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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
59 Dead, 527 Injured in Las Vegas Massacre. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:21] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Welcome to 360.
Anderson will be here shortly. I'm John Berman.
There really aren't words for what's happening in Las Vegas and what happened there last night. Certainly none that could describe even one single second of what must have felt like forever.
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BERMAN: There are no words to explain what returned a retired accountant into a modern America's deadliest mass killer or how he assembled an arsenal or turned a hotel suite in a gunner's nest, and a concert venue into a killing field.
Words can't either measure the terror of people torn between saving themselves and saving others, nor convey the cruelty of the act that forced them to. They paled next to the pain of those who survived and those who now grieved. They're inadequate to speak to the bravery of so many and the heartaches of so many more, no words.
And the numbers that stand in for them, they are just as obscene. At least 59 killed. More than 500 hurt. Scores badly wounded. Zero good answers. Not even from authorities who briefed reporters late today. They talked about the weapons found at the killer's home. The bomb ingredient found in his car, the search they planned in a property in North Nevada tied to him.
But nothing to speak about what drove him. Tonight, as we bring you the latest in all of that, you will hear from survivors, first responders, law enforcement, people trying to make this latest mass killing the last, we'll tell the stories of those who lost their lives. You will not hear the name of the shooter. And we should warn you, you will see a lot that is deeply upsetting.
We want to begin with CNN's Alex Marquardt.
And, Alex, we are learning some new information tonight. What can you tell us?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, you're absolutely right. We are getting a lot more information but there are still so many questions out there in the 19 hours that have passed since this shooting started. All told, it lasted around an hour and 20 minutes. It was an incredibly chaotic scene. Today, we have learned more about the victims, about the shooter, and about how this horrible tragedy unfolded.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): It was during the final act of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when shots rang out.
MARQUARDT: Ten o' eight p.m. local time.
MARQUARDT: Dozens of rounds from an automatic weapon slicing through the air as country star Jason Aldean performed.
MARQUARDT: The crowd of 22,000 erupting in panic and screams as they tried to find cover from the hail of bullets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just sounded like fireworks at the beginning. And then once everyone hit the floor, just stayed down and get out as fast as we can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only was it the sounds but also the shells coming down on the deck of the stage. We could see them bouncing off the deck of the stage.
MARQUARDT: The stage and crowd were right on the Las Vegas Strip, several hundred yards from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It was from there that a gunman in a room on the 32nd floor shattered the windows with a hammer-like device and opened fire. The whole concert venue visible from his elevated perch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like shooting fish in a barrel from where he was.
MARQUARDT: There was mass confusion over where the bullets were coming from. Pandemonium as concertgoers were struck and fell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That fire would last a good five, seven seconds. It stopped then it would last another 10 seconds, then it stopped for 30 seconds. Then, it picked back up again another 15 seconds, it was so sporadic.
MARQUARDT: Law enforcement responded to the scene and frantically tried to locate the attacker.
This video from NBC News' Joe Fryer who was a guest at Mandalay Bay showing the police teams going door to door in the hotel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way the shooter was not from the muzzle flashes, but the smoke detector in the room went off from the amount of smoke that came from firing that fully automatic weapon.
MARQUARDT: You can hear the moment and the communication between the SWAT teams and the dispatcher.
MALE DISPATCHER: Be advised. It is automatic fire. Fully automatic fire from the elevated position. Take cover.
[20:05:01] OFFICER: This is correct. It is fully automatic fire, I'm right below it.
DISPATCH: Copy. All units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach. Everyone in the hallway needs to move back. All units move back.
OFFICER: Breach, breach, breach.
MARQUARDT: By 11:28 p.m. local time, over an hour since the first shots were fired, SWAT teams burst into the 32nd floor room hotel room where they found the gunman dead from suicide. Around him, 16 guns, including long rifles, as well as ammunition, which are now being investigated by the FBI and ATF.
REPORTER: Sheriff, tell us how many guns were found in the room.
JOSEPH LOMBARDO, CLARK COUNTY SHERIFF: Sixteen in the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, I don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
MARQUARDT: The Las Vegas sheriff says they believe the gunman carried the weapons into the hotel himself, where he had checked in three days prior.
LOMBARDO: We had no knowledge of this individual. I don't know how it could have been prevented.
BERMAN: And Alex Marquardt is with us right now again.
This has yet to be labeled an official act of terrorism, Alex. At least not yet, correct?
MARQUARDT: No, that's right. The local officials are saying that they have to wait for the motivation to determine whether this -- the worst massacre in modern U.S. history is, in fact, an act of terror.
The White House also demurring with the White House press secretary saying earlier today that this is an ongoing investigation, it will be premature to weigh in on something like this before the facts were established. Of course, that hasn't held President Trump back from calling terror attacks in Europe, terror attacks long before the facts were established.
But it goes without that saying many here in Las Vegas and all across the country are terrorized in the wake of this horrible tragedy -- John.
BERMAN: No question about that.
Alex Marquardt for us in Las Vegas, thanks so much.
Looking at the lay out of scene really drives home terrifyingly simple it was for one person to cause such bloodshed, a suite on the 32nd floor, 22,000 people in its field of fire. No real way to return fire without endangering many other lives.
There's only one level one trauma center in the entire state of Nevada and it was pushed to the limit.
Stephanie Elam is at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. She joins us now.
