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Person Of Interest Identified In July 4th Parade Shooting; Six Killed, Dozens Injured After Parade Shooting In Illinois; Manhunt Intensifies For Suspect Who Killed Six In Parade Shooting; Holiday Parade Mass Shooting. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired July 04, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's absolutely essential. And then the second is, who is he? Why did he do what he did? How did he get access to the guns in this or anyone else? Is there anyone else?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. All big questions, and we'll see if they're answered. Juliette, thank you so much.
And you've been watching a special edition of The Lead. I'm Kaitlan Collins in for Jake Tapper. And our breaking coverage of this deadly shooting in Highland Park will now continue with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. An urgent manhunt underway this hour as police identify a person of interest in the July 4th parade mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. At least six people are dead and dozens are injured this hour. Chilling new eyewitnesses, their accounts and the details of this brutal, brutal attack.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer and this is a Situation Room special report.
The celebration of America's birthday marred by yet another, another mass shooting here in the United States. And police have just now identified a person of interest in that attack that killed at least six people and injured more than two dozen.
CNN's Adrienne Broaddus is on the scene for us in Highland Park, Illinois. Adrienne, a manhunt is underway right now for this gunman who has just been identified.
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, yes, nearly seven hours after those shots rang out here in Highland Park. We want to get that information to our viewers right away. Investigators have identified a suspect. They say that person's name is Robert Bobby Crimo III. He is a 22-year-old male. Investigators believe he is driving a 2010 silver Hyundai Fiat with Illinois plates, D like dog, M like Mary, and the number 80653.
Investigators gave us this information, this latest update about ten minutes ago. They did not tell us what led them to believe this is their person of interest, not saying if they received a tip, not saying whether or not they heard from family members. We know earlier in the day, during one of those updates, investigators told us they were looking into weapon that was left behind, trying to find out who manufactured it and who, if anyone, was last legal gun owner, this, after that shooting.
A 4th of July parade here in Highland Park, six people died, five of them here on the scene. If you look behind me, it raining now. You could probably see that. But people left all of their belongings behind as they ran for cover.
I've been speaking with families throughout the day. We'll hear from them later. But, first, this is the severe warning from members of law enforcement at this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CMDR. CHRIS O'NEILL, HIGHLAND PARK POLICE: While no one is in custody at this time, a very active apprehension effort is currently underway. Individuals with knowledge of the incidents, persons of interests and including photo or video evidence from the scene or area are encouraged to share them with the FBI by calling 800-CALL-FBI. That is 800-Call-FBI. Regular updates are also being posted on the city website at www.cityhpil.com.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROADDUS: Meanwhile, just moments ago, before we got that update, we heard from a mother who returned to the scene. She said she woke to a text learning her seven-year-old daughter who was here at the parade witnessed possibly that shooting. Listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELLE PETTIBONE, DAUGHTER WAS AT PARADE: I have to feel like I had a mini heart attack because I woke up to a text saying that we were just involved in a shooting at the parade in Highland Park, but we're all okay and Sofia (ph) is okay and it really scared me.
I was like, I'm glad you guys left the area and, again, I am so glad that all of you guys are okay. I'm so happy for that. And he said, I am also very grateful and I told him to give Sofia (ph) big hugs for me. That could have been her and it really just tears me apart to think anybody could -- I don't know who lost their lives today, but for kids to keep losing their lives, it is just really scary, especially as a mother because that is all you hear about nowadays.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROADDUS: Meanwhile, again, police have identified a person of interest. That is a 22-year-old male.
They released the license plate. They believe that person has left the area and is driving. If you see anything, investigators want you to know that this person, they believe, is armed and dangerous. Wolf?
BLITZER: And they identified the suspect as Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M- O, III. As you correctly point out, 22 years old. He is clearly right now, the police say, quote, on the loose.
Adrienne Broaddus in Highland Park for us, Adrienne, thank you very much. We'll get back to you shortly.
I want to get some more now on the breaking news. CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is joining us, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow is with us, and CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, the former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, is with us as well.
Chief Ramsey, how are authorities using the evidence they've collected so far to not only they've identified the suspect, this person of interest, this 22-year-old male, but to actually go ahead and find this suspect.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, they've done an awful lot of work since this took place. Apparently, they traced the firearm, found the last person that purchased it, that is my understanding, that that person not only purchased that assault weapon but also other firearms as well, handguns. That is why they're saying they should consider the individual armed and dangerous.
