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Update on Las Vegas Victims; Gunman Wired Money to Philippians; Gun shop Owner on Selling to Vegas Shooter; Four Victims Share Survival Stories. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired October 3, 2017 - 14:00   ET



[14:00:30] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN on this Tuesday. Thank you for being with me.

My colleague there, Chris Cuomo, is standing by in Las Vegas, the scene of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

We begin with the latest on the massacre in Las Vegas. The motive is still a mystery. What drove a retired accountant with no criminal history to stockpile 42 guns, bring 23 of those guns into this very hotel in Las Vegas and commit a mass murder.

Police are also finding hammers here, perhaps to smash out those windows up on the 32nd floor. Police also finding ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in his car.

Plus, we have now just learned, that the FBI is looking into why he wired $100,000 to the Philippines.

We're also learning more today about the 59 people who lost their lives. And these are just some of their faces. Mothers, fathers, children, a kindergarten teacher, a special ed teacher, war veterans, police officers, a mom described as the glue to her family, a husband who saved his wife's life, a wife who died in her husband's arms.

This senseless attack, like so many before it, reigniting the gun control debate. The president saying it is not time yet as today he focuses on another tragedy, the hurricane recovery effort there in Puerto Rico. He is there at the moment before heading to Las Vegas tomorrow.

We'll bring you much more on what the president has just said in Puerto Rico that is upsetting a lot of people.

But first, let's go to Stephanie Elam, who's standing by at one of the hospitals there in Las Vegas, hopefully with an update for us on those who have been injured.

What are you learning, Stephanie?


Yes, we have learned a few things here. We do know that of the patients that arrived here at the hospital, 104 patients that they got here at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, that they did not have any amputations. But they did say that they saw greater than probably 80 percent of the wounds being gunshot wounds, as you would expect. But there are also graze wounds and the like.

But they're also saying that the bullet holes, the entry points, were much larger than what you would normally see with just a handgun. So they do believe that they were larger caliber weaponry that was involved here.

You also have someone who was hit by a car running to try to get away from the scene.

And that is what they have been dealing with here. I can tell you that they still have 12 patients that are in critical condition. I was able to take a tour of the trauma center here to see what it looks like inside. And the doctor was showing me around, showed me how they were able to line the halls with gurneys of patients. And it was very narrow for them to work around, but they had doctors teamed up with these different patients along the way to make sure that they were getting the care they need in the -- in the order that needed to happen to make sure that the cycle of death, as they referred to it, was stopped so that they could save people's lives here.

The other thing that's really interesting, Brooke, is that the doctor, the chief of the surgery department here, Dr. Files (ph), what he told me is that they were actually getting called in to be here and were here at the hospital before the bullets stopped flying. Just an amazing response.

BALDWIN: Wow. That is how quickly the word spread. Thank goodness for all of the hospitals in the area, the doctors, the nurses, the staff tending to all these people.

Thank you so much, Stephanie.

We'll keep you posted, of course, on the updates for a lot of these victims.

But let's talk about the investigation. And for that, Chris Cuomo, I'm just going to bring you in, there live in Las Vegas in front of that Mandalay Bay. And the new piece of information we're getting this afternoon that $100,000 that the shooter apparently wired to the Philippines before murdering all these innocent people.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, which is a confusing piece of information that we have to figure out how it fits into the puzzle. A puzzle that they're still very much putting together here.

Behind us, the road is closed. And not out of convenience. We just watched some of the ATF agents walking through, looking for bullet fragments as part of their accounting for just the magnitude of this event. Remember how many we've never seens are at play here. The number of live lost. The number of injured. This type of ammunition being used at this kind of speed. The speed of those bullets wound up creating so much more lethality than we've seen in the past. And we'll get into that.

Now, let's bring in two people who can help us with this. We have Art Roderick, who is, of course, CNN law enforcement analyst, but he's also a former assistant director for the U.S. Marshal Service. And we have Shawn Turner, who's a CNN national security analyst.