And, Stephanie, what more do we know about the injured, how many there are, what condition they're in tonight?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what I can tell you, John, is the numbers throughout the day have not really changed. What they are saying that they received 104 patients last night as the shooting was taking place. And they were getting here, they're saying, by taxi. There are some who were coming by ambulance. Some people just coming in private vehicles but they were showing up here.
They knew they were coming so they were prepared to work with all the patients that came in here. At one point, they actually said they had more doctors and surgeons on hand than ready to go than they did have patients that needed surgery. But they did that say eight patients were taken to the OR and they also said that 12 patients are in critical conditions. I can tell you that two of the patients that still remain in the hospital are teenagers but the vast majority are adults.
And the good news about this one location here, John, I can tell you, that they said 40 people were treated and released as of the afternoon here in Las Vegas -- John.
BERMAN: Well, that is some good news.
Stephanie, have you gotten a chance to speak with some of the doctors in the hospital? What do they have to say about what had to be one of the most horrifying nights of their lives?
ELAM: Right, for sure. The thing is they said they have relied on their training. They have gun drills. They have prepared for this because the fact that they are the only level one trauma center in the state, they were prepared for the numbers that were coming in.
They got an early alert from the city so they knew to prepare and have the right recourses here. Everyone from the doctors down to the support staff was here. I talked to the chairman of the surgery department, Dr. John Fildes and he told me what it was like last night when everything was happening. Take a listen.
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DR. JOHN FILDES, CHAIRMAN OF THE SURGERY DEPARTMENT: This is the largest event we've ever done. We've had other mass events but this was a real big event with a lot of walking room and a lot of criticals. The alarming thing was watching the front door open, it never stopped.
Gurneys kept coming in. Trucks would pull up. People would be brought in by friends. Private vehicles and taxies dropped off patients. They just kept coming in.
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ELAM: I can also tell you that they had a blood drive here, right here by the University Medical Center and I walked down there and checked on it again this afternoon. They said they are done taking sign ups for today. They have people signing up for the next couple of days.
What they're asking people to do, though, is to come back and check back in the next couple of weeks because the demand is still going to be there as they continue to work with these people who are fighting for their lives in this hospital, John.
BERMAN: All right. Stephanie Elam for us at the Medical Center -- Stephanie, thank you so much.
As Stephanie was mentioning, the Las Vegas mayor put out a call for people to give blood and the people -- they responded. Lines in some location reportedly up to five hours long.
360's Gary Tuchman is in one such location, joins us with more.
Gary, what are you seeing?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, this is the United Blood Services, blood bank in Las Vegas, and the people behind me are heroes in the true sense of the word.
[20:10:06] This is just a small portion of the line. This line wraps around the building and there's about 350 people in the line right now. I counted that's how I know.
And there is a four or five-hour wait just to give blood. These people were horrified and repulsed about what happened in their city and they're now doing the horrific duty of giving blood.
And this is the area where people come in and give blood. This young lady right here.
You didn't know I was going to talk to you. But what's your first name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Danielle.
TUCHMAN: How's the blood giving going?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty good.
TUCHMAN: What made you decide to do this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing that happened on the Strip this morning.
TUCHMAN: Have you ever done it before, giving blood?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, actually, I never had.
TUCHMAN: Does it hurt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit.
TUCHMAN: But you're a hero.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
TUCHMAN: Thanks for talking with us.
We also want to talk to the person here who is in charge of this blood bank.
And Mitzy (ph) just walked away I guess because she had oh, here's Mitzy over here. She came on my other side.
It's Mitzy Edskom (ph).
Mitzy, how long will you be open? Given the amount of people to give blood here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to try to get the line through and all those people that have been waiting here all day. Some people came at 2:00 in the morning. Those people are obviously done with their donation.
But we want to try to get this group through and we are encouraging people to make appointments, either go online or give us a phone call and we'll get them set up. And from what I've heard, the last update was we're booked through Thursday. So, we're trying to get folks to book out later.
TUCHMAN: A quick question, have you ever seen something like this before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been blood banking for 22 years and I saw this on 9/11. The response has been heart warming and it's just -- it's really nice to see the community come out as a nation.
TUCHMAN: Mitzy, thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
TUCHMAN: And, John, we can tell you, this is like the line you would see on the strip, a short distance away, but these people are here for a very good cause. John, back to you.
BERMAN: People want to do something, anything they can to help.
Gary Tuchman, thank you so much.
Among the wounded, UNLV hockey coach Nick Robone. He was at the concert with his brother Anthony, along with their friends and girlfriends. And it was a good thing it turns. Anthony is a paramedic with the Henderson, Nevada Fire Department.
He joins us by phone.
Anthony, I understand you were there with your brother and girlfriend when the shooting began. But you thought it was firecrackers, the pop, pop, pop. What did you do whether you realized it was actually gun shots?
ANTHONY ROBONE, PARADEMIC ATTENDING CONCERT, RESCUED BROTHER (via telephone): At that moment I was kind of hovering over my girlfriend, trying to cover her on the ground. And I think the real moment I realized that it was gun shots was when I heard my brother say I got hit. I turned around and I saw him coughing up blood. And that was the moment where it was, OK, we're getting up and we're leaving now and we're finding the way out. We're finding our way to the medical center as fast as we can.
BERMAN: So, you had that moment, you had that moment to make a decision. Your brother were shot. You had to decide whether to stay with him or go with your girlfriend.
What did you do?
