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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
59 Dead, 527 Injured In Las Vegas Massacre; Hundreds Line Up To Donate Blood, Wait For Hours; Crisis In Puerto Rico. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:03] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Next a student and staff at the Manhattan Beach Middle School in Southern California. We know plenty about Sandra Casey. She is being remembered tonight for her sense of humor, her devotion to her special education students and passion for her work.
Rachel Parker, also from Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Beach police records technician. She has been doing it for 10years. She was 33 years old, Rachel Parker.
Jenny Parks was 35 years old. She taught kindergarten in Lancaster, California. Her family tells us she was truly one of the most loving people you could ever hope to meet. Jenny was in Las Vegas with her husband visiting family. He was wounded and is recovering tonight.
Susan Smith, she managed the Vista Elementary School office in Simi Valley, California. She then with the school district for 16 years and was a big country music fan. Susan Smith was 53 years old.
Angie Gomez was a graduate of Riverside Poly High School where she is being remembered for her love of the stage where she participated for many years in the local children's theater. Folks there called her a loyal friend who loved her family and will be forever missed. Angie Gomez was just 20-year-old.
Ronda LeRocque was from Duxbury, Massachusetts. Her sister writes on Facebook, "This doesn't seem real. All I can do is turn to God's word for comfort, just as she would want me too."
Neysa Tonks lived in Las Vegas, worked at a local technology company. She leaves behind three sons, Kaden, Braxton, and Greysen.
Nine names, nine stories, sadly not the last.
One name we won't be saying tonight and one photo we will not be showing belongs, of course, to the killer. We will, however, look at everything that authorities are learning about, everything that happened, everything they know about this killer.
CNN's Dan Simon joins us with the latest from Las Vegas. Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the numbers, of course, are staggering 527 people injured at UMC hospital, the city's lone trauma center. They have treated more than 100 patients, 12 people remain in critical condition. I can tell you that in terms of the overall injuries, they really range.
Some people were wounded by shrapnel. Some people were injured just by trying to leave the area.
In terms of the scene itself, we know that investigators are still there, but, of course, all the bodies at this point have been recovered, Anderson.
COPER: And just in terms of the investigation, where do things stand?
SIMON: Well, we know that authorities are done searching the actual hotel room. They are done searching the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. The focus is on the venue itself.
And one of the key questions investigators are going to be examining is how the shooter took all those guns and all that ammunition up to the room?
Did he make multiple trips? Did he have help at some point? Did he put a do not disturb sign on the door to avoid detection? And then, of course, everyone who has been to Las Vegas knows that there are more security cameras here than probably anywhere in the word. It's obviously difficult to avoid being seen on a camera whether it's at the front desk, whether it's an elevator, whether it's inside the casino. You can't avoid it.
So authorities are going to be looking through all that video to see if they can glean any information. Anderson?
COOPER: Yes, there's no doubt this killer is definitely somewhere on videotape. Dan Simon, appreciate that.
Joining us now by phone from Las Vegas Sunrise Hospital, Dr. Scott Scherr. Dr. Scherr, you witnessed the injuries firsthand and survivors were brought into the hospital. If you could just explain what you saw, what this was like today, last night.
SCOTT SCHERR, SUNRISE HOSPITAL (via telephone): Right. Yes, hi, Anderson. I just -- first of all, I want to give my thoughts and prayers to all the victims and the families and as well as the first responders.
Last night, Sunrise Hospital took care of 214 patients from the incident. So far we have 15 mortalities. Another additional 50 people were taken to the operating room.
COOPER: How do you handle just the sheer number of people and I guess the speed with which they must been coming in? I mean, I'm sure a lot of these people were being brought in pretty close to one another in terms of time.
SCHERR: That's correct. We had multiple volunteers from nurses to E.D. staff to registration to physicians, to surgeons, to nurse practitioners, all responding to the Emergency Department within an hour to provide additional help.
COOPER: How do you deal with the shock that people are going through, you know, those who are conscious, those who are, you know, telling you about what went on, at the same time as you needing to treat any wounds that they have?
SCHERR: It can be difficult, but all of our team members worked basically, and they're still working, you know, for the care of the patients. And that's really the primary focus of everybody.
[21:05:07] I'm sure once things settle down, we're going to have crisis relief counselors on site here to take care of the providers and first responders that were also affected during this.
COOPER: All the wounds that you saw, were they consistent with gunshot wounds or were some people, you know, hurt in the stampede of trying to get away?
SCHERR: We're still going through that, but most of them were penetrating wounds from either the gunshot itself or from the shrapnel.
COOPER: And tonight at this hour, how many people are still in the hospital?
SCHERR: I don't have an exact number of how many are still in the hospital. We're still working through that and trying to manage that as well.
COOPER: Have you ever seen anything like this in an E.R.?
SCHERR: No, sir. One of my partners Dr. Dunnigan (ph) served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he compared this to something that you would see in a war zone.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Dr. Scherr, we appreciate all the work of the doctors and nurses and everybody who has been helping this in responding to this, all the first responders, thank you so much.
Joining us now is Addison Short who was wounded last night. Addison, first of all, I'm so glad that you are OK. How do you feel? How are you holding up?