[14:05:12] So, Art, help me get my hands around this new piece of information. He gave $100,000 or wired it to these accounts there. The initial thing is, wait, why would such a dark-hearted individual do something that seems like, you know, some kind of generosity?


CUOMO: You know, why would -- he wasn't moving money for himself because he knew he was never going to walk away from this.

RODERICK: Exactly. Exactly.

CUOMO: So what does it mean to you?

RODERICK: To me that ties into the girlfriend. You know, what's going on with the girlfriend? She was in Tokyo. But I believe, you know, we've heard through several reports that she's a Filipino national, or at one point was a Filipino national.

CUOMO: And you've told me in the past, you never go with the people close to someone like this only once.


CUOMO: Now, they said she was a person of interest. Then they said, no, we talked to her, we don't believe it anymore.


CUOMO: And then that's when it came to mind that they said, well, we're not done with her yet. Why? Why do you have to keep going back?

RODERICK: And that's come back. Right. You have to keep going back because as they unpeel this onion in the investigative side, I mean, she lived with this guy. She saw these weapons. I mean he also had explosives at one of his houses. So, I mean, she, to me, was always the key, to get her in, to sit her down to go over all this information they're uncovering.

Also, he had the computer in his room for three for four days. So was he communicating on that computer? Probably yes. Was he also writing something down? Probably also that, too.

But if he's wiring money to the Philippines, I'm sure somewhere there's a note or something that says why he was doing all this.

CUOMO: Shawn Turner, what questions do you have when you hear about this transfer?

SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the first thing I think, Chris, as Art pointed out, you know, why would he, in a situation where he knows that he's not going to be coming out of this alive, why would her wire this money? Now, as Art pointed out, his girlfriend was from the Philippines. It certainly could be anything from some sort of illicit activity to simply a gesture to perhaps help members of her family or something that's associated with some needs that she had.

But, you know, Chris, I think that, as we think about this gunman, the investigation will help us determine exactly what his motives were. I think that something in his past, something in his background or something in his recent history will certainly shed some light on why he did this.

Now that said, and when I think about this gunman, you know, this gunman, whether he was ideologically driven or whether he was driven by some sort of mental health sickness that needed treatment, he does represent what is, I think, one of the most alarming and confounding kind of threats to the safety and security of Americans.

You know, it's the individual, like this gunman, who is teetering on the brink for some time. And he wakes up one day and he decides that today, tonight, tomorrow, this is the moment when everything is going to be different. And when he does that, that moment -- he has that moment. And it's not fair to call it to say that he snapped, but he has that moment. And, unfortunately, for law enforcement officials and federal officials, it's virtually impossible to discern when that moment happens. And, in this case, it looks like this is an individual who was clearly planning this for some time, but he had that moment when he decided that he was going to take action. And that's what brought us here today.

CUOMO: But, Shawn, a quick follow on that is, that's part of the confounding nature of this. you know, the moral agency argument we'll have another day about whether, you know, you have to be sick to do something like this or you can just be pure evil. But, you know, the brother, the girlfriend, the people that they've gotten to, we haven't had anything come out publicly yet that anybody was aware of how many weapons that he had. Now, people may know, it's always hard to believe that they couldn't. But how do you process that, that, you know, the brother was completely, you know, gob-smacked when he heard about what had happened and that there's no criminal history, there's no immediate associations with any kind of nefarious types. You know, the lack of information that we're going to the why, balanced with all of the planning, all of the thought that went into how to do this. It's unusual, isn't it?

TURNER: Yes, it's extremely unusual. And, unfortunately, people don't often know what to look for. You know, we kind of go about our lives with the people around us kind of accepting the kind of peculiarity as a people -- of personalities and accepting that we know the people who we love and who we associated with.

