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AT THIS HOUR

Sheriff: Killer Might Have Had Help, Planned To Escape; Killer's Motive Escapes Investigators So Far; Taylor Barr Was Shot: Dad Used Belt To Stop Bleeding; Strangers Band Together To Save Lives In Las Vegas; GOP Open To Banning Bump Stocks Used In Attack; Corker Criticizes Trump Administration Chaos. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired October 5, 2017 - 11:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:00:12]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Two big questions this morning in Las Vegas as authorities try to make sense of a senseless act. What turned a 64-year-old gambler into a cold, meticulous killer, and did he have help?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Get the (inaudible). Those are shots. Run, those are shots. Run. Don't walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, go, go, go. Everybody go, go. Run. Keep your head down. Go. Keep your head down. Go. Run. Keep your head down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Just some of the new video that's emerging from the horrific scene. You can hear those bullet, the barrage of bullets raining down on the crowd for about 11 minutes. Law enforcement now says. What must have seemed like an eternity for everyone who moments before had been enjoying a country music concert.

This morning, a clearer picture is emerging. A timeline of the shooting and the timeline of how the shooter prepared for it. He bought 33 guns in the last year alone. 50 pounds of explosives, 1,600 rounds of ammo were found in his car.

The sheriff in Las Vegas now raising the possibility late last night that he couldn't have done this alone. And also, this, was he planning to escape? There's a lot of new information we need to work through this hour so let's get to it.

Dan Simon in Las Vegas for us. Dan, what is the latest you're learning from investigators?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, at this point, it's clear that a motive remains elusive. The sheriff talked about the shooter's so-called secret life. What does that mean? Well, we know he did not have a social media presence. Apparently, had very few friends.

So, ascertaining a motive is proving to be very difficult. We know that the sheriff raised the possibility that other venues may have been targeted. We know that shooter rented a condo in another part of Las Vegas just the week prior that overlooked another music festival.

And we're also hearing that the sheriff talked about the possibility about whether or not the shooter had help. He said he must have had help given that there was so much meticulous planning involved.

And also, did the shooter have plans to escape? He said it's clear that there was a plan, but he did not elaborate how.

Meantime, let's talk about the girlfriend. We know that she did arrive in Los Angeles and did speak with FBI investigators. She is said to be cooperative. Her attorney put out a statement basically saying that she was distraught, she didn't know anything about this.

And she did also talk about, through the statement, the wire she received when she was in the Philippines. We know that it was $100,000. She thought that it was something of a breaking up gift, that Stephen wanted to break up with her and that that's what that money was for.

And that she was supposed to use it to buy a house for herself and her family in the Philippines -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Well, a lot more to be learned for sure from her and all of this. Dan, thank you so much. Incremental but important developments so let's work through this. James Alan Fox is with us now, a professor of Criminology at Northeastern University, Jonathan Wackrow, CNN law enforcement analyst and former Secret Service agent.

Michael Balboni is a former director of Homeland Security for the state of New York. Gentlemen, thanks for being here once again. I really appreciate it.

Jonathan, let's start with there's new developments every day and it's important we try to work through them. So, let's start with this, the sheriff late last night said it's almost like he was thinking out loud when he said it, said when you look at all the facts here how could he not have -- how could he not have had help? Do you agree?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I actually absolutely agree with him. I mean, when you start looking at -- there's a little ambiguity around the operational definition of help. Like is this someone that is an unwilling participant and I think that's what we're going to find.

I mean, when you start looking at how he researched the bump stock, how did he ascertain all of the ammunition and these weapons, how did he get stuff? So, help is really a little bit ambiguous in that statement, but I do agree.

You know, to launch this type of an attack, with all of these weapons and the sophistication that went into this preplanning, you know, I think that there are other people who are involved but again, they may not even know that they were involved.

BOLDUAN: Right.

WACKROW: Researching these cameras --

BOLDUAN: Help is not going the way of saying co-conspirator.

WACKROW: Absolutely. Not a co-conspirator but you know, providing information that he then changed and used for, you know, a bad purpose.

BOLDUAN: Very bad purpose. Michael, there is evidence, according to law enforcement, that he planned to survive the attack and to escape. They're not giving details on what that is, though. What do you think that evidence is?

MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, I think part of it is the fact that he tried to set up cameras outside of his room so that he could have an idea of who is approaching it.