Addison, it's Anderson. If you can here me, how are you feeling? How are you holding up?
ADDISON SHORT, SHOT IN THE LEG DURING SHOOTING SPREE: I'm pretty good. As good as I can be.
COOPER: If you could, if it's not too painful for you, can you just tell me what you remember about last night?
SHORT: Yes. So I -- we're in the middle of the concert, and Jason Aldean came on. And he was probably two or maybe three songs in. And all we hear is just gunshots. And everyone just kind of, like, paused because no one like, people thought it was fireworks. And so they keep going off. So me and my friend turned around and started running. And she looked back, and my knee gave out. And I was, like, I just got shot. I can't run. And I was like, you go, just go get somewhere safe. And so I like dove under this like bar to get cover. And this guy helped me wrap my foot because it was just gushing out blood everywhere. And you just kept hearing gunshots. And they just weren't stopping.
And, so then, we're like, we have to get out of here. And I couldn't get up and walk. So this guy, like, helped me walk over to get behind another cover. And this girl grabbed me and she said you're going to be OK. You're going to be OK. And I just wanted to get a hold of my mom. She was the only person I wanted to talk to.
And this guy grabbed my foot and he wrapped it tight it was about. And I was just, like, can you just get me out of here and like, please I have to get out of here. And so he just picked me up and turned me over the -- over his shoulder. And just ran me to a taxi and brought me here to the hospital. And it was just the scariest experience of my life.
COOPER: And all during this, I mean, the shots just kept ringing out?
SHORT: Yes. Like, they just weren't stopping.
COOPER: And I understand you encouraged your friend when you were shot in the leg, when you were again, you encouraged your friend to run because you couldn't run away and you obviously didn't want your friend to stay around.
SHORT: Yes. And I was wanted her to go get somewhere safe. And I was going to try to do my best to get out of there safe. But I just wanted her to be OK.
COOPER: Where in the leg were you shot and how are you doing now?
SHORT: I was shot right, like, in my fibula. And it's just -- it hurts so bad like, the pain are just unbearable, but it could have been way worse. And I can't even imagine the people that lost their lives and are in way more pain than I am. And I'm just grateful that's all that it was.
COOPER: I know your mom is a police officer. She's worked this event in the past. She didn't have to work it this year, is that right?
SHORT: Yes. She actually signed up to work it, but she didn't end up getting it, which thank goodness because I don't know what I would have done if she was there and she got hurt too.
COOPER: Yes. Addison, I'm so glad you're doing OK. And I wish you a speedy recovery and obviously everybody else. And thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I hope you get some sleep tonight?
SHORT: Yes. Thank you so much for having me.
[21:10:00] And I just want to -- if the guy that helped me is watching, I really just want to tell him how grateful I am for basically saving my life and just thank you so much.
COOPER: Do you know who he is? I mean, do you know his name?
SHORT: No I have no idea. I mean, I remember a little bit of what he looked like, but no, I didn't get his name.
COOPER: That's amazing that if he's out there, you want him to know you're thankful.
SHORT: Yes, for sure, because I probably wouldn't still alive if it wasn't for him.
COOPER: Well, I wish you the best and as I said a speedy recovery. And we'll check in with you in the days ahead. Thank you so much. Addison, take care.
SHORT: Thank you so much for having me. You too.
COOPER: All right. Our Gary Tuchman is at a local blood bank where a lot of people have been waiting for hours to donate blood.
Gary, you've seen hundreds of people in line today. I was seeing a line that they were lining up even before the blood bank was open. How late is that location going to stay open?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, Anderson. The location is going to be staying open for the next couple hours, short of they envision because believe it or not, they have more blood than they need not because of this tremendous turnout. In the midst of this terrible day we are in a cocoon of inspiration.
This is the line behind me of people still waiting to come and to give blood. These are the people who will be next on the blood giving table. And this woman, for example, giving blood right now, I have come here to distract you from the needle in your arm. Yes, it's the least I can do. Tell me your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karen (ph).
TUCHMAN: Karen. And how are you doing right now, are you lightheaded, you OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm all right.
TUCHMAN: Have you given blood before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have.
TUCHMAN: And tell me what prompted you to come here today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I give blood regularly, and I have O negative and that's universal donor and they were asking for O negative.
TUCHMAN: And your blood is very valuable, because it's universal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Universal donor. TUCHMAN: It's wonderful that you're here, one more question. How long did you wait in line?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was kind of fast tracked because I have O negative.
TUCHMAN: Oh, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So only two hours.
TUCHMAN: So you're a special person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, others have waited 10 plus hours.
TUCHMAN: You're doing my job, I was about to say that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: So I appreciate that, but she is absolutely right, that there were people waiting for more than 10 hour today. But they say now, because of this tremendous turnout throughout the city of Las Vegas and the state of the Nevada that they have blood they need. So they've asked the people who are in line when we got here, Anderson, there are about 350 people on line. Now it's much shorter than that.
But as people no longer wait tonight to make an appointment for later this week because the way this business works is by tomorrow Wednesday or Thursday, they may need blood again, so they want people to come back later in the week.
But so far, for today, because of this tremendous turnout, they have enough blood here in state of Nevada for the victims of this horrifying attack. Anderson.
