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Witnesses Describe Las Vegas Shooting; Brother Speaks about Las Vegas Shooter; Couple Separated During Shooting; Doctor Gives Patient Update. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] MEGHAN KAVALES, WITNESS (via telephone: And then it lasts another 10 seconds and then it stopped for 30 seconds and then picks back up another 10 or 15 seconds. It was so sporadic. It was a machine gun. Nonstop firing. When we came back in, the SWAT team came out screaming really intense to get down, get down. All of us scattered for our lives. I thought it was the shooter that came up on the floor. We didn't know it was the SWAT team coming in to secure us and make sure we were safe. And also to make sure the shooter was not on our floor knowing we were on the floor of the balcony. We ran for cover and I was on the ground for a good 10 minutes hiding behind one of the couches. Still not knowing that it was the SWAT team and finally it was on the floor with me and whispered I think it's the SWAT team. Even in that moment, in my heart I was like how do I know this is the legit SWAT team? That goes through your head. They were walking around and I felt them come over me. There are no words. After the SWAT team was there, just a shock. And the horror to know how much longer it was going to go on. That's been my experience. I put up a video on Facebook of right after. The guy sitting next to me. The video on the ground holding hand for 10 minutes. Just praying.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: You were a guest at the Mandalay Bay Hotel yourself?
KAVALES: Yes, I wasn't staying at that hotel. I was staying at the hard rock where I am right now. We were on lockdown and we were not released until an hour ago.
BLITZER: You were stuck there that whole time. How are you holding up?
KAVALES: I'm good. I think it will hit me when I get on a plane today and fly back to New Jersey. And then I see the pictures of the young innocent people and bodies laying on the ground and covered in blood and people throwing their bodies over other people to protect them and get them out of harm's way.
In my opinion, enough is enough. How many mass shootings do we have to have before the laws are changed to protect us? It's not that difficult. They put in metal detectors. This murderer has over 10 weapons when they found him in his hotel room? He was able to bring this amount of weapons into this hotel within three days of being here? It just leaves me speechless.
BLITZER: Meghan, thank you so much for your eyewitness account. Good luck to you. I know this is a heartbreaking situation for so many people who are watching this massacre and the aftermath unfold.
KAVALES: Yes, I will be praying for the families.
BLITZER: Meghan Kavales, thank you very much. We really appreciate your thoughts and eyewitness account.
Joining us now is another eyewitness in the crowd. Jordan Adkins is joining us.
Jordan, you bought concert tickets to surprise your fiance. Tell us what you saw.
JORDAN ADKINS, WITNESS (via telephone): I did. I bought him tickets to Vegas and got these concert tickets a while ago. We were on the left side of the stage kind of towards the middle of it. Enjoying the concert and you hear a noise and it sounds like a firecracker. Not really sure what was going on. My fiance heard it again and he looked at me and told me to run. He said just run. I was frozen and I didn't know what to do. We ran through the House of blues. We were jumping over and running into the streets. The cars didn't know what was going on. They were seeing people coming out into the street. It sounded like it was coming from inside of the concert. Nobody knew it was coming from the 32nd floor at the time until you got safe and you were in your hotel room and you turn on the news and you find out that it was coming from above. People on the floor. I'm so thankful and blessed we got out of there. And there was another couple with us and she asked if she could stay in the room with us because they were at the Luxor. We ended up having like 12 other people in our room with us at the time. It was very scary.
[13:35:24] BLITZER: How long did it take for to you realize it wasn't firecrackers or anything like that. These were bullets coming from an automatic weapon.
ADKINS: It was fast. Within five seconds. My fiance knew something is not right. He goes run. We started running and people were kind of just standing for a split second and everybody just started running for their lives.
BLITZER: Where were you running towards? Did you know where to run?
ADKINS: So we were at the House of blues on Friday and we knew there was a back area. We knew to cut around that area and we stayed at the MGM. My fiance and I kept running until we reached the MGM. We didn't stop. We ran the entire way and were hopping fences and going through parking lots and hiding behind cars and everything.
BLITZER: Jordan, how are you and your fiance? What's his name? How are you doing?
ADKINS: We are both very shooken up right now. Thankfully, we are at the airport right now. I can't stop shake. My fiance, the second we got into the hotel room, it hit him and he started throwing up. I never experienced this. It's insane. It's crazy.
BLITZER: It's very, very sad, indeed.
Jordan Adkins, thanks very much for joining us. Glad you are OK. And have a safe flight home.
More news that we are following and this just coming in. The brother of the Las Vegas shooter speaking to CNN a little while ago. Listen to this.
ERIC PADDOCK, BROTHER OF STEPHEN PADDOCK: We are trying to understand what's wrong, what happened. We have no more idea what happened now than we had an hour ago. We are still just completely befuddled. Dumb struck. The last time I communicated with my brother was about -- when did we get power back? Five days after the storm. He texted me and said how's mom. I texted him back.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does she know what happened?
