tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 5, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
were two previous interactions with the parade shooting suspect. one of those in september 2019 was when a family member of the suspect called police to say that the suspect had said he was going to kill everyone. that specifically he was talking about his family in the house and he had a collection of knives. police responded, say they removed 16 knives, a dagger and sword from his home and took those weapons. they said they did not have cause to arrest because no one signed a complaint. we'll get you the latest as we continued our coverage. wolf blitzer picks things up now in "the situation room." happening now, the death toll rises to seven in the highland park, illinois mass shooting. this as police reveal that knives and a sword were removed from the suspect's home in 2019, after a relative said he threatened to, quote, kill everyone. authorities also releasing a photo of the suspect dressed as a woman on the day of the shooting.
they say he was trying to aid his escape by hiding his identity and trying to blend into the crowd. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news, new information just moments ago released about the suspect in the shooting attack on the fourth of july parade in highland park, illinois. tonight, a seventh victim has died. and we're learning more about the accused gunman's planning for the deadly attack. cnn security correspondent josh campbell is on the scene for us in highland park. update our viewers, josh. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, after each one of these tragedies one key question is whether it could have been prevented. whether a suspect had potential contact with law enforcement that may have prevented what actually transpired.
we learned a moment ago from authorities hold ago press conference is that the suspect in this deadly july 4th shooting did indeed have previous contact with law enforcement. they described an incident back in april of 2019. they said that an individual contacted police saying that the suspect had attempted suicide. this report according to authorities was delayed a week. authorities did responds, they spoke with the suspect, the parents, they deemed this was a mental health issue. it was handled by mental health professionals. we're told there was another incident in september of 2019 where police were called to the shooter's house, a family member re reported he said he wanted to, quote, kill everyone. what was concerning is the suspect had a collection of knives, daggers, a sword, those were confiscated by authorities. i pressed police whether there was anything else that could have been done. the police said they did everything they could under law, under the circumstances, that the suspect could not have been
involuntarily committed based on those pieces of information. they reported it to the state police. the state police told us the suspect didn't have a firearm identification card so no indication he was armed with anything other than the daggers they confiscated. but a lot of questions, particularly about the parents. the suspect had five firearms, questions how he was able to obtain those without police being alerted. also we're learning new information about what was happening during the shooting and the suspect's ability to conceal himself. we'll show you this photo we got. this shows the suspect concealed in women's clothing. our colleague spoke with members who said the suspect had a tattoo, known as the tattoo guy, that's why police believe he was trying to dress himself up as a woman and conceal himself in the crowd and make his way to
escape. a lot of new pieces of information, these items are one of many that police are looking at as they're trying to obtain a motive in the deadly shooting. the deadly july 4th attack near chicago was planned several weeks in advance, according to law enforcement. >> he brought a high-powered rifle to the parade. accessed the roof of the business via escape ladder and began opening fire on the independence day goers. >> reporter: investigators believe more than 70 rounds were fired from the rooftop as parade goers fled for their lives. police say the gunman was dressed as a woman during the attack. >> investigators believe he did it to conceal his facial tattoos and identity and help with the escape with the other people fleeing the chaos. >> reporter: seven people died and 30 others injured according to officials. one witness described the
carnage as she ran for coverage and hid with parade goers. >> i saw her die. >> reporter: after the shooting, police say the suspect fled the scene and headed to his mother's home. >> he dropped his rifle and blended in with the crowd and escaped. he walked to his mother's home who lived in the area and blended with everyone else as they were running around as if he was an innocent spectator as well. >> reporter: he then took his mother's car. a good samaritan noticed it and called police. when he was arrested, another rifle was found inside the vehicle. in posts that show violent cartoon images that show a young man aiming a rifle and engaging in a shootout with police. >> in september of 2019, a family member reported that crimo said he was going to kill everyone and crimo had a collection of knives.
