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CNN Live Event/Special

The Fourth In America; Person Of Interest Arrested In Illinois Parade Mass Shooting; Pitbull And Avril Lavigne Performs In CNN's The Fourth In America; CNN's The Fourth In America. Aired 7:45-9p ET

Aired July 04, 2022 - 19:45   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon in New York.

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: And I'm Dana Bash in Washington.

We have been preparing to bring you CNN's coverage of the Fourth in America. And like all of you, we have been stunned and heartbroken by the deadly shooting at a holiday parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

It is a painful reminder of the challenges we face as a nation as we mark 246 years of independence. Right now, millions of people are gathering across the country, including right here in Washington in the National Mall, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Many of them are seeking answers and action from the leaders who served here in the nation's capital.

But we also recognize that tonight, Americans are coming together in the spirit of celebration to enjoy one another and what's best in America -- Don.

LEMON: Absolutely. And, Dana, I know people here in New York City and in cities from coast to coast, they are standing in solidarity with the loved ones and the victims in Highland Park, and all the victims of gun violence. We do not want to let one bad guy win tonight. We do not want to let one shooter upend the time-honored traditions of this Fourth of July.

So, we are standing by to bring you the very best of the fireworks and the music from holiday events all across the entirety of the United States. We will continue to coverage the news, absolutely, from Illinois. And you can watch on HLN with our very own Wolf Blitzer and on as well -- Dana.

BASH: And, Don, right now, we are going to go here in Washington to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. She's at the National Mall where thousands are getting ready for the fireworks -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dana, it's really good to see you.

It's about 85 degrees out here, people are by the thousands are coming and really kind of braving this weather. There are a couple unique things about being here. First, of course, is the security. You have local officials coming together in concert. A lot of it you can see, a lot you can see behind the scenes.

But these folks have gathered, they have all had to go through security checkpoints, have their bags checked to get this close to the Lincoln Memorial.

Another really unique part about being here in Washington is that there is so many people around the world who have come here to celebrate our country. I have a chance to talk to so many of them today. One woman is from Rwanda who said, despite her flaws and what the U.S. has done, this is the best place.

She became a U.S. citizen. It's her first time celebrating this July 4th fireworks here in Washington. Dana, this is what they are expecting, it is going to happen about 9:09 pm, they're very precise, 17-1/2 minutes long.

It is going to be a spectacular, 6,500 will be launched from outside the reflecting pool on both sides, so intense that we are told if you're on the west side of the pool you should be wearing eye goggles as well as earplugs because it will be that intense. There will be music to accompany it, and, of course, we will bring you that music live with the band and the enthusiasm, the excitement that is just infectious -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Suzanne. You get both of us tonight. You get Dana and you got me as well. We are all here hoping to guide this along.

As well as our Miguel Marquez who's in New York. Miguel, what's the mood in New York?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is ready for a celebration, despite Chicago and that is very much on people's mind here. People have come from around the city, the state, and the country, and the world to be in New York City to watch this fantastic night. I want to show you the cityscape, that New York skyline, the east river here, the barges, they are starting to pull in and get ready to launch this massive fireworks show.

You can see the number of people who are piling in on all of the peers throughout the park here on Long Island City, getting ready for a celebration. Look, it's been a tough two years with COVID and with cities like New York having to cancel these events. We spoke to many people tonight and today who said that, you know, they miss the fireworks a year ago, or two years ago. They are not missing it tonight.

They showed up here starting at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 in the morning to get ready for the best seats in the house here on the East River to watch this.


Police are also prepared. New York City police saying that there are no credible threats to any activity in New York today. They are ready for it. New York does big events. This is a big event, as big as they do in New York. And there are thousands of extra police officers and they will be ready from land, sea, and air to make sure that people in the city are safe tonight.

Back to you.

LEMON: Yeah, you're right, Miguel. We have seen, especially in the air, before you went on the air here, we saw a show of New York City police helicopters flying over. We have seen them on the ground here on foot as well as horseback. And there are, really, hundreds of people from my vantage point to watch on the East River in New York, all of the harbor, the Hudson River as well. They're watching from buildings and venues all over New York City.

So, we are ready. We are going to show you everything that is happening. We are keeping an eye, as we said, on what is happening in Illinois, the tragedy that went on there today, Dana. All right?