Right now, I'm sure they've got teams out combing the area. Secret -- not Secret Service, ATF, FBI, Highland police, sheriff, state police, you name it, they have formed into teams and they are going everywhere they believe this person could possibly be. And right now, since they have a tag, a license tag, as well as a vehicle, that is being flashed on highways in the tri-state area, I'm sure, trying to get their hands on this guy. Because, remember, tonight is fireworks in a lot of locations too. He is still not in custody. So, they're trying to grab him as quickly as possible.
BLITZER: Yes, that is certainly priority number one. Andrew McCabe, you're the former FBI deputy director. Tell us what else is going on behind the scenes as authorities try to locate this individual, this suspect, because we know the FBI is deeply involved right now, right?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, Wolf. We've heard that from the beginning of this horrible tragedy. So, what the bureau is doing is kind of pushing out in a bunch of different directions. The first is they have analysts and folks in the office who are scouring any sign of social media that this person might have been involved with.
It could provide some sort of a tip to associates or locations or things like that that should be checked. They're absolutely talking to his family members, anybody, any folks that he might live with, friends, maybe work associates, everyone that could possibly connect to this guy, they'll be talking to, both to see if any of those folks might be helping him but also to get leads as to where they think he might have gone.
And then, finally, of course, identifying what we call facilities. Those are email accounts, social media accounts, telephone numbers, things like that, and they'll look at electronic surveillance of those facilities to see if this guy pops his head up, makes a phone call, sends an email or a text to someone like that that might give some sort of an indication of where he is, or that could be used to locate him through cell towers. So, there is a lot of work going on right now.
BLITZER: As you know, Jonathan Wackrow, the law enforcement authorities on the scene right now, they just said they're shortly going to put out a photo or photos of the suspect. How important will that be for the manhunt?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this is going to be critical, Wolf. Because what law enforcement is doing is, as their running the investigative process, they actually need the public's help. And think that that is why, and I don't know if we have the number, but we've heard from law enforcement on the ground that their asking the public to identify if they have seen anything, seen this suspect. The photo, the description of the car is really going to help. 800-CALL-FBI, that's 225-534. It's critical right now. The more information that the public and aid law enforcement on to help capture the suspect is critical.
BLITZER: And, Chief Ramsey, we know the authorities want as much information out there as possible to locate the suspect right now. They want the news media, for example, to keep mentioning his name, Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, III, 22 years old and they're going to be releasing this picture, because they really do need the public's help in locating this individual, right?
RAMSEY: Yes, there is no question about that. And that photo should be coming out fairly soon. Remember, during the Boston bombing, what really led to the apprehension of the individuals was when they put the picture out. I mean, it is critically important that they get as much information out as possible to the public, someone, somewhere, will spot him and lead authorities to him to make an arrest, hopefully.
BLITZER: And, Andrew McCabe, police say, and they just said they're making what they call significant progress in the investigation, but aren't revealing everything that they're learning, at least not yet. What is the strategy behind keeping some of that information confidential?
MCCABE: Well, it is a very delicate balance, Wolf. You want to be able to do some of your investigative steps covertly because you don't want the subject to know if you've developed information, like a place that he stays with his girlfriend or a friend's house or things like that. You want to be able to set up covert surveillance on locations that you think he might turn up. But at the same time, as Chief Ramsey and Jonathan mentioned, you also want to crowd source the identification of this guy. That is why you put the photographs out and you ask for calls to that number that Jonathan just put out. So, you really -- they're trying to do both things at same time to give us enough information, to work the crowd source angle but to keep back those very important investigative details to give the investigators a leg up on where this guy might go next.
BLITZER: You know, Jonathan, they clearly -- they obviously want to find this suspect as quickly as possible. They're saying he's armed and dangerous. What kind of time window, timeframe are authorities working in right now?
WACKROW: Well, it is a hurry-up offense here, Wolf, right? When you put out that somebody is armed and dangerous, unmitigated in the community, law enforcement is working as quick as possible to try to get this individual into custody. They're using they're investigative process aided by the public to try to get -- contain this threat.