ROBONE: I mean, at the time luckily I have amazing friend, his name is Emmanuel Bennett (ph). He's one of the true heroes for me. He's in the army. He's a great stand up guy and I trusted him with my girlfriend's life and he took that and he protected her and he got her out. I can't thank him enough for that.
They went to the exit one way, and then myself and William Sofano (ph), another good friend of mine, we took my brother towards where we thought some medical tent and an ambulance would be the other direction.
BERMAN: You never found the medical tent, though, all while the shooting was going on. So, what did you do?
ROBONE: No, at that point, obviously, it was chaotic, and there were no ambulance in sight. So, we kind of just kept making our way down the street. We were behind a police officer for a while, a squad car and we kept going, there no ambulance in sight.
So, we found our way down the street where a couple of more squad cars and cops were waiting. I asked if there were other ambulance coming and then asked them if they had any kind of emergency medical equipment on them and so we could start treating my brother right away.
BERMAN: Again, you're talking about yourself, you're a firefighter, you're a paramedic. How were you able to tend to your brother's injuries?
ROBONE: So, myself and William, he played a big role in this part. He was probably the one who saved his life. The first aid kit was, it just got some band-aid and Neosporin. So, we just checked a little piece of plastic and I placed -- it appeared to be stuck (ph) in chest from where it was located and it was (INAUDIBLE) the blood. So, we put a plastic piece on his chest over the wound, and we took three band-aids and we made it a (INAUDIBLE) dressing with what we had.
BERMAN: That's amazing, Anthony. What's even more amazing is after you got your brother stabilized, you actually went back to help other people, is that correct?
ROBONE: So, yes, once my brother, he seems in a stable condition, I got him on the first ambulance I could. And then myself and William Sofano (ph) again, we stayed and there was a lot of chaos, so we needed someone to triage, we wanted to make sure the most immediate patients were getting transported first.
[20:15:04] So, we were doing, there were multiple officers and firefighters, Clark County firefighter, medics. Neil (ph) was there. He was helping out, along with doctors, nurses, I mean, everyone was working together at this point. Just get the people who needed to get to the hospital the fastest and assess people and see people there in the street the best that we could, pulling (ph) stuff off the ambulances and treating people on the street while the next ambulance is coming.
So, it was -- it was a group effort. Everybody, I mean, whether they were trained medically or not, off-duty cops, firefighters, it was something kind of a beauty in the sight of tragedy.
BERMAN: You got to step up in these moments, Anthony, and you clearly did step up. How many people do you say or do you believe you came in contact with, did you treat?
ROBONE: I mean, between every one who was volunteering on that side, I would say all of us probably encountered almost 100 people on that side of the street where we were at.
BERMAN: A hundred people, and that's just a small fraction of those who were killed and injured in this horrific incident.
You know, Anthony, we're so sorry that you had to go through this, and your family had to go through it, but at the same time, we're thankful that you were there for everybody. Can you just tell us how your brother is doing tonight?
ROBONE: My brother, he's in a stable condition right now. He's in ICU. He's going to be innovated for a while until they make sure he has that lung function. He's a great guy and I can't stand seeing him like this. I just -- I think he's going to make it out because he's tough. And I know the support from the local fire departments and Sunrise Hospital is an amazing hospital. I can't say how well they handled the situation, how well they tended my brother's situation. And just the community in general the way they come about and been able to handle this kind of tragedy and it's kind of amazing stuff.
BERMAN: He's going to make it out not just because he's tough, but because he's got one tough brother as well. What an amazing story. What an amazing family.
Anthony Robone, thank you again for everything you've done and for being with us. And please give our best to your brother.
ROBONE: Thank you.
BERMAN: A hundred people.
I want to go now to CNN's Martin Savidge. He's at Las Vegas City Hall where a vigil is just getting underway.
Martin, set the scene for us right now. What are you seeing?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, we've got hundreds of people that are gathered here on the steps of city hall. The flags have already been lowered here. City officials, county officials, state officials, the governor is here, the mayor is here.
In fact, Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas said that the city's heart is broken and said that everyone who lives here, their lives have been forever changed. They're of course praying for all the many who were killed and also the hundreds that are still recovering in the hospital.
You can look out here. You can see that there are literally hundreds of people that are gathered just directly in front of city hall. And we should point out, this is just the first of at least nine vigils that are planned for tonight alone. Another one begins in less than an hour. And then after that, they continue all the way into the evening, late evening hours here.
But this is the first and it is the gathering point for many people that just had to be here -- John.
BERMAN: People there to grieve, to console each other. What are you hearing from the people who have gathered there, Martin?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, they're not focusing, of course, on the horrific things that happened, that's widely known. But they're focusing on other positive things that have happened. And there, they praise the first responders and also the many heroes who were just the average person in the crowd, that stood up when they were needed. And then on top of that, they're also talking about the hundreds of
people, maybe thousands that have lined up to donate blood. That too has been represented, they say, of the city of Las Vegas. What happened here with the tragedy is not the city, what has happened afterwards is every bit of Las Vegas -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Martin Savidge, our thanks to you.
Local authorities late today described the arsenal. They found both at the Mandalay Bay hotel room and the shooter's home in Mesquite, Nevada, massive would be one way to describe it, inexplicable would be another, which also applies to what motivated a man. We're not, just to remind you, going to name him or show his picture.
We did manage to speak to his brother today.
CNN's Drew Griffin has that for us, and CNN's Kyung Lah is at the killer's home.
First, Drew, to you. Drew, you know, in so many of these shootings, there's something that in hind sight gives us clues as to the motivation. But so far this case, you know, even those close to the shooter seem to have no explanations.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John.