the highland park police department did immediately notify the illinois state police of the incident. >> his uncle who lived at the same address with him and his father said he saw no evidence of the violence to come. >> no warning signs of anything to come. no nothing that would trigger him doing this. >> reporter: the fbi is combing the parade route for evidence of the shooting and police are looking online for a possible motive. including the suspect's posts featuring ominous lyrics like one he said i need to just do it. it is my destiny. one major question is how prosecutors will be approaching this case. we're told the police have called a press conference in one hour's time where we expect to hear what charges will be brought in this deadly shooting. wolf? >> josh campbell, stand by. i want to bring in senior law enforcement analyst charles ramsey, the former philadelphia and d.c. police commissioner. also joining us analyst former
fbi supervisory special agent peter lacota. what's your analysis of these two prior contacts the police had with crimo, the suspect, they had previously said he wasn't on their radar, but now we've been told only a few moments ago they did have these two interactions with him, including seizing lots of knives, daggers, from his home and this threat a family member suggesting that in september of 2019 he was threatening to quote kill everyone. >> well, i guess in the spring of 2019, they got a call that he was suicidal. and that was a week after he apparently attempted to commit suicide. and it was turned over and handled by mental health professionals. the second one, when he was threatening allegedly to kill family members and he had access
to knives. police responded and confiscated the knives but the family member didn't want to prosecute so they didn't have any probable cause to arrest him at that point in time. they did apparently notify the state. but my understanding is he had no id card at the time, and there were no firearms involved. again, this is 2019. you look back on these things years later and a lot of questions obviously can come up, what if this and what if that, but the reality is, in my opinion, from what i just heard, police handled things properly. >> let me get peter to weigh in. police also say the suspect, we have a picture, disguised himself with women's clothing and that he had an escape plan. what are these new details just released a few moments ago, tell us about the level of preparation that went into this brutal attack?
>> this is not just another random act of violence of a disturbed individual. not just somebody that planned this attack deliberately. it would be my assessment that as a custodial interview continues and more information develops that he practiced it, that he probably climbed that fire escape at least one time. this was not a random fire escape to get onto the roof of the retail store and pick out aiming points. this was a deliberately planned operation. moreover, all this information starts to feed to this second part of this investigation, which is building the prose prosecution's case so they can use this information to level the charges against crimo for their prosecutive matters. >> chief ramsay, i thought it was interesting, the local authorities at the briefing they just had a few moments ago, they said the suspect is speaking with them, but they still don't know the motive.
so how are they going to try to figure out why he carried out this attack? >> well, they're going to continue to talk to him. they're going to continue to comb through social media. they're going to continue to go through whatever evidence they may have recovered when they executed search warrants in his home, i'm sure his vehicle. he's at least talking. and as he's talking they may be able to begin to develop a motive. but right now i think they have enough to be able to charge, and i think you're going to hear that pretty soon, that they're actually going to be formally placing charges against him. >> they did say they would have some sort of announcement coming up fairly soon. we'll have coverage of that as soon as it happens. >> peter, the suspect did post violent images, lyrics, cartoons online. what does that tell you, if anything, about his state of mind or a potential motive?
>> it follows the pattern not only of him but of what we've seen here in the past. it goes to salvador ramos, uvalde, posted something similar about his plot on social media. payton, the buffalo tops supermarket also posted something online about going ahead and trying to kill that security guard, he posted that in march a few months before the incident happened. all the way to columbine where your two subjects planned their operation for almost a year, working at a fireworks distributor for not compensation of money but for fireworks for devices they would use in their attack. all of this goes to the preplanning of all the individuals and the consistency that all these individuals have used. and what needs to happen is the human factor needs to step in.
