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Deadly Shooting On Las Vegas Strip; At Least 20 Killed, More Than 100 Wounded. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 2, 2017 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- just one person at this point, but they believe it came from the 32nd floor across. Could you tell it was coming from the Mandalay Bay?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a lot of headshots. So, the way a lot of people got headshots and it was like the guy -- you know, right here.

CASAREZ: We're going to wind it there, but as you can see the traumatic aspect of this to people that really fought for their lives to get away from the scene obviously injured too but not to the extent of the victims and the fatalities -- Christine, Gregg.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Jean, thank you so much. Police are saying it was one shooter. The shooter not down there in the crowd but up on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and that's where they engaged him and shot and killed him.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Many of you just waking up. Breaks news. There was a shooting at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas village, a concert of more than 30,000 people at an outdoor venue.

Joe Lumbardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Police Department reports more than 20 people killed, more than 100 injured. Policemen among the injured and the dead.

We want to bring in our law enforcement analyst, James Gagliano, a former FBI retired supervisory agent. James, tell us how important it is to get that information out. There was one shooter. Why the mass hysteria and chaos and confusion at this point?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Critical to do so because remember what we're teaching folks that are in these type situations, run, hide, fight if you have to and then tell so find somebody. As these people were scattering, police have got to track them down to build a picture. As I listen to the Las Vegas police chief saying he cleared that up and said one shooter, elevated position, 32nd floor.

ROMANS: And that person is deceased. He seemed irritated at some of the misinformation that is on social media about what's going on there as there are rumors of other shootings and other hotels.

Again, the strip is pretty condensed, but at this point, police have their man. He's a local resident. They are looking for someone else. A woman named Maryleu Danley. They described her an (inaudible) female, 4 foot 11, 111 pounds, and they are looking for two vehicles, both with Nevada plates, a Hyundai with the plates 114 B40, and then a Chrysler as well.

BRIGGS: Pacifica.

ROMANS: Pacifica with a 19D 401, those are the two that they're looking for right now and they say that this woman was companion of the shooter. They are not releasing his name right now. But he was a local resident, they're saying, and we know that it was from the 32nd floor of that hotel.

They say at 10:08 the shooter began firing and they got multiple reports of shots. They got up there and engaged him. He is dead. One police officer is in critical condition, one is wounded, who has injuries. Both are in the hospital but other off-duty law enforcements who were in the crowd and some of those did not make it.

BRIGGS: James, let's play the video, unfortunately for those who are just waking up this is terrifying video. This is what happened 10:08 local time towards the end of the Jason Aldean concert. Here's what happened.

(VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: James, the automatic fire begins. There's about 45 seconds, and then the automatic fire begins yet again. What do you hear?

GAGLIANO: Well, clearly an automatic weapon, Dave, but what shocks the senses is the volume of fire. The standard magazine on an automatic weapon is 20 or 30 rounds. This clearly seems either like a drum or some type of belt-fed weapon. Some type of military-style weapon.

[05:05:00] What strikes me again is the pause in between. Was the shooter attempting to reload and just wasn't really proficient at it or trying to barricade himself in and police and security already started to arrive?

But the confusion that's sowed in something like this, a concert, the music is blaring, you've got people talking. It is the perfect scene of chaos, Dave. The way people responded I'm shocked at how calmly so many people responded.

I heard terms from some of the eyewitnesses. Shelter in place. Run, hide, fight, tell. What we tell people to do in these type of situations, people are definitely getting the message as these things become more frequent in nature.

ROMANS: But this seems so outrageous to have someone hiding in the dark on the 32nd floor presumably breaking and firing through the window. It must have felt like the gun fire coming from everywhere. Police are saying it is not true that there was someone on the ground. How is somebody supposed to react in a situation like that? GAGLIANO: Christine, as we were talking about earlier, it is so eerily reminiscent of the Texas Tower shooting at the University of Texas back in August 1st, 1966. In that instance Charles Whitman climbed the Texas clock tower in the middle of the quadrangle there and I think he killed 14 people.