Something I just want to just jump back on what Andy had said just a moment ago is really looking in the investigative process. A 22-year- old male probably has a very big digital footprint online and that social media, emails, blog postings, YouTube, investigators right now are combing through all of that information again, get directional information on where this person may be going, who may be aiding him and who he may be reaching out to and monitoring all of those facilities as well.
So, again, there is a lot of different aspects of the investigation, in addition to the crime scene itself, which law enforcement has to continue to process and it will probably take through the evening to clear that site as well.
BLITZER: Yes. They clearly need to find the suspect as quickly as possible. Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, III, once again, 22 years old.
Chief Ramsey, thanks very much. Jonathan Wackrow and Andrew McCabe, thanks you to both of you as well.
Armed and very dangerous, that is what they are describing this suspect as we now know identity of what's being called a person of interest in this horrific mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. We have got brand-new reporting straight ahead on what federal authorities are doing to hunt him down.
Stay with us. You're in The Situation Room.
BLITZER: The breaking news right now, police announcing just a little while ago that they have identified what they're calling a person of interest in the July 4th parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, earlier today, shooting that killed six people and injured dozens. Tonight, federal officials are helping with the investigation.
CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez is joining us with details. Evan, tell our viewers what you're learning.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, right now, the FBI is trying to help the local authorities there collect as much evidence as possible, including from witness videos, which is likely going to be key in trying to salvage exactly how this went down, everything that happened. One of the things the FBI is doing there right now is helping the local authorities gather as much video evidence perhaps from surveillance cameras.
This is the location of where the shooting took place today, is a commercial district, so you can bet that there is going to be a ton of surveillance videos that the FBI can help the local investigators go through process, trying to figure out if they could find this suspect when he first arrived there, whether there is any sign that he may have come in the last few days to case the location, you know, to see how much planning went into these events that went down today.
The FBI setting up a page, fbi.gov/highlandpark is where they want the public to upload any videos, any pictures, anything that they have from the scene today that could be helpful for the investigation going forward.
Wolf, obviously, the top priority now is to try to find this person, to arrest the person, bring them in and make sure that there is no more harm brought to anybody else in the community. The FBI obviously is going to be helpful with that.
We know that the president earlier this afternoon, Wolf, said that he was surging federal resources to help with this investigation. That includes having the ATF help trace the firearm, the long gun that was left behind. It appears to have been the firearm that was used from that rooftop perch shooting down at the victims there on the parade route.
Obviously, the Justice Department has a lot of resources, including the U.S. Marshals. I haven't heard yet whether they've been brought in to help, Wolf, but you know that they are specialists at tracking down people. And so you have got to bet that they will be brought -- the resource will be brought in to help try to find this suspect, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. We know the federal government is deeply involved right now in this manhunt.
CNN's Evan Perez, thank you very, very much. The FBI, ATF very much involved.
Our special breaking news coverage continues straight ahead. People ran for cover after the gunman opened fire and there were children among the injured. What we're learning, we have details, that's just ahead.
Stay with us. You're in The Situation Room.
BLITZER: More now on the breaking news, a person of interest just identified by police in Highland Park, Illinois, where a gunman shot and killed six people and injured more than two dozen people at the town's July 4th parade. Tonight, we're learning more about the victims.
CNN National Correspondent Brynn Gingras is working that part of the story for us. So, Brynn what are you finding out?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf. So we learned from law enforcement, the coroner actually, that five of those victims that were killed, again, there is a total of six, were found dead there on the scene. All of them have been identified. And, now they're working to get in touch with family members to let them know about this, but all of them were also adults.
We also know that one person was transported to the hospital and died there at the hospital. It was unclear by the coroner the age of that person.
So, also within the past about 45 minutes or so, we got an update from NorthShore Highland Park Hospital, which is -- there are three hospitals in that area where parents were brought to by ambulance but they received the most of the victims. And they tell us 26 patients came in to their hospital, all but one of them, Wolf, had gunshot wounds. And they varied from limbs, they varied from the abdomen, all over different parts, some of them were critical.
But if there is any encouraging news, most of them, 19, in fact, we're told by the doctors there, were treated and then discharged from the hospital. So, that gives you kind of a sense of what they were dealing with in the immediate aftermath of this shooting.
The ages of those victims range from 8 years old to 85 years old. Again, we're talking about the gunshot wound victims and others who arrived at this one singular hospital in that area. And out of that total, about four or five of them were children.