[11:05:08] The weaponry that he brought into the room was both long range and shorter range, which means that if you are in a hallway, you're going to be able to use that weaponry to basically fend somebody off.

BOLDUAN: OK.

BALBONI: But, you know, the FBI has done a tremendous amount of work on active shooters and what we've learned from them is that most wind up taking their lives and usually happens very, very quickly.

Here, there are two aspects that again are outside of the norm. This prolonged attack, for 11 minutes, isolated up in this room and then deciding that he was going to, perhaps, defend himself and not take himself out.

BOLDUAN: That is what then raises the question then, James, what then changed that he shot himself?

JAMES ALAN FOX, CRIMINOLOGY PROFESSOR: Well, he shot himself because he was being besieged by the police. Yes. There was a lot of planning involved here and I disagree with the speculation that he had help. Yes, if you are looking online and learning stuff on the internet, you call that help.

There's a lot of speculation going on here. It's unfortunate. But clearly, he's like most mass killers, planned the event for days, weeks, and months. These are not people who just suddenly snap and decide they're going to kill lots of people.

Now let me also say that this is now gone from news reporting to celebrity watch. Some of the details that we're now hearing about his jobs, his divorces, doing karaoke, is making someone into a monster into a human being. It's a humanizing him. Shedding a spotlight on this individual. Making him a hero in the eyes of some other people. I think we've gone overboard. Surely, we'll know --

BOLDUAN: James, I definitely promise you this, one, I'm not saying his name and I'm in no way trying to do anything than just report what the facts are. I mean, the fact -- I don't think we've done anything here to try to make this man into a celebrity in what we're discussing. I hope you would agree?

ALAN FOX: We wanted the motive, certainly. If we get the motive that will put closure on the event, but it's not going to help us identify and predict future mass killers. All I'm saying is some of these details that you've indicated they are important.

But we've heard so many other things about his background and what people said about him, when he went to high school and college, that only makes him larger than life. We have to be careful about that line between reporting the news and turning someone into larger than life.

BOLDUAN: Do you think that --

WACKROW: I would jump in here, Kate. I actually think -- and Professor, I'm going to disagree here's why. I think the reporting that's been done not just by CNN but everybody is necessary because you need to start building the profile of who this individual is.

There is somebody that knows what made this individual snap and by disseminating information about him, somebody's going to -- it's going to resonate with somebody and you know what, I was at a restaurant and I heard him talking about x or there's going to be a thread of fact that's out there that will be jumped on by law enforcement that they will be able to start bringing this together.

Again, I -- in one instance, I do understand what the professor is trying to say here, but, you know, in this construct, I think everything is being done right. I appreciate the reporting.

And I think that the law enforcement having been, you know, an investigator myself, trying to gather information, you know, it's -- there's a flood coming in. You have to look at every available resource that's available.

BOLDUAN: And one of the things --

ALAN FOX: But how much has to be publicized? How much has to be publicized? I worked on investigations and done profiles of mass killers and sure, it's helpful to know why it happened, but the amount of publicity about this man and I don't mean his name, everyone knows his name, is a little bit excessive.

In terms of the reporting, this constant talking about it being the largest, the record number of victims killed, would it be any less tragic if it weren't a record? I think we sometimes --

BOLDUAN: But it's a fact.

ALAN FOX: -- some hyperbole there. It is a fact. How many times do we have to hear that fact?

BOLDUAN: Are you going to be -- I don't -- Professor, who's to be the judge of like where the limit of OK and not OK is when it's a fact is a fact.

ALAN FOX: I'm just giving my opinion.

BOLDUAN: I'm trying to understand it.

BALBONI: There are lessons learned here that's really, really important. Like right now the entire entertainment industry and hotel industry is saying wait a minute, take a look at this guy, look what he did.

Everybody knew he was a gambler and sitting at the tables and no one picked up anything. I'm not talking about FBI profiling. I'm talking about just are there indications, indicators that we can learn from. We always do that after an event.

BOLDUAN: That's one of the things that has come out.

ALAN FOX: Hindsight is 20/20.

BOLDUAN: That's one of the things they're looking at.

ALAN FOX: Hindsight is 20/20.

BOLDUAN: Right.

ALAN FOX: Hindsight is 20/20.

BOLDUAN: OK, let me bring something up, please.

ALAN FOX: OK.

