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Police Find 42 Guns in Shooter's Hotel Room & Home; Shooter Bought Guns in Nevada & Utah; Witness Describes Las Vegas Shooting; Trump Raises Eyebrows in Puerto Rico Talking Cost of Relief. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 3, 2017 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:28] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: More now on our special coverage. Forty-two guns is the arsenal authorities say Shooter Stephen Paddock accumulated leading up to the massacre in Las Vegas. They found 23 guns in his suite in the Mandalay Bay Hotel where he opened fire on a crowd of concert goers below. He killed 59 people and wounded more than 500. Authorities found another 19 guns at Paddock's home in Mesquite, Nevada, along with several thousand rounds of ammunition. They also found ammonium nitrate that can be used to make explosives, and they found that material in his car.
Correspondent Dan Simon is joining us from Las Vegas.
Dan, this is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Do authorities think Paddock may have been planning something even more horrific based on what they found so far?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If that's the case, they certainly haven't said so. It's fair to say there is no obvious motive here. No criminal history and no signs of mental illness, with no tie to any political or religious group. Those are the things you immediately look for. Apparently, his one real passion, gambling, high-stakes poker in Las Vegas. And had an affinity for weapons. He had 23 guns in his hotel room. Experts said it's clear they were modified in some fashion turning the guns into military grade machine guns -- Wolf?
BLITZER: We are learning more about how police carried out the raid from Paddock's hotel suite. A large suite with lots of windows and pictures from inside the suite prior to the stay. What can you tell us about that?
SIMON: We are getting new video of what that hotel room looks like. This was sent in by someone who previously stayed in that suite. It gives you an insight to the lifestyle the shooter was living. This was a nice, spacious suite. We heard his brother say the shooter liked living the lifestyle of a high-profile Las Vegas gambler and spent a lot of time here. I can guarantee that the casinos loved having his business. They don't build these beautiful hotels because people win. They build them because they lose. They liked having his business and it's not uncommon for someone who gambles an enormous sum of money to be given a complimentary suite, like the one you're seeing on your screen -- Wolf? BLITZER: Do we know if it was complimentary, because he was a big-
time gambler? Has the hotel told us that?
SIMON: They have not said so. But the point I was making is he came here all the time and gambled a lot of money. If that was the case, it would not be unusual.
BLITZER: Has the hotel said if he paid for the suite, how much he paid for it?
SIMON: They haven't said if it was complimentary or if he paid for it -- Wolf?
BLITZER: It was a huge suite. You could see all the windows there and a living room and's bedroom and the bar. A huge suite. We don't know if it was a comp and he got it because he was a big-time gambler or he paid for it. Maybe we will find out.
Dan, I want you to stick around. You are gathering more information.
Investigators continue to piece together the gunman's past, including where he got the guns. Forty-two guns in the hotel room and his residence in Mesquite, Nevada, about an hour or so outside of Las Vegas. We know he bought some of them from a gun shop across the Nevada border in Utah. The store's owner said the purchases didn't necessarily raise any alarm bells.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MICHEL, OWNER OF DIXIE GUN WORX: He didn't set off any of my alarms. Anything that I felt like there was a problem, in any way, shape, or form with him. He came in, again, another time and wanted a firearm. He knew what he was looking for in the shotgun I sold him. I found it and I supplied it to him because I didn't see anything. Nothing, again, stood out. He was a normal, everyday guy that walks in my door 50,000 times a day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: CNN's Brian Todd is on the scene in Las Vegas.
Brian, we heard from the brother of the shooter that there was not necessarily a long history with guns for this killer. What are you learning? Where did he get the guns?
[13:35:06] BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, aside from the gun shop in Utah, the owner that you ran the sound from, we have confirmed he bought guns at three locations in Nevada. One is Dixie Gun Worx, here in Las Vegas where he bought a shotgun and New Frontier Gun Shop in Las Vegas. He bought a shotgun and a rifle from there. Another is in Mesquite, Nevada, where he had a residence. He bought a hand gun and two rifles from a store called Guns and Guitars.
If you look at that, and the gun store in Utah, that only accounts for a few guns he had. We learned from law enforcement he had 23 guns just in the suite here at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and 19 more firearms at his home in Mesquite. That's 42. We are only accounting for a few out of the 42 at least that we know he had. Digging on that and all the places where he could have gotten guns, possibly in the west coast of California, Nevada and Utah, I'm sure we will get more on that.
