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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Las Vegas Authorities Update Shooting Investigation. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired October 3, 2017 - 16:30   ET

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


[16:30:03]

JOSEPH LOMBARDO, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA, SHERIFF: Additionally, we served a search warrant on the suspect's vehicle located at the Mandalay Bay.

So, I'm happy to answer any questions.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Can you be specific about the modifications to the weapons (OFF-MIKE) automatic? (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: The question was, what are the modifications associated with the weaponry?

ATF is participating in that evaluation. I can't give you an answer on whether any of them are automatic or not. But we are aware of a device called a bump-stock. And that enables an individual to speed up the discharge of ammunition.

I don't want to give you any more details than that, but in partner with the FBI, the ATF, they are sending those weapons back east to the FBI crime lab for further evaluation.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: Yes, yes, absolutely.

Yes, sir.

QUESTION: The girlfriend, Marilou Danley, has she given authorities information about his motive, about (OFF-MIKE)? If so, can you tell us what that information is?

LOMBARDO: No, we don't have that information yet.

But I will assure you that the investigation with her is ongoing. And we anticipate some information here from her shortly.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: Do you have information with regards to a $100,000 (OFF- MIKE)

LOMBARDO: No, ma'am, I do not.

Now, here you go. Just let me back up a little bit. There is a lot of information I do know. OK? But it's an ongoing investigation. And when I say I do not know, I may know, but...

(LAUGHTER)

LOMBARDO: But, as you can imagine, in a criminal investigation, we want to ensure the continued safety of our community, and that all of those questions are answered.

And we -- I assure you, this investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr. Paddock.

Yes?

QUESTION: Could you give us an update, if there is an update, on the victims and the injuries? And also is there anything new (OFF-MIKE)? Are you making any progress on determining a motive?

LOMBARDO: No.

I will answer your last question first. No.

We are making progress. But I don't have complete answers yet. So I anticipate a substantial amount of information to come in, in the next 48 hours.

Hold on. Let me finish the rest of this.

As far as injuries, it goes across the board. The coroner commented on that yesterday. We have trampled injuries. We have people trying to escape injuries of their own device. We have gunshot wounds.

So, if you are looking at total type of injuries associated with all the injuries in the people that died, it goes across the board. I can't give you a percentage associated with gunshot vs. other types of injuries.

QUESTION: Are the numbers, though, the general numbers 59 (OFF-MIKE) have those changed, or they the same?

LOMBARDO: We believe the injury number has decreased slightly.

And when I say slightly, maybe 20, because we had a double count error occurring at one of the hospitals.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

LOMBARDO: But looking close -- still in close proximity of the number I provided you.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: I can't tell you her current whereabouts right now. All I know is the Philippines. And we are in conversation. QUESTION: Is she a suspect?

LOMBARDO: Currently, she's a person of interest.

QUESTION: Who is?

LOMBARDO: The girlfriend.

Yes? Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: "The Daily Mail" has released photos that say -- that show the hotel after the SWAT team entered, and it showed guns and ammunitions inside. Many outlets are disseminating. Can you verify the legitimacy of these photos? And should any other outlets disseminate them?

LOMBARDO: I can't verify whether they're legitimate or not.

What I can tell you is, I'm very troubled by it. We have an internal investigation occurring as we speak about how those photographs were obtained by the public forum.

QUESTION: Sheriff, can you talk (OFF-MIKE) about what was found inside that hotel room (OFF-MIKE)? Specifically, CBS News is reporting that there was a camera inside that room. Was the gunman recording? Was the gunman transmitting that video anywhere else?

LOMBARDO: I'm not aware of any transmission. But there was cameras. There was cameras located outside of the room and inside of the room, along with the firearms.

QUESTION: And he had set up how many cameras?

LOMBARDO: I don't know what the specific numbers were.

QUESTION: And for what purpose, do you think?

[16:35:00]

LOMBARDO: Well, I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.

QUESTION: So, essentially, you have a recording of him carrying out this carnage?

LOMBARDO: No, that's not essentially what I'm saying.

That is being evaluated. The FBI took all digital and electronic evidence into custody. And we are evaluating.

QUESTION: Sheriff?

LOMBARDO: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Do we know if this man was targeting this particular event, or did he have in mind perhaps another event that was going to be coming up in the Las Vegas area as a possible target? Have you developed any evidence?

