The FBI along with the Chicago Police Dept. are conducting a criminal investigation in the alleged attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett and images of the potential persons of interests have been released.
Howard states that the cast learned about what happened on set, saying that their jaws dropped when they heard the news.
Smollett has been cooperating with local authorities to find the men he says allegedly attacked him and shouted racial and homophobic slurs, police said. "They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance".
Guglielmi said because of the financial relationship between the two men, they are trying to verify the call took place and have requested phone records or the physical phones used for the call. The rope was still around Smollett's neck when police spoke to him, officials said.
"While video [footage] does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously and wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed", he added.
"Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received".
Trump on Thursday condemned the alleged attack on Smollett. "Jussie is a warrior whose light can not be dimmed". "We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice". He is said to be in good condition.
"We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night", a statement from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment read.
"That I can tell you is awful".
Guglielmi said piecing together the private and public surveillance video is tedious work that is made more hard by the fact that the time stamps on various cameras may not be in sync, meaning detectives have to figure out the exact times of events. They proceeded to assault Smollett and "poured an unknown chemical substance" on him.
Representatives from Empire, the show Smollett is now on, were quick to share their condolences.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department told ET earlier this week that Smollett told detectives late Tuesday afternoon in a follow-up interview that his two attackers yelled, "MAGA country" to him during the attack, referring to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.