But I think that when people are dealing with mental illness, certainly oftentimes part of that mental illness is concealing that mental illness. And I think in this case, you know, this was an individual who -- as his brother indicated and as others have indicated, was somewhat of a loaner. You know, he was somewhat of an eccentric who kept to himself.

So I think there's so many questions to be answered here with regard to exactly what his motivation was. But I do think that over time, as Art pointed out, this is going to come down to the people who were around him. And as we often do, we go back and we look at these things in hindsight and we realize that there were some indicators that would have given us some hint, some clue and some understanding that something was untoward and I think this case will be no different. It's just a matter of time.

[14:10:13] CUOMO: All right, So, Shawn, Art, do this for me. Stay with me. Because we have Kyung Lah. She's got some new information about the shooter. Let's see how that fits into our understanding as it is right now.

Kyung, what do you know?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, this may play into -- very much into your discussion there because what we've been looking at today is, where did these guns come from? How many gun shops did he visit? And we've been trying to meet the various owners, the people who looked at this gunman in the eyes and sold him weapons.

So we are in St. George, Utah, for a little perspective. This is 40 minutes away from his town in Mesquite. It is further away even from Las Vegas.

So this is a man who then did travel. We know that he purchased guns, long guns, in Vegas, two different shops there. He came here to St. George and purchased a shotgun. He also went to Arizona, according to the authorities, and purchased guns there. And then he also purchased guns from the nearby gun shop near his home. So you put all this together, this was taking place, the accumulation of the weapons, over weeks and months.

We spoke with the owner here in St. George, and here's what he told us about a man he looked into the eyes on three different separate occasions before he purchased the gun. Here's what he told us.


LAH: Can you tell me, because you're really one of the people, one of the few people who has looked this man in the eyes.


LAH: What were you general impressions about him?

MICHEL: Again, he was the neighbor next door. The guy that you would be seen mowing everybody else's lawn, going to church on Sunday and sitting in the congregation. You'd invite him to the family barbecues that's going on in the neighborhoods. Nothing really stood out. He wasn't anything that, you know, again, I kept looking for red flags, but nothing was flagged in -- for me or for anybody in my staff. He just kept coming back and asking the right questions and looking at everything. It wasn't like there was just this one little thing or a look in his

eyes. Because we get sketchy people that walk into our business. No matter how you look at it, sketchy people come in. Those were the ones that we have code words, you know, on our staff that we can throw up and let everybody know something's not right here. Something's going on.

And that didn't happen with him. Again, it was literally -- you would never have thought that this could be something that this man could have done.

My heart ached for the victims. You know, how -- how can we not -- because I don't look at just the people that were there as the victims. There's also friends and family that are beyond them that are going to be going through this. So it -- that was the first thing that hit me. And then I really didn't care who it was at the moment. And then one of the news articles I was looking through mentioned his name. And it triggered my memory. And I remembered him as a person. And that, that was horrific.


LAH: And when he talks about that horror, he's talking about not being able to sleep at night because this is a store that he did visit and he did purchase a gun. A shotgun, let's be very clear, that could not have been -- this gun owner believes -- used to kill the people in Las Vegas. But, still, he wonders, and he has this pit in his stomach, Chris. He talks about this guilt and pain that he's feeling because could he have done something, could he have stopped it? And he keeps going over the conversations and he doesn't believe he knew anything.


CUOMO: You know, Kyung, it's part of the complexity of the reality we have in this country is that, well, could he have done something? Yes, he could have not sold him the gun. But that's his business.

And you heard him apply a level of personal scrutiny, which he is not legally obligated to do, just know that. Chris Mitchel, the man who was just on, he's not legally obligated to decide whether or not he wants to sell you a weapon. He took it upon himself to assess this man. A lot of gun shop owners do that. But that's not what the law insists that they do. So that's just one component of this. Very helpful.

Kyung, thank you very much.

Art, people assume, oh, he had 42 guns. Well, that can't be legal. Of course it's legal.