So, CNN's "FOURTH IN AMERICA" begins straight ahead.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BASH: We are getting some breaking news right now on the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. Brynn Gingras is standing by with that.

Brynn, what are we learning?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Dana. We just got an update from law enforcement there in Highland Park, Illinois saying that the person of interest that they were looking for, Robert Crimo III, he is now in police custody.

What we learned from that quick update from police just a few minutes ago was that he was spotted in his car by a North Chicago police officer who then tried to call in reinforcement. Crimo allegedly then carried police on for a short pursuit before he was apprehended.

Authorities right now are saying that he is a person of interest because they want to bring him in, they want to have discussions with him, try to see what they can learn about any motivations, any connections to the incident in Highland Park. So, right now, he is considered a person of interest.

But, of course, Dana, this is a manhunt that has been going on since 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, shortly thereafter, when those shots rang out at that parade in Highland Park. But good news for that community, the person of interest who police were looking for since that time in custody with police right now.

BASH: Brynn, thank you so much for that very important update, that very important bit of breaking news. And, Don, the question now is obviously what happens. I believe Don

Lemon is with me as well. What happens in the short term. There is a community that can go into the evening at least breathing a tiny sigh of relief that the man that they think could be responsible -- again, he is a person of interest at this point -- is apprehended.

But the terror and the tragedy and the fear that this community, just like so many communities across this country, have felt is still very palpable on this birthday of America.

LEMON: Yeah, and it's -- you know, the big question of course is going to be to law enforcement and to really everyone, especially the victims' families and the victims, why? Why would this 22-year-old at least person of interest so far go on a shooting spree where he could kill six people and injury many, many more? That's going to be the question.

Just to give our viewers an idea of where this is, this is 25 miles north of Chicago, a city that I know very well, where I worked, I was an anchor there for a number of years. And this is Highland Park, Illinois, a quiet suburb really of Chicago, of the Chicago area.

He was apprehended, Dana, and stopped in Lake Forest, Illinois, they said after a brief pursuit by law enforcement. The big question is again, as I said, why? Why on earth would someone really terrorize a community like this and take lives and now have the entirety of the United States really on high alert, knowing that we are marking July 4th celebrations all over the country.

Our coverage of the fourth in America is going to begin in just moments.

ANNOUNCER: Right now, a celebration of America. 246 years after independence. Excitement is building as the nation prepares for nightfall and a light show from sea to shining sea. Tonight -- the largest fireworks display on television. Dancing to the beat of these celebrated musical acts.

AJR, Ava Max, Avril Lavigne, the B-52s, Def Leppard, The Doobie Brothers, Gloria Estefan, Jason Derulo, Jimmie Allen, Journey, The Lumineers, Machine Gun Kelly, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Pitbull, Santana, Third Eye Blind, T-Pain, Willie Nelson, and the United States Air Force Band, all performing on CNN's "FOURTH IN AMERICA."

LEMON: This is a celebration of freedom, as we look at the Statue of Liberty here.

Welcome, everyone, to the "FOURTH IN AMERICA." and a majestic view of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom this country was founded on 246 years ago. Some of America's most iconic landmarks are lighting up tonight, including the Lincoln Memorial, in our nation's capital. And also the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. It's all in honor of the birthday of the United States of America.

I'm Don Lemon in New York along with my colleague, Dana Bash, who is joining us from Washington. Dana, it is a day of celebration. And quite frankly, it's a day of sadness, as well as we're grappling with the entirety of America, everything that is going on.

BASH: Yes, listen, I mean, there are -- just to be honest, it's awkward given what we have been reporting about what's happening in Highland Park, Illinois, the tragedy there, but it is on the backdrop of the celebrations and people gathering that you're seeing on the screen there at the nation's capital where I am and across the US.

There is heightened concern about security after that deadly shooting, but Americans are absolutely determined to honor America and enjoy the holiday with their loved ones and their friends, and we are waiting for some pretty incredible fireworks right here in DC and where you are, Don, in New York City. The skyline is going to light up very soon.

It's one of more than a dozen fireworks displays that we're going to bring you tonight live from coast to coast.

You're going to see fireworks from Boston, a city so key, of course, to America's battle for independence. Thousands of people are expected to crowd along the Charles River to see the light show up close and in person.