So, again, this gives you a sense of what they were dealing with in the aftermath. The doctors say that they went immediately into a code yellow. I was talking to hospital officials who said they brought in trauma surgeons and regular surgeons and nurses within half an hour. They were just flooded with that area trying to help out all of those who needed help and they were actually really helped out by the people there that helped each other there on the scene. Paramedics say there were people applying tourniquets trying to help those with injuries.
And I want you to hear from a nurse, because this is something they say they practice for, right, these sort of trauma situations, possible mass level casualties. I want you to hear how they reacted to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARB CROAK, NURSE, NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: Multiple nurses taking care of one patient at a time, because there are family members, emotional support is needed, advanced trauma care, advanced emergency care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRAS: And, of course, that care is going to continue now into the evening, Wolf.
Again, six people killed in this horrific shooting, all of them at the scene. Five have been identified. And now officials are doing that painstakingly horrible, horrific task of trying to identify who their family members are and getting in touch with them.
BLITZER: And once those family members have been notified, they will release publicly the names, right?
GINGRAS: Yes, exactly.
BLITZER: Brynn, we'll stay very close touch with you, heartbreaking story indeed.
Let's bring back our law enforcement experts right now. Chief Ramsey, police say the suspect apparently fired from a rooftop. Does that tell you anything about the gunman's level of preparation and his potential capabilities?
RAMSEY: Yes. I mean, he apparently scouted this out before. My understanding is there is a ladder that leads to the roof of this particular business, so he had been there before, no doubt, took a look at it, knew that would be the site that he would set up. I mean, it is a sniper. This was what he was. And he picked off people, helpless people in the crowd.
So, you know, this is a person who obviously needs to be captured, needs to be captured as soon as possible. I'm sure the police have already visited every site that they believe he may be in right now that they know of any way since they've identified him, and now they're asking for the public's help.
BLITZER: Yes. Random shooting because elderly people were shot, kids were shot, horrible situation on this July 4th here in the United States.
Andrew McCabe, police say the shooting does appear to be random, not being investigated, at least not now, as terrorism. How could officials rule out potential motives at this early stage?
MCCABE: Well, you really can't, Wolf. And, unfortunately, we have so many mass shootings to compare this to just in the last few months. In some cases, like the shooting in the grocery store in Buffalo, the racial motivation was imminently obvious from the very beginning. So, cases like that, it is easier for authorities to understand what the motive is at the beginning of the investigation.
In other cases, you have to do some work. You typically have to find this person. You have to look through any evidence they might have left, writings they might have left, messages with other people, talk to their friends and associates (INAUDIBLE) and what motivated them to do such a horrific thing.
So, it is really -- they're not -- when they say they don't believe it is terrorism, it probably reflects the fact that they don't have any solid evidence at this point that it is terrorism. But in terms of ruling anything out, I think it is probably a little bit premature.
BLITZER: I think you're right. Jonathan Wackrow, how much danger does this so-called person of interest pose to the general public right now as long as he's still at large?
WACKROW: Well, it poses significant danger, Wolf. I mean, he killed and murdered six people earlier today and wounded dozens others. I mean, he's an unmitigated threat that's out there in the community.
But let's give the benefit to law enforcement right now. They worked very quickly to identify who he is. They know that network of potential support that he may be trying to leverage as he's on the run right now. I mean, listen, I think it is just a matter of time that this individual comes into custody of the police. I mean, and they're closing in very quickly.
I think what we have to look at, though, is when we think about those motives and we have to think about this pathway to violence of this individual because that is going to be a key factor in will this individual lash out again at any of the other public events on this holiday this evening. What is his motive right now? Is it to try to create as much harm around the community as possible?
And I think that investigators are quickly looking into his past to look at potential grievances, violent ideas and other aspects and key indicators to what is he going to do next. That is why it is so critical that we mitigate this threat right away.
BLITZER: I want all of you, Chief Ramsey, Jonathan Wackrow, Andrew McCabe, to stand by. Much more on all of the breaking news coming up.
Just ahead, President Biden is also expressing shock at this latest mass shooting here in the United States, as the nation grapples with an epidemic of gun violence. We'll go live to the White House right after this.