COOPER: That's amazing to see so many people wanting to do whatever they can. Gary, appreciate that.
As we seen at the top of the broadcast, they're saying that the killer's name nor showing his picture, mass killers deserve no such publicity, they do, however, deserve any scrutiny that might help us all understand how to prevent the next tragedy.
CNN's Drew Griffin tonight is in Florida, where the gunman's brother spoke for reporter.
Drew, it seems that so far even though it's close to the shooter, don't seem to have much of an explanation for what might have happened.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: You know, this many hours after an attack like this we usually have something, Anderson, the FBI was here in Melbourne, Florida and at 55 and Over retirement community, asking neighbors who may have known this guy two years ago when he owned a house here. They also spent a good deal of time with his brother in Orlando not far from here. The FBI is searching for any clues. His brother said this is like an asteroid has hit the family. No evidence of criminal activity. There is no indication of any kind of mental illness. The shooter did have two divorces in his past, short- durations marriages, the last one ended in 1989. No marital or spouse abused, no temporary restraining orders, didn't appear to be anything wrong. And that's why his brother is just saying Anderson it's just inexplicable right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC PADDOCK, GUNMAN'S BROTHER: He's a guy. He's just a guy who lived in Las Vegas and went on casinos, went on cruises, did stuff. There's no -- there's nothing that's what's bizarre. I mean, he lived, I mean, this is I don't know what to say, but he live in a house. He had a girlfriend. There's nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number of guns and firearms that he had, does that surprise you, I mean?
PADDOCK: Yes. I had no idea that he had -- that he would have that many firearms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he have a military background?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
PADDOCK: And I want to talk much more, this is all once again, what I'm telling you is all part of the record, there's no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
PADDOCK: He has no police record. He doesn't even have parking tickets probably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew, was he employed? Did he have a job?
GRIFFIN: According to his brother, he was a retired accountant. He seems to have dabbled in properties, but Don Judy, they live next to him, very odd relationship.
[21:15:03] When the shooter bought the home in 2013 as Judy's did next door. The shooter came over and gave them a key and said I'm not going to be here much, can you keep an eye on the place, and gave him a key to his home.
And then came back here maybe six or seven times during the course of two years, and that is what he told to Judy's, his job was literally gambling and they wouldn't see him much when he was here, because he would spend the entire night gambling and sleep during the day.
COOPER: All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON JUDY, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GUNMAN: He was a gambler and speculator. And he told us right out front says he was from Vegas. And he did online gambling and he also did it in Vegas. And that was one reason he was going back and forth to Vegas just to keep the gambling going and then he would occasionally do it online here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He showed me a phone picture once, he said that he just won 20,000 on a slot machine and showed me a picture of the slot machine with the $20,000 on the is phone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Mr. Judy did have access to the home here, Anderson. He said it was sparsely furnished, two lazy voice (ph), a T.V., a couple of computers. Absolutely no signs of weapons and the shooter never talked about weapons at all. Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin, appreciate that. I was sure going to be looking to this a lot in the coming days.
I want to go to Kyung Lah is at the killer's home in Mesquite, Nevada. Kyung, does the shooter have any history at all with law enforcement in that area?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not at all. And that was the very first thing we asked the local police here, and Mesquite Police Department is what kind of interactions did you have with him, and they said zero. No criminal interactions. He doesn't have any traffic violations that they're aware of.
As far as they were concerned, he was just a good citizen. They described this area as being very safe. He was considered one of the people that they considered to be a safe citizen.
COOPER: And what are you learning about his collection of firearms? Because I understand that police found a significant number of firearms at the house and also others at the hotel?
LAH: Yes. The numbers here, Anderson are really what -- it was really astonishing for the people who live here in this community. Beginning with the hotel, 16 guns found in that hotel room when he was, you know, executing that rampage, that frightening, atrocious rampage.
But then, you come here, 90 minutes away, in this retirement community, 55 plus. These are, you know, almost prefab brand-new retirement homes. These are the type of communities that when you're driving down the freeway you see smiling senior citizen faces on billboards.
So this is a community that didn't expect it. And then when the numbers came out that there were 18 guns in his house, that there were thousands of rounds there, and as well as explosives, ammonium nitrate, that may sound familiar to people because that is the fertilizer that was used in part in the Oklahoma City bombings. So all of this is extremely chilling for the people who live here, who really thought that this was an extraordinary safe community across the board.
COOPER: Have you talked to any members of the community who knew him or have they, you know, have they told you anything about the shooter or his girlfriend?
LAH: It's been a mix. We've talked to a lot of people throughout today. It's been a good mix of people who didn't know him, they, you know, walk up and down the streets. And they didn't see him, but then there are people who live directly next to him. There's a small cul- de-sac.
And we spoke with couple they live in the next street over. And they said, yes, they saw him. They did not see the girlfriend, but they would see him frequently, they would go up, chat, talk about the day's news, they would ask him what he was doing. And everything seemed to be just fine.
One of the things that the people here say that they liked so much is that they all felt that this was a like-minded community, similar in age, similar in background, the desire to live comfortably in their senior years. And this has simply really taking some people by surprise.
