to give you a platform here to speak to your fellow Republicans about the danger of activities like this.

SCHMIDT: Well, when the definition of being a Republican is espousing the lie that the election was stolen and being called a rhino when you don't know, that's a pretty, pretty sad kind of state of affairs.


As for suggestions that we should bring whatever's going on in Arizona with that election to Pennsylvania, I would encourage our legislators to educate themselves to know that our election were certified and that it was audited not once but twice. And there's no doubt about the outcome. It was safe, it was secure and it wasn't even close.

SCIUTTO: Yes. To your credit for saying that in public because a lot of Republicans won't, fearing the political consequences. Melanie, back here on Capitol Hill, still questions about who's going to end up on this January 6th select committee, who House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will choose. You've been doing some reporting on this, what are we hearing?

ZANONA: Well, initially, there was some discussion inside the House Republican Conference about whether to appoint people at all or whether to boycott it as a way to sort of cast it as a partisan effort. But I've done some digging on this.

My sources tell me that Kevin McCarthy is indeed likely to appoint Republican members to the panel and that's because they want to be able to shape the counter narrative. They want to be essentially launching a defense of Trump on Capitol Hill and protect the former president.

The question is who does Kevin McCarthy appoint. I do think there's going to be some trusted Trump allies that he picks in the vein of a Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik, Jim Banks. People he feels like he can rely on that he's close to. I do not think he'll be appointing people like Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene who he can't really control and who would be a risk for him.

But I think with Speaker Pelosi appointing Liz Cheney, a Republican to her side, there is a lot of pressure on McCarthy now to also appoint some more pragmatic members who can be taken seriously, who might have some expertise in law enforcement and national security. So it's something we're watching over the next few days.

SCIUTTO: That'd be nice. Expertise in National Security law enforcement to investigate a violent insurrection. Melanie, Al Schmidt, thanks so much to both of you for joining us tonight.

ZANONA: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: And OUTFRONT next President Biden shifting his attention to the highly contagious Delta COVID variant as the White House steps up efforts to convince more Americans to get vaccinated.

Plus, San Francisco's tallest residential tower is sinking and tilting. Yet, it's engineer says any comparison to what happened in Florida would be reckless. Why?



SCIUTTO: Tonight, there is growing concern in the White House over the impact of the highly contagious coronavirus delta variant. CNN is learning that President Biden is questioning advisors in private meetings about the significance of the spread, and it comes as Biden is using the July 4th holiday to celebrate America's progress against the virus while also pleading for people who still haven't gotten vaccinated to get it.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: COVID-19 has not been vanquished. We all know powerful variants have emerged like the delta variant. But the best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated. My fellow Americans, it's the most patriotic thing you can do.


SCIUTTO: Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT tonight at the White House.

Phil, I wonder, you know, given the massive disparity between some states and others in terms of vaccination rates and the delta variance, how concerned is the Biden White House about a resurgence?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: There's no question about that, but I think it's contextually based, right? There's not concern that there's going to be a massive nationwide outbreak, but in those areas with lowest vaccination rates, there is very real concern that you're going to see spikes over the course of the next couple of weeks.

The White House, and Jim, you noted it in the intro, in the closed- door discussions going on between the president and his top advisers as it relates to the pandemic, the emergence, the rapid emergence of the delta variant over the course of the last several weeks has become a center point of those talks, how to address that.

But there's also been some frustration, frustration in the fact that there's a way to address it. It is readily available to anybody who wants it. Jim, if you look over the course of the last month, 99 percent of the deaths tied to the pandemic were by those who were not vaccinated.

And so, when they look down some of those southern states, states like Wyoming that have low rent vaccination rates that is where the real concerns. That is what the White House is looking to send response teams to try and address some of those shortfalls.

And that's why you're going to see the president tomorrow. He's going to have a close briefing with his COVID advisers, and then he's going to get public remarks. And those remarks I am told will likely focus once again on the need, the necessity for people to get vaccinated at a time when there is more supply than anybody could ever want.

This is the one way to stop the delta variant in its track. Obviously, there is still issues there. There is significant amount of vaccinations that have transpired over the course of the last several months, but until everyone gets vaccinated or at least a significant percentage more gets vaccinated, the delta variant, a very real risk and the White House knows it.