PADDOCK: Yes. My mom knows what happened. We found out when our phones started ringing with the cops at 1:00 this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
PADDOCK: It had nothing to do with any political or religious organization. No white supremacist. Nothing as far as I know. I have only known him for 57 years.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your father was a bank robber?
PADDOCK: That's correct. We are all proud. My father was on the top-10 list for a while. His name is Benjamin Paddock, I believe was his name. I didn't know him. We didn't know him. There is no -- he was in jail and broken out of jail.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does he have a history at all --
PADDOCK: He doesn't even have parking tickets! No criminal record. No record of any affiliations. He has nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about mental illness?
PADDOCK: Absolutely not.
PADDOCK: As far as I know. Once again, nothing like that. He was a wealthy guy. He liked to play video poker. He went on cruises. He sent his mother cookies.
PADDOCK: Big, huge, crazy boxes of cookies and stuff.
BLITZER: Eric Paddock, the brother of Stephen Paddock, the 64-year- old shooter who committed this massacre in Las Vegas.
Let's get insight from Charles Ramsey, a CNN law enforcement analyst and former Washington, D.C., police chief and the former Philadelphia police commissioner.
Chief Ramsey, what's your reaction to the comments to the words we just heard from Eric Paddock, the younger brother of this killer.
[13:39:38] CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's very unusual and I'm sure that there is something that they will find eventually, but right now on the surface, there doesn't appear to be anything there. You heard it from the sheriff and his own family. There has to be something there that would cause him to do what he did. This is not something you just -- I don't believe spur of the moment decided to do. He was in the that hotel since the 28th and he was well equipped with the ammunition and the firearms he brought. He knew exactly what he was doing. There had to be something. As they go through the evidence they recover from the various locations, hard drives and so forth, maybe they will come up with something.
BLITZER: This clearly was an act aimed at causing mass casualties. Chief, doesn't that make this an act of terror?
RAMSEY: In the minds of most folks, the motive is what determines whether or not it's an act of terrorism. We have a mass shooting on our hands. They don't want to jump to any conclusions. They will go through carefully the information and evidence they recover to see if they can determine a motive. And right now, it's a mass shooting. To put the label of domestic or international terrorism on it, it has to have certain characteristics or motivation in order for that to happen, by the way terrorism is defined.
BLITZER: I obtained audio from when the police breached the shooter's hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. I want you and the viewers to listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: We have sight on the suspect's door. I need everybody in the hall way to get back. We need pop that and see if we can get any type of response from this guy to see if he is in here or moved somewhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: From the 32nd floor, everyone needs to move back. All units move back.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Breech, breech, breech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Breach, breach, breach, and then they go through the door. Apparently, the shooter had shot himself and killed himself. That's a terrifying situation for a SWAT team to breech a door like that knowing there is a mass murderer inside.
RAMSEY: Absolutely. What's remarkable is able to locate the room from witnesses down on the ground. You can see muscle flashes and guests in the hotel were on the 32nd floor. No doubt could tell where the sound was coming from. That Las Vegas police is an excellent police department. The SWAT team is well trained. Hotels and casinos have reinforced doors and part of the training is how to make that explosive breach. Not every department trains for that. To have them there that quickly was remarkable.
BLITZER: I'm sure they noticed the window on the 32nd floor. You can't open those windows. He used a hammer-like device to break through the glass and start firing. You can see there was a hole in that window, presumably people on the ground and law enforcement saw that as well and that gave an indication to go to the 32nd floor, right?
RAMSEY: I would say that's true although when you stand on the ground looking at a tall building, it's hard to judge what floor. It would give you a good idea. You couple that with other information, they can pinpoint it quickly. It was remarkable that they responded as quickly as they did to resolve the situation.
BLITZER: What's next in this investigation?
RAMSEY: It's going to be a long process. You still have crime scenes and you have the hotel. I guess they cleared it, but they hold that 32nd floor for a period of time and then you have the venue and probably still have bodies that have not yet been removed from the scene. They have to really go through carefully to document everything. They have witnesses they are going to have to interview and hospitals and people who probably just saw and heard what was going on and ran home. They will eventually give police a call and say I was there and they will have to interview those folks as well. Of course, the search warrants at the residence and sifting through the evidence that was recovered there. This is not going to be over any time soon.
I like the way the sheriff is handling things. He is briefing the media every couple of hours when he has something to say. He is not speculating at all. It's important that accurate information get out to the public in a case like this.
[13:44:34] BLITZER: The sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, is the man on the scene leading this investigation in Las Vegas.
Chief Ramsey, I want to you stand by.
More news developing. A husband and wife separated during the Las Vegas massacre. They are about to tell us what they saw and how bystanders jumped in to help those in need, taking victims to the hospital in pickup trucks and wheel barrows.
Plus, we have a brand-new update from the hospital where dozens of people right now are fighting for their lives.
This is CNN's special live coverage.
BLITZER: More on the massacre in Las Vegas and the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. When the bullets rang out, people quickly scattered. Family and friends were separated as they ran for safety and then helped the wounded.
In the crowd was Gary Mocnik and his wife, Kathy.