COOPER: Yes, no doubt. Kyung Lah, I appreciate you being there. Thank you.
When we come back, how the first responders managed to find the shooter 32 floors above the crowd and across the Vegas Strip.
[21:22:33] COOPER: Was the investigations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Nevada and elsewhere continue, we are simply not learning much yet about this retired accountant who became a mass killer.
However, we are getting a clear picture of how all this unfolded late last night includes how police managed to find the shooter perched in a hotel room shooting into the thousands of concertgoers below. Jim Sciutto tonight has the latest on that.
JAMES SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just after 10:00 P.M. Las Vegas time, the shooter unloads a barrage of bullets. And at 10:08 P.M. the first 911 calls come into police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At 10 P.M. last night, we started receiving calls over an active shooter along the Route 91 Harvest Festival located adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Resort.
SCIUTTO (voice over): The target, a huge outdoor crowd of some 22,000 people at a country music concert. But police don't know right away where the shots are coming from. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have multiple casualties. GSWs at the back hotel. Multiple casualties.
SCIUTTO (voice over): On the scene first responders begin to realize that the shots are raining down on the crowd from an elevated position.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming out a window.
SCIUTTO (voice over): Soon their attention focuses on the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Several hundred feet away, and several stories up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay down.
SCIUTTO (voice over): Police enter the hotel and work their way to the upper floors.
Joe Fryer of NBC news is a guest in the hotel and witnesses police going door to door searching for the shooter. Tracking the explosive bursts of gunfire, police soon determine that the shots are coming from the 32nd floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm inside the Mandalay Bay on the 21st floor I can hear the automatic fire coming from one floor ahead -- one floor above us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be advised, it is automatic fire. Fully automatic fire from an elevated position. Take cover.
SCIUTTO (voice over): The shooter firing through two windows that he smashed open with a device similar to a hammer. A team of six police officers close in on his location, and the suspect engages them, shooting one officer.
UNDERSHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN OFFICER: Once we arrived up there, we had isolated this individual to the two rooms. And then our SWAT team used the explosive breaching to go in and confront the individual.
[21:25:08] SCIUTTO (voice over): Once they have the order, they go in. It is one hour and 12 minutes after those first 911 calls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have sight on the suspect's door, I need everybody in the hallway to be aware and get back. We need to pop this and see if we get any type of response from this guy. See if he's in here or if he moved somewhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, all units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach. Everyone on the hall needs to move back. All units move back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breach, breach, breach.
SCIUTTO (voice over): Inside, police find the shooter dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's one down, 32nd floor Mandalay Bay. SCIUTTO (voice over): Apparently the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry.
SCIUTTO (voice over): The music concert had extensive security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just need to get people over to the hospital. OK?
SCIUTTO (voice over): But this was a threat police had not prepared for.
MCMAHILL: These folks were attacked by a man from 32 stories up with automatic rifle fire. And so, I don't know really how you plan for that. We just didn't see it coming.
COPER: Jim, joins me now. Jim, we've been hearing all day that the shooter was dead when the SWAT team breached the door. Does this new information about him actually engaging officers, does that contradict that at all?
SCUITTO: Well, we learned tonight when that SWAT team finally breached that room an hour and 12 minutes after the first 911 call, that was not the first encounter between the shooter and first responders. That earlier police came to the door and that the shooter still alive, of course, at that point, fired back at them, fired through the door they withdrew, waited for the SWAT team which is of course has the training, the weapons, the tactics, et cetera, to get into position like this with an armed shooter behind that door.
So when they did eventually get in there, there had been a previous attempt to get in by those police. And it just shows that, listen, the police were reacting with incomplete information at the time. They didn't know if there were multiple shooters, for instance, from those two holes in the window.
They didn't know which floor these shoots were coming from. But as they reacted they were very brave in those actions. The first attempt didn't work, but finally when the SWAT team did breach the door at that point, the shooter had already taken his own life.
COOPER: And I know, there's a lot we don't know yet, honestly on the tick tack of this, but from that initial interaction where he shot back at police to -- when the SWAT team actually breached the door, do you know did the shooter continue shooting outside or was he then focused on police coming through door? Do we know?
SCUITTO: This is something police have not been precise on yet because we know, for instance, the first shots fired just after 10:00 local time, the first calls to 911, it was 10:08 local time. It was 11:20, so an hour, more than an hour later when the SWAT team reached there, it was sometime between 10:08, of course, and 11:20 when the cops first encountered him, they have not said what portion of time he was shooting and what portion of time between when he killed himself and when that SWAT team went in there. These are just details we don't know at this point. But these are all question that -- listen, I know having covered shootings like this before and you certainly as well, Anderson, they analyze this so they can learn how to respond to the next attack, how quickly to get in, et cetera. And this is something I'm sure that the Las Vegas Police and Sheriff's Department are going to do with this case as well.
COOPER: Incredible they were able to find the shooter -- I mean from that level of that high, you know, shooting at night. It's just amazing work that they were all able to find him, I think, as quickly as they did. Jim Scuitto, I appreciate that.
Joining me now our two CNN Law Enforcement Analysts, Charles Ramsey, who is the Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner and Former Washington D.C. Police Chief, also Art Roderick, Former Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshall Service.