BLITZER: Police have just released a photo of the suspect, what they're calling a person of interest in this mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, six people shot and killed. Here is the picture of the individual identified by local law enforcement authorities as Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, III. They say he is 22 years old and he is on the loose. They described him as armed and dangerous right now. If you see this individual or you know this individual, or you have information, this is what you need to do. You either call the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI, or go online to www.fbi.gov/highlandpark with any information you may have about this person of interest, this suspect, Robert E. Crimo III.
Let's show the picture one more time. Take a look at this picture. If you see this individual, remember, he is considered to be armed and dangerous. So, be very, very careful.
All of this unfolding as President Biden now saying that he and the first lady are shocked, like so many of us, by the senseless gun violence that has killed six innocent, wonderful people in Highland Park, Illinois.
Let's go to our Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly. Phil, tell us what the president said.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden has spoken to the governor of Illinois, spoken to the mayor of Highland Park, pledging all of the resources the federal government can provide as they work through this very trying moment, and also perhaps, most importantly, a surge in federal law enforcement as the manhunt continues. The president also gathering today on the south lawn to celebrate the 4th of July alluding to the shooting that occurred a few hours prior. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Before I left for Europe, I signed a law, the first real gun safety law in 30 years. And things will get better still, but not without more hard work together. You all heard what happened. You all heard what happened today. And each day, we're reminded there is nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life. We have to fight for I, defend it and earn it by voting, to refine, evolve and extend a calling of America to move forward boldly and unafraid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Wolf, the president referencing the most substantive gun reform legislation to pass and be signed into law in more than 30 years, legislation that was put together in the wake of two other mass shootings. This type of situation, the president has dealt with so many times in his first 18 months in office. The president making clear as he continues to monitor the situation from today, he believes more work needs to be done when it comes to gun safety. Wolf?
BLITZER: Gun violence in the United States, obviously a horrible, horrible situation, according to Gun Violence Archive, more than 300 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year alone. Phil Mattingly at the White House for us, thank you very much.
Let's turn to a congressman from the state of Texas, which, of course, is still shaken from the massacre in Uvalde. Democrat Colin Allred has been outspoken on the polarizing issue of gun reform. He's joining us right now. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
I know your home state of Texas just suffered this terrible massacre in Uvalde. What is your reaction to yet another community being shattered by a horrific mass shooting?
REP. COLIN ALLRED (D-TX): Well, good afternoon, Wolf. This is just terrible. And what we're seeing is we're being denied the ability as Americans for us to gather anywhere in any numbers with any feeling of safety. Whether that is a 4th of July parade or dropping our kids off at school or going to our place of worship, everywhere we gather is now becoming a target for these mass shootings.
And as a responsible government, as a country, that I think it is the greatest one in the world, we have to make these places safe. We have had two years where we were separate, we couldn't come together, also they're trying to come back together now, and they're doing it under the fear that something like this may happen.
BLITZER: Yes, on July 4th, the day of independence, the day we celebrate our independence.
And this is supposed to be a happy day, and all of a sudden there is a mass shooting like this.
What does it say about gun violence in our country, Congressman, that a mass shooting can tear apart almost any community at any time even on the 4th of July?
ALLRED: Right. This is one of the safest communities in the country, Wolf. And it is still happened here. It could happen anywhere in the United States. And so we obviously have more work to do.
The president was right to point to the first time in 30 years that we've passed substantive gun control legislation to try and do something about this epidemic that we're waiting, but we obviously are going to have to keep pushing.
It makes no sense to me, for example, that the liability shield is still in place for these gun manufacturers. I think we've passed that in 2005. They're now basically, entirely shielded from any kind of civil liability. With the Supreme Court recent ruling, that may be one of the only avenues we can go down to try and find some way to make our streets, our places of gathering, anywhere where folks are in any numbers safer.
BLITZER: All right. The governor, Pritzker, of Illinois is speaking right now at a news conference. I want to listen in, Congressman. Stand by.
GOV. J. B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Our troopers will continue the investigation and search until the job is done. To the residents of Highland Park and surrounding communities, this murderer will be brought to justice. But until that happens, please follow instructions from local authorities on how best to keep you and your families safe and please know that every resource at the state's disposal will be available to you in the days and weeks ahead as you recover from this horrific tragedy.
A little while ago, I spoke with President Biden who pledged all support the White House can provide. The president agrees with me, this madness must stop. This morning, a gunman opened fire on a July 4th parade in Highland Park, taking six innocent lives, leaving at least 24 people in the hospital, traumatizing countless children and families and shattering the peace of this community. The families of six individuals woke up today to join a community celebration of our nation's independence. They will go to bed tonight less than whole.
