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FBI to Question Gunman's Girlfriend Soon; Details on Shooter in Florida Before Living in Nevada; More Details on Gunman's Weapons. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 4, 2017 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not firecrackers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get down, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not firecrackers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you?
Where are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This way. This way. This way.
Go, go, go, go, go. That way. That way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Just some of the body cam images that were released last night. Obviously, there's a lot more body cam images for law enforcement to go through.
And as you know, the shooter himself had rigged up cameras in the hallways outside his room and also one through the peephole in the door.
I want to live to Brian Todd, also here in Vegas, following every twist and turn of this investigation. Brian, there's probably more we don't know than we do know. Law
enforcement was talking about that last night. We just learned the FBI is questioning the gunman's girlfriend this hour. Do we know, obviously we know they're hoping to get information from her do we know what she may actually know or what they may actually learn?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, she is going to be crucial to this investigation. But we're getting varying accounts of what she may know. She could speak to his motive in this, maybe his movements in the weeks and months leading up to the shooting. She could speak to his mind-set.
According to her sisters, the sisters say that the sisters spoke from the Philippines and said she didn't know about the attack, that he sent her to the Philippines because he bought a cheap ticket for her. He was sending her away so that he could plan this attack. That's what they believe. The sister told another news outlet -- excuse me -- one of her brothers told another news outlet she, quote, "Has a clean conscience about what happened." You're getting indications from her family, possibly she did not know some of the details about this attack.
However, Anderson, she did spend a lot of time with him. She was his girlfriend for a number of years. And she could possibly speak to his accumulation of weapons. We've gotten information from law enforcement sources that he accumulated weapons over the past 20 years. They've recovered at least 47 guns from three different locations connected to the shooting, the hotel, and two properties he owned, one in Mesquite, Nevada, and one in Verde, Nevada. So 47 guns recovered from those three locations. But he accumulated guns over a 20-year period. The girlfriend, Marilou Danley, you would think she would know something about the accumulation of weapons and possibly his mind-set.
Other questions we're asking law enforcement, Anderson, how did he get trained to fire these weapons. Did he train himself, did he go to gun ranges? Officials have not really answered that question directly. You get the impression they're still trying to piece that together.
You mentioned I think a moment ago about the cameras. That speaks to what law enforcement officers do keep hitting at with us when we speak to them. The meticulous nature of the planning of this attack. They said he had cameras inside the room, in the peephole looking out the hallway, outside the room, and on a service cart. When asked what he was using those for, the sheriff of Clark County, Joe Lombardo, said they believe he was trying to ascertain whether law enforcement officials were trying to get him during the shooting, Anderson. So the meticulous nature of planning of the attack is thing they keep hitting on but we're trying to get more details how meticulously he did plan this attack.
COOPER: Brian, one of the things that came out of the press conference last night was kind of a clearer view of the time line. There's still a lot we don't know about the time it took for the SWAT team to breach the door. Authorities were saying, though there was a gap between the time the first responding officers and the hotel security arrived on the scene and found the room, and one of those, hotel security, was shot according to law enforcement, there was a time gap between when the SWAT team showed up. Importantly, what we learned last night, according to law enforcement, the shooter had actually stopped firing into the crowd once the first responders -- he had that first interaction with the first team of police officers and hotel security. So then it turned basically, in the mind of law enforcement, from an active-shooter situation, which according to their rules, would have meant entering the room as quickly as possible to try to neutralize him, into a barricade situation. Because he wasn't continuing to fire, they felt like they could wait for SWAT to arrive.
TODD: That's right, Anderson. You put it together perfectly. They did say they got reports of the first reports of shots fired at 10:08 p.m. local time. They said he then fired on and off for between nine and 11 minutes. Then the shooting stopped. As you mentioned, at that point, they treated it like a barricade situation. Some law enforcement officers approached the room and he fired on them, injuring that very brave security guard. At that point, there was a bit of a gap when SWAT team members found him dead. So again, we're trying to get more detail on that gap. How big a gap was it? You know, what really told them for sure that this attack was completely over? I mean, yes, the shots did stop firing at some point, but how could they be completely certain that an attack had concluded. Could he have been reloading, could something else have been going on. So you know, it is interesting that when they give that detail.
And it's really just doubly shocking, he fired on and off for only nine to 11 minutes. It doesn't like a lot of time. For the people on the ground, it was a nightmare. You heard the rapid of the fire. There's a lot of damage that can be done in nine to 11 minutes with ammunition and weapons like that.