CUOMO: You build it up over time. There are tons of collectors. There are tons of sportsmen that can do it. The law allows it. But in what you just heard about the timing, you said to me, we're going to -- this onion has a lot more layers left to it. Why? RODERICK: It does. It just seem that the more we peel this onion back,

looking at what he did, I mean when you look at how he planned this whole thing out, his killing field, the weapons that he purchased. If he purchased these weapons over a two, three-month time period, imagine the planning that this guy's doing two or three months ago to set this particular time up and this particular place. I mean it just seems to me that the more we peel back this thing, that he did a lot of planning on this really.

[14:15:08] CUOMO: The time to acquire the ingredients.


CUOMO: Not just the ammonium nitrate, but, you know, just loosely talking about all the different weaponry.

RODERICK: Right. Yes.

CUOMO: Set up those platforms.

RODERICK: Exactly.

CUOMO: Set up the rooms.


CUOMO: Set up the logistics. Figure out how to modify weapons if he had semi-automatics, and made them automatic.

RODERICK: Exactly.

CUOMO: Another part of the legal discussion.

RODERICK: Right. Exactly.

CUOMO: You don't have to buy something illegal to change from semi to fully automatic.

RODERICK: Bumper stocks. Right. Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: Well, Art, thank you for helping us pick through this.

RODERICK: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Brooke, as you see, there are going to be a lot of components to this. And there is something that is a little bit more frightening than the usual here. We assume that, while somebody's talking about why they're angry and, OK, that's how it is. But imagine the person who isn't, who's keeping it inside in a way that this man apparently was for a long time when he obviously had such clear and evil intent. And at this point, it seems, even those close to him didn't know.

BALDWIN: So it's a question, it's the why. You know, you all discussed the guns, the gun shop owners, $100,000 to the Philippines. Another huge piece of this is actually focusing on his hotel room up there behind you there at the Mandalay Bay. Chris, stand by, because coming up here we're going to talk more about the investigation and this newly-released video that takes us inside the shooter's suite. He had this two-bedroom suite up on the 32nd floor. And we have video because guests who had previously stayed there and realized this was his room. What might these key details reveal to investigators?

Also, 25 friends who went to that country music festival together. Incredibly all 25 managed to escape alive. They're OK. We'll hear from some of them ahead.

And we are keeping a close eye on Puerto Rico. President Trump is still on the ground there raising some eyebrows with a couple comments just a short while ago.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. And that's fine. We have saved a lot of lives.


[14:21:26] BALDWIN: Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching special live coverage here on CNN.

Talking about Las Vegas. Among the stories of panic and pain and mourning there, survivors are also coming forward to share incredible acts of heroism and friendship and dedication in the shooting's aftermath. We got to witness one of those unshakable bonds live on this show yesterday. I thought about these girls all right, these two friends. Reighlynn Parsley and Taylor Brunner told me how lucky they felt to be alive.


BALDWIN: Arms linked, hand in hand. Girls, I'm so sorry that you all had to go through this, but at least you have each other.

REIGHLYNN PARSLEY, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING WITNESS: Yep. And everybody that, like, we knew there, like, we are so lucky no one got hurt.

TAYLOR BRUNNER, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING WITNESS: We had a group of about 25 people with us, and -- that we were with throughout the weekend, and every single one of us walked away unharmed. And we are so incredibly lucky to even just be alive right now. It was insane.

BALDWIN: All 25 of you are accounted for?


BRUNNER: Yes. Every single one of us.


PARSLEY: We had someone standing right next to someone who was shot in the head and in the back, and somehow he survived. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So Reighlynn and Taylor are with me today. Like I said, girls, I wasn't finished with you. I needed more of the two of you and you brought your two friends.

You just -- you really -- you really hit my heart talking to you yesterday. And Daniel McDonald is now joining them. Marty Talbot is with us. So thank you all to the four of you for coming together there in Las Angeles for all of us.

And just, again, let me say how incredible it is that all 25 of you went to the concert, all 25 of you are OK.