There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle. There are no words I can offer to lessen the pain of those families who will no longer associate the 4th of July with celebration but instead with grief. Please know that our state grieves with you, that M.K. and I and our family grieve with you.
It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague. A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we as a nation refuse to uphold, the freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence.
You know what I love about 4th of July? We celebrate the founding of this wonderful nation by gathering with family and friends and enjoying parades and fireworks. Our cameras on days like this are filled with messy faces and reckless smiles and pretty sunsets, an effort to bottle up that unique feeling of sun-filled joy. That is what evil took from us today. That is what gun violence robs us of no matter the neighborhood or the city it erupts in.
If you're angry today, I'm here to tell you be angry. I'm furious. I'm furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. I'm furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today. I'm furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I'm furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I'm furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet, we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen.
While we celebrate the 4th of July just once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly -- yes, weekly, American tradition. There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns.
I'm telling you, there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now. It is the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our Founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don't think a single one of them would have said that you have a
constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine. Or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.
Yes, I'm angry. We as a nation deserve better. Let us pray for the injured and those who are still in the hospital tonight. And may the memory of those we lost today be a blessing and a call to action.
I want to turn the podium over to our Senator Tammy Duckworth.
SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): Thank you, Mr. Governor.
This morning, I got up, like most Americans, like the families of the six who were killed, to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those six families no longer have that opportunity. My heart goes out to those families who will never see their loved ones again. And I've made it clear to both Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering that I would do whatever I could at the federal level to get them the resources they need not just to catch a shooter but to help Highland Park recover from this tragedy.
I was just on the phone with Senator Durbin who is driving here as quickly as he possibly can to come to Highland Park. And he also sends his condolences and his thoughts and, you know, he and I recently in the Senate last month proved that bipartisan compromise on gun safety is possible. Today, we have seen that we can't just stop there. We have to do more to keep our community safe. We have to get rid of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and so many other additional common sense reforms that wide majority of Americans are crying out for.
And so today, I will go home and hug my babies a little tighter in gratefulness that they are safe. But I think about the babies and the families who lost moms and dads and grandparents today. And we must and must do more. I just listened to the sound of that gunfire from one of the videos that was captured.
And let me tell you that the last time I heard a weapon with that capacity firing that rapidly on a Fourth of July was Iraq. It was not the United States of America. We can and we should and we will do better.
So I just want to thank the mayor for everything that she's done. The president sends -- he gave me a call as well. The White House did. And we also just spoke to the secretary of homeland security who also have pledged to send all of the resources that we need.
With that I'm going to turn this back over to Governor Pritzker.
PRITZKER: I could take a couple of questions.
CMDR. CHRIS O'NEILL, HIGHLAND PARK POLICE: So there is not an update right now. So give us a little time to have our officers and detectives and continue their work. We're working diligently and as hard as we can. These things move very, very quickly and a lot of information is coming in rapidly. We're trying to start through what is credible and not credible in our pursuit of the person of interest.
So, nothing new as we stand here but as soon as we know something new, we'll definitely bring it to.
BLITZER: So there you have it. Very strong, very powerful words from Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and from Senator Tammy Duckworth also from Illinois.
The anguish, the horror, it is really hard to believe that this is still happening in our country right now. This murderer will be brought to justice, Governor Pritzker said. This madness must stop.
And he told everyone watching right now, be angry. Be angry. Those were his words. And we just heard once again put up on the screen, the image, the picture of this person of interest. There he is, Robert E. Crimo, C-R-I-M-O, III.
This is the person they're looking for. They consider him to be armed and dangerous. They say he's 22 years old and believe he was responsible for this mass killing in Highland Park, Illinois, a community I know very, very well. This is all very personal for me. I got relatives who live there and I've been there many times over the years, beautiful community outside of Chicago.
And it's so heartbreaking to see what's going on in Highland Park, Illinois. Just weeks ago, my hometown of Buffalo, New York witnessed a mass madder. Especially, as, I say, very personal for me, whether Highland Park, Illinois, or Buffalo, New York. It's an awful situation.