LOMBARDO: No, we haven't developed that yet. I will provide you that information at a later date.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: We are unable to confirm that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: We are unable to confirm that.

QUESTION: Sheriff, I have a question. (OFF-MIKE) .

LOMBARDO: What's the clarity? What's the clarity you are seeking?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) what time the shots rang out? (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: We received the call at 10:08 p.m.

The best of our estimates and video review, he continued to fire at a progressive, successive rate for approximately nine minutes.

As you can see by any video you see in the public space, it was hard to determine where they were coming from. Once it was evaluated it was coming from the Mandalay Bay, as you can imagine how hard it would be to pinpoint the room from the outside.

Officers subsequently formed up, teamed up, and moved over to the Mandalay Bay to -- in order to locate and engage. But that was in conjunction with the Mandalay Bay security.

Now, this is an opportunity for me to tell you something. The Mandalay Bay security was fantastic. I don't want anybody assuming that they are unsafe by, you know, staying at one of their hotels.

We would not have engaged this individual in the time lapse that we did without their assistance. We received information via their dispatch center and/or their operations center, their call center from individuals staying within the Mandalay Bay that helped us locate where this individual was sequestered.

(CROSSTALK)

LOMBARDO: Hold on. I want to finish her question. It's her question, all right?

And so, subsequently, that takes time. As you can imagine, moving from the location of the event, deciding whether you are going to help victims evacuate, or you are going to decide whether you are going to take charge and put an element together and go engage this individual.

So, we have a lot of bifurcation of responsibilities associated, especially in a dynamic event.

I want to say kudos to those officers that got together and said, this is what we trained for, active shooter. We are putting an element together. Let's go engage this individual and locate them. OK?

And that's what we did. And when the security officer was engaged by the suspect, we backed off for immediate apprehension, and SWAT team formed and made entry.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: I don't have that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: Absolutely concerned.

The world has changed. And, you know, who would have ever imagined this situation? I couldn't imagine it. And for this individual to take it upon himself to create this chaos and harm is unspeakable.

And, you know, we have to try to spitball or what-if these situations at all points when we train, and make sure that we have proper response, and I think we did a fantastic job.

QUESTION: So, Sheriff, Mandalay Bay security identified the room before SWAT arrived?

LOMBARDO: No.

Well, yes, before SWAT arrived, but not before my officers arrived. They were married or hand in hand with my officers when we made entry over to the hotel. And it was a matter -- if you will recall yesterday, I said between floor 29 and 32.

And during that process of evaluating the floors, we received additional information where he was located, and they immediately responded.

QUESTION: Sheriff, what time did you have SWAT breach...

LOMBARDO: I don't have that number for you.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) response team came in or (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: That's for us to evaluate in the investigation.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) scattered throughout the venue (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: No, they were throughout the venue.

They even had some victims that met their demise outside of the venue. And then we had individuals who had been shot, and they continued to run away, and then they passed away several blocks from the venue.

[16:40:06]

We also had very heroic acts of people attending the event.

We have numerous videos depicting people attending, normal citizens, providing medical aid and providing transportation for victims to get to the hospital.

QUESTION: Sheriff.

LOMBARDO: Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Going back to the (OFF-MIKE). How would you judge this man's preparation and determination to do this, based on the...

LOMBARDO: I don't even need that bit of information to make a judgment. This individual was premeditated, obviously premeditated.

The fact that he had the type of weaponry and the amount of weaponry in that room, it was preplanned extensively. And I'm pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did in his actions, which is troublesome.

I was hoping -- you know, I pray that, in these situations, that a citizen, because we can't be at all places at all times -- that a citizen sees something and says something, and we act on that.

Quite often, what we experience in our line of work, a citizen thinks it's trivial. And they say, no, I don't want to bother the police. We ask you to bother the police, because those individuals, especially housekeeping-type individuals, or any cab drivers, anybody in the public space that can assist us, we ask them to...

QUESTION: Sheriff, did the girlfriend have any knowledge?

LOMBARDO: Let me ask back here.

QUESTION: Did police or security guards prior to any shots (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: During while he was discharging his weapons? We are not aware of that. No security guard or police, other than the encounter at the room.

QUESTION: And can you expand on what went right? I know you practice (OFF-MIKE) scenarios. (OFF-MIKE) Can you expand on what went right?

LOMBARDO: You know what? I'm glad you asked that, Ricardo (ph), because, obviously, people have the assumption things went wrong in this type of carnage.