SCIUTTO: Phil Mattingly at the White House, thanks so much.

Let's speak now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush.

Good to have you won. You know this well. But when you see it on the screen, I mean, the disparity state to state now, and it's really frankly a red blue state split, right, between those with high vaccination rates and low vaccination rates. Let's look at the 5 lowest.

Mississippi at the bottom, less than 30 percent. Wyoming, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama.

Is the most likely scenario here that you have, if you have a resurgence or spike, it would be regional as opposed to national? So in those places with low vaccination rates. DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, absolutely, Jim. Think

about vaccinations like a fire that is dug into a forest fire. Preventing the fire from jumping into new timber.

A lot of dry brush on the ground is fuel for fire. This pandemic is -- the fuel is of massive unvaccinated people. We are seeing that in the south and southwest, and out through the Midwest. And you look at a state like Arkansas, Arkansas, which has a little vaccination rate has seen over 100 percent rise and daily cases over the last two weeks.


So, we are seeing 55 percent increase in Florida, so we are seeing this in states that are lagging. You are right. It is a red blue split.

SCIUTTO: That 99.2 percent of COVID deaths in June were among unvaccinated people, 99.2 percent. I mean, it's remarkable. The danger is clear.

But they're still vaccines in a big portion of the population. A new "Washington Post"/ABC a poll found that nearly 3 quarters of people who do not plan on getting the vaccines said that U.S. officials are exaggerating the risk of the delta variant. I want to where they might have heard that.

Part of the Biden administration strategy, as you know, was to go to GP, go to people's personal doctors, because they trust them more than they a might a national health official. I wonder, is that -- has that strategy been working?

REINER: You know, I like the strategy. The American Medical Association, a week or 2 ago, published a national poll of the physicians, and they found that 96 percent of America's docs have been vaccinated. So, if -- just about every doctor in the United States has received a vaccine, what should that tell their patients?

So, what I would encourage people to do is talk to your doctor. Ask your doctor if they have been vaccinated. The answer is going to be yes. And ask them what they know that you don't know. And what they know is that no one who's vaccinated dies.

SCIUTTO: It's a pretty powerful talking point.

REINER: Right.

SCIUTTO: Looking nationally, given the vaccination rate, the 70 percent of adults with one shot, the 60.1 percent. It's a big number, right, considering where we were a few months ago. And I've spoken to a lot of doctors to make the point that others who were exposed to COVID-19 have some immunity. It's hard to measure how many some of those people are, but perhaps millions, tens of millions of people.

I mean, given what we know, is the country closer to herd immunity then we might realize? REINER: So, we vaccinated about 56 percent of the population, 56

percent have received at least one dose. So, most people think that we need immunity, that's a 75 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity. That's another 20 percent, which may not be 70 million people.

But you're right. We don't know how many of the unvaccinated population have antibodies because they were infected. We just don't know that.


REINER: But it is time to accelerate vaccinations, because delta is coming for those who are not vaccinated.

SCIUTTO: Exactly, and that immunity from infections don't last as long as with the vaccinations.

So, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thanks so much for coming on.

REINER: My pleasure.

SCIUTTO: And OUTFRONT next, a manhunt is underway, an urgent one, for the killer of a golf pro who was gunned down on a golf course just outside Atlanta. We're going to have the latest on that investigation next.

Plus, tropical storm Elsa expected to gain strength as it inches closer to Florida, a state of emergency now declared in 27 counties there, the latest on the storm track coming up.



SCIUTTO: Tonight, police in Georgia are urgently searching for a suspect and a motive in the killing of three people, including a professional golfer who witnesses say was shot and killed right on the golf course where he worked.

Ryan Young is OUTFRONT.


RAND EBERHARD, FRIEND OF GENE SILLER: A peaceful dude. He built community. He didn't have one enemy.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A golf pro and two others dead after a bizarre incident on a country club golf course. It happened Saturday afternoon at the Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw, just north of Atlanta.

Witnesses say a man who police are still looking for drove a white pick up truck on to the course. Golfer Gene Siller went to see what was going on and was shot near the 10th hole, a member of the club told CNN affiliate WXIA. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it happened it was all in the moment. You

know, the Fourth of July, you're thinking fireworks, and it's not fireworks. There's this guy on the ground.