We're outside a community in Florida where this shooter used to own a home. The FBI was here talking to neighbors who may have known him, some who did know him. But they were also all day talking with his brother. His brother described this as like an asteroid had fallen on the family. No history of mental illness, no criminal record that we can discern, no military service and, therefore, no military PTSD issues.
[20:20:00] We don't believe he has any kind of religious affiliation, not very political, does not belong to any hate groups. According to the brother, as you said, John, it's just inexplicable.
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ERIC PADDOCK, SHOOTER'S BROTHER: He's a guy, he's just a guy who lived in Las Vegas and played at the casino, went on cruises, good stuff. There's no -- there's nothing, that's what's bizarre. I mean, this -- I don't want to say, but he lived in a house. He had a girlfriend. There's nothing.
REPORTER: The number of firearms that he had does that surprise you? I mean --
PADDOCK: Again, yes. I had no idea he'd have that many firearms.
REPORTER: Any military background?
PADDOCK: No. And I don't want to talk much more. This is, once again, what I'm telling you is all part of the record. There's no -- he has no police record. He doesn't even have parking tickets probably.
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BERMAN: It really is baffling.
And, Drew, the brother says the shooter claims the shooter was a multimillionaire. Do we know if that's true?
GRIFFIN: We don't know the confirmation of that. He lived comfortably. He apparently dabbled in real estate. The home he bought here, on speculation, he bought it and he only visited here maybe six times in a matter of a couple of years.
The neighbors we talked to said that he showed up, he actually gave them the key to the home, asked them to check on it. And then about once every three months or so, he would come and visit, rarely come out, because, John, he said, he told his neighbors he was a professional gambler and that he'd gambled most of the night away sometimes with his girlfriend inside that home.
Here's what the person had to say.
His neighbor told us that he did confess he was a gambler that's how he made his living. He also speculated on real estate. Up most of the night playing online poker here at night, but also traveling back and forth to Las Vegas frequently. At one point, he told his neighbor, showed the neighbor a $20,000 jackpot that he won at a slot machine.
But again, there's nothing that says anything about this. He opened his home to that neighbor, gave him a key. No signs of any guns, never mentioned any guns, no anger issues, nothing for anybody outside of law enforcement to go on.
And as far as we know as of right now, John, nothing really for the FBI or law enforcement inside to go on as well.
BERMAN: No, not a lot of places to start, just a few pieces of the puzzle, a puzzle that is far from complete.
Drew Griffin, thanks so much.
More now from Kyung Lah in Mesquite, Nevada, where the gunman had a home.
And, Kyung, did the police have any record or interaction with this man prior to last night?
KYUNG LANG, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you just heard all that confusion coming from the brother that Drew was interviewing. And we're hearing a similar sort of confusion from the authorities here, law enforcement here, because they say they didn't have any interaction with him at all.
And when we saw no interaction, not just criminal interaction, he didn't have any traffic violations, he didn't park his car illegally on the street. They didn't know about him at all. And so, to go from zero to this level of atrocity, John, it is simply confusing for the local police here.
BERMAN: Confusing. Confounding is another word.
The number of firearms found in the shooter's home and at the hotel, what are we learning about that, Kyung?
LAH: That is perhaps what is most astonishing here in this retirement community. And we just went and took a look at this home. This is a 55-plus retirement community. When police first approached this home, they were worried about potentially some explosives in the house.
Well, they had reason to be concerned. So, they sent in a robot, you can see the garage is plywooded over because the robot basically ripped through the garage, we understand, from what the local police are telling us. And then what they found inside, they did find some explosives, ammonium nitrate in the car, there was also some additional gunfire target practice explosives in the house. We don't know exactly what the use for them was, according to the authorities in Las Vegas.
But, 18 guns, several thousand rounds of ammunition. People who live here say, clearly, it appeared to them, beneath the veneer of this nice community, it certainly looked like he was stockpiling for something.
BERMAN: Eighteen guns at home, explosives in the car, 17 guns in the hotel room, yes stockpiling for something indeed.
And, Kyung, you've been speaking in neighbors in the community where he lived with his girlfriend. You know, what do they say?
LAH: You know, this is a place where people wake up right at dawn. You know, the 55-plus community. They get in their golf carts. They take their dogs out for a walk. They say hi to each other.
[20:25:01] This is a place that people considered to be extremely safe and very like-minded. So, we spoke to a couple here who said they specifically chose this community because it's safe, because it's so pleasant, and because they can go up to people like this gunman and have a pleasant conversation. This couple would see him, you know, on their daily walks and they say he seemed perfectly normal, pleasant enough to go up and ask, you know, what are you having for breakfast? Would you like to walk around the block for a little bit?
And they say that on that level, everything seem to be just fine. So, to go from that and to understand then what he had in his house, John, it is simply bone-chilling for them.
BERMAN: Indeed. All right. Kyung Lah for us in Mesquite, Nevada, again, a 55-plus community where the shooter lived.
Up next, more on the investigation, what law enforcement is looking at and where it goes from here. I'm also going to speak to the fire chief who led a team of first responders. We'll be right back.
BERMAN: Before the break, Kyung Lah and Drew Griffin both underscored just how little they know about how a retiree with utterly nothing unusual in his background became a heavily armed mass killer.
Joining us now with their insight, former Obama White House homeland security adviser Juliette Kayyem, former CIA and FBI senior official, Phil Mudd, and former Secret Service agent, Jonathan Wackrow.