[11:10:04] BOLDUAN: That's one of the facts that has come out in the last 24 hours that getting to the how did something happen, where is that thread that is being searched for, is he bought nearly three quarters of his guns in the last year. So, 33 guns from October 2016 to September of 2017, what happened there? That's of course --

BALBONI: Was there a trigger? And here's the other thing. What's the system that we currently have constructed to try to pick up these things? We have background checks. He passed background checks. So that now questions, well, whether or not background checks are in fact effective?

But also, the assistance of bringing the bags up to the room. Should we do training with folks in these hotels? More importantly, Professor, I think what he's talking about also is there's been a failure of imagination. That we are reactive in a security world and we've seen it a thousand times. But then if you go work with venues and if you go and talk to venues and say this could possibly happen and they sit there and go wait a minute, anything can happen. What kind of resources do we apply against this. What's the probability? Has it ever happened before? What's our exposure?

In the security world, as Tom knows very well, we do a threat assessment, threat analysis, and we have a formula we do. That doesn't always work in these types of situations.

BOLDUAN: James, I'll let you have one final thought.

ALAN FOX: I'm sorry? Me? We're very reactive here, always trying to figure out what previously happened. I have studied hundreds of mass killers over the past years, past decades and everyone is a little bit different. Nothing there gives us the ability to identify these warning signs in advance. Hindsight is 20/20.

But trying to identify these people in advance is virtually impossible. Every case seems to have a new wrinkle about the strategy they used and we're trying to do catch up. All I'm saying is let's try to put some perspective on this.

There's not much we can do about it, but the only hopeful news here this is still a rare event, it's not growing, it's not an epidemic. Let's keep that in mind.

BOLDUAN: And definitely not a word that I have used on this show. James, Jonathan, Michael, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Fifty eight people were killed in this massacre. There has been an update on the people injured. Authorities originally believed it was more than 500 injured and now say it is 489.

In the chaos following the attack so many victims were in so many different hospitals authorities say some were double counted. The number regardless still enormous. This morning, a 172 of the 489 wound read wounded are still in the hospital.

For more on their stories which we have been focusing on, let's go to CNN's Scott McLean in Las Vegas. Hey there, Scott.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. I should point out there are still 29 people between two hospitals in critical condition fighting for their lives, many more facing long recoveries including Taylor Barr. She is a 22-year-old young woman that I met yesterday. She was shot in the arm, but despite that, she says she's one of the lucky ones.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCLEAN (voice-over): Moments after the first shots were fired, Taylor Barr was bleeding and ducking for cover. Hit in the arm, she recalls panic, not pain.

TAYLOR BARR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: All the adrenaline and confusion so I don't remember feeling it that much.

MCLEAN: Her dad, Chris, used his belt to stop the bleeding and used his body to shield his daughter from the next round of bullets. The act of courage captured in this cell phone video posted on Facebook.

BARR: I love him. He's such a -- he's my hero. He was just trying to keep us safe.

MCLEAN: Minutes later, Taylor, her dad and step mom scrambled to a nearby parking lot and were rushed to the hospital in the back of a pick-up truck driven by complete strangers.

(on camera): What do you want to say to these people?

BARR: Thank you for saving my life. If it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't be here right now.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Robert Aguilar was at the concert with his girlfriend, Rosa, when he was shot in the spine above his right hip.

ROBERT AGUILAR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: You could hear the bullets whizzing by. I told her to stay down and I kind of had my head turned just thinking the next one will hit us again.

MCLEAN: Doctors said they feared he would never walk again, but against all odds, he took his first steps on Wednesday.

AGUILAR: I wasn't going to accept that for an answer, accept not being able to walk again.

MCLEAN: Upon hearing gunfire, Jamie Jackson dove for cover ending up next to Addison Short.

JAMIE JACKSON, SAVED ADDISON SHORT'S LIFE DURING SHOOTING: Her foot ended up in front of me and I saw her boot was soaked through with blood so I was like, I'm going to take this off. So, when I pulled the boot off that's when the blood -- like screaming for someone to give me a belt. There was a guy about two over we were ducking, he threw me the belt and I just held it.

MCLEAN: He carried Addison to safety before leaving her with an off- duty police officer. He didn't know her name or if she was still alive until his mother-in-law saw her interview on Anderson Cooper, Monday night.

[11:15:06] ADDISON SHORT, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: If the guy that helped me is watching I really just want to tell him how grateful I am for basically saving my life.

MCLEAN: Yesterday, Jamie and his wife, Jennifer, were reunited with the young woman.