A big part of that is because no one knows where the shots are coming from and people aren't trained to look up. They don't they are coming. When you've got 30,000 people massed in a small area like that, the shooter just had to point at the center of the biomass and squeeze the trigger.

BRIGGS: How difficult is it to secure a target like an outdoor concert with 30,000 people?

GAGLIANO: Dave, we talk about that all the time. You're on that continuum between protecting our civil liberties and freedoms and keeping us safe. Unless we want to move closer toward a police state where everywhere you go, you have to be checked and you have to go through magnetometers and be screened like the TSA at the airport. You move toward that then we lose our civil liberties and what makes us America.

ROMANS: That wouldn't have helped in this case anyway. You've got a guy with a big gun and a suitcase presumably renting room and then firing down. You think about how soft that target is, even with the best security. What do you think the message -- I mean, the strip is locked down right now?

People are trying to come back to the Mandalay Bay after a night out at another venue or not being let in to the Mandalay Bay. What is the message for Las Vegas and Las Vegas authorities after something like this?

GAGLIANO: Well, it's a chilling message. And again, Christine, we talked about this unfortunately far too many times after these incidents. It appears to be an act of terrorism. That's what it appears to be.

Remember, terrorism is acts of violence or intimidation, threats in pursuit of political or social goals. So, what does this do? I've heard you describe on air what the Las Vegas strip looks like right now. It's a ghost town.

Tumble weeds are blowing across and that's exactly what they want us to do. They want people look at this and go I was going to go next week to Vegas. I'm not going to do it now.

BRIGGS: Those who have or have not been to Vegas, I mean, there are armed guards and police everywhere you turn, needless to say with hundreds of millions of dollars exchanging hands. People say how could this person reload? How difficult would be of would it be to find this shooter?

GAGLIANO: Dave, incredible. you're right. In concerts like this, take Times Square on New Year's Eve. There are in every block of folks packed in, there are undercover police officers, undercover FBI agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force and I'm sure they were here too.

I think we've heard that one of them might have injured in the shooting. But again, the advantage that the shooter had from an elevated position with an automatic weapon that I'm convinced he had to have some type of extended magazines, maybe even a drum, and then just pointing and shooting at a literal biomass of people, implications are chilling.

ROMANS: So cowardly too. I mean, so cowardly to do something like that. I want to read a statement we just got from the Bakersfield Police Department. They acknowledge that they have several of their police officers were off-duty and went to this event.

So, they know their folks were there at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas last night. Several of the officers witnessed the gun fire. Of course, they're on the ground, not in a position to return fire and one Bakersfield Police Department officer was struck by a bullet from that shooter and has been treated at the Las Vegas area hospital for non-life threatening injures.

We know that there are other police officers who engaged the shooter on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. One is in critical condition in the hospital and one has suffered other injuries, talk to me a little bit about what that must have been like in the hotel when they get these reports of gun fire, and they're racing to the 32nd floor.

GAGLIANO: I mean, you know, we take our hat off to the first responders. Everybody else is running away and they are running to the sound of the guns literally.

[05:10:50] I mean, I'm so proud of them and the fact they were able to, even with the amount of rounds he was able to get off, for them to get there as quickly as they did and neutralize him, if that's what happened.

ROMANS: We wonder if the pause in some of the shooting might have been police responding.

GAGLIANO: It could have been, and also, that volume of fire, and I heard one of the concert goers that was interviewed talk about he sounded the like a former military because he talked about the barrel heating up. The shooter could have dropped it, burned his leg, fumbled around.

There was a long time in there between changing magazines. He didn't seem proficient or something happened. A weapon could jam with that volume of fire being executed.

BRIGGS: Also seeing some tweets from other country music superstars like Jake Owen, he was right there. He says gunshots were ringing off the stage rigging and road cases. No one knew where to go. He adds, thank you to the Las Vegas Police Department responders for keeping us safe.

Speaking of those Las Vegas police officers, here is Joe Lombardo, the sheriff on what took place at 10:00 local time.

OK, we'll get to Joe Lombardo shortly. He again is that sheriff of the Las Vegas Police Department who told us at least 20 people have been killed, more than 100 injured. Policemen have been among the injured and according to him, among the dead as well. Here is Sheriff Lombardo now.

SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS POLICE: Good evening. Obviously, I'm Sheriff Joe Lombardo from Clark County and I'm here to talk to you about the tragic event taking place at the Mandalay Bay out on the Las Vegas Boulevard south. We experienced an active shooter situation approximately 10:08 p.m. tonight, this evening.

We had calls come into dispatch of multiple shots being fired from the direction of the Mandalay Bay towards the Route 91 concert that was taking place on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Through investigation and response, we determined there was a shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Officers responded to that location and engaged the suspect at that location. He is dead. Currently, he has been identified. He is a local resident. I will not release his name at this time.

But we are interested in a companion that is traveling with him. Her name is -- I will provide you the names, please be accurate. Marilou Danley, last name spelled, Danley. She is an Asian female, approximately 4'11", weight of 111 pounds. We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow-up.

Two vehicles we are interested in locating and we need your assistance with that. We have a Hyundai Tucson with Nevada plate 114 B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Touring Nevada plate 19D 401. These are the plates registered to the suspect that we located at the Mandalay Bay.

So, there's a couple things that need to occur at this time. One is the Red Cross is responding to the headquarters here at the police department at 400 South Martin Luther King to receive any phone calls from family members who are trying to locate their family that attended the concert and are unable to contact them.

So, that number will be established here shortly and we'll get it out to you. Additionally, anybody that may have cell phone video or any type of video associated with this event that would be a benefit to the investigation, please respond to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters at 400 South Martin Luther King and we will take custody of that video.

So, if you have it and evaluate it and think it would be of benefit, please bring that down to the headquarters. So, family members, if you are unable to call, or you do not want to wait for a call and want to respond in person, we have set up a family retreat area for you to respond so we can help you locate your loved ones here at the headquarters.

So, you will be contacted by a police officer here at the headquarters and they will direct you to where you need to go. Standing with me is special agent in charge of the FBI, Aaron (inaudible). He is assisting with the investigation, which is ongoing and then we have Fire Chief Gregg Castle from Clark County Fire. They are assisting with all the victims.

[05:15:06] Now as far as number of victims, I cannot give you an accurate number at this point. We have well in excess of 100-plus injured and excess of 20-plus that have died at this point. So, we will get those numbers to you accurately as soon as we can. But please bear with us, this is an ongoing investigation.

But we are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event is -- has expired or passed away and is no longer a threat. There have been multiple phone calls and accusations or conjecture coming through social media that there's multiple shooters at other resorts.

That has been proven to be false. Additionally, there has been accusations or beliefs that there's some explosives going off. That is also false. The only explosive in this event was from our SWAT team breaching the room.

So, please, we are pretty confident that there is no longer a threat other than we are attempting to go locate the person of interest. Not at this point. We believe it's a local individual. He resides here locally. I'm not at liberty to if go you his place of residence yet because it's an ongoing investigation.

We don't know what his belief system was at this time. I'm sorry I can't hear you. No. We have no idea at this point. It's on ongoing investigation. As you can imagine, it just happened. So, please bear with us.

OK. I'm going to say this one more time. We do not know. It's on ongoing investigation. Right now, we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point and the scene is static. We are attempting to locate the person of interest.

We have two police officers that are currently at the hospital. One in critical condition, and the other one minor injuries, but there are other police officers that were off duty attending the concert that have expired. We have -- we don't have those individuals identified at this point. I don't know the sequence of events on that.

Right now, we believe it's 100-plus injured and 20-plus dead. OK. I don't want to give you an accurate number because I do not have it at this point. I still want them to shelter in place. They will be contacted by first responders and they will advise them when they're free to go. It's better to shelter in place than to be unaware.

I'm sorry, ma'am? We believe there's a couple off-duty officers that were attempted the concert that may have died. We don't have them identified yet. All I know at this point is they are roommates. I can't give you that now. Yes. We believe so.