Chief Ramsey, when you have -- I mean this number of civilians, law enforcement as well, out in the open in the line of fire, and you have a gunman firing from an elevated position. For the people who are there, you don't know if you're running into a bullet or running away from a bullet.
I mean, in the kinetic situation like this, it's extremely difficult for people to know, do I shelter where I am? Do I try to run? Because no matter what direction you run from or direction you run away from, you could be hit.
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISIONER: Right. Yes, it would be very chaotic. You wouldn't know which direction to run in.
Most people instinctively would probably run towards the exit that they entered the venue in. And so, it would be mass confusion, no question about that. And you're in an area where you probably have, you know, echoes and things like that, so you really can't tell necessarily exactly where the shots are coming from.
COOPER: Also, Art, the fact there were two different locations, it seemed like the shooter was shooting from two different rooms that he knocked out the windows in.
[21:30:01] You know, obviously it makes police think perhaps there are multiple shooters, more than one shooter. And also makes it all the harder if he's pausing in between for police to get a beat on exactly what floor he is on, or where the shoots are coming from, unless you see the muzzle flash.
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASST. DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALL SERVICE: Right. And that's exactly what's scary about this, about the planning that went into this. You know, I spent my younger days as a counter-sniper on the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, and firing from an elevated position is what you want to do. So, I would not be surprised if we have some video of him actually standing in that venue and looking up at Mandalay Bay and trying to figure out which window would give him the best advantage. And you could see those windows are knocked out, one in the front and one on the corner which gave him two different angles to shoot from. And that's all part of this planning.
And the other interesting thing was Sheriff Lombardo (ph) came out and talked about two types of weapons, a 223 and a 308. And that's exactly what I carried as a counter-sniper for the U.S. Marshals, a 308 sniper ripple and a 223 ruger mini 14 which maximum effective range for that type of weapon is about 400 yards and that's exactly where he was shooting from.
COOPER: Also, Art, I mean the difficult for a police on this is, it's not like you can return fire from the ground because, you know, you would be firing into the side of a hotel where there's plenty of people staying on floors above and all around.
RODERICK: Exactly. You can't do that that. I mean, there's obviously other civilians in the hotel. It's a large hotel. And that's probably why it took them an hour and 12 minutes before they were able to figure out which room he was shooting from. And to get to that location and then figure out how they're going to do the entry.
But yes, I mean, I think law enforcement for all the things he had going for him to stay alive and to keep killing people, law enforcement did a phenomenal job in getting there as fast as they can and make that dynamic-type entry.
COOPER: Right. And also, I mean, Chief Ramsey, you know, you have the initial officers who are responding to this, to hear -- I think if they were from a police scanner, to hear the officers saying that he's on the 31st floor. And he realizes that the shoots are coming from the floor above. And those first officers want to respond immediately but are probably outgunned. They don't know what's on the other side of the door which is why they're waiting for SWAT.
RAMSEY: Yes. Well, your active shooter training, first officers that respond will form a team and their job is to locate the shooter and neutralize the threat. And that's probably what you had there. After columbine, you no longer wait for the SWAT to get there. If you get into the scene then you have to go and try to locate the shooter and do whatever you can to try to neutralize the scene.
COOPER: It's hard, though. You know, I actually have taken a little bit of that active shooter training with the New York Police Department for a story I did. And all, like for instance, in New York City, all officers are now trained to -- as you said to neutralize the shoot, not to wait around. Because I think according to the FBI most active shooter situations, most on fatalities are the only one first six minutes.
RAMSEY: Right. COOPER: But, if you have to breach the door and you think there maybe multiple shooters inside with long guns, you obviously need as heavy armaments as possible, probably what the SWAT team has, rather than maybe what some initial responders have.
RAMSEY: Yes. And the initial responders wouldn't have the equipment to be able to breach the door, especially an explosive breach like what took place there in Las Vegas. But they can contain the scene best they can, and that's what they were trying to do until SWAT arrives with the proper equipment and expertise in how to actually breach, get in, neutralize the suspect and take care of the situation.
COOPER: Yes. It's incredible that they were able to find that shooter I just think in that building at that time. Art Roderick, I appreciate too, Charles Ramsey as well.
One quick note to tell you about the police in Las Vegas have just put out an updated phone number for people trying to locate or report missing family members. It's 1800-536-9488, again, 1800-536-9488, again, that's just for people who are looking a and locate missing family members.
Just ahead, I'll speak with two members of one of the opening bands about what they saw and heard. How quickly they realized what was going on. One of them actually ended up hiding in a freezer. We'll be right back.
[21:37:53] COOPER: Like many of the witnesses we heard from, our next two guests initially thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks or maybe pyrotechnics. Bryan Hopkins and Ben Carey are on band called Elvis Monro, they played at the festival and then stood in the crowed for the headliner, they join me tonight. Bryan, Ben, first of all I'm so glad you're both OK.
Bryan, if you could walk us through what you remember happening last night. Because I know you were watching Jason and then you and Ben got split up during the chaos.