Phil, let me start with you.
Obviously, the biggest unanswered question we have right now is motive. So, what do investigations go on? What are their best options?
PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA AND FBI SENIOR OFFICIAL: That's not the biggest unanswered question. If that's the biggest unanswered question outside the investigation. Inside, this is still a criminal investigation and we have a lot of threads here.
We have somebody who has 30 plus weapons, somebody who clearly had thought about the target, he checked in days early, somebody who looked at explosive material and clearly thought this well, you look at ammonium nitrate potentially about something like a backpack or a car bomb.
I'm looking at this before we're talking about motive and saying, with all that information acquired over time, all that material acquired over time, with a girlfriend, with communications with the family, do you mean to tell me that nobody knew anything? Before I get the motive, I want to be sure that there's not criminal involvement by somebody else, John.
BERMAN: You know, to Phil's point, Jonathan, 17 guns in the room, two windows from elevated position, explosives, the shooter was in the hotel room for several days before the attack. This was premeditated, you know, to the extreme.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. There's a deviation here from the narrative that we've been hearing that this is a nice guy, he's a quiet guy, his brother had stated earlier he's not a gun guy. What we're seeing in reality is something different.
You know, he was in this hotel room for days, he had, you know, over 10 weapons in the hotel room, multiple rounds when they --
BERMAN: Thousands of rounds.
WACKROW: Thousands of rounds. When they executed the search warrant on his house they found more weapons, you know, explosives. Again, there's something that just doesn't add up here and again to, you know, Phil's point, this is an active investigation, more will come out. But the optic is definitely going to change on this individual, you know, over the next, you know, 24 hours.
BERMAN: You know, Juliette Kayyem, just the numbers here, we're talking about 35 guns total between the hotel room and the home. We now have explosives, thousands of rounds of ammunition, what does it add up to you?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Exactly what everyone else has been saying, which is, we don't know a lot yet. In fact, I would not close off any theory at this stage because of this inconclusive nature of both the facts of the investigation, let alone who he is as an individual.
And so, at this stage, all we have is, right, the last couple of days of his life and then a lot of stories about his life that don't make sense to us.
So for an investigation purposes, I'm looking of course at his motive. I have to be honest with you at this stage though, there's not going to be a eureka moment. There might not be a moment that explains everything and we also have to look at the means.
I've been saying it all day, at this stage, I'm tired of the United States being on defense all the time trying to figure these guys out. It's time we start talking about access to weapons as a security issue and not solely as a legal or Second Amendment issue. At this stage, too many people are dying too often in numbers that are defying sympathy at this -- you just can't believe it at this stage.
BERMAN: You know, there are so many weapons that law enforcement made clear they don't exactly know how he acquired each and every one of them, some were automatic, how do they become automatic, did he alter them?
Phil, how do you reconcile what we get hear from the family? You do have the brother of the killer who is saying, you know, regular guy, like to gamble, multimillionaire, which we could verify. How do you reconcile that with the arson?
MUDD: I don't. I'm a skeptic. I don't believe anything I hear. What I want to see is a timeline. Some of that timeline is digital.
For example, how did he research over time? I haven't heard yet whether we have a laptop or cellphone. How did he research things about how to build an explosive device? When did that start? When did he start acquiring weapons? Did he talk to people about the acquisition of weapons? I want other digital information, the frequency of communication with the family.
Overlaid on that, John, I want interviews. What does the family say, what do the friend say, what do the neighbor say, and does that match up with the data? I'm going to bet you with that.
BERMAN: You're saying you don't believe him, other than the fact that they're just these vast number of unknowns. Do you have a reason to doubt his claim? I mean, it is possible the two brothers don't talk. MUDD: No, and I'm not suggesting that he's lying. All I'm saying is, going into this, I'm skeptic about every single thing I hear and I want to match up what somebody says that's not a fact that's what they say with the facts we can acquire about what I would call digital exhauster or digital trail.
For example, I didn't have a lot of communication with my brother and we find that there's a burst of text two weeks ago. That's a problem. I'm going to go back to that family member or friend and say you said you didn't have much contact, what do you -- how do you explain this burst of text couple of weeks ago?
BERMAN: We'll be looking for these unusual patterns. It might not have a chance to look at them today given this scope of everything they were uncovering.
Jonathan Wackrow, this country music festival, had it been a presidential event, the types of events that you worked on for so much time, it would have been handled. The security would have been handled differently. That's not to say that security wasn't tight. I spoke to people who went through the metal detectors to get into this concert, but that doesn't mean that you take care of the hotel windows.
WACKROW: No, listen, the event planners that, you know, provided the event security did everything right, you know, in terms of providing a perimeter, the magnetometer screening, they did everything within their power. This is not a presidential trip.
[20:35:04] Presidential trip would be dealing with concentric rings of circles going out many miles, not just, you know, into the perimeter of the event. A presidential trip would look at, you know, all of the angles. It would look at the buildings. They would have mitigation in effect -- in place to identify vulnerabilities that came up during an advanced process.
You know, unfortunately in a private construct to private environment where this is not the president of the United States, the backing of the U.S. government is not there, it's just not reasonable to have that level of mitigation.
BERMAN: Juliette, is this kind of thing -- are they going to have to rethink these types of events? And beyond that talk to me about the response time here from the officials on the ground there somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes when they're blowing up that door.
