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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  July 5, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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-- captions by vitac -- hello, everyone, i'm alisyn camerota. welcome to "cnn newsroom." victor is off today. highland park authorities just released new details about the mass shooting at their fourth of july parade where six people were killed. a police official said the 21-year-old shooting suspect planned this attack for weeks. 38 people were wounded. according to police, the suspect had a second rifle in his car and more weapons at home. he purchased the weapons locally and legally. he used a high-powered rifle to
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fire roughly 70 rounds into the crowd. a recording captured the barrage of gunfire, and i want to warn you, it's disturbing. the very first thing you'll hear are the shots, and then you'll see all the innocent people running for their lives. [ gunshots ] >> it's just mayhem. just mayhem. officers arrested the suspect -- yeah, the suspected gunman, about six hours after the rampage. highland park authorities also revealed how he was able to go on the run using a disguise. >> during the attack, crimo was dressed in women's clothing, and investigators do believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and
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help him during the escape with the other people who were fleeing the chaos. >> cnn security correspondent josh campbell is in highland park for us. josh, we've seen this horror movie so many times before. it's sickening to everyone on the ground, to all of us. is there any information yet on what was wrong with this 21-year-old suspect? why he would do this? >> reporter: i know from talking to law enforcement sources that this suspect had a very robust digital footprint, including one post that was an animation of sorts involving a character that resembled the shooter conducting an attack. again, this character animation, there were also posts about blood and other, you know, troubling things, raising questions about whether there were warning signs here that someone should have picked up on. now, we heard just a short time ago from police, learning quite a bit about what happened before, during, and after this fatal july 4th attack. we're told that this suspect was
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planning this for a matter of weeks, according to police. he went to this location, up on to a rooftop near the parade route, a sniper nest-type situation, firing down on that crowd. we're also told that a level of that planning also included dressing in women's clothing in order to help try to blend into this crowd, and as the panic ensued and people were escaping, he was rushing out of there, was able to get out of that location. also learning a lot about the type of weaponry that was used in the attack. of course, it will surprise none of us hearing a lot of those rounds, the rapid fire. this was an ar-15-style weapon, the same type of weapon we've seen in so many mass shootings. take a listen to the deputy chief talking about the weapons they found. >> he was in possession of the firearm the day of, the rifle. he was in possession of another rifle in his vehicle when he was pulled over by police. he also had other firearms that were recovered from a residence that he was living in.
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>> chris, all in his name? >> they were in his name. they were legally purchased. >> reporter: so, an ar-15-style rifle legally obtained by this suspect. finally, we're also learning about the circumstances of the actual arrest itself. now, i can tell you, i was over near the crime scene whenever we were watching, i was watching the posture of police, and they barrelled out of there going about fife ve miles down the ro. i followed the s.w.a.t. team where we saw a police officer was able to stop that vehicle. he was safely taken into custody. we're told it was a tip from the public. obviously, we in the media have been pushing out that information about the suspect, about the vehicle, an alert citizen saw that, called 911. to the question of motive, that remains ongoing. i asked the deputy chief whether the suspect is cooperating. they said he is talking to law enforcement. they're not yet prepared to announce what it is he is saying. that part about the motive remains ongoing. >> josh campbell, thaunk you fo your reporting. cnn's ed lavandera is also in
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highland park for us. ed, i know you're learning about some of the people who were killed. tell us their stories. >> reporter: well, so far, alisyn, we've been able to identify two of the six victims in this shooting. the first person i want to tell you about is 78-year-old nicolas toledo. he is a father of eight, a grandfather to many, as his family says in a gofundme page. he's described as adventurous, creative, funny, and loving. he was there at the parade with his family, and they said it was supposed to be a fun day that turned into a, quote, horrific nightmare. we've also learned about jackie sundheim, the leadership at the synagogue that she belongs to here in the highland park area, north shore congregation israel, identified her as one of the victims and said that she had worked at the synagogue there as a staff member, working as a preschool teacher and an events coordinator. now, there were dozens more who were injured in this attack, many of them treated at at least
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three different hospitals. we are told by hospital officials that in all, there were about 39 victims in addition to the 6 people that were killed. and as of right now, we are told that nine of those people still remain hospitalized. the range in age from 14 into their 70s and one of those people is a 69-year-old man who remains in critical condition. so, still a great deal of work to save the lives of people who were also wounded in this attack, and that work continues here at this hour, alisyn. >> okay, ed lavandera, thank you for that update. a doctor caught in the chaos in highland park described the injuries that he treated. >> the people who were gone were blown up by that gunfire. >> blown up? >> blown up. blown up. the horrific scene of some of the bodies is unspeakable for the average person. some of the bodies were -- there