BRYAN HOPKINS, SHOOTING WITNESS: Yes. We were standing out front. And when the initial -- like you mention, when we got past that it wasn't fireworks, and it was this rapid fire type of thing. I just remember seeing a guy standing in front of us, dropped. And about four feet over, a guy drops. And when I look back, two girls dropped behind us. And, Ben grabs my shoulder and he says, run, and I grabbed the two girls in front of me, and I grabbed both of their hands and I made them run with me. And Ben ran towards a friend our friend of ours wife, a good friend of ours wife in her direction. And he got ran over.
And that's when we got separated because he got up and I said, run. And I run being that we just came from backstage, I went out and around the corner in the backstage area. And it was just coming.
And when I remember play it back I wasn't moving very fast but I was making sure that the people that were following me could get back there, and they around the corner and make sure that we weren't running at somebody shooting at us because I didn't know where it was coming from. And then we were running parallel to the fence with thousands of people rushing at a fence they weren't going to get over. And I was running at what I thought was a corner where the artist entry was in the back.
And when I got pass catering and through the back, it was just a fence and I could have jumped the fence but I was not leaving the people that I brought with me that I just grabbed and the people following me there because they were screaming, can't get over, there was a lot of girls.
[21:40:16] And people were jumping, people were getting out of there, but I saw there was a trailer. And this trailer had a door that was just about open. And I could see people in it.
And so, I swung the door open and we just started tossing people up into the trailer and it was actually a freezer. When we got inside, people were trying to jump inside with us. And then people were screaming don't let them in, and I'm like, no we were letting people in. But I understood why they were screaming because we didn't know if they were people running around whether this fire was coming from --
HOPKINS: -- because it was just happening. So it took a moment, tried to keep people calm and the two young ladies that I grabbed, well, I just found today they're 23 and 24 years old. And when I told them to be calm, they started trying to make over people calm down.
It was amazing because they did. They laid on top of this woman. They keep her warm. They were keeping her calm. And other people were kind of gravitating to the same thing.
And so then I thought I'm not going to die in here, let me check the door and when I opened the door, it was loud again, and everybody got scared, and I said maybe it's not what we think it is. I knew what it was, because I saw what did happened. So I shut the door and I waited.
And there was a moment where I realized that's not where I was going to go. This is not where I'm not going to wait for someone to come find us. So when it got quiet for a moment, me and a friend, his name is Toad, I look at him we got up and we went to the door, opened up the doors, and there was a ramp. Somebody had put a ramp on the fence. A dude jumps out hits jumps over the fence, another guy hits it and I yell out, you got to help us, you got to help get, because these girls are afraid to jump over the fence, and so he stayed. I don't know who this individual was. But he stayed on the other side. And I go ran to the other side and just started helping people up and over this ramp.
By the time I realized I can't get everybody over and it's chaotic, the last girl was trying to go -- the last two who stayed with me couldn't get them up there, so I grab them. And I'll remember this because I grab them and then I turned and said, we're running. And a police officer runs right at me and screams, this way. Come this way. And he's sweating.
And as soon as we pass him, he starts running off into the bad area where everything is bad. And I just thought in my head, wow. And so I just stayed as calm as possible and tried to take the two girls by their hands and run through. And there were people following me.
HOPKINS: And it was body, body, body. Then we hit the fourth body. And they were people with these people laying there, hiding. But they're bloody. And I didn't -- I couldn't stop because I was trying to help the people that were with me. And that was my sole goal at this time. So when I got to -- yes.
COOPER: I just want to bring Ben in at this point. Ben, you'd been separated at this point. Now you understand there was a point where you were against a fence. How did you end up getting out?
BEN CAREY, SHOOTING WITNESS: Once we realized that the panic set in and we were realized we're under machine gunfire, I grabbed Brian's arm and screamed to run. At that point as Brian said two gentlemen fell and the two girls to my left went down. One was motionless the moment is there.
I don't know if they fell or they got shot. I turned around and run from my buddies walk, I couldn't see her in at that point. I got knocked to the ground down with the crowd of people coming this way. So I got up and I had no choice but to go.
And at that point I hit the fence. And we were pressed up against this fence with the weight of thousands of people coming behind us all funneled into this alley. So I screamed the guys next to me, we have to break the fence. We have to break the fence.
So about 30 guys, we just pushed the ladies out of the way and we jumped on this fence and flattened it. And that point as the fence fell forward it -- we all spilled out into the street. And to my left there was a police car with an officer with a rifle in full tactical gear, and about 20 or 30 people crouched, tucked into together behind him.
There were people falling left, right, and center. I didn't know if they were tripping or they were shot the machine gun flying. And I kind of started jogging, trying to make a plan.
[21:45:05] COOPER: Yes.
CAREY: My plan was, I ran as fast as I could left and right, left and right. And at this point we both thought there were shooters on the ground just spraying people with bullets. So at that point it was, you know, the flight set in. And I started running. And then a man started screaming at me urgently, get down, get down, get down. So I dive into the gutter. And at that point I was there for I guess a couple seconds which felt like a couple minutes. The gunfire stopped as he reloaded. When he reloaded, a scaled the fence, and there was a sea of people going that way and everyone was just running and screaming. And I couldn't find Bryan, I couldn't find my friend's wife.