They are joining us right now on the phone.
Gary, you were there in the crowd and your wife actually stepped away. Describe what you saw. What was going on and what went through your mind?
[13:49:52] GARY MOCNIK, WITNESS (via telephone): Sure. We were with a group of friends and enjoying the concert that Jason had gotten 20 minutes into his set. We were stage right to the east side of the venue. In the lower level on one of the suites that you can get food. We heard maybe five or six pops like the middle poppers that kidding will throw on the fourth of July. No one really thought too much about it was within ten seconds followed by rapid, 20, 30, 40 of those pops, and it was at that time that the crowd hushed, and I think somebody yelled "gun" and everybody hit the deck and tried to cover. Ten, 15 seconds of silence and then another 30, 40, 50 rapid rounds of which then people really started to head towards exits or any type of cover, and as you mentioned before all of the action started my wife had gone to the restroom so we were separated and I went out the back with one of the security guys and pounded on the doors and yelled into the restrooms which there was no response, and it was chaos. People running for the exits. People using wheelbarrows or food carts to push people through the east exit. There is a street behind the venue and a big dirt parking lot where everybody tried to get away. It was unknown. Was it coming from a shooter in the crowd? Nobody would have guessed it was from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay.
Kathy -- Kathy, you were separated from your husband. When did you realize there was an attack and how long did it take for the two of you to be reunited?
KATHY MOCNIK, WITNESS (via telephone): When I was in the restroom, I could hear the gun shots. So I immediately crouched down in the corner and locked the door and waited for those two to cease. And then I came out of the restroom into the chaos and the screaming and the running. I started running with the crowd. No idea where my husband is. If he's shot, if he's dead or alive or our friends. Shots started again and people dropped and a group of us ran into a food truck and took cover behind the seats there and those shots stopped and then started running again and the shots started again and we all dove under cars, and just hugged each other and helped the wounded and then we found a car with the driver that we all ran into it with two wounded people. A man shot in the stomach and another man shot in the leg, and I just went in the car with him to the hospital. I had no phone, nothing. I didn't know if my husband was alive until maybe four hours later. BLITZER: Wow. Are you guys OK?
Kathy, are you OK?
KATHY MOCNIK: Yes. Physically, yes. It was pretty traumatizing being at the hospital and watching what was coming in there.
BLITZER: I can only imagine.
Gary, what about you?
GARY MOCNIK: I'm still very shaken. Thankful that we are here to tell the story. Incredibly saddened that 60-plus other people cannot say that and 500 others, you know, had to suffer through this. It's just -- it's sickening.
BLITZER: Gary and Kathy, thank you for your eyewitness account, and we're obviously, very, very relieved that both of you are OK.
I want to quickly go to CNN's Stephanie Elam. She's at the hospital in Las Vegas.
What's the latest you're getting on the injured, Stephanie?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we are at the University Medical Center of southern Nevada where it is the only level-one trauma center in the state. This is where they had 104 patients that arrived last night as this was happening.
I want to introduce you to Dr. John Fildes.
Tell me, have you seen anything that compared to what you saw last night?
DR. JOHN FILDES, CHAIRMAN, SURGERY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: This was the largest, vent we've ever done. We've had other mass casualties and this was a big event with a lot of walking wounded and a lot of criticals.
ELAM: Were you at any point overwhelmed by the number of casualties that came into the building?
FILDES: No. We drill on this a couple of times a year and we were able to expand into the hospital and everybody got a bed right away and everyone went into the upon rating room.
ELAM: Were there surgeons and doctors?
[13:55:03] FILDES: We called all of the staff in and we had more than enough an anesthesia and health care providers.
ELAM: What kind of wounds are you seeing? It's more than just gunshot wounds.
FILDES: Quite a few more gunshot wounds, there were pedestrians struck by vehicles and others who had fallen and other serious injuries that took place.
ELAM: Do you think, at this point, with the number of critical that you have, I think, it was 12 patients that were in critical condition, are you concerned about the patients and whether or not they'll pull through?
FILDES: We are always concerned and many will go back to the operating room today.
ELAM: What was it like, if you can paint the scene about what it was like in the operating room as you had this number of people coming in, and so many of them in such desperate need.
FILDES: The operating room is perhaps the calmest venue. The patients got excellent care, but the alarming thing was watching the front door open. It never stopped and gurneys just kept coming in, trucks would pull up. People would be brought in by friend, private vehicles and taxis dropped off patients and they just kept coming in.
ELAM: Dr. Fildes, we appreciate you speaking to us and letting us know here --
FILDES: Thank you.
ELAM: -- how the situation was.
Wolf, as you can see, they were prepared, even though they're the only level-one trauma center in Nevada. And because of that they have trained for this and ready for it and they said they were able to handle the numerous casualties that came into the building last night.
BLITZER: Stephanie, please thank everyone at that medical center, the doctors, the nurses, everyone else for the lives they're clearly saving right now.
Stephanie Elam, we'll get back to you, as well.
Our special breaking news coverage will continue right after this.