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was an evisceration injury from the power of this gun and the bullets. there was another person who had an unspeakable head injury. unspeakable. unspeakable. >> my next guest also helped care for those wounded on the scene. dr. wendy is an anesthesiologist and was at the parade when this happened. doctor, thank you so much for being here. as i understand it, you heard the shots, you saw the people running, and you ran up to the police to say, what can i do? and what did they tell you? >> that's correct. thank you for having me. this is such a tragic incident, but that's correct. i was sitting probably -- i actually was awaiting for my family to show up at the parade, and i was probably underneath where the shooter was firing. he was firing across the street. and at the time the shots
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ceased, multiple people jumped up and rushed in to help in every way they could. anybody who had, you know, any medical background from first aid to physicians all jumped in to action to do whatever they could to help the situation. >> we just heard from another doctor who was on the scene who wouldn't even describe what he saw because the injuries were so unspeakable. i know that you found a man who was grievously injured, and you were trying to help him. what did you do for him? what were you able to do for him? >> well, unfortunately, i wasn't able to do enough, but at the time that people were springing into action, i did identify myself as a physician anesthesiologist to the paramedics and the first responders, and they showed me to the most critical person at that time, who was this gentleman. cpr was in progress. people were holding pressure on
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an abdominal wound that he was profusely bleeding from. the paramedics had a bag, a mask attached to a bag, which i could then breathe through the patient. cpr continued. we had a large i.d. started in the field. we were able to give him some iv fluid to replenish, you know, to hopefully replace some of the blood he was losing. the paramedics then showed up, and we put him in the ambulance and we continued all the same treatments until we arrived at the hospital, at which point he -- we took him into the hospital, and we spent about another 20 to 30 minutes working on him, but unfortunately, he had lost way too much blood, and his injuries were too severe, and he did perish at the hospital. >> i'm so sorry. i'm sorry to hear that. i mean, you are, as we said, an anesthesiologist. i imagine you've been part of very serious surgeries in your career. have you ever seen injuries like
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this? oh, doctor, i don't know if you can still hear us. all right, we'll get back to the doctor as soon as we can. meanwhile, police are still searching for a motive in this attack. next up, the role of social media, all of the warning signs that were missed. plus, it wasn't just highland park. philadelphia and new york, just some of the other cities that saw mass shootings yesterday. ♪ ♪ ♪ real luxury, real thrill. feel the rush of performance at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. for people who are a little intense about hydration.
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we're barely into july. there were at least seven mass shootings yesterday alone. nearly every corner of the country has had one this year, from coast to coast. there's no place to hide anymore. among some of the targets, a school, a church, a hotel, a hospital, a barbecue, a parade. philadelphia's police union is offering $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the gunman behind yesterday's shooting of two police officers. one officer suffered an injury to his shoulder. the other, a wound to his forehead. social media video apparently filmed from a nearby building, shows crowds running as light from police cars flashed. philadelphia's mayor says he's fed up with the gun violence. >> this is a gun country. it's crazy. we're the most armed country in world history, and we're one of the least safe. so, you know, until americans decide that they want to give up t the guns and give up the opportunity to get guns, we're
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going to have this problem. >> police in kenosha, wisconsin, are investigating another july 4th mass shooting. they says they encountered a chaotic scene at a house where the gunfire erupted. so far, no suspects in custody there, no known motive. president biden ordered flags lowered to half staff today at the white house. public buildings and military posts to honor the victims of yesterday's mass shooting in highland park. they will remain lowered through saturday. cnn's senior white house correspondent phil mattingly joins me now. phil, is the president planning to go to highland park? >> reporter: yeah, alisyn, he was asked this morning. he said he didn't know yet, but if he does, it would certainly track with something that has become almost one of the more routine, if tragic, issues that the president has been dealing with over the course of his first 16, 17, 18 months in office. the flags are lowered to half-mast. the president signs a resolution. he travels to a place of a mass shooting. he grieves with families. he meets with families. and then he calls for action. now, after the last set of
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shootings in buffalo and in uvalde, that call for action actually resulted in legislation. the most significant gun safety legislation in more than three decades. the president signed it into law just a couple weeks ago, and yet here the country is again. last night, the president -- the white house fourth of july celebration with military families, he called for a moment of silence. he referred to the shooting, made clear more needs to be done, more work needs to be done. legislatively, doesn't seem like there's a lot of possibility of that happening after what just occurred, but all you hear when you talk to white house officials is, it just keeps happening again and again. the one brief moment of kind of bipartisan triumph and hope when it comes to guns has been very quickly washed away by yet another mass shooting, and it's something that white house officials know, whether it's taking the flags down to half-mast or planning a presidential trip, it will certainly be happening again at some point. we'll see what the president has to say as this week goes on.