Also, Wolf, digging on information into his possible motive. And a person who could really give information on that motive, his girlfriend, a woman named Marilou Danley, 62 years old. She was his girlfriend according to law enforcement personnel. One law enforcement officer said Marilou Danley is cooperating with authorities and expected to arrive back in the United States tomorrow, on Wednesday. We just got that from a law enforcement official. Police said she was not involved in the shooting and she was in Tokyo at the time of the shooting.
We have also just confirmed from a law enforcement official that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, wired about $100,000 to the Philippines in recent days. We believe Marilou Danley, his girlfriend, is from the Philippines and has family there. Unclear exactly when he wired it and who the recipient was. We are digging on that information.
But we learned that Marilou Danley, who was in Tokyo at the time of the shooting, is cooperating with law enforcement and expected to arrive back in the United States tomorrow. I was told by law enforcement that they contacted an associate of the girlfriend, Marilou Danley, for more information on this. Again, she can be incredibly crucial to the investigation, Wolf. She can speak to his movements in the days and weeks before the shooting and possible motivation. Did their relationship have anything to do with the shooting? She can speak to anything he might have spoken about in the days and weeks ahead of the shooting? Her information, Wolf, is expected to be crucial.
One law enforcement official told us that he is certain that was an event trigger that will come to light because of the meticulously planned nature of this attack, Wolf. Something clearly just was a mark that set him off at some point. Again, the girlfriend's information will be crucial when she arrives in the United States tomorrow.
BLITZER: That's new information that she will arrive back tomorrow. Lots of questions tomorrow, I'm sure.
Brian Todd, in Las Vegas.
I want to go back to Chris Cuomo. He's in Las Vegas for us as well.
Chris, you have another special guest.
CUOMO: We do. One of the issues that has to be discussed here is how did he get the guns. You will hear that. But this assumption that he has 42 guns and he must have gotten them in a way that was nefarious or illegal. Not necessarily. There is nothing illegal about building up a cache of weapons over time. If he did that in one place, it might trigger a different analysis. We don't know that. If he got his hands on an automatic weapon, that's almost always illegal. The question is how he got it. You can buy something that is legal, change semi-automatic to automatic. Why that is legal, that is part of the law and that discussion.
What we are dealing with here is the human toll of what happened here. So many came under the eyes of the murderer. Thank god most of them were able to get away. Not all. With each of them, the story of what they saw and how they had to deal with it makes you think about what matters in life.
One of the people who was lucky enough to get out is named Brendon O'Neal.
Brendan, you have been standing here listening to these discussions about what's going on. Can you believe, still, that you lived through this event or are you numb at this point?
BRENDAN O'NEAL, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Yes, I'm still in shock. I can't believe what went down. It's pretty surreal. I was back stage right. I thought it was the speakers popping off at first. I'm looking around and I can see the tech guys are on the radio like what's going on? Then pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, again. Oh, man, the sound system is probably going off or something. And then the third time it happened, it was so loud. You had to put your hands over your ears because it was so loud. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, upon pop, pop, pop, pop. I thought the speakers were going to explode.
[13:40:11] CUOMO: When did you realize it wasn't the sound system?
O'NEAL: It completely shut off and you hear he's got a gun. You just hear screams like -- I look at the crowd and the crowd just -- just chaos. Running every which way. Security guys said can you exit out the back. My buddy and I run down the stairs and we are running towards the right and running to try to get to the outlet to go to the parking lot. We just see people like a sea of people, pushing down fences and climbing and trampling each other. People down. People screaming and bleeding. It was just like a whirl wind of chaos. When we get to the entrance, I hear bullets all-around us. I can hear them popping and cracking. We thank god there was a police vehicle right there and we were able to jump behind the police vehicle. Bullets just ping, ping. Cracking all over the place. Relentless. Nonstop. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. The girls are screaming and crying and bleeding. I don't know if they are hit or what. One guy is like, he's coming this way. We are tripping out because we don't know if there are guys or whoever in the venue coming at us with guns or coming from the hotel or what. We had no idea where it was coming from. Complete chaos. We tried to run towards the parking lot again. This girl is laying on the ground. Her friend is hysterical. She is shot. She's shot in the head. We were like, oh, my god. My buddy and a couple other people lift her up and bring her to that police vehicle we were just at taking cover and put her there. God, I don't know if she made it, man. She was completely not there. So heavy. And then we put her there. And more. Just bullets, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. So loud. We just ran to the parking lot and went to the right, and there was just the cement median, like three-foot cement medians, and we took cover. And we saw policemen running towards us, just like running for their life saying, you have to get out of here right now. We just started running again. And then out of nowhere, this van came and was like, hey, get in. Get in. We were like, oh, my god. It was like a guardian angel at this point. I jumped in the van and two girls were in the back hysterically crying. Oh, man. Just reliving the whole situation is like --
CUOMO: As helpful as it is to understand, there is no reason to do something for yourself that's not going to help you.