SHORT: You have no idea how much I appreciate you guys.

MCLEAN: Jonathan Smith ran towards those in trouble asshots rang out. Likely saving the lives of dozens before being shot in the neck. JONATHAN SMITH, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: I'm not a hero. I'm far from a hero. I think I just deal with anybody would do.

MCLEAN: An off-duty San Diego officer found Smith bringing him to safety.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It's -- it was a scary moment for both of us but I just remember holding his hand telling him this is the time to fight. You've made it this far.

SMITH: I kept telling him I don't want to die. He kept saying you're not going to die. I got you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLEAN: The survival stories are amazing but the reality of what comes next for many of these victims is harsh. For Taylor Barr, she has limited movement and limited feeling in her hands.

Doctors say she likely won't be able to use it for about a year, which is especially unfortunate for her considering she has a small business doing nails for a living and she needs both hands. So not only is she going to be hit with a massive hospital bill but likely also be out of work for a year -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Scott, thank you, though, so much for bringing us their stories. So important to hear.

We also want to turn to these stories now to the 58 people who did not survive the senseless tragedy. We've been sharing their names with you as we learn their identifications, as we learn about them, to honor them, remember them and shine a light on their lives than deaths.

CNN has identified more of the victims over the past 24 hours. Here they are, Carly Kreibaum, 34 years old, Steve Berger, 44 years old, Thomas Day Jr., 54 years old, Christiana Duarte, 22. Austin Davis, 29 years old. Denise Cohen is 57. Brian Fraser is 39 years old.

Victor Link is 55 years old. Laura Shipp, 50 years old. Chris Hazencomb, 44. Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40 years old, gave birth to her fourth child six weeks ago. Remember their names.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:21:48]

BOLDUAN: The attack in Las Vegas --

(VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: The 22,000 people under assault, 58 killed, hundreds more wounded. With that is there now new momentum on Capitol Hill for action in the aftermath? Somewhat surprisingly you are hearing openness from Republicans, some now signaling they would consider a measure banning bump stocks. And that is the device that Las Vegas killer used to convert semiautomatic rifles to mimic automatic guns and essentially help pull the trigger of the gun much, much faster. Officials say at least a dozen of the 23 firearms found in the shooter's hotel room were modified using bump stocks. That is legal to do.

Well, now, here's House Speaker Paul Ryan this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, I didn't know what they were until this week and I'm an avid sportsman. So, I think we're quickly coming up to speed with what this is, fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time, apparently this allows you to take a semiautomatic turn it into a fully automatic so clearly that's something we need to look into.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: CNN congressional correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty, is joining me from Capitol Hill with much more. Is there momentum? What are you hearing right now, Sunlen?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is some momentum, Kate. The issue is clearly picking up steam. As you heard from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan significant endorsement of this idea to at least look into legislation that would ban bump stocks.

That's what we're hearing in the hallways of Capitol Hill all week including from our own Deirdra (ph) Walsh who has one Republican lawmaker telling her that they believe there's enough support in the House of Representatives among Republicans that they can push forward with this sort of legislation and it could potentially pass.

Of course, that legislation still needs to be written, but this source telling Deirdra Walsh that something a moderate Republican could craft in the coming days and weeks and to give you an indication of just how much sentiment is growing behind this issue, one conservative lawmaker Representative Bill Flores from Texas himself, a gun owner, says I think they should be banned, speaking about bump stocks.

He said, "I have no problem from banning myself from owning it." Now over here in the Senate side, there's already legislation that has been introduced by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and that's got some tepid Republican support as well.

The number two Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, says he's open to looking at it, it should be held up for hearings and we heard just this morning from Senator Tom Cotton, here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: I would be willing to entertain any kind of device that turns a semiautomatic weapon, which is defined as one pull of a trigger equals one round discharge into an automatic weapon, which means one pull of the trigger equals unlimited number of rounds discharged until your ammunition has expired or until your barrel overheats. For the same reasons that we strictly control automatic weapons in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: And that's what we're hearing from a lot of Republicans. Almost cautious support saying we'll look more into it in the coming days. Clearly, a lot of people have to learn about bump stocks and want to do that.

But the fact that they're entertaining this idea is significant especially since we're hearing from Republican leadership, Kate. Of course, a lot of talk, a lot of movement, a lot of momentum, but unclear now if that will translate into something tangible.