But what went right is, we saved hundreds of lives. In an event, and this guy having an ability with those weaponry, the carnage that could occur, outside of what did occur, a lot more was prevented because of our police action in short time, and private security action in short time to save some lives.

QUESTION: Sheriff, with all of this in the room, the cameras now, the guns, everything else, yesterday, you had said that there had been hotel staff inside that room during his stay.

Is that still believed (OFF-MIKE) did housekeeping go in there during this time?

LOMBARDO: The only thing I know at this point is room service was provided.

QUESTION: Sheriff, could I ask you (OFF-MIKE) I just wanted to clarify, do you believe you are going to find the motive for this crime?

LOMBARDO: I absolutely believe that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: Yes, I do.

QUESTION: And why is FBI not trying to bring her back? (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: How do you know that's not occurring?

QUESTION: I guess that's what I'm asking. (OFF-MIKE)

LOMBARDO: That is occurring.

Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: You all have been investigating this nonstop for the last (OFF-MIKE). How are you and your investigators doing?

LOMBARDO: I'm so glad you asked that.

(LAUGHTER)

LOMBARDO: No, I am. I'm not being sarcastic.

We are doing good. I'm actually very proud of our people. I mean, this guy here is the local SAC, Aaron Rouse, in charge of the FBI.

You know what's important? Greg Cassell talked about this yesterday, the chief of the Clark County Fire Department. I'm telling you right now, this jurisdiction has the best partnerships, I believe, in the United States as far as public safety.

We would not be able to accomplish what we did, as you described in the last 48 hours, without that partnership. The FBI stepped up to the plate to help us with evidence documentation and prosecution.

The fire department, here -- he didn't do a good job describing it yesterday, Greg. The fire department in our jurisdiction marries with a police officer during the critical incident. I beg you to find such a robust-type operation in the rest of the United States.

Quite often, what you observe in the public space is the fire department will wait until it's secured by public safety before aid is rendered.

Our primary mission is aid and the safety of the public. They took it upon themselves to train with us, to marry with us, and to go into the fray to assist the victims.

If you look at the video, you quite often see individuals with helmets on and vests on. Those are firefighters standing next to us. So, I think it's very important for you to ask that question. It's very important for me to convey the answer.

But the next 48 hours, we will be able to tell. We have gone into incident management mode. So, in other words, people have to get sleep and nourished and -- because we don't want to make any mistakes in the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff?

LOMBARDO: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any indication (INAUDIBLE) what they are doing (INAUDIBLE)

LOMBARDO: We do have some information. I'm not at liberty to say at this point. There is the guy I was just talking about. Make sure you get him on camera. All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff, have you been in communication with the Philippine government (INAUDIBLE) for cooperation with the whereabouts of (INAUDIBLE)?

LOMBARDO: Yes, we have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple more questions. One is --

LOMBARDO: OK, before we get too long, too contracted in this press interview, I'll ask -- answer your questions Ken, I'll ask a couple additional more, and then I want acknowledgment of the people standing behind me. As you can see it's our Congressional delegation and our other public safety officials. And it's very hard for them to conduct federal government and local government while they're standing behind me. But I think it's important for you to realize their community support and they want to be there amongst everything else they do to ensure that people understand we are bringing all resources associated with this to bear in order for (INAUDIBLE) success. Go ahead, Ken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first one is the follow up to (INAUDIBLE) question. (INAUDIBLE) camera on service cart in the hallway and the security guard --

LOMBARDO: I'll tell you what, I wish I had some of you on my investigative team, because it's amazing -- it's amazing some of the information you come up with. But I'll confirm it, yes, one of them was on a service cart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) you talked about motive, you talked about premeditation, you want to learn what -- why he did what he did. Videos, can you tell us the number of interviews you're have to do to do that? Talked about reviewing cameras, videos, computers, who do you have to talk to?

LOMBARDO: I'll take -- I'll give you a global answer on that. Yes, yes to everything you said. Yes, we are evaluating all that. I can't give you -- because the number is changing. It's fluid Ken, on the number of videos we're evaluating. Just on body cameras videos, we had over 67 videos we were evaluating. OK? So you would say well, you had a lot more officers at the event than that, Sheriff, you only had 67? No, not all officers are assigned cameras because they work in investigative function with plain clothes, but when they take on the role of special events, over time, they don't -- we don't require them to wear body cameras. So we are evaluating those cameras as we speak. We have 90 percent of that done. But then we have all the common public space cameras that we are evaluating. And I can't remember the rest of your question, I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're also talking about computers and his cameras.