YOUNG: Police say 41-year-old Siller was found with an apparent gunshot wound to the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A really nice guy. Greeted everyone. Treated everyone with respect. A really good guy.

YOUNG: Officers made another shocking discovery. Inside the bed of the truck, parked on the green, the bodies of two men, both with apparent gunshot wounds. Police identified one of the victims as Paul Pierson, the registered owner of the Dodge Ram pickup truck. The other victim has yet to be identified and police have not said the victims knew each other.

Officials said little about the suspect, but nearby Kennesaw University set out an emergency alert to students and faculty. In a series of tweets, the schools emergency management department described the suspect as an Hispanic male with long hair, 6 foot one, 170 pounds. With a darker complexion, wearing a white or tan t-shirt, work pants and possibly a hat.

Investigators are still trying to figure out if it was targeted or a random incident.

EBERHARD: It concerns me that no police officer has been down our driveway. Maybe there is more news out there that they know about that has leveled the concern in their eyes. But it does concern me.

YOUNG: In a statement, PGA president said, quote: We are truly heartbroken to hear about the senseless murder that took place yesterday at the Pine Tree Country Club in Georgia that took the life of PGA member Gene Siller. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Siller's family and leaves behind a wife and two young children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't hit me until later. You know, that this happened to our country club. I still can't believe it.


YOUNG (on camera): Jim, when you think about the soul of the community members said they loved the police officers in the neighborhood there. They're always driving through. This is one of those things where obviously everyone has a heightened sense of awareness, so they want to see more. You understand that.

If you look over my shoulder on this side, you can see the tracks that we're leading up to the 10th green toward the water.


That's apparently where everything happened. And on this side, you could see the flowers over this shoulder. We believe, some of the Siller's family showed up to put flowers on there, it's been tough for this community as you can understand -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: That poor young family. He leaves a wife and two young children.

YOUNG: Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: Thanks so much.

OUTFRONT next, a state of emergency in Florida tonight as Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to gain strength over the next day. We'll have the latest on the storm struck, plus, it's the largest residential tower in San Francisco, but it has been sinking and tilting for years. And after Florida, it raises an obvious question. Could this building be at risk?


SCIUTTO: This just in, new video of the impact of Tropical Storm Elsa on the rescue efforts in surfside Florida. Those are rescue crews battling strong winds while they continue to search that debris pile.

Twenty-seven counties in the state are now under a state of emergency as the storm moves closer to the Florida coast. It made landfall in Cuba earlier today, bringing sustained winds of about 65 miles per hour. Heavy rain, flooding, power outages, all dangers tonight.

Tom Sater is tracking Tropical Storm Elsa.

Tom, where is it going to go?

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it looks like it leaves Cuba later this evening, and gain some strength when it gets to the warmer waters of the Florida strait. But you're right, we had a 2:00 p.m. landfall in west central Cuba, and they're going through hell. Of course, that's higher terrain. They're getting a good 10, 15 inches out of this. Rivers are over the communities inundated with rain. We won't have.

It will gain strength, and it is up to 65 mile per hour winds, and likely will. But the environment, Jim, is really not conducive to get back to hurricane strength, which it was, back in the Caribbean. However, landfall still, Wednesday morning, as a tropical storm, and it comes with its own risks.

Now, the path has been slowly sliding westward, and that's good news. Notice, we don't have hurricane watch, anywhere on this map, it's all tropical storm warnings, the entire Western gulf coast. Heavier rain, found in areas of red, where it will be more like 4 to 6 inches, maybe isolated higher, but not what we see in Cuba. Then we had a storm surge increase, up to 5 feet. So, you can see that in areas of red.

For those who want to know maybe what it is like, the last November, we had hurricane aid, and just north of cedar keys. Same strength, tropical storm, tropical storm surge, so you can expect much the same in that. SCIUTTO: And that is the big question, the storm surge on the western

coast of Florida, Tampa area, et cetera. It's hard to predict at this point, but a real danger?

SATER: Well, you know, when he was named last serve Thursday, surfside Miami was in the cone. Again, they made the decision, with the demolition, because even though it was sliding westward, there were sustaining tropical storm force winds. You can get them well off the west, and that is the concern.