BOLDUAN: You know, talk is more than we've heard in the past. I guess, you could say that when it comes to where they will move on any kind of gun legislation. So, let's see where it goes. Sunlen, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Great to see you.

[11:25:12] Joining me now Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Congressman, it's great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: Yes, you bet.

BOLDUAN: So, since the shooting, you actually wrote a letter to the ATF asking them to take another look at this issue everyone is learning about bump stocks. Do you with what we heard from Sunlen and what, obviously, your conversations with your colleagues, do you have confidence that a Republican Congress will move on this?

KINZINGER: Yes. I do. I -- we've got a lot of people coming on to our letter. It's a letter to the ATF saying look in 2010, the ATF declared that these bump stocks were technically compliant with the law.

And so, the question is, take a look again and tell us if they're technically compliant or even compliant with the spirit of the law. Is this the right thing to do? Because any -- look, technology sometimes -- always outpaces government speed and people are ingenious.

They come up with ways to do it legally to make a gun basically fully automatic. We have to catch up. This is one of those cases. I think it's much faster if we can do this through an ATF ruling, but if they don't rule obviously I think legislation is to follow.

BOLDUAN: But it would be -- I mean, legislation would be more permanent, right?

KINZINGER: Yes, it would. Once the ATF makes a ruling basically saying bump stocks -- the thing is there's a lot of different iterations. When you start putting things in legislation that's an issue, is a certain kind of trigger or whatever. ATF is best handled to rule that, but we're not ruling out legislation. We want to start with this letter. As a gun owner myself and I enjoy shooting for sport, there's a point at which, you know, we banned automatic weapons for a reason and anything designed to get around that doesn't make people who own them for sport bad people. It's just that as government we have to catch up to that technology.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, what if the NRA opposes a move like that? Does that change your mind?

KINZINGER: No. I don't think they will. We'll see what they end up saying, but this is about, you know, protecting constituents, saying here's the spirit of the law and how do we comply with that? You know, any time I do anything out here it's based on what I think is right for my country and district.

BOLDUAN: Well, let's see where that goes, Congressman. Really appreciate your thoughts on this. You are the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What was pretty amazing played out in the show yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he held a really surprising press conference.

Essentially just to make sure everyone knew that he was not going to be leaving his job. But then all the reporting that has been coming out if the secretary of state calls the president he works for a moron, should he be secretary of state, Congressman?

KINZINGER: Well, look, I think that's a decision I'm not trying to punt on this but that's really a decision for the administration, the claim is he didn't say that, so I'm not going to sit here and say I believe one side or the other.

I think Secretary Tillerson is doing a great job and I think the president and him from what I understand have a good relationship and I think our foreign policy has been very strong lately and it's we're pushing back on a lot of areas we need to.

So. I'll let the intrigue play itself out, but I think we have a good secretary of state and I think he gets along with the president very well from what I hear.

BOLDUAN: Well, let me then ask you this, your colleague in the Senate, Bob Corker, chair of Senate Foreign Relations said this about the whole thing just yesterday. Listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: They are what separates us from chaos and he was asked and I'll ask you, is President Trump the chaos here then?

KINZINGER: See, I didn't catch that from that. I didn't say he was separating him from a chaotic president. He was using those three people to separate us from world chaos. Look at North Korea, you look at ISIS, these are the three people basically at the helm of protecting America from this chaotic world out there and frankly using America as instruments of power to bring order to a chaotic world.

I've seen all that. I don't think he was -- and I -- I know the senator well enough to know I don't think he would intentionally say that the president is anything of chaos. I think he was talking about the world.

BOLDUAN: I hear you. That's why it was surprising. He actually was asked directly if he meant Trump is the chaos. Listen to this part of it.

KINZINGER: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you say that Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly are separating this country from chaos? Do you mean from the president's chaos?

CORKER: Well, just they, they act in a very -- they work very well together to make sure that the policies we put forth around the world are, you know, sound and coherent. There are other people within the administration n my belief, that don't. I'm sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So now what do you think?

KINZINGER: Well, I don't know. Again, it's hard for me to get into his mind of what he's thinking and I can't justify what he says or doesn't say.

BOLDUAN: Do you agree? Give me your assessment.

KINZINGER: My perspective is, look, I think the president is doing a good job, great people around him on foreign policy that are advising him and I think he recognizes what he doesn't know and he leans on those people. In terms -- I think any administration --