Yes, absolutely. We are looking for a Hyundai Tucson, unknown color, Nevada plate 114 B40. Additionally, looking for a Chrysler Pacifica Touring, unknow color, Nevada plate 19D 401. It is. It's devastating time. It's unfortunate. We have been talking about active shooters in the past, and it's unfortunate it did occur here, but we have responded to the scene and we're doing the best we can to provide safety for the survivors.

And right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone wolf. I cannot. All right. Thank you very much. We'll do regular briefings and advise you of the schedule as they come forward. Thank you.

ROMANS: It's heart breaking that is no accurate number. He could not give an accurate number, a 100-plus injured, 20 plus dead.

BRIGGS: Still evaluating. That's Joe Lombardo the sheriff. Shooting began at 10:08 local time. It's about four hours later now, 2:19. We actually have an eyewitness to the concert. Brian Claypool, is an attorney was at the concert where the shooting took place. Brian, thanks for being with us. Tell us what you heard and what you saw.

[05:20:08] BRIAN CLAYPOOL, WITNESS (via telephone): I can tell you right now for the first time about 40 minutes ago, is the first time I felt safe from when the mass shooting started. I will tell you my heart is still racing. It's still palpitating. I was sitting in the -- Jason Aldean is looking out into the crowd, an area called the neon lounge, VIP area. Not far from stage.

Initially, I heard some popping sounds, and I thought it was maybe fireworks because Jason was the last act and I looked up in the air. I didn't see any fireworks, so I became concerned and in fact it was very eerie that Jason Aldean kind of hesitated during his song and kind of got quiet for a couple of seconds like something was wrong and then the shooting started.

And then I saw -- the thing that struck really was crystal in my mind when I saw Jason Aldean drop his guitar. I just can't get that image out of my mind like he just dropped and I immediately got up. I was in the first row.

And so, I am running and trying to run up the aisle and then the shooting lasted I'm not kidding you, it was -- I'm telling you, at least 10 to 15 seconds of assault rifle. Not talking about sporadic shooting. We're talking it could have been more than 15 seconds.

I was leaning on the face down in an aisle, four people down. Then it stops for a little bit. Then I got up, and I raced down these stairs and so, I apparently was in the line -- I was in the line of -- where we were was right next to Las Vegas boulevard.

So, I was on the side closest where the shooting was takes place. But thankfully there was a guy here in the small room and he funneled about 20 of us into a room under the bleachers and I got to tell you how fortifying that was because I saw like six younger gals on their knees crying, and I'm trying to calm them, and I'm thinking this is Orlando.

I'm thinking we're all going to die in this little room. We don't know where the shooter is. He could be across over this little fence. So, we're thinking he's going to jump the fence and what are we going to do? We are in this little room.

So, the minute the second round of shooting stopped, I then peek to the front of door and the guy said the police just screamed. Go, go north as quickly as you can. I got to tell you, it was a race for your life. You're running and you're just hoping and praying you don't get hit.

That's -- I saw two people shot and I just got back to the hotel, two people sitting next to me I got to know for the few days I was there from Austin, Texas. They invited me to their room and they spoke to a girl whose friend was killed.

I can't even begin to tell you how time slows down and you start thinking of all things that have gone on. You mentioned I'm a lawyer. I'm a civil rights attorney. Am I going to die at a shooting where we have mass terrorism and I've been fighting against the terrorism.

But at the same time, you have to think about what's going on what's going to happen if you get shot and killed? How your life is going to end? That's how I'm thinking. This is not the way that I envisioned this happening. Why did I think that?

Because here you have all walks of life. You had anywhere from age 20 all the way up to elderly folks at this event. People just trying to relax. How ironic for me. I was supposed to fly back to L.A. tonight, to Burr Bank because I had an early morning business stuff.

But I decided I'm going to stick around. I don't get out that much. I want to relax in Las Vegas and see these country acts. So, I stayed an extra night. And guess what? I was on the 24th floor of the Mandalay Bay sharing the same elevator as this lunatic, and that's what's going through my mind.

I'm thinking am I going to die because I decided to stay an extra night? I had a 11-year-old little girl. This is what -- how I'm going to be remembered. These are all the things going through my mind.