KAYYEM: So, look, there's going to be afteractions. At this stage, the detailed tick-tock, we simply don't know at this stage. And as will happen it will be sort of an overview of what happened and what took so long.
And also, look, what we have to know in this country at least now is we're not going to make soft targets hard because we like going to concerts. We are -- we -- but we do have the capacity to make them less soft. And the question here isn't does, you know, every aerial view, every elevated place need to be searched, that's just not feasible in an open country like ours. But we do -- might look at sort of hotel precautions.
The fact he was there that many days, what does that mean, is there anything to learn from that, what actually -- I mean I'm with Phil, like I sort of don't believe everything right now only because we want the forensics, you know. Is it true that none of the housekeepers suspected something? All of that is being done right now.
But, you know, as an open society we have an issue with guns of course and we have an issue with our openness. And those are things that we need to address. But the more that we say, oh, can't we just make this stronger and harder and more secure, the less were giving up on the possibility that one thing that we can address of course is weapons, whether it's guns or cars or whatever else. And so, both of them are part of the security mix right now.
BERMAN: Phil, I want to talk about the guns for a second if I can. You know, it is not just the number. There are gun collectors who have dozens of guns, for instance, but it's -- the number of guns, the fact that some were either modified or automatic in and of themselves, the number of rounds, thousands of rounds of ammunition, then the explosives. All of that together and then no one having any sense that was going on.
MUDD: The first 90% of that means nothing to me. We're not looking at individual case, we're looking at 330 million Americans. Do you want to look at everyone that acquires material that's using agriculture and that has some gun licenses? I'm not going to say, not only we're not going down that road for privacy purposes, that's a political problem. Just from a substantive numbers problem I can't do it.
Here's where I think we're going to have. We're going to find, I'm guessing in the coming days, this is not preventable from a security perspective, the question is going to be whether someone saw something and should have said something. I'm going to bet a paycheck, the answer over the course of next week or two is yes.
WACKROW: I'll double down on that paycheck, here's why. In attack like this, (INAUDIBLE) clearly. You know, there's -- somebody saw something that wasn't right. You don't go -- you don't hunker up in a hotel room with all of this ammunition, all of these weapons without somebody, you know, being concerned. Again, this is going go back to not just the policy, you know, discussion but this is -- we got to be a little bit more pragmatic about, you know, how we operate as a society.
BERMAN: Juliette, quick last word.
KAYYEM: Yes. Just -- I mean, and let's not forget the girlfriend. I mean, this is just a piece that is just fascinating and disturbing. And so what she knew, where she went and how much she knew is key right now in terms of this investigation.
BERMAN: The girlfriend apparently in Tokyo. Why and how will they get in touch with her?
BERMAN: When will she come back and how much will she be willing to say? Guys thanks so much for being with us.
We did show you one of the local blood banks. Garry Tuchman is there right now.
Gary, what do you see?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, I'm with one of the people, there are hundreds of people in line giving blood. And one of the people giving blood as we speak is the senior senator, U.S. senator from the state of Nevada, Senator Dean Heller.
Senator how's the needle feeling right now?
SEN. DEAN HELLER, (R) NEVADA: Fortunately I'm in good hands here with Lisa. She's doing a great job. But everybody in this community is doing their part and figure it was time for me to do mine.
TUCHMAN: What was the last time you gave blood by the way?
HELLER: It's been a few years. So my wife gives all the time so she great to drag me in here and get this done.
TUCHMAN: Speaking on behalf of all Nevadans, tell me how you feel right now and how things are going in the state right now with what happened?
HELLER: It was -- you know, it was a horrific event clearly, and everybody around the country understands that, you know, October 1st, 2017 is never going to be forgotten in this valley and in this community. It was a terrible event.
[20:40:02] It just goes to show you how dangerous this world really is. There is no upside to it except to see a community like this come together.
TUCHMAN: And that's what I want you about the up side. As everybody just saying, there are hundreds of people wrapped around this building wanting to give blood. Right now they're actually saying they have enough blood. They're worried about in a couple of days not having enough blood and then people will come out here tomorrow and the next day and the next day.
How does it make you feel the spirit of all your fellow Nevadans and people from other parts of the country and the people I've seen from other parts of the world who are waiting in line right now?
HELLER: Well, first of all, that doesn't surprise me, that's Las Vegas for you. When something like this, a tragic like this happens you can always count on Nevadan, you can always count on Las Vegas being there to help their fellow citizens out. So I'm not surprised but I am impressed.
I am impressed here, people are waiting 12 hours, 12 hours. They're here since 4:00 in the morning to give blood.
HELLER: And they're still here -- in fact the gentleman right here next to me started at 4:00 this morning.
TUCHMAN: You're not feeling lightheaded?
HELLER: Not yet.
HELLER: We're going yank that out of your hand.
TUCHMAN: Senator Heller, thanks for talking to us.
HELLER:MEG: OK, thank you.
TUCHMAN: This center is supposed to be open until about 10:00 or 11:00 Pacific Time.
BERMAN: Yes, give him Oreos and apple juice, Gary, and thank him from us for being there. Gary Tuchman with Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, thanks so much.
BERMAN: Coming up for us, a closer look at the lay out of the scene of this massacre from the 32nd floor of the hotel. How the shooter was able to kill so many on the ground?