LOMBARDO: So, a lot of this you're probably saying, well, Jesus, Sheriff, it's 2017, how come it's taking so long for you to evaluate that. Because it's evidentiary. There's chain of custody issues associated with that. We have to make sure we have dot in the I's and cross on the T because you know there's criminal defense attorneys out there, right? And there's this thing called the constitution. We have to ensure that we are abiding by that and we have to ensure -- I don't know if we have possible future prosecution. You know, you heard me say that we're comfortable that we have the suspect in custody. But something more may come of that investigation. And I want to understand the motivation that you describe, OK, to prevent any future incidents. And you know, did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us and we want to identify that source.

(CROSSTALK)

LOMBARDO: Hold on a second, and then I'll answer the present question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the Congressional support include gun control?

LOMBARDO: That's not for this forum. That's a long contracted discussion. It's not for this forum.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff, with regards to the President visit -- the President will tomorrow. Any security measure the city is taking? And if you can tell us what the President's plan while he visits Las Vegas, how long will be here for? I also know that -- it's been reported that he'll meet with the local Sheriffs I assume guys as yourself.

LOMBARDO: I'm the only one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Mayor and Governor. So could you please give us -

LOMBARDO: You are correct in who he is visiting. And it is a matter of secrecy and offset operation security that I can't give you his travel plans. And that will it be obviously provided in close proximity of his arrival.

[16:50:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any information that he will be visiting the hospital (INAUDIBLE)

LOMBARDO: Ma'am, I can't answer that question because -- operation security. But as you very well know, you have the resources to determine that upon his arrival. And I can't speak to what his agenda is. What I can tell you on part of your question was what is normal protocol when the Sheriff -- the President -- the President or Vice President or anybody of dignitary space of that quality, we ensure their safety by the joining forces, basically. It takes a great deal of resources to ensure the safety of the President. And we will provide that because of our public cooperation through NHP, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, as you can imagine all the people will come to bear. Now, an important piece on that is the President is visiting Route 91 investigation. And if you don't -- if you recall -- the Police Department, so we have over 3.3 million calls a year that we deal with. So we have to continue with our investigations, our response, and normal police business in order to be successful. So I ask your cooperation. And don't get frustrated if I don't have a press conference every five minutes because I have a job to do and my folks have a job to do. So I want to thank everybody for attending today and hopefully, hopefully as a result of your attendance and your broadcast, this investigation will be not as long as I want it to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff, you've been very transparent as far as --

LOMBARDO: Can you say that again? Can you say it again, please? Say it again, Rachel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a local reporter, you have been very transparent about the method, de-escalation, and tactics. (INAUDIBLE) there was talk at the time of a very delayed Police response, trying to decide when to make entry. Can you talk about the decision to make entry into Paddock's hotel room?

LOMBARDO: Well, I will not disparage another Police Department's response. But I will tell you we quite often learn from what other people do. And everything we do on a critical incident is based on a self-evaluation. And as a result of what occurred in Columbine, what occurred in Sacramento, what occurred in Boston, what occurred at the Pulse nightclub, police response has changed. By the fact that the Fire Department is standing with us is monumental.

OK. So we have found it's better instead of securing a perimeter and hoping the person doesn't continue to do acts of carnage associated with their actions, that even a small police response will stop the suspect's actions. And so what -- to answer your question in reference to the Mandalay Bay, that training, we were listening and we were paying attention. Officers on their own without direction of a supervisor knew what they had to do. They came together, formed a team, made a response and they didn't wait on SWAT, OK. They said we have to stop. It's easy to say we are waiting on SWAT they are experts in tactical intrusion but our officers took it upon themselves to act. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

LOMBARDO: No. Patrol officers evaluated floor by floor of the space between 29 and 32, where the suspect was, they formed the security, they evacuated rooms, and they formed the perimeter at the suspect's location. By unfortunate acts of the suspect, the security guard was engaged during that process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) was the security guard in a company with officers or he's been there alone?

LOMBARDO: He was acting independently. He got separated from our team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff, can I confirm real fast. Yesterday (INAUDIBLE) to the girlfriend in Philippines (INAUDIBLE)?