You can see the probability of where those storm force winds can be, sure, but it's not zero. In fact, at 3 30 this afternoon, the northern band move towards Miami-Dade, and not only do we have a severe thunderstorm warning for Surfside in Miami-Dade, we also had a tornado warning embedded. That can induce those strong, damaging winds, and that's the fear tomorrow.

Later on tomorrow morning, they're going to be in the worst of it, for the crews on the site. Watch the theater bands, as they develop, coming on to shore. If you are in a band like that, Jim, one thunderstorm after another, lightning, the heavy rainfall and the spin up tornadoes.

I think if they can get through tomorrow afternoon, it will move north, and it will be fined. But, I think it won't be as bad as it they're dealing with, the last 7 to 10 days. So, good news for them, and we watch landfall Wednesday morning.

SCIUTTO: Good to see here. Tom Sater, thanks very much. OUTFRONT next, San Francisco's tallest residential building is sinking, and tilting. It is, of course, getting renewed attention after the condo collapse in Florida.



SCIUTTO: Tonight, a high rise building in San Francisco is, understandably, receiving renewed scrutiny after the Surfside condo collapse in South Florida.

Millennium Tower, the city's tallest residential building, has been sinking, and tilting, for years.

Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With its soaring panoramic views, and world-class amenities, the Millennium Tower in downtown San Francisco, open to great fanfare, in April of 2009. At 58 stories, it's the city's tallest residential building, with over 400 multimillion dollar units. Among its early residence, former NFL quarterback, and 49ers icon, Joe Montana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was billed as one of the top 10 most luxurious buildings in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It had its own gym, its own pool, its own theater.

SIMON: Frank Gernogan, and Andrew Palk (ph), paid more than 4 million for their condo on the 50th floor. 5 years later, they received the troubling news. The high-rise was not only sinking, it was also tilting, as illustrated in this now infamous video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the very first time we did it. He got the marble out and said, I will roll this, and see what it does. It rolls about 10 feet out, slows to a stop, and then turns around, and rolls back, and picks up speed as it goes past him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it was like, oh my God.

SIMON: "60 Minutes" called this 2017 segment, "The Leaning Tower of San Francisco," showing the alarming stress cages and cracks in the building's basement.

The Millennium's current engineer of record, Ronald Hamburger, telling CNN, that as of today, the building has no sunk, and tilted, 18 inches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, my office filed a lawsuit against the developer of the Millennium Tower.

SIMON: After years of lawsuits, hearings, and finger-pointing, a retrofit, announced last October, will anchor the building to bedrock which, to the duration of critics have not been done originally. Instead, the foundation was built into deep sand. Experts determined that adjacent projects at a process called dewatering had weakened the soil under the tower, causing it to sink.

The high-profile ordeal, maybe all the more relevant in the wake of the surfside catastrophe. With questions arising whether some of the nation's buildings might possibly be at risk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people were lying in bed, comfortably at night, with no warning whatsoever. Our hearts just go out to them.

NIALL MCCARTHY, RESIDENTS' ATTORNEY: When you have a high rise that collapses, you have a situation in San Francisco, a high-rise that was sinking, and tilting, and it affects peoples peace of mind.

SIMON: Attorney Niall McCarthy represented about 100 of the tower's residents, who saw their property values plummet. He says that under an agreed settlement, residents received a significant portion of their loss.

In a statement to CNN, Millennium's engineer near said that any potential comparisons between surfside, and the Millennium tower would be, quote, reckless, and premature, adding that the building was designed with earthquake resistance, remain safe, and is in no danger of collapse.

The $100 million fix is said to be completed next year. But, Frank and Andrew won't be there to see its completion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got out our suitcases, we put everything in, and we left.


SIMON (on camera): Even with all of the problems, people of course continue to buy, and still units, inside of the building. As for that hundred-million-dollar project gets underway? It is not designed to repair any damage, according to the plan, but it is designed to prevent the building from sinking any further, and it recovers some of the tilt? How much? About 50 percent of the next couple decades -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Dan Simon, I guess that's progress.

Thanks very much to you for joining us this holiday weekend.

"AC360" starts now.