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karine jean-pierre will be briefing in a short moment if there will be travel plans or policy discussions the president wants to put forth. but this underscores that even in the wake of a significant bipartisan legislative achievement on kgun safety, on gun violence, it's still a pervasive issue that you can not get away from no matter where you are in this country, alisyn. >> even if you're at a fourth of july parade. phil mattingly, thank you very much. let's bring in charles ramsey, our cnn senior law enforcement analyst and a former philadelphia police commissioner. we also have retired fbi supervisory special agent steve moore. gentlemen, we've been here so many times. i mean, we just keep having these conversations. it feels so circular and at times so hopeless, but steve, i just want to pull up the suspect's picture for a moment, because these suspects, these violent young men are starting to look alike. this guy -- i mean, from columbine through sandy hook through uvalde, now now. is it too much to ask, steve,
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when one of these guys comes into a gun store, is it too much to ask the gun seller to do a cursory check on social media? because had he, there was, you know, a well of information on the violent ideation that this guy had. >> well, the problem is that they're not really asked to, and they're not really allowed to, in some ways. they are retail merchants. it would be as if somebody -- as if you went to a liquor store and somebody at the register checked your social media to make sure that you hadn't driven drunk before. the gatekeepers are the government, essentially. it is not the retail establishment. >> i like that analogy, steve. because i used to be a waitress, and for a while, we were told to run up the alcohol tab on people -- on customers who came in because you got them to pay
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more that way. then the law changed, and you couldn't serve somebody who you knew had been drinking, because they were killing people on the highway. and so, once you recognize -- >> that's a little different, though. >> i understand. none of these analogies are perfect, steve. i get it. none of these are perfect. my point is, you can sometimes see them coming a mile away. let me get chief ramsey in here for a second. they're all starting to fit a pattern, chief. these, you know, isolated teenage or up to 21-year-old young men who then go and buy ar-15s. >> well, you know, i don't know if the retailer has the capacity to be able to do that, and i mean, i think what you're asking them to do is make up for what the federal government has not done, and that is pass any kind of real meaningful and impactful legislation as it relates to guns with the kinds of deep background checks that need to take place prior to the gun actually getting into the hands
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of the individual who's attempting to purchase it. and so, there's a lot of work that needs to be done, granted. they just passed some legislation that's better than nothing, but it doesn't go far enough. but we got to figure this out. i mean, this is just -- it's ridiculous. it's just one right after the other. i'm here in philadelphia, and we had two policemen shot last night during the fireworks display. i mean, this isn't going to stop on its own. it's going to continue as long as action, strong action, the right action isn't taken to really keep the guns out of hands -- out of the hands of people that just should not have them. >> and i hear what you're both saying. it's not the law for gun sellers to do that. i mean, i hear what you're saying. that we're basically just asking for sort of common sense, because here's what reporters were able to find very quickly after the suspect was identified. here's what our investigative correspondent, drew griffin, was very quickly able to locate on social media. >> there's a picture of a --
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this stick figure, which again, it's a stick figure, but it resembles him in the hair, and he's laying prone on the ground, in blood, getting shot at by police. another stick figure where he's aiming it at just innocent victims, and he's dressed a stick figure in tactical gear. >> steve, if this is on social media for reporters to find, what's the solution? what else would help here? >> well, you'd have -- you're going to have to change some of the laws. when i was in the fbi, we were told that we could not go on social media and troll to look for stuff, you know, trawling like fishing. we couldn't go do that because that would be a violation of somebody's right to free speech. you don't want the government or, you know, people say they don't want the government out there just looking at the web any more than you want them listening to your phone calls. so, we have to decide, at least on this type of issue, how much
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government you want on the internet and how much government you want monitoring the public, and i know this is -- i know these are disturbing decisions here, one or the other, but that's one of the things that are problematic about this. >> yeah. it is, because it keeps happening. there's a pattern. and we all keep seeing it, and we all keep talking about it, and yet, there seems to be, for whatever reason, we're not able to go and look at the social media first. furthermore, commissioner, he also was able to purchase all -- as we just learned in a press conference an hour ago -- all these weapons locally and legally using his own name. however, he purchased them at different places. is there no such thing as a database where a gun seller can look to see if somebody's recently, in the past day, purchased an ar-15? would that help, commissioner? >> well, it would help if there was some kind of database, but also, where's the law that says