LOMBARDO: I'm comfortable saying she's located in the Philippines. You know what, just so you know I'm not giving you bad info. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, I wasn't implying that.

LOMBARDO: No, she was traveling. So subsequently we have determined her location. OK, I'm sorry and I know it's -- you have to give me some deference. I'm currently done answering questions. OK. So I want to thank you. Carla, do we have any idea on next conference time? OK, Hold on. That's not gospel. OK. She hasn't talked to me yet. I put her on the spot -- I put her on the spot but we'll anticipate 5:00. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Sheriff.

[16:55:05] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: You were just listening to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo updating the public on the most deadly mass shooting in modern American history. Police say it's clear that this act Sunday night was extensively preplanned. They still did not identify the motive. Sheriff Lombardo was asked, did he believe that they would be able to determine a motive. He said absolutely. We also learned that the call came into Las Vegas Police 10:08 p.m. He continued to fire for nine minutes from Mandalay Bay. Some of the other things we've learned that the police and the coroner and medical examiner have identified all of the victims, the 59 victims except for three, three people remain unidentified, 56 identified, that they searched the Reno property of the shooter where they found electronic items, five handguns, two shotguns, and ammunition.

He was not able to break down the injury count in terms of how many were bullet wounds versus how many were injuries from being trampled versus self-inflicted wounds from jumping over a fence or what not. About the girlfriend of the shooter, he called her a person of interest. He said that they were in conversation with her, that she is in the Philippines. And then also intriguingly that the shooter had cameras set up both inside and outside the room. The FBI is evaluating what is on the cameras. The Sheriff said he was not aware of any transmission of images of the shooter. But he said that was all being evaluated by the FBI. I want to bring in CNN Correspondents Martin Savidge and Stephanie Elam who were in Las Vegas for us. They have been covering the story. Martin, what stood out to you most about what we just learned from Sheriff Lombardo?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple of things, one of them you mentioned right there, the girlfriend went from being a cooperating person who was not thought to be involved to now being described as a person of interest. That does seem to be a little bit more closer towards someone you want to question thoroughly. She's in the Philippines. That raises the question of, well, is this a coincidence that she was just traveling to the Philippines or was there some kind of plan because we've already talked about, and I believe that the Sheriff was asked, monetary transfer of 100,000 to the Philippines.

So you begin to add up and see these threats coming together. And the other thing that was also very troubling, he was asked you know, those pictures that we've now seen of the weapons that were on the carpet there and the doorway were those legitimate photos. The Sheriff wouldn't confirm that, but then he said, but it's very, very troubling to see those. So in a way that's an indirect confirmation. And then he also mentioned cameras. The authorities believe the cameras were set up in a way so that the suspect could see their approach. That kind of methodical planning, that kind of detail in a shooting, in a mass murder, is something we have not seen. And that just increases the level of how bad.

TAPPER: All right. Martin, thank you so much. Stephanie Elam, the Sheriff said that of the 59 victims, three remain unidentified. This is part of what we were discussing earlier in the show. Some families there looking for loved ones and have not been able to find them. We know three families like that at least.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, and that's part of it. It was also interesting to note that they said the number of injured, he said it would go down maybe 20 because there was doubt count at one hospital. But the other thing that he did say as well is that if you left the city and were injured, they still want to know about it. They still want to know if you think you have an injury that was related to what happened at that concert that they still want to hear from you. The other thing that he said that really stood out to me too is that he does credit the Mandalay Bay Security for helping them pinpoint who this person was and where he was in the hotel. And he says that that really helped the police find this man and bring him down.

TAPPER: Yes, they said that (INAUDIBLE) they learned from other incidents dating all the way back to Columbine. I want to go now live to Sara Murray, she's our White House Correspondent, she's live in San Juan Puerto Rico. And Sara the President is heading from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas tomorrow. What are we expecting from that trip?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. From one sort of tragic set of circumstances to another. Today President Trump said he wanted to pay his own personal respects to the victims and to their families in Las Vegas. And that's why he's going there. Obviously, he and the first lady have already sent his condolences. He says Melania Trump --

TAPPER: Obviously having transmission issues with Sara Murray. A horrible day with a lot of horrific events both in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas, Nevada. That's it for THE LEAD, I'm Jake Tapper. I'm going to turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news, a sniper's nest. A first look at the hotel suite turned into a sniper's nest by the Las Vegas gunman. And some of the weapons from his arsenal used to rain death on concertgoers 32 floors below.