And we're also going to head to the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where fireworks are going to be on display there along with music from the B-52's and Music City, Nashville is throwing one of the biggest holiday parties in the nation. We are going to be there too along with music from Journey and Old Dominion just to name a few.

And Don there is a lot in store for tonight. I know you and I have been very excited about all of the music, never mind the fireworks and we really look forward to sharing it with our viewers.

LEMON: Yes, as you were talking, you just reminded how big the US is, Dana, and we're going to begin with the music of Pitbull though, performing at the BottleRock Napa Valley Festival in California. Here it is.



PITBULL, SINGER: BottleRock, let's rock. Drop that record Xenon.

What an honor to be able to make history with you all. Let's rock.


PITBULL: Let's take a look around. Very cool. Drop that.



BASH: What a fantastic performance from Pitbull, Mr. 305, himself. Thank you so much for that.

And coming up Avril Lavigne, her performance in Milwaukee promises to be a crowd pleaser. She's singing "Complicated," and some other hits.

And in Philadelphia, Ava Max is on stage now. We'll bring you her performance at the city's fireworks spectacular. We're also heading to Fort Lauderdale to see the B-52's heat things up on the beach there.

It's all happening right here on CNN.



LEMON: We are live in Washington and New York and all across the nation for a Fourth of July celebration. The fireworks show on the National Mall begins in about an hour, about an hour from now and we're going to see it -- you're going to see it all here right here on CNN.

Along with fireworks here in New York and other cities from coast to coast, the light show in the Big Apple also coming up very soon, but right now, I want you to pay close attention to this.

This is Avril Lavigne performing her top hits at Summerfest in Milwaukee.






LEMON: The whole country make some noise. Always a great show by Avril Lavigne and that one certainly was. That was definitely on brand.

Avril Lavigne, everyone.

She is by the way out with a new album. It is called "Love Sucks" and she is now on tour.

We are just minutes away from dancing along with the music of Ava Max. Her performance in Philadelphia, that is next.

And fireworks fans lining the National Mall right now. It is almost time for the first light show of the night and that is in Washington, DC.

And the B-52's are revving up the crowd on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. You're going to see their show straight ahead.


BASH: It's America's Independence Day and there is a huge celebration underway in the nation's capitol, we're counting down to fireworks across the country in Washington D.C. where I am and in many other cities including Philadelphia, that's where Ava Max is performing tonight.



BASH: Ava Max, a truly American success story. Her parents are immigrants from Albania and there you see her performing some of her biggest hits. But that's not all we have in store for you. We have so much more.

Up next the B-52's with their hits Love Shack and Roam. Also ahead here in Washington D.C. we are going to kick off our coverage of the best and brightest fireworks from all across the country. All that, plus performances by Jason Derulo, Def Leppard and Machine Gun Kelly. There is something here for all of you on CNN's "Fourth In America."



LEMON: You know, it's great to see so many people turning out to celebrate the Fourth in our nation's capital. They're about to see a spectacular firework show and you're going to see it too. But first here they are the B-52's on the beach in Fort Lauderdale.





BASH: The B-52's they've still got it. Boy does that take us back. That's is their farewell tour across America which kicks off this fall.

Now are you ready for fireworks? Well the first slideshow of the night begins in just minutes on the National Mall right here in the nation's capital, we're going to bring it to you live followed by the fireworks in New York City. And later Machine Gun Kelly performs his hits. It's all here on CNN.



LEMON: The sun is down on the East Coast and we're about to see the first firework show of the night in Washington D.C. This is a "Fourth In America." I'm Don Lemon everyone in New York.

BASH: And what a night it is. I'm Dana Bash in Washington. CNN is covering the celebration from every angle, including security. This is a nation on edge after the deadly shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. And we are of course thinking of the victims there tonight. But this is also an America determined to carry on with this holiday. We have cameras across the city including on the eastern side of the mall near the U.S. Capitol where the inauguration takes place. We also have a view on top of the Washington Monument it is at the center of the National Mall putting you right in the middle of the fireworks when they begin.

Now we are positioned on the western side of the mall as well by the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial that's around the area where the fireworks are launched. And is -- as if all that weren't enough, we have a perch across the Potomac near Arlington, Virginia for some of the most fabulous views of the fireworks. It's all beginning right now with the performance of the national anthem by the United States Air Force Band.