people that see these posts need to report it. this is not big brother. a major act of violence that could be prevented by either calling law enforcement, confronting the individual and talking to them or having them or calling a healthcare professional in order to report this, to see what their motive is and to see how far they're going to take this. >> josh, as we all heard, police say the suspect purchased the weapons, the guns legally. so how difficult is it for police to stop this kind of attack when the perpetrator is determined, and well prepared? >> reporter: that is the challenge. particularly with this type of weapon, this ar-15 style rifle we've seen used in so many of these mass shootings. under certain laws they are easy to obtain. the question is the larger gun debate is whether people in this situation, similar to this shooter with his background
should be able to obtain that kind of weapon. whether he when he went to purchase the weapons, if there was a background program in place could that have picked up the prior issues, the suicidal issues, the threatening to kill members of his family issue, that is a key point here. but obviously now questions. obviously they did the right thing in calling police whenever they had an issue with his having knives and threatening members of his family. but did they see him collecting these weapons over the period of a year police say, if so someone in this type of mental distress or situation should that have been a red flag to acquire all of these types of weapons. a lot of questions for the family but this gets to the larger issue of the gun debate we talked about. would a background check have picked up around these
moments ago authorities in highland park, illinois revealed new details about the suspect in the fourth of july parade shooting including that knives and a sword had previously been removed from his home. ed lavandera is on the scene for us and the victims, all of whom have just been identified. what can you tell us, ed? >> reporter: six out of the seven victims, as you mentioned, wolf, have been identified by the coroner here in lake county. they range in age from 35 to 88. all of these people had gone to a parade on the fourth of july to experience a good time. a holiday. and it ended in total tragedy. nicolas toledo's family said they're broken and numb. the 78-year-old grandfather attended the highland park
fourth of july parade with his family. it was supposed to be a day of fun. instead it ended as a horrific nightmare. investigators say the gunman fired 70 rounds into the group. jacki sundheim was hit, she worked as a preschoolteacher and events coordinator at a synagogue. the gunman killed seven people with a gun similar to the ar-15 rifle but declining to say anymore about it. >> the people gone were blown up by that gun fire. >> reporter: this doctor helped treat some of the victims as police say the gunman was blending into the crowd and escaping the mayhem. >> the horrific scene of the bodies is unspeakable. having been a physician i've seen things in the ers and you do see lots of blood. but the bodies were literally --
some of the bodies were -- there was an e vis ration injury from the power of the bullets. >> reporter: she saw a man with injuries and tried to save him. >> people were holding pressure on an abdominal wound that he was bleeding from. the paramedics had an ambu bag, a mask attached to the bag that i could then breathe to the patient but he did parish at the hospital. >> reporter: barbara was marching in the parade she ran from the scene with her 7-year-old daughter in the stampede of people running she tripped and fell, she knew instantly her arm was broken. >> i thought it was gun shots, i didn't want to believe it. i tried to convince myself it has to be a drum roll from the band ahead of us. it was just a kind of noise and
all of a sudden everybody started running from central street coming around the corner to where we were, that's when i realized we had to run and get out of there. >> reporter: wolf we're here at one of the hospitals that has been treating the patients that have come in and told at least three different hospitals there were about 39 different patients. nine of those, we are told, are still hospitalized. eight of those suffered gun shot wounds and that one of those people is a 69-year-old who is in critical condition tonight. >> ed, thank you very much. . joining us lake county board member, paul frank whose district covers much of highland park where this horrible tragedy occurred. what's your reaction to the release that the suspect had two
prior contacts with police including an incident that led to knives and a sword being seized from his home. >> of course angry, sad, disappointed. i think we're all, as a community, still in shock. i think it's fair to say that everyone is in mourning. but i know that our community is going to come together and we're going to support each other. this is a generous caring community we care for each other, for other people around the world when people are in need. but the other emotion i want to express, based on the facts revealed today, is anger. a lot of people in our community are angry. i'm angry that this is a completely predictable event. that these weapons of mass murder are so readily available. none of us should be surprised that people with ill intent would use them to kill a lot of people, that's what they're made for. it's sad. it's horrific. and i'm angry.