Representative Colin Allred is still with us, Democrat of Texas, who has been very much involved in this sensitive issue of guns in America. What's your reaction to what we heard from the governor and senator, congressman?
REP. COLIN ALRED (D-TX): I was struck by, you know, Senator Duckworth saying she would know well, the last time she heard gunfire of that capacity was when she was in Iraq and now we're seeing it in a weekly basis ringing out in streets across the United States. At issue here, of course, in almost every single one of these shootings and I'm not sure that the firearm has been identified in this one, but we know that as most often, the AR-15, the prevalence of it, so attractive to these mass shooters.
We clearly have to address something around this and as I said, I'm proud of the vote I took recently on gun safety, first time in 30 years on breaking the ice, on getting something done on a bipartisan fashion. But clearly cannot stop here, Wolf, and I'm -- you know, it's personal to you, but it's personal every week for another community in the United States, for someone else, it becomes personal, thinking what you would do if you were there at a parade with your children.
I got a three and one-year-old, when my wife and I consider going to a parade, we do think about what happens if this occurs? That's the kind of conversations Americans are having on a weekly basis right now.
BLITZER: And I think it's fair to say, only in America, Congressman, correct me if I'm wrong, is it so easy for an individual to go out there and purchase and get an assault weapon that can kill so many people along these lines. Is that right?
ALLRED: Yeah. Yes, and, well, at least the prevalence of it and the ability to get it with such little, you know, kind of preclearance. And we see so many of these being sold here in the United States, being marketed. The marketing around it, I think, is completely irresponsible.
And that's why I mention dealing with the civil liability shield that these gun manufacturers were granted in 2005 by the Congress because every other field of products liability if there was a product in the United States causing this much carnage, this much carnage, it would be subject to civil litigation. It would have lawsuits brought around the way it was marketed, the way it was kept safe, around who they were targeting, who was getting their hands on it.
That has not occurred because the gun manufacturers are shielded by a law from Congress from liability. We can also undo that shield and I think we should.
BLITZER: All right, Congressman, thank you so much for all you're doing. Thank you so much for joining us. Once again, I wish we were meeting under different circumstances. A horrific other mass shooting this time in Highland Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago.
For all the latest on the investigation into the deadly mass shooting, I want to check in with CNN's Brian Todd. He's joining us from the magic wall here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Brian, update our viewers.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we want to give viewers an idea of the areas where the key activity took place as the shooting unfolded.
First, establishing here Highland Park, you just mentioned it, a suburb north of Chicago, 25 miles due north of downtown Chicago. That's where we start in the broader context, here. Let's go to the parade route. This is where we can pinpoint some key activity according to witness accounts and official accounts of what happened today.
First, the parade route, according to the city's website was to start here at the corner of Laurel Avenue and St. Johns Avenue, was to go north, then turn left, head west on Central Avenue, go all the way down and then and at Sunset Woods Park there. But what we can tell you from witness accounts telling us some of the activity occurred in this area here. Now, we have to stress these are witness accounts, not always
accurate. Officials have not formally discussed the exact location of where they believe the shooter was. According to one witness named Jeff Leon, he said he was sitting in front of a store called the blue mercury, right here. He was sitting in front of that. He believes the shooter was either across the street from him or -- that's when he told CNN earlier today.
Another witness name Zoe told CNN that when police were clearing the area and trying people to safety, they got them into us store called the Gear Head Outfitters.
It used to be called Uncle Dan's Sporting Goods. But this is where police took people for safety. Another witness said they believe the shooting occurred near Walker Brother's Original Pancake House, so we can tell you that according to witness accounts, some key activity is here. Here is aerial video of the area we are talking about.
See that right there? That's the Blue Mercury, that's where that one witness, Jeff Leon, said he was sitting. We do know when the video goes down here, there are buildings across the street here.
Another official told us the shooter had access to a building through an unsecured ladder in an alley. That's the only clue we have right now as to how the shooter got up to possibly get to one of these rooftops. There you see some of the roof tops were all this activity could've been taking place. It looks like this area here, near that Blue Mercury store, is a key focus of where investigators are looking for where that trigger might have been.
BLITZER: All right. Brian, stay with us. We will stay in close touch with you. Brian Todd reporting for us.
The breaking news here in the situation room continues next with the latest on the 4th of July parade mass shooting and the search for the suspect. That's happening right now. We have new details. We will share them with you when we come back.