So I -- As I was running, I called home, I called my lady. Sorry.
COOPER: It's OK.
CAREY: And tried to tell her what was happening. And then --
COOPER: And Bryan, you know --
CAREY: -- there was people following --
COOPER: I'm sorry, go ahead, Ben. There were people follow.
CAREY: Yes. The people following and I think people were so overwhelmed with -- I mean, there's no way to prepare yourself for something like that. What do you do under that kind of pressure? I try to stay as calm as possible and help as many people as I could on the way and then the end result get home to my family.
You know, so I ran, and I ran. And I jumped the fences. And I ended up running into the MGM hotel thinking that that would be the smartest place to be. My logic was if there was a gunfight with people on the ground and there was officers between me and the gunfire, that they're not going to get where I am that quickly. So I thought --
CAREY: -- MGM was a safe place to kind of collect my thoughts. And at that point a sea of people came in the MGM screaming shooter in pandemonium set out inside that hotel. And once again we were caught in a funnel of people.
So we ran. And at that point people was down towards the MGM garden arena. Cellphones were sliding on the floor. People were falling over. And at that point nobody knew if they were getting shot or they were just literally falling over in the panic.
And I had a choice at the end to the alley way do I go that way to the signature or out to the swimming pool and I chose the swimming pool because it was dark and there was a lot of places to hide if I had to, and I could barely breathe at this point. And I've got out to the swimming pool and collected my thoughts, found another fence to jump, and ran down a road, and I ended up down on Harmon Avenue down the Planet Hollywood.
And at that point, the people weren't really aware of what was happening, and I was able to find a safe place to go and then contact Bryan and make sure he was OK.
COOPER: Well, Ben and Bryan, I'm so glad you guys are OK and were able to help other people along the way. And I appreciate you talking about it. I know it's -- I mean, just a difficult thing to process even 24 hours later like this. So thank you so much for talking to us about. I wish you the best.
At the top of the hour we heard from Addison short who was recovering in the hospital after being shot in the leg. She had this to say to her hero who she doesn't know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHORT: Yes. Thank you so much for having me. And I just want to -- if the guy that helped me is watching, I really just want to tell him how grateful I am for him basically saving my life and just thank you so much.
COOPER: Do you know who he is? I mean, do you know his name?
SHORT: No, I have no idea. I mean I remember a little bit of what he looked like, but no, I didn't get his name.
COOPER: That's amazing that if he's out there, you want him to know you're thankful.
SHORT: Yes, for sure, because I probably wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And we saw in that crowd so many acts of heroism people helping others, people who were wounded on the ground, people who risked their own lives to try treat or help others who were wounded. People as you heard from Bryan and Ben how just grabbed other people ran with them.
CNN's Martin Savidge has more stories and heroism from Las Vegas.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sonny Melton died a hero. When shots rang out, Melton grabbed his wife Heather and then began to usher her to safety when he was shot in the back. "He saved my life," said his wife. Adding, "I want everyone to know what a kind hearted loving man he was."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh it's very short you come in where there is breaks and it's been a shock.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Vanessa an off-duty nurse initially ran for cover. But then her training kicked in and she ran back into danger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We went back because I'm a nurse and I just felt that I had to. So I went to three different scenes. And by the time I got to the third one, there's just dead body.
[21:50:00] SAVIDGE (voice-over): Beyond the bloodshed, she also found that heroes were all around her. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was so many people just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics like nurses that just off-duties. Everyone just communicating and working together. It was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing all people coming together.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Mike Cronk was another one of those who would come together. His friend was shot three times in the chest.
MIKE CRONK, HELPED FRIEND GET TO SAFETY: Most people started scattering and they climbed the fence, but I had to stay with my buddy. So we got him over the fence once the fire stopped and slid him under a stage so we were safe.
My first thoughts were for my buddy, you know, I mean I wanted to make sure he's taken care of but, you know, we were pretty much yelling at everybody to stay down, you know. That was what with we needed to do.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): And some heroes we may never know. Amy McCaslin and Krystal Goddard were shielded from bullets from a man they had never met. He was shot as he held them, bleeding under McCaslin shirt. As the carnage continued, the three kept repeating everything is going to be OK, over and over.
The women still don't know if the man survived. An unknown hero of an unspeakable tragedy.
COOPER: Martin joins us now. I mean, I think we're going to be hearing the days ahead a lot more these kind of stories in heroism just ordinary people doing what they could Martin.
SAVIDGE: It is remarkable. It is. And those stories continue to come in, a lot of it coming from social media. There's another one. A 30-year-old Jonathan Smith, a young man who is said to have saved 30 people from the horror of last night, but in doing so he was wounded in the neck. He's obviously at least OK for the moment, but it's possible he could carry that wound and that bullet for the rest of his life.
And the stories just continue to come in. Let me tell you where we are real quick. It's another candle light vigil that is taking place.
This one is at the campus of UNLV, student body for about 30,000 people. Hundreds and hundreds are gathered here in a courtyard by the Student Union Center here. And its one of about almost a dozen vigils that are taking place all across the valley outside of Las Vegas here tonight and will continue throughout the evening hours.