>> police say these two weapons that this suspect had were purchased legally. hard to believe. but that's what the police are now saying. you and your family were at the parade yesterday when the shooting started. tell us what that was like and how everyone is doing today. >> yeah, thank you, wolf. my immediate family and friends that were with me lining up, getting ready to march in the parade, we all got home safely. where your crew is here on central avenue is where the parade march basically turns from st. john's to go right down central avenue. my wife and her friend were just feet from where i'm standing right now, hiding behind our war memorial, sheltering after they ran away from the gun fire. what i saw from my staging area with the other elected officials in the parade, was a rush of people, terrified, running and screaming. there was no information, but we
knew something terrible was happening. >> highland park, such a wonderful place, i've been there so many times over the years visiting family and friends. what's your message to your community, paul, tonight? >> i know deep down that this is a strong, caring community. and i know that we're all going to support each other and come together and we're going to mourn together but we're also going to feel this for a long time. and i hope, sincerely, that there are not more towns in the future. i hope that this country can move in a better direction and start to recognize that these weapons of mass murder are directly causing these mass fatalities. there is an issue here that we're not facing it, and it's not okay. >> good point, paul frank, thank you so much for joining us. please pass along our love to your family, to the entire community. >> thank you. we'll have much more on the
july 4th parade shooting highland park, that's coming up. we're also watching other major stories right now, including this, new subpoenas in the georgia election probe reach into former president trump's inner, inner circle, including rudy giuliani and donnestman. we'll have d details. ultra widey more cities, you get up to 10 times the speed at no extra a cost. get verizon business unlimited from the network businesses rely on.
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of former president trump's efforts to overturn the state's presidential election results. they target trump allies including rudy giuliani, lawyer john eastman and senator lindsey graham among other. let's discuss this and more with jim himes of connecticut, a member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, thanks for joining us. how much of a legal threat do these new subpoenas, just released, represent as far as the overall georgia investigation is concerned and do they pose a real threat to former president trump? >> well, i think so, wolf. i mean, i've always thought that the georgia example is probably the area in which former president trump is in most legal inju jeopardy, the facts are not in dispute. we all heard the phone call where he told the election official to go out and find 11,780 votes and say you recalculated. and then there was a threat, you
know, and so to me, you know, i obviously saw up close and personal what happened in d.c. on january 6th. but to me, if a powerful person can call a responsible election official and say i need you to do this for me, that to me just feels like it has to be a kcrim. and, of course, the seven subpoenas issued were people who can get at exactly what the president intended. so i think this gets pretty serious. >> are you surprised to see senator lindsey graham on this list of new subpoenas in georgia? >> well, i guess i was. i mean, we remember senator lindsey graham sort of, you know, complete surrender to donald trump, talk about carrying water, so the informnotion that he might have been involved in conversations about how donald trump may have remained president is not beyond the realm of the possible. it's hard to know. subpoenas and grand juries and
investigations happen behind closed doors and quietly for very good reasons. i should say, having said that it's plausible that maybe senator graham knew something. just because somebody is subpoena that does not mean any sort of guilty. the question is did lindsey graham know something that could important to the georgia investigators. >> republican congressman adam kinzinger just released a come compilation of threatening voice mails he got. listen to this. >> i hope you naturally die as quickly as [bleep] possible you [bleep]. >> you back stabbing [bleep] [bleep]. y'all know [bleep]. like a [bleep]. >> hey you little [bleep]. in front of your house this
weekend. we know who your family is, and we're going to get you, you little [bleep]. >> so what's your reaction, congressman, when you hear that kind of awful, threatening phone call voice mails? >> well, i guess i have two reactions as a member of congress, obviously not as high profile as adam kinzinger. but number one, adam stood for the truth. he's one of the few republicans who stood for the truth. the truth is not in dispute anymore. what has the january 6th committee done, it's put republican, republican, after republican, trump's family, trump's people, on the stand to tell the story. there's no way you can call that fake news. so, you know, just it -- what worries me here, wolf, is the state of our politics. when the facts are so clear, and yet, a good percentage of the american population decides not
to believe them and some small percentage of that group decides they're going to call a member of congress and threaten his life. that's how our politics end, wolf. this is how our democracy ends. this is where it becomes personal to me, here i am talking on cnn. we are a heavily armed populous with a small percentage of people who think in very violent ways. somebody is going to get hurt, somebody is going to get killed. and americans need to step back and think about their obligations as citizens in the greatest democracy ever. and the kind of garbage left on adam kinzinger's voice mail is a betrayal of those who fought for the civility and understanding without which our democracy is over. >> and adam kinzinger is a patriot, served in the u.s. military, still serves in the u.s. military reserves, served in iraq and afghanistan and to get those kind of horrible threatening calls, threatening
him and his family as well is disgusting. congressman jim himes thank you for joins us. >> thank you. we'll have more on the fourth of july shooting in highland park, illinois. also, body cam footage of the shooting of jaylan walker in ohio. we'll have more when we come back. at no extra cost.10 times the sd get verizon business unlimited from the network businesses rely on.