ROMANS: Brian, just really moving, your account of what you saw there and what you were thinking there. We're so glad you're OK. Sadly, we don't -- authorities are not -- they don't have an accurate number of wounded and dead in this event. They say the situation is static. That whoever did this is dead on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, but we know that the extent of the injuries has not really been revealed yet. Brian Claypool, thank you so much for calling in to us. Really emotional, thank you.

BRIGGS: All right. Thank you, Brian. What an emotional ordeal he and thousands of others endured at the Jason Aldean concert.

Let's bring in our law enforcement experts. James Gagliano, a former FBI supervisor agent, and Joe Giacalone, a former NYPD officer and a professor. Joe, let me start with you. What do you hear? What do you see on that eyewitness account video?

JOSEPH GIACALONE, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: Well, I tell you, it's disturbing beyond all belief. I mean, this is something where you can't prevent this. As a former New York City officer, you look at Times Square and you look at what happened with all the hotel rooms and stuff like that.

It's just another thing that the NYPD has to think about going forward as well as other police departments across the country. This is a new dynamic that we've seen now. There's going to be a big investigation and they need to move fast. That's why they don't give out the names. Executing search warrants. They don't want the press and everybody showing up and disturbing the scenes.

ROMANS: Joe, let's talk about this person of interest because they did tell us one person they are looking for, a companion, a roommate. Marilou Danley, as an Asian woman. They're not calling her a suspect. They're saying that she's someone they need to talk to because they believe she was a companion of the Las Vegas resident, who they say went to the 32nd floor and embarked on this murder and mayhem. What about this person of interest? What's happening here?

GIACALONE: Sure. Christine, in law enforcement parlance, this would be referred to as a person of interest. We don't know if she had any attachment to the crime, but because there might have been some type of relationship with the now deceased shooter, we're very interested in her.

This is what you have to do from a law enforcement perspective. The first shots started at around 10:08 Las Vegas time. So, what you've got to think about then is how long would it take anyone to use any ingress, egress points outside that immediate area to get outside as we would put out as a perimeter.

You want it to be as far out as possible. Remember too, Las Vegas airport is pretty close. So, as something like this happens, you're going to have additional screening there to make sure that somebody (inaudible).

And the one good thing is there's not a square inch of Las Vegas especially in the casinos and the hotels that's not covered by security cameras. I guarantee you they're going through those right now with a fine-tooth comb.

ROMANS: I'm sure.

BRIGGS: The international airport that you mentioned was shut down for a brief time. It has resumed certainly on a limited basis. How difficult is it, Joe, to secure something like this, an outdoor concert, 30,000 people there, hotels all around?

GIACALONE: Yes. Outdoor crime scene, they're hard enough, but something of this proportion, it's nearly impossible. You have to funnel everybody out to make sure they're safe but you can also be getting out conspirators with it. You've got to be very mindful of that.

Ultimately, get people to safety. That's what the law enforcement job is. They're running in, you don't know who's who and from a law enforcement perspective -- I mean, you do this, you don't even think about it until after the fact. You're like, what do they just do.

GAGLIANO: To your point, the first thing you want to do is prevent additional loss of life and destruction of property, but in doing so, you don't want to contaminate the crime scene. You've got an active crime scene. You want to make sure you can harvest all that forensic evidence if you can. But to Joe's point, first thing, stop the killing, and then stop as much property damage as possible and then work the crime scene.

ROMANS: You heard the police say, Sheriff Joe Lombardo say if you have video, please bring it to the police headquarters. They want you to look at your video, 30,000 people taking pictures. If there's anything you see that could help them, the number of eyewitnesses here from the law enforcement standpoint is just mind boggling almost.

GAGLIANO: You've got 30,000 people crushed into that one area there. We already know there was off-duty police officers there that were shot and injured as well. But you're going to use those folks, they're going to be good eyewitnesses for this.

So, 30,000 people, all that video footage as you pointed out, Christine, on cell phone cameras. You just hope people are accurate. Expressing concern this morning about people posting erroneous things on Facebook, social media, Twitter, and that hurts. It doesn't help the investigation.

ROMANS: Law enforcement were, I would say, irritated about that a little bit because --