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you can't buy, you know, guns in different places? i mean, we need to really sit and think through what we want. what's the balance? i mean, you know, steve mentioned, how much intrusion do you really want from the government in terms of looking at your facebook page or what have you? i mean, where's the balance? and we've got to find the balance, because, you know, there are a lot of people that have crazy stuff on the internet, but they don't act it out. and so, how far do we really want to go? it's easy to find this stuff after the fact, but you know, in realtime, not necessarily that easy. and right now, people are able to go from store to store and buy guns. they're, you know, just -- the laws just need to be changed, i think. but there's another part of this, because right now, we're talking about mass shooting, but there are shootings and homicides, gun violence that occurs on the streets of our city every single day in
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america, and it's not just the guns, it's the idiots that use guns to commit crimes and some of these guys just need to be in jail when they get caught using a gun to commit a crime or carrying a gun illegally. i mean, i know that's not popular to say right now. >> wait a minute. hold on. but hold on, commissioner. help us understand that. you're saying that somebody who uses a gun in the commission of a crime is not going to jail? >> there are some that are being -- we've got people right now that are out on the street that have got pending cases against them for various gun violations, assaults, things of that nature. i mean, that's not uncommon. it is not uncommon. not in every city, but in many cities, that's what's going on right now. there's no question about that. and so we've got to look at the entire system. we want to blame everything just on guns. we got to look at the people who are using these guns. and so i understand what you're saying. but we've got to be able to find that balance of just how much
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can we actually do, proactively, when it comes to really looking at people who have not yet committed a crime? and this guy, when he bought that gun, he had not yet committed a crime, so how far do you really want to go when you're talking about people like that? that's one group. but then you've got another group of folks that are out there committing crimes and are still on the street. >> yeah, i take your point. i take your point. i mean, i think that we're all looking for solutions, and we're trying to figure out ways to be proactive, because whatever's happening is not working. that's why i talk to you every week or two about these kinds of mass shootings. charles ramsey, steve moore, thank you both for your expertise. really appreciate it. parents went to desperate lengths to protect their children in yesterday's shooting, including a father who put his son in a dumpster to shield him from the gunfire. plus british prime minister boris johnson dealt another huge blow after two of his ministers resigned. we're live from london next.
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prime minister's right-hand man and they literally live next door to each other. without the support of the chancellor, the prime minister can't really continue so the chancellor resigned, writing that he had been loyal to the prime minister, even supported him to become party leader, but he said that he felt the public rightly expect the government to be conducted properly, competently, and seriously, and he felt, despite the economic circumstances in the country, the suffering people are enduring, that he would have to resign. and we heard a similar sentiment from the health secretary, who also said that despite the responsibility he felt to try and get the country back and running, after covid and fix all the problems in the healthcare sector, he felt like he simply could not continue, saying that he felt that the party was bigger than any one individual. and he said that the tone boris johnson sets as leader, the values that he represents, reflect on his colleagues, the party, and ultimately the country. and alisyn, the significance of these two resignations is that
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since boris johnson has just narrowly survived a confidence vote, the only real mechanism to precipitate his resignation would be cabinet resignations like this, putting pressure on the prime minister, and then usually someone behind the scenes would approach him and say, you really can't continue with this loss of confidence. so we're now seeing great swaths of the prime minister's own party and his ministers and his cabinet feeling so frustrated, betrayed, let down, and lied to, that they simply don't know how to continue. and the prime minister, thus far, has shown that he is simply completely opposed to resigning in any of the normal circumstances that a prime minister would resign in. so many of the scandals that have beset boris johnson would have ended any other prime minister's career that day. well, that hasn't been the case for him, but he may well be reaching the end of his road now, alisyn. >> bianca nobilo, really interesting developments, thank you. all right, we have some breaking news right now.