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for us tonight. >> reporter: authorities in the city of akron released about 18 minutes of body camera videos. each minute offering a different perspective, showing eight responding officers before they opened fire, shooting and killing jayland walker. after release of the footage, the police chief said those officers will have to be accountable for each shot fired. >> 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: investigators over the weekend shared more about the possible perceived threat the officers faced during the pursuit. including a single gun shot that allegedly came from inside wa walker's car while police were chasing his vehicle. they say this muss muzzle flash is evidence. it was shortly after the car chase turned foot chase that you
can see the eight officers open fire with a barrage of bullets. officers described walker reaching for his wasistband before they shot him. the police union released a statement saying the decision to deploy lethal force and the number of shots fired is consistent with protocols and officers' training. the medical examiner preliminary report shows walker's body covered in bullet wounds, it's estimated there could be more than 60. after the release of body cam footage, tensions flared sparking protests. echoing the walker family's call for accountability. >> what i did see is him get out of the car and start running and people firing on him. and does it take that much? >> reporter: the pastor, a cousin of the family say they want to get justice for jayland
in a peaceful and dig nified wa. >> we don't want any rioting or anything like that. we want answers. we are angry. we have the human side of us. we feel the pain and personally i want to scream out and be mad but what is that going to do? we want to take that anger, we want to use it for the benefit of systemic change. >> reporter: it will ultimately be up to the ohio state attorney general who will take the evidence gathered by investigators and take it to a grand jury to decide if charges will be filed in this case. but they'll consider a mountain of disturbing evidence, not just the video but also the file from the ed examiner. the medical examiner provided me an opportunity to review the preliminary autopsy file and it shows walker's body with many
bullet wounds his hands restrained behind his back with handcuffs when he was taken to the medical examiner's office. i've tried to reach out for days to see if it adheres to the department policy and we're still waiting to hear back. >> when you hear something let us know. polo sandoval in akron, ohio for us on the story. thank you very much. also following up on the breaking news in the july 4th parade shooting. that's coming up next. and a major blow to the british prime minister, boris johnson as two top ministers resign. is this a tipping point for his leadership? when you have technology that's easier to control... that can scale across all yourur clouds... we got that right? yeah, we got that. it's easier to be an innovator. so you can do more incredible things. [whistling]
tonight the white house says president biden is prioritizing bringing imprisoned wnba start brittney griner back to the united states and he has read the handwritten note sent to him by griner. she wrote to the president recently pleading with him to remember her and other american detainees in russia. kylie atwood is following all of these developments at the state department. tell us more about the letter, first of all, and the efforts to try to bring brittney griner back home. >> reporter: wolf, quite a desperate and personal letter from brittney griner to president biden on july 4th. she made a personal plea to him saying that she believes in him, talking about the fact that she hadn't voted in the past but she did vote for him in 2020. and she also discuss how much it hurts her right now to think about july 4th and how she has historically celebrated american
freedoms on july 4th, american veterans on july 4th. but, of course, it is much, much different for her right now because she is detained in russia. she has been there since about the middle of february. and she made this plea to president biden to try to do everything he can to bring her home. i want to read to you from that letter saying, quote, as i sit here in a russian prison alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, olympic jersey or any accomplishments i'm terrified i might be here forever. i miss my wife, i miss my family, i miss my teammates. it kills me to know that they are suffering so much right now. i'm grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home. now we do know, as you were saying, the white house said that president biden did read this letter from brittney griner, but what we don't know is if he plans to write back to her or plans to have any conversations with family members.