COOPER: Especially firing into a packed crowd of 20,000 people.
Brian Todd, appreciate that. We'll check with you in the coming hours.
The girlfriend expected to the FBI office any moment from now.
Plus, the president is meeting with survivors and first responders. We'll see that video as soon as, as well.
There's a lot ahead. Stay with us.
[13:40:32] COOPER: Welcome back. I want to show it you live pictures from Los Angeles where we know the FBI will soon be interviewing the girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman who shot and killed 58 people, wounded more than 500 people. Others are some aerial footage outside the FBI office.
We know the shooter only moved to Nevada last year. Before that, he lived in central Florida, not far from his brother and mom.
We're also learning more about his time there.
Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is live in Orlando picking up the trail.
Drew, you've been working on this for days. You've been at the courthouse digging through records. Have you found anything that could explain a possible motive or fill in the blanks here?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: No, and it's somewhat remarkable. This is what has, I'm going to be very frank, the pro Second Amendment people very concerned. There doesn't appear to be at this time any warning signs any triggers missed, anything that would check the normal boxes that would have prevented this killer from obtaining all the weapons that he obtained so far legally, Anderson. All the ammunition that he obtained so far as we know legally, Anderson. And even that modification that was on 12 of his semi-automatic rifles that were able to basically legally now turn those semi-automatic rifles into a machine gun.
We did have video of what one of those manufacturers, it's called a slide stock or bump stock. What that does to an actual semi-automatic purchase weapon. And the video just shows the stream of bullets coming out very similar to what we were hearing from all that happened at Mandalay Bay. So that's where the investigation on the motive is becoming so, so tedious, and so far without any answers.
But also, as this moves to this whether or not we do anything at this time to look to see to ban or limit any kind of guns, why it's so troubling, I think, for the pro Second Amendment folks who are basically saying only criminals should get guns and we have laws to enforce to keep those criminals from getting those guns -- Anderson?
COOPER: Drew Griffin, appreciate that, from Orlando. Continuing with the investigation on that side of the coast.
I want to show you live pictures from the University Medical Center in Las Vegas where President Trump is currently meeting with some of the 527 people injured in the shooting, who are still hospitalized, and others who have come to meet with the president.
Much more when we come back.
[13:42:15] COOPER: Welcome back to Las Vegas. The city that is still in shock and mourning. Major headlines coming out of the city this hour as the investigation into the country's deadliest shooting continues. Any minute, we are told the FBI will begin questioning the shooter's girlfriend. She was in the Philippines at the time of the attack. But police consider her a person of interest.
We are also learning more about the sheer number and type of weapons used by the gunman. According to police, at least 12 of the guns found in the hotel room had fire-bump stocks on them which is an accessory that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. It's perfectly legal to buy them in the United States. I want to talk more about the investigation. Joining us is Sara
Sidner, and CNN law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal's Office, Art Broderick.
Art, again, just the sheer volume of weapons. You've been looking at the sort of setup with some of these long rifles. You think he must have had some kind of experience, some sort of training or practice.
ART BRODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean, just acquiring the weapons is one thing, but then putting those accessories and modifications on there is another. It looks like he knew what he was doing or somebody trained him to do this. In order to put those types of modifications on a weapon, you have to practice somewhere. You can't just show up here and start shooting. You've got to figure out the kickback of those weapons. That's why he had the forward grip on the A.R.-15.
COOPER: Because when you're firing that kind of number of munitions what, it rises.
BRODERICK: It tends to rise up on you. Even the .30 is even worse. It has a larger kick and will rise up high on you. He had the sniper rifle configuration with the bipod and scope. That's exactly how you would configure a long-range sniper type weapon.
COOPER: Sara, even having the cameras mounted, one on a room service tray, another camera in the peephole, police believe, so that he could monitor law enforcement as they come.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it is clear by all of the steps that he took, bringing in bags one by one so people couldn't really figure out, he didn't look odd. He brought things in piece by piece. He built a platform. I mean it looks like a sniper's den when you look at the pictures. And the fact that he had cameras set up. He had everything he needed to do what he did, the question is, one, why didn't he do it for longer, nine to 11 minutes. He could have kept shooting if he had wanted to. We want to know what the mind-set was.
Two, the one thing we all want to know and the families need to know is why did he do this. I don't think any of us have figured that out yet.