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an atlanta area jury, grand jury, i should say, just subpoenaed a handful of key trump allies, including his former attorney, rudy giuliani, and senator lindsey graham. this is all part of the investigation into former president trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in georgia. cnn's sara murray is here with us. sara, tell us about this. what have we learned? >> this is a fulton county, georgia, grand jury that has been investigating whether donald trump or any of his allies committed any crimes in these efforts to overturn the 2020 election. this is a criminal investigation. so, what we see from these new subpoenas is that this grand jury has subpoenaed information from rudy giuliani, from south carolina senator lindsey graham, and from a handful of other former trump legal advisors, so we're talking people like john eastman, who we've of course heard a lot about during the january 6th investigation, jenna ellis, who was a legal advisor to the trump campaign, cleta mitchell, one of the people that was on that infamous phone call between donald trump and georgia
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secretary of state brad raffensperger, and ken, who was one of the folks who was in touch with georgia officials while they were setting up this sort of fake elector scheme. so, these are the folks that the grand jury wants to hear from. now, this is a grand jury, again, that's investigating donald trump and his allies. it's not one that can actually issue an indictment at the end of its work. it's going to issue a report and in that report, it will suggest whether it believes anyone should face criminal charges and then the dristrict attorney can take it from there. so, more than 11 people traveled over the holiday weekend as airlines struggled to meet the soaring demand. transportation secretary pete buttigieg is going to be here to explain if it's working. and we'll take you back to highland park. a woman was 30 feet away from the shooter, and she had to try to save her grandson. we will speak to her.
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today! police in illinois describe yesterday's parade shooting as random but intentional. survivors are now recounting the pandemonium. one father describes how he had to hide his son in a dumpster: >> he started shooting again, and we ran behind the building, and i put my son in a dumpster, and he sat there with his dog, and i went back to look for the rest of my family. it was just horrible. i went back, there was a few people shot on the ground, and there was a little boy that was in somebody's -- one of the
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police officer's arms, and that's -- that was the worst experience ever, because, you know, all i thought about was my son, and i can only imagine what that family's going through. >> our next guest was also at the parade during yesterday's shooting, bobby katz hinden was with her 3-year-old grandson. bobbi, thank you so much for being here. tell us what happened. what did you do when you heard the shots? oh, bobbi, can you hear me? oh. sorry, everyone. i think that we're having audio problems there with bobbi. we will get back to her as soon as possible. meanwhile, the city of akron is reeling from the police shooting of jayland walker. this is an unarmed black man who died after being shot by officers. we're live on the ground where a citywide curfew is now in place.
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the city of akron remains under a curfew today as protesters continue -- protests, i should say, continue over the police killing of jayland walker. he was fatally shot following an attempted traffic stop, and police say the unarmed black man sustained 60 gunshot wounds. dozens of protesters peacefully demonstrated outside the city's mayor's house yesterday. cnn's paolo sandoval is in akron. >> reporter: it's been a very difficult 48 hours for people here in akron since that video was released sunday, particularly for the family of jayland walker, who tell me today they have still not seen
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and do not plan to see that very disturbing and upsetting body camera footage that was released on sunday. in it, as we've discussed before, you can see the 25-year-old man fleeing from police officers last monday, and it doesn't take long for those officers to perceive a threat, according to investigators, and then eight of those officers, all of them open fire with a barrage of bullets. we now know, according to the police chief, that they believed that he reached for his waistband and took what was being described as sort of a firing position, and that is why they opened fire, and moments before that, during the vehicle pursuit of the chase, that's when they reported seeing and hearing what appeared to be a gunshot. today, i spent some time in the medical examiner's office and was able to see firsthand some of the preliminary autopsy findings, including some of those images and you do see mr. walker covered with what appears to be bullet wounds all over his body. the police chief saying that he likely suffered at least 60 gunshot wounds, though it will ultimately be up to the coroner to decide if that's a mix of entry and exit wounds.