BERMAN: As the shooter committed a massacre a police SWAT team found the hotel room on the 32nd floor where the gunfire was coming from and went in. Right now, we want to play you some audio of the law enforcement got to his room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have sight on the suspect's door. I need for everybody in that hallway to be aware of it and get back. We need to pop this and see if we can get any type of response from this guy. See if he's in here or he's actually moved somewhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. All units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach. Everyone in the hallway needs to move back. all units move back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breach. Breach. Breach.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: The shooter had checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort on
Thursday. He was in the room high above the people he murdered and far away. Tom Foreman joins us now with more on the lay out of the area.
Tom what are you learning?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John.
All you have to do is look at the geography here to understand why this attack went on so long and why is it was so deadly. Here's the Las Vegas strip running strip in the middle here, we all are acquainted with that.
Over on the east side, this is the field, the area where they had the concert going on. And of course right here, this is Mandalay Bay and this is the room from which this man was firing. From this vantage point, he had a sweeping look at the entire area.
[20:45:02] And yes, this is some 400 yards away from where he is. So with the weapons he had a shot like that on the level would drop maybe 2 feet, maybe more, but he didn't have to be very accurate because there's no signs he was trying to place his shots. Rather, he was putting in those burst of gunfire into this thick mass of people gathered right in front of the stage. Remember the stage is on this end of the performance field, down near the Mandalay Bay. That's one reason this was so deadly.
Here's another reason. Look closer at this field down here. There were seven official exits according to the festival organizers in their map there. Many of the eyewitnesses say people tended to try to go back to the left here, along the strip because that's where they came in, psychology, that's what people do. So they were moving toward the gunman, not away from him.
And here's a reason why this was so deadly. Many of the people, because they did not know where the gunfire was coming from, they hunkered down where they were, more or less in the open trying to tend to the wounded, that sort of thing, perhaps really not aware they were remaining under the guns the entire time, John.
BERMAN: Tom, what about the set up that the shooter had in his hotel room?
FOREMAN: Well, we're learning more each hour about how intensive it was. We're learning from authorities that he had thousands of rounds of ammunition between the hotel room and his home. He had a lot of guns. He had 35 total, 17 that he brought to this hotel room in suitcases. They said there were 10 suitcases up there.
Beyond that we know that he had scopes for some of the rifles. We also know that he had a hammer to break out these two different windows from which he fired and he had ammonium nitrate in his car with which he could have made a bomb.
But most of all, more than all of this, John, what he had was time. Remember, he was in there for three days. This festival was going on that whole time. Day after day, hour after hour he had an opportunity to look down there, to think about what he was going to do and to plan it. That's another reason in the end no doubt it was so deadly. John?
BERMAN: Planning the largest, deadliest mass killing in modern American history. Tom Foreman, thank you very, very much.
I had the chance to speak to Clarke County Fire Department Chief Greg Castle just before air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Chief Castle, I'm hoping you can clear something up for us. Earlier this evening, Sheriff Lombardo said that when SWAT broke down the door of the shooter's hotel room, the shooter fought through the doorway. So based on the information you have, did the shooter not commit suicide right away?
CHIEF GREG CASSELL, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA FIRE DEPARTMENT: You know, I'm not able to speak to that, that's the more the sheriff's line of work here. I have never been briefed on what actually took place inside that room at Mandalay Bay, what was said, what was done by either side.
BERMAN: Chief Cassell, can you walk me through exactly what happened when your department first got the call that a shooting was underway?
CASSELL: Well, as we first began to receive these multiple 911 calls at night, we knew this is going to be a significant event. We're very familiar with this concert, this country festival that comes to town. And when crews were en route and they heard of the amount of gunshots that were going on and saw what was going on when they got there, they knew it is going to be a very significant event for our community.
BERMAN: So when the firefighters rived on scene they went directly to the area where the largest of number -- largest number of casualties were? What did they do?
CASSELL: Well, when we have a situation like this unfold we're trained to meet up with our law enforcement partners to -- we call it rescue task force packages. There were a lot of treatment of patients going on at the time. It was a stand by medical crew at the concert. They immediately began to treat and transport people.
And then as always happens in situations like this, Samaritans, you know, people trying to do the right thing, will help people with their vehicles. We've got a lot of people transported to the hospital by private cars, by pickup trucks, by passers by, just people trying to do the right things prior to our resources even getting there.
BERMAN: You said they were immediately treating people while firefighters were helping the victims, had the shooting stopped or were they working while the attack was still going on?
CASSELL: Well, I'm not sure of the exact timeframes to how long the shooting was going on. But our people were engaged with the patients on the streets and surrounding areas while this was starting to deescalate, so to speak, on the shooting end.
BERMAN: And wasn't exactly clear there's so people (INAUDIBLE) to begin with. So it's clear there were some sense of danger while they were working. I imagine you have to be so proud of your department and the work they did last night. How are they all holding up?
CASSEL: Yes. Well, I've known many of these men and women for, you know, 20 to 30 years and definitely a different tone in their voices this morning, a different look on their faces. This is something that we're going to have to work very hard as an organization to help ore employees comprehend to get through psychologically and make sure that their mental health is as good as it can be going forward.
But I'm very, very, very proud of the work that they've done. We have trained for years in this rescue task force, law enforcement integration package that we used last night. And they did an excellent job, you know, it's something that years ago you would never contemplate police and fire being in stack going in a room or into an area where there's danger like that because fire departments typically didn't take care of those type of calls.
[20:50:12] BERMAN: No, this is not the type of thing you hope they would have to deal with, but tonight, the entire country looking at you with pride, sir. Thank you so much for everything you've done. Chief Greg Cassell, thanks so much.