COOPER: Yes, I talked to Heather Melton yesterday, whose husband, Sonnie (ph), was killed and holding her when he was killed. One of the things she said, I don't want to know anything about this gunman and no motive is ever going to make sense, and no motive severe going to explain --
[13:50:15] COOPER: But, Art, one of the things I think is so important that we learned from the sheriffs last night in that press conference is just again more on that timeline, because there had been this question why didn't police go into the room sooner. They set up a perimeter, waited for SWAT to come, which is kind of an old school tactic, pre-Columbine tactic. Now most police forces train, every member of the sheriff's department or police department to go in to neutralize the shooter. That's the first priority. But what we learned last night was it was really only nine to eleven minutes of shooting out at the crowd and once he had an initial encounter with those first responders they believed it became a barricade situation.
BRODERICK: And he actually had -- the shooter actually had the weapons to handle that close-in situation with the handguns and the shotgun that he had in that room. So I think when they initially took on, I think, he was waiting for an onslaught of law enforcement to come through the door. He did shoot one of the security guards through the door. And I think that stalled him and moved his concentration from the venue area to that door because I think he realized they're coming after me now. And he had to make a decision.
COOPER: One hates to say this, because law enforcement are in danger, but thank god, he didn't continue firing into this crowd where there's tens of thousands of people.
BRODERICK: And he absolutely could have. The casualty rate would have been much higher.
COOPER: The other question is, in all the studies the FBI has done of all the active shooter situations going back to Columbine, most of the deaths occur within those first six minutes. And some of that has to do with law enforcement response time. It's just interesting to me that there is that kind of early window. And then for some of these people, I guess, it's the -- I don't know if it's the excitement of what they've done gets them or they're killed or they kill themselves.
BRODERICK: Also, in their mind, time is slowing down here when they're doing these types of actions. I think, in this particular instance, his meticulous planning is what absolutely gets to me. We look at the purchase of weapons, Ok? That's one aspect. We look at him sending his girlfriend away and sending the money out. That's another aspect. We look at him picking this particular location, which is a perfect sniper spot to shoot from into a crowd, elevated shooting position.
COOPER: Right. Two positions.
BRODERICK: Two positions actually. So he had overlapping fields of fire, which is a military concept that they use all the time. So he actually could have covered all the way down to this intersection, which is actually one of the exits where these people would have been running.
COOPER: And, Sara, I know you've been talking to survivors and also family members who lost loved ones. So many people want the world to know who their loved one was and the loss. They don't want you to just know the name of the person, they want to know the life they lived.
SIDNER: One of the things we learned is they hate hearing the numbers because behind every single one of those there is an entire family that's grieving.
COOPER: Entire communities.
SIDNER: Entire community. We're talking friends. But in the core, the people that feel it the deepest are those that were so close to these people. And we sat and talked with a family that they lost their mother, three boys, who were all sitting around the table, and they held hands, the Tonks family. And they held hands and looked at each other and said we're going to get through this but they just don't know how. Two of the boys, the 17-year-old and 24-year-old, said the moment they heard it and it became real, they ended up punching a wall. They didn't know what to do with that anger and that pain and that confusion. And after that, little by little, they say they're going from numb to shocked to exhausted to sad. They can't keep control of their emotions. And these families just want their person back. You know, and they know there is no way.
But I will tell you that one of the things that really disturbed them is they couldn't find her body. So it didn't seem real. And when they finally, hours and hours and hours and hours later -- and they understood. They didn't blame anyone. They said look, so many families were like us. They're all calling, trying to find out. This family, the Tonks family, went to the coroner's office and they begged them and they gave them the description and someone at the coroner's office brought out two pictures. One that showed a tattoo. And they both all looked at each other, five of them, all standing there. The mother and father and the three boys. And they're like, that's her. And then they brought out a picture of her face. And that was the moment where they knew.
[13:54:41] COOPER: So many of these people are not from here. They were visiting here. So now the survivors are waiting for their loved ones to be released to them so that they can go back home with them. It is a horrific, obviously, horrific way.
President Trump meeting with doctors and survivors at the hospital right now. We're about to get some live pictures I'm told from that. We'll obviously bring you that.
We also know that the FBI is meeting with the girlfriend of the shooter. We'll bring you an update on that as soon as we can.
We'll take a short break. We'll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[13:59:42] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me.
My colleague, Anderson Cooper, there standing by in Las Vegas. We'll get to Anderson in just a second here.
But let me just set you up as far as what we know in Las Vegas and this investigation. Right now, this woman is sitting down with the FBI. This is Marilou Danley, the shooter's girlfriend. And at this point in time, she may be the only person who can shed any light on how a 60-something gambler and real estate investor with no criminal history came to commit --