You were taking video there.
CUOMO: What made you think, let me try to capture a little bit of this?
That's what Brendan does. He is a photographer.
But what were you thinking?
O'NEAL: Just like instinct. I wanted the camera going in case -- in case anything, capture anything that can help or see the shooter or if I get shot or whatever, at least someone can see who this person is. It was like my gun at the moment. I didn't have anything to protect myself so I was like, I'm going to document the situation and try to survive.
CUOMO: When you got out of there and started to hear about the people not making it, how did you deal with that?
O'NEAL: Oh, man, I saw people not making it. I saw people laid out on the ground everywhere, all over the place. Just yes, I mean.
CUOMO: Your friends? People you know who were there? Did people get out?
O'NEAL: My buddy, Dan, he and I were running side by side. He has military training, so it was nice to be next to him just to be in those situations to know what to do and what not to do. Going off of instinct.
CUOMO: You can't plan for something like that. Everything was stacked against you because a murderer decided to make it that way. All you could do is figure out your way out of that. Thank god you were successful with your friend.
Your family knows you are OK already? You got in touch with them?
[13:45:17] O'NEAL: I reached out to everyone.
O'NEAL: My heart and prayers and love go out to the victims that were there and their families. It's so devastating and so traumatic. The words don't even describe. I have been trying to tell people and I can't really describe. The only analogy I have is that move "Saving Private Ryan." The guy is on the machine gun and they are coming up the beach and he is mowing down everybody. That's like --
BLITZER: Listen, spend your time taking care of yourself and realizing that you're alive and your best days in are front of you. That's all you know for sure. Everything else is guesswork for us. Even what is tomorrow.
I'm sorry I had to meet you this way, but I'm happy you are well.
O'NEAL: Thanks, man.
CUOMO: You keep taking your pictures and your video. You live your life. And thank you for helping us understand just how bad it was there for people like you.
O'NEAL: Thanks, man. Appreciate it.
CUOMO: No, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Wolf, you know, you are meeting people day and night who made it out of that situation. They were put in a position that they never should have been put in by somebody who represented the worst in human nature. They were there doing what we want, trying to have a good time and enjoying life and listening to music. Thank god most of them lived to tell the story. We know a lot who did not. And there are a lot of families are waiting to find out whether or not their loved one is a victim and where they are. We will tell those stories as well.
BLITZER: You have to think about it, Chris, 59 people died in that slaughter. More than 500 injured and many remain in local hospitals in critical condition. Think about there were 22,000 concert goers there that heard that killing field that was going on. The days and weeks and months and years to come, they will be haunted by that. I know the people you are talking to are individual stories. But they continue and continue, and you multiply it by the thousands, and you get a sense of the enormity. I'm sure you can feel it where you are.
CUOMO: There is no question about it. Nothing that you can say. We are here just to listen. In situations like this -- and you and I have been around too many of them, Wolf -- the burden of what you are talking about, which is the absolute truth, will be a blessing over time, they have that gift of being able to work through this horrible moment. But they have the rest of their life and that is precious. They know that in a way they didn't know it before. That's the hope, that this winds up being a reminder of how precious life is and how much it matters, and that there is an appreciation that helps them deal with what is a pain that nobody should have put upon them.
BLITZER: So grateful to all of those who risked their lives to save others, including people they didn't even know.
We will get back to you, Chris. Stand by in Las Vegas.
More on other breaking news. President Trump right now is in Puerto Rico. He just met with victims of the hurricane. He briefed with local and federal officials. He raised eyebrows talking about the cost of the disaster in Puerto Rico. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you are throwing our budget a little out of whack. We spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine. We saved a lot of lives. If you look at -- every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe, like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, you look at what happened here with really a storm that was totally overbearing, and nobody has seen anything like this -- what is your death count? 17?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixteen.
TRUMP: Sixteen people certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And 1,833 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.
Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, of Illinois, is joining us. He visited Puerto Rico over the weekend.
Congressman, give us your reaction to what we just heard from the president about the cost to U.S. taxpayers and what will be in Puerto Rico and the death toll.
[13:49:52] REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D), ILLINOIS: I wish he would stop talking about money. I wish he would stop talking about what a human life is worth. How do you put that on the score card? There is no cost that you can put on a human life. And I wish the president would stop.