CASSELL: You're welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: When we come back, more stories of survival. This video taken by a photographer who was on the concert stage when the gunshots rang out. How he and others escaped, that in just a moment.
BERMAN: There have been so many terrifying images sounds that have emerged from the scene of the shooting. Brandon O'Neal is a photographer who was on stage when the shooting start and he will join me in just a moment. But first, we want to show you some of the video that he took.
When the shooting began, he ran to a parking lot, hid behind a police car. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
( BLEEP )
( GUNFIRE )
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is there blood?
( BLEEP ) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, you're fine. Calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rihanna (ph).
( GUNFIRE )
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Just chilling up. Brendon O'Neal joins me now.
Brendon, we're so glad you're OK. Let me just start with that. You were on stage during the concert. Walk us through what happened when you first heard the gunshots.
BRENDON O'NEAL, PHOTOGRAPHER, ON STAGE WHEN SHOOTING BEGAN: Yes, so basically I was backstage, stage right and we started hearing pops, like pop, pop, pop, pop. And it sounded like there was like interference in the speakers or something. And so, we're like, oh, hopefully they fixed that.
And then like 30 seconds later, again, like, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And we're like, oh, is it fireworks or is that -- like what is that? And then, like, 30 seconds to a minute later, then it was like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and it was relentless. It would not stop.
BERMAN: Did you think it was coming from one shooter, multiple shooters?
O'NEAL: At this point we had no idea it was even a shooter because we thought the sound system was like messed up, and then the sound stage just completely went silent. Someone is like, he's got a gun and then he just screams and he just hear relentless, just pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pod, like a heavy machine gun.
[20:55:08] This was like heavy military weapons that were going off. Ricochets hearing like bouncing everywhere. It was just complete chaos.
So, one of the security guards was like, exit back out here, exit back out here. So my buddy Dan and I run down the stairs. We run along the side of the stage. And I look and there's just a sea of people just like climbing the fences, barricades like falling, people like laid out, like, it was so intense.
And when we came to this entrance to go out, I could hear bullets, like, right next to me, like, whizzing by, like high pitched sounds, like I can hear it like the ground. My buddy and I jumped over to this police vehicle. There's a few people that was there, they looked like they were possibly shot. They were bleeding.
We were hanging out at the police vehicle for a little bit, and then we made a dash for it. And within 10 feet we see this girl and she's laying down and her friend's right next to her. And she's like freaking out. She's like, she's shot in the head, she's shot in the head. And my buddy comes over to help out and he goes, oh, my god, she's shot in the head. Then a couple of people came to help lift her up, and my buddy and them got her into the police vehicle. And when he did that, another just, barrage of like bullets just came down and we just bolted for the parking lot. Went to the parking lot, veered off to the right and we found these cement median. And we ran over the cement median and were taking cover there. And we see two police officers, one fully armored with AR15 just running just like get out of here, get out of here, you got to get out of here.
And we just couldn't figure out like where he's coming from. We just hear like this went off for minutes, just pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, like just nonstop. And then someone was like, he's coming this way and we're like, what? Because we have no idea, we're like, is this guys inside the park like just wreaking havoc? Like is he in the venue just going crazy or is it coming from the hotel? Like we had no idea. We were just, like --
O'NEAL: It was so heavy. It was just --
O'NEAL: I mean, words don't even describe. I've been trying to tell people like how do I describe, it's like -- if you've seen the movie "Saving Private Ryan", there's a scene were like they're trying to storm the beaches in Normandy and there's a guy with like just a huge machine gun just mowing down people as they're coming up the beach, and it's like, that's what it was like happen and it was just --
BERMAN: I try to tell to people that when you listen to this and you hear the automatic fire, this is what war sounds like. This is what war sounds like --
BERMAN: -- and this was in Las Vegas, Nevada, you know, the United States Of America, at a country music concert. These are sounds you are not supposed to hear on the streets of this country.
Brandon O'Neal, we are so glad you're doing OK. You were taken to safety by a good Samaritan. Thank you so much for being with us tonight. Know that we're thinking about you.
O'NEAL: Thank you, appreciate it.
BERMAN: All right, that does it for me tonight. I now turn it over to Anderson Cooper for the rest.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: John, thanks so much.
Good evening everyone.
This time last night 22,000 people were settling in for a few hours of music or getting ready to spend the night with each other, each with a story, each with parents who raised them, epo who loved them, family, friends, with no expectation whatsoever, they'd be mourning them tonight or by their hospital bedside were telling their story.
In a city built on living a little and keeping the world that no one could have expected what is happening now or what happened last night. And we have new information tonight on the nation's newest deadliest modern mass shooting.
We are learning more about the arsenal that the killer assembled, the weapons found at his home, the bomb-making ingredient found in his car as well. We're going to bring all that to you in the hour ahead.
However, we want to begin with what we are learning, and it is very limited at the moment about those who lost their lives. Sonny Melton was from the town of Big Sandy, Tennessee. He was a registered nurse. His wife, Heather, an orthopedics surgeon, he was moving her to safety when a shot hit him in the back.
"He saves my life," she says. "I want everyone to know what a kind- hearted, loving man he was, Sonny Melton."
We know less about Lisa Romero-Muniz, she was a secretary at a high school in Gallup, New Mexico. Thanks to students and stuff at the Manhattan Beach middle school in Southern California, we now plenty about Sandra Casey.