So it's a community trying to come to grips, trying to heal and trying to remember all those lost and those who are still in hospitals. Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you. Martin Savidge, glad you're there. Thank you.
The president says he will be going to Las Vegas on Wednesdays. Tomorrow he's going to Puerto Rico nearly two weeks after hurricane Maria. Forty-four percent the population still no drinking water.
I spent the weekend there. I'll show you what we found on Saturday and Sunday in different towns, some in the west, some in the south, what people told us about what they're doing to try to get help.
[21:55:04] COOPER: Let's say the country's attention is focused of course on Las Vegas. But, of course 3,000 miles away, millions of Americans are also suffering, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria about 44 percent of Puerto Rico's population has no drinking water. When you talk to people who often they're not seeing the relief efforts the president says are going so well.
The governor said that huge amount -- large amounts of diesel and gas were delivered today, barrels, many thousands of barrels of it were delivered. Also more, bigger military response has been taking place over the last couple of days. The president is going to go to Puerto Rico tomorrow.
I spent the weekend traveling to a number of different towns in Puerto Rico. This is what we found in one town call Aguadilla in the northwestern part of the island.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): Aguadilla's town square normally busy on a Saturday is nearly empty. The clock marks the moment the electricity cut off.
On a nearby side street a 79-year-old man helps cut away a downed tree. So many here are trying to pitch in.
Aguadilla's mayor hands out bottles of water, five per person.
(on camera): Where do these supplies come from?
MAYOR CARLOS MENDEZ MARTINEZ, AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO: Well first of all, the supply that come from the Red Cross. We haven't got hardly any supply from FEMA.
COOPER (on camera): You haven't?
MARTINEZ: Well, just two times, but just -- not enough for everybody. I have 60,000 people in this town. I have one truck full of water for 60,000 people. One truck full of water for 60,000 people.
COOPER (on camera): Not enough.
MARTINEZ: Not enough.
COOPER (voice-over): The line gross fast. People are patient, but there are not enough bottles to go around. I read to Mayor President Trump's tweets from this weekend.
(on camera): President Trump said such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. Ten thousand federal workers now in island doing a fantastic job.
MARTINEZ: Well, let me tell you, Donald Trump, if you're listening to me, 10,000 federal workers, they don't have one here. President Trump, I was a state chairman for the Republican Party in Puerto Rico for 12 years. For 12 years.
My last year was last year. I still a Republican. I'm still a devoted Republican, but those federal workers, 10,000 I haven't seen one in this town. If you get to Puerto Rico Tuesday, come and see me and you and I are going to walk around to see if we see one federal worker out of those 10,000.
COOPER (voice-over): Blocks away another line. New York City firefighters are handing out MREs, precooked meals in a pouch ready to eat.
(on camera): What's so interesting about what's happening here is this is a New York City fire department team, part of a group called DART of the New York City fire department has set up. It's a disaster assistance team. They are volunteers. They came down here. They want to be here. They've been here for days. And they've just kind of taken it upon themselves to sort of requisition these MREs. I won't go into details of how they did it.
They got this truck from the American Red Cross and then they just found this town, decided this was the place and they just started distributing food.
But there's a lot of frustration among first responders that I've spoken to who say, look, they've been sitting around in some cases wanting to get out, but there's a lack of organization. It's the disorganization that's frustrating them.
(voice-over) DART is a combined effort of the fire department of New York and the American Red Cross.
(on camera): Its even been basically waiting for a week to get a truck --
DANIEL GONZALEZ, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPT.: They basically had us doing recon and figuring out the need in the local areas, which I understand is important, but the reality is that the whole island needs the same exact thing.
COOPER (voice-over): Firefighter Daniel Gonzalez says this is the first day they've been able to hand out food.
(on camera): You could have gone out day one if you had a truck and stuff.
GONZALEZ: And now that's the next problem is finding trucks, you know. From what I understand, I haven't been watching the news, but from what I understand, there's a shortage of drivers. I mean, we just need the box. We take care of it ourselves.
So it's like they're trying to -- it'd be nice to breakthrough all the red tape, you know. It's very bureaucratic or if that's even the right word.
COOPER (on camera): What's it like for you to see all this?
HECTOR RIVERA, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPT.: It's all heartbreaking. You know, these are our people. We're here to help. You know they suffered a big loss and we're trying to do a little bit that we can, you know, one day at a time.
COOPER (voice-over): Some firefighters would like to see the U.S. Military here in force in Aguadilla.
(on camera): You were saying really what's needed is the army to come in just for that kind of mass organization.
CHRISTOPHER GODOY, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPT.: Yes. Yes. Its -- That needs to be some sort of organization, some sort of communication effort between towns. It just -- it's complete mess.
COOPER (voice-over): The lines keep growing. More people need help. Eventually more aid will come. The question right now is how long will it take?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: By the way, those firefighters, they're volunteers. When they go back to New York after their time there, they have to make up all the hours that they missed. It's not like they get two weeks off to do this. They have to make up all the hours that they missed because they were volunteering there. They wanted me to mention that.
We'll continue bringing you the stories from Puerto Rico in the days ahead, of course, so that badly need -- they still badly need to be told for as long as it takes in the program.
However, we want to end this hour where we begin with the falling in Las Vegas.