I'm happy that the official toll, right, which could have been in the hundreds. He says it is 16. OK. But you know what? Wolf, here's what I think. I think Hurricane Maria said, I am taking 16 on the first round, Luis, and the world, and it's going to be in your hands how many more I take in the coming weeks.
And the president is visiting Puerto Rico and San Juan. That's good. That's flat land. For those of us who have visited the island and gone into the interior and mountains, there are still people who don't have water, who still don't have food, who still don't have medical care. And you know what, Wolf? They're going to die. So let's stop talking about the death count until this is over. In the coming weeks, we will know the true magnitude. But I will tell you that, today, there are millions of people suffering without water, without electricity and without guarantee to food and medical assistance.
BLITZER: Also, as you know, Congressman, he's getting criticism for when he met with local officials and federal officials upon his arrival in Puerto Rico. He went around the room asking for some praise of the federal response. And people are wondering if that's the right question right now. I don't know if you saw that exchange he had with local and federal officials.
GUTIERREZ: Let me just say, I did, I watched, and it's been heartbreaking to watch CNN because Puerto Rico and because of the reporting from Las Vegas. So that is heartbreaking also.
But let me just say this. Wolf, we need an evacuation of people from the island of Puerto Rico. Let's remember, he brought up Katrina, 80 percent of the population was evacuated from New Orleans. Now, I'm not saying we should evacuate millions of people today. But you want to know something? There are people that are in harm's way. We should build bridges, get them out of the mountainside to a place of safety. And a place of safety in Puerto Rico means, another place without water and without electricity. Look, in the city of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and I, we're ready to receive thousands. As I know the Puerto Ricans, Orlando, New York and Tampa and across the United States. We should begin to think about the people on dialysis and get them the instead of today that are in chemotherapy in hospitals and the elderly and in harm's way and let's put them in a safe place in the 48 states of the United States of America.
Yes, you're right, Mr. President, it is an island surrounded by water. That is the very nature of the island. And you know what? There's no way out. I called today for airline tickets. There are no airline tickets. Even if you want to rescue your loved one. I have calls to my office, Wolf, of people telling me my aunt has leukemia, can you help me get her out of there. I have children who don't have water and food, can you help me get them back to the United States. Let's get them to a safe place, instead of looking for congratulations and try to act like this is over. This is only the beginning of what I know it's going to turn into just such a tragedy for the people of Puerto Rico.
BLITZER: I know that a lot of Puerto Ricans would like to leave Puerto Rico right now.
GUTIERREZ: Yes, they would.
BLITZER: Come to the mainland of the United States and, eventually, go back home.
GUTIERREZ: Yes. Yes.
BLITZER: But do you see any evidence, Congressman, that there are boats, ships on the way to help people come to the United States? That there are charter planes going in to bring people to the United States?
GUTIERREZ: No. No. Wolf, I ask you and your team to try to get a ticket out of Chicago. I didn't try other cities. That's $800 and that's three weeks from now. And $1600 on the top end. Number one, the people have lost their home, they have lost everything, they don't have the money to get out. We should have, also, a resettlement program immediately, an evacuation resettlement program. Put them in a safe place, especially the most vulnerable, children. And those of us in the United States of America that want to bring our loved ones here, it is easier. They will return if they want to. But right now, the schools won't open for months. The electricity isn't going to come back for months. There's going to be a lot of -- I traveled through the mainland of -- you should see dead cows, horses. And there's no water. Do you know that -- just think about the health crisis. It's a tropical island, Wolf. With water everywhere. And mosquitoes breeding everywhere. And the hospitals are overloaded as it is. Maybe there are one-third of the hospitals operating and they operate not at full-time. So what I'm saying is, let's not congratulate ourselves and say, oh, 16 people died and thousands died. I'm telling you, Hurricane Maria gave us a test. She said, I'm taking 16, 16 too many. But you know what she also said to us? It's depending on what you're going to do, how many more I take. And I say, let's not let her take one more. Let's evacuate people, especially the elderly and the infirmed. This is the United States of America, the richest, most powerful nation in the world. Let's act like it.
[13:55:42] BLITZER: Let's not forget public schools in Puerto Rico, at least most of Puerto Rico. They will be closed for months to come.
GUTIERREZ: For months, Wolf.
BLITZER: Congressman Gutierrez, thanks so much for joining us.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you. Thank you.
BLITZER: Good luck to all the people of Puerto Rico right now.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
BLITZER: We're standing by. We waiting to hear more from the president. He's in Puerto Rico. We'll, of course, have live coverage of that.
We're following all the breaking news out of Las Vegas as well. We're learning more about the shooter.
Much more of our special coverage coming up right after this.