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also, what we heard from the chief in the last couple of days is that it will be up to his officers to tell state investigators and to be able to account for each one of the bullets that left their barrel last week. >> they need to be able to articulate what specific threats they were facing, and that goes for every round that goes down the barrel of their gun. and they need to be held to account. >> reporter: though a pistol was actually found in the vehicle that walker was driving, it's been officially ruled that he was not armed at the time of the actual shooting, but again, the big question here will be about that perceived threat. meanwhile, that curfew, it will be back in place again tonight, hoping for another peaceful night here in akron. alisyn. >> polo sandoval, thank you very much for the reporting. back with us now is bobbi katz hinden, she was hiding with her grandson during yesterday's shooting. sorry about that technical
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glitch. can you hear me? >> i can hear you, alisyn. >> thanks, i appreciate you sticking with us. tell us what happened when you heard the gunshots. what did you do? >> well, i had arrived early at the parade, which i knew i had to do. i've been coming to these parades for 30 years, and when i got there, actually, my spot was taken, so i went across the street to set up, and my 3-year-old grandson and my two adult children were with me. we were watching the mayor walk by and the ponies and the marching band and then suddenly, we heard this loud, loud pops. they weren't even pops. i don't know what to call them. and then a pause, and we looked at each other, and, like, had no clue what that could be. and people started screaming, and i looked forward, and i saw a couple of people on the ground, and we stood up and grabbed my 3-year-old grandson and ran down the street and
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crouched in the doorway of a store that was closed with about ten other people. and i knew the whole time that this was not a safe place to be. we were completely exposed. but i had no idea where the gunshot was coming from. we stayed there a while. some of the kids standing with us were crying, and people were just looking at each other in horror, and my little grandson was just plastered up against the wall behind us. we waited a while until it was quiet, and i looked at my daughter, and i said, we can't stay here. we're still, like, out in the open. so, we decided to walk -- i live two blocks away, literally two blocks away. we decided to make our way home, and as we made it through the plaza across the street, i saw bloody bodies and all i wanted
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to do was protect my 3-year-old grandson from seeing that, and we did. we shielded him. we made our way very quickly home. still just in incredible disbelief. and i live on a first live on the first floor of a condo with windows, and we immediately closed the blinds and stay sheltered and we were there all day. >> it sounds terrifying. i'm so sorry you had to experience that and see that. has your 3-year-old grandson said anything about everything that happened yesterday? >> you know, i think we were fairly fortunate. you know, his main goal in coming to the parade was to get some candy. and later on he said to us, where's my candy. and we were able to provide, but i do think he was very aware that something was off. we were all on our phones all day, and he kept saying why is
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everybody on their phones, and when his mama stepped out a little bit to see what was happening, he immediately said, mama come back. and so it remains to be seen, you know, trauma happens so quickly with little ones, and we have to pay attention to what he says and what he does, but i'm hopeful that he'll get past this. >> yeah, but i take your point that even if he doesn't know what's different, he knows there's anxious about something. he wants his mother close to him. bobbi, i understand that you run a child care center and you work with toddlers and young kids, so are you going to talk to them about it? what's the way to talk about this with kids? >> absolutely. we had a team meeting this morning with a mental health professional where everybody was able to share their feelings and their own experiences about the day, and then we will reach out
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to all of the families we work with and make sure that they are getting the support they need. there is really an outpouring of support in this community, which is characteristic of this community, and we will make sure everybody gets what they need, whether it's the counseling or the food or whatever services they need right now. >> and bobbi, are you ever going to take your grandson to a parade again? >> that's a really good question. i'd like to think that my life can go on. i do want to say, alisyn, that this morning when i told my kids, my adult kids that i was going to join you, they were shocked that i said yes, and they said, mom, just tell your story, don't be political, and i said, okay, but i do have to share with you that i'm done. i don't want people's prayers. i don't want their sympathy. we have to do something about this. this is craziness, the grief
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that goes on in communities over this, all across our country. it's got to change, and people have to get up and make something happen. >> bobbi, you're not alone in your thoughts. i sometimes get the e-mails from people who say it's too soon to talk about this. we talk about it unfortunately, regrettably, every week. it's not too soon. we have to figure out a solution and a way to do it differently. thanks, i appreciate it. i know this is a traumatic time for your familimy. thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us. >> you're welcome, you're welcome, alisyn. gas prices may have dropped for a third consecutive week but they're still uncomfortably high for most americans. i'm going to talk to transportation secretary pete buttigieg about what more the administration can do. use the t° transfers heat away from your body... you feel cool, night after night. for a limited time, save $500 on allll tempur-brereeze°™ mattresses.