brittney griner's wife spoke with our own abby phillip last week and she was critical of the biden administration saying their rhetoric doesn't match their actions when it comes to their efforts to bring griner home. now the national security council and the state department are both saying that on bringing home all americans. if they are working aggressively to do that with all means available to them, but of course, there remain questions about what could be the thing to bring brittney griner home. she had a trial last week. she has another trial in russia this week. we'll be watching that closely. >> let's hope she comes home soon. thank you. meanwhile in ukraine, a ukrainian paramedic is speaking out for the first time about her harrowing experience from being a recent prisoner of war. she was captured by russians during the battle for mariupol and was released in a prisoner
exchange. alex has this exclusive report. >> reporter: in this russian propaganda film, she is marched, put in and handcuffed into a dark interrogation room. the hood yanked off, harsh light blinding her. piafska goes by the nickname tyra and was a famous paramedic. made to appear in the propaganda film which accuses her of harves harvesting organs and compares her to hitler. after three months in kcaptivit, she was freed in a prisoner exchange, but in her first sit-down interview since then, it's clear the wounds are still fresh.
sounds like torture. >> it was. and physical. >> she was deprived of food for days, beaten and threatened with the death penalty. the war started in february, she headed to the brutal fight in mariupol, capturing dramatic video on a body camera she wore. in march as the russians closed in, the memory card wras smuggld out then at a check point, she was recognized and taken
prisoner. she says she was told lies about russian battlefield successes and used against her will as a character for russian media to claim that their forces are fighting neo-nazis . it may be some time before tyra returns to the front lines. she also wants to train for next year's invictus games for wounded veterans as the reality sets in that this will be a long war.
>> wolf, that message there just stop resisting from those russian troops to tyra. a way to try to demoralize her as well as the ukrainians. of course, the ukrainians have been mounting a significant resistance. they have had some successes. they have had some defeats including the recent defeat essentially of the luhansk region in the eastern donbas. they are now focused, the russians, on taking the rest of the donbas and that includes the d donetsk region. that's where we expect the russians to launch their next major offensive. it is also in the donetsk region, in the russia backed controlled area that tyra was
held for those three months. cut off from the world. cut off from her family. unable to contact her husband or daughter. unaware of what was going on in the war and held in those horrific conditions. in a prison, a cell, she compared to a gu log. >> stay safe. we'll be in touch. thank you very much. up next, we're getting new details about the man suspected of firing on a july fourth parade killing seven people in highland park, illinois, including an alleged previous threat to quote, kill everyone.
it's your summer. get everything you want... with wayfair's 4th of july sale! score outdoor upgrades up to 40% off. mattresses and more up to 50% off. and, bathroom upgrades up to 50% off. shop our 4th of july sale now through july 5th. for the summer you want, for less! happening now, highland park police now reveal they did have past contact with the mass shooting suspect removing weapons from his home back in 2019 after a relative said he threatened to quote, kill everyone. authorities may announce charges
against the suspect this hour. stand by. also tonight, a powerful new allegation in the uvalde, texas shooting massacre. the city's mayor telling cnn he believes local law enforcement is involved in what's being described as a cover up. and high profile trump al allies rudy giuliani and lindsey graham are slapped with subpoenas. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're standing by for a possible announcement against the highland park mass shooting suspect. police indicated it could happen this hour as they reveal new information explosive information about the accuse
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