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the tsa screened more than 2 million people at airports. on friday alone, tsa screened nearly 2 1/2 million passengers. that's the highest number since february of 2020. and despite the thousands of cancellations, this weekend was smoother for travelers compared to last weekend. let's discuss all of this with transportation secretary pete buttigieg. secretary, thank you so much for being here. as i understand it, there were more than 2,200 flights cancelled this past weekend. that's a lot. can we do better than that? >> we can. look, we saw cancellations around 3%. you really, in typical years, would be look at or under 2%. an improvement, especially compared to memorial day weekend and, you know, after memorial day weekend i gathered the airline industry to talk about this issue going into the july 4th holiday weekend, which brought some of the busiest travel days of the year. i had another round of conversations with airline
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leaders just to talk about what can be done to head off cancellat cancellations. we have seen some improvements but we have a long way to go. we have passenger's backs, consumers backs, as people are navigating this. it's glreat news that demand is back but the airlines need to be able to service the tickets they sell. >> when you have these conversations with airline services, do they tell you why they're not prepared or what do they tell you? >> we have seen a number of different overlapping issues. some of it has to do with staffing. a lot of pilots were invited to take early retirement. air crews weren't brought back at the level we needed. nobody thought or at least the airlines haven't predicted demand would come back as soon as it has. increased pay for regional pilots we think is going to help with the pressure on the availability of pilots and other measures that should make a difference, but this is clearly a real issue for the airlines.
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weather has played a role, but, you know, weather plays a role every year, and we're seeing elevated cancellations relative to a normal year. we're working on any of the issues that we have any control of as a department. when you look at our air traffic control system, for example, that is not explaining the majority of cancellations and delays, but there are issues there too with some after shocks from covid impacting staffing, and so we've been collaborating with the airlines when that comes up to make sure we can predict where the needs are and allocate resources to where they need to be. >> senator bernie sanders had a tweet this weekend basically saying the airlines need to, you know, be held accountable. he says the airlines just got $54 billion in taxpayer money. they said thanks by jacking up ticket prices 45% and stranding passengers at crowded airports. enough, it's time for the transportation department to impose massive fines on poor performing airlines and full refunds for long delays. what do you think about those suggestions? >> it's definitely true that a
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lot of passengers are wondering why we sent this level of taxpayer funding for the airline industry only to see them not to be prepared at a moment like this. i will say i didn't see it acknowledged in the letter, but we imposed record level of fines with the enforcement powers of my department on airlines that were failing to deliver their refunds that are required for passengers whose flights are cancelled. that's something we did earlier. we're looking at more steps and tools that we have. we will use the enforcement power of the department to support passengers or consumers who get stranded or delayed. of course what we want is to prevent that from happening in the first place, and that's a conversation i'm having with the airlines. >> let's talk about gas prices, the national average is trending down. but it's still, you know, very high. i think the national average is $4.80. is there any more that can be done at the federal level? >> well, there is more. the president has called for congress to look at a gas tax
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holiday. that's something that would take the edge off prices in addition to the steps that this administration has already taken. whether we're talking about the strategic oil reserve and the release from there, or the flexibility around ethanol, which can be helpful right now. but look, the bottom line is that oil markets have always been volatile and can be impacted by something like a major oil producing country like russia getting into a war. that's exactly why we should be acting as a country to reduce costs in areas that are frankly easier for policy makers to control. the cost of insulin, the cost of prescription drugs where we're really pushing for legislation that would reduce that cost, making sure that we act on the president's proposal to lower the cost of child care, lower the cost of elder care. a lot of things that we could be doing right now that would be durable and make a huge difference in families pocket books, in ad


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