Starting with the ladies first, you know, Taylor and Reighlynn, how are you holding up? Did you get any sleep last night?




BRUNNER: Kind of hard to sleep right now.

BALDWIN: What are you thinking --

PARSLEY: You just think about everybody else, everyone else who was there, everyone else who was injured, everyone who's --

BRUNNER: All the families of the lost ones.


BRUNNER: It's just -- everyone -- all that's running through your mind right now.

BALDWIN: Are those Route 91 t-shirts?

PARSLEY: Yes. We've been the past -- I've been the past four years and she's been the past three years.

BRUNNER: It's just our thinking.

BALDWIN: You're proud of them?

BRUNNER: It's our thing. It's --

BALDWIN: It was -- it was the moment -- yes.


BALDWIN: To the guy, Daniel and Marty, let me just hear your voices for the first time and, you know, tell me what was going through your mind when you heard the shots.

And, Daniel, I was reading -- I understand, you actually thought the shots were coming from backstage, and so you ran toward that.

DANIEL MCDONALD, ESCAPED LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: That's correct. Yes. It started shortly after one of Jason Aldean's songs. It's -- you know, the first round of shots went off and I know we thought it was just maybe firecrackers or fireworks, I thought it was just part of the show. That it wasn't until the second round went off that everybody got down. And then I'm still standing up looking around just kind of in shock. And I -- in that moment I was just in like a -- kind of like a defensive, like pissed off, like I was towards the front right of the stage, so I ran.

I tried to get through the people that were on the ground and I hopped over the barrier in the front and I ran backstage. One of the security officers that was a former Marine, she ran after me. And I was yelling, like, where is he? Where is he? And by just trying to like -- because I thought the shots were coming from the corner, you know, that they were firing on the crowd. And it wasn't until I got backstage that I realized that they were up higher.

And the former Marine there was like, yes, I want to get him, too. And I was like, all right, well, help me out. And we went back towards the crowd and we started yelling at people to move forward, to stay down and move forward because the only safe spot of the whole concert right now was actually toward the front of the stage. That was the only safe zone. There was -- he couldn't get there.

[14:25:23] So we were yelling at people to stay down and to keep moving forward. And there was people on the left here and they were on the ground. And we had to get them up because the people in the back were still -- they were still stuck in the openings. So we were yelling at people to keep coming. Eventually we got people going. And there was a giant RV in the back. I was yelling at people to get behind the RV. Get behind the RV. You keep down, keep moving.

And it didn't really hit me until, you know, a lady was coming over the barrier and she just -- just covered, you know, in blood. And I just -- I just tried to get as many people, you know, to get down and to keep moving forward. And eventually we got a lot of people out and, you know, down to cover in front of the stage.

And that's when I saw a guy out in the field and I hopped the fence and -- or the barrier there and he was on the ground and we ran over there. And he was already with some other person, but he had a gunshot wound to his head. And I immediately, we got a towel, we applied pressure. And our goal at this point, because he was still in the middle of the -- you know, in the venue. This was a bad spot to be in. The gun -- you know, the gunshots kept going off and off. And so we picked him up and we moved him to the left side, the right stage of the stage, next to the VIP bathrooms, and that was the only safe spot.

And then we found one of those old fences they used to, you know, block off parts of the venue, and we flipped that over and put them on there. And about me and like five other people picked him up. And, I mean, I assumed the gunshots stopped by then because we would have got shot just carrying him across, you know, the venue. So we picked him up and we were on the far right side of the venue and we had to get to the far left side of the venue where the, you know, the ambulances were going to be.

So we picked him up. And we still had to apply pressure on his head because he was just, you know, he was just bleeding, you know, from the top of his head and --

BALDWIN: My goodness.

MCDONALD: And we took him to the other side.

BALDWIN: My goodness.

MCDONALD: And we got him down. And we got him off the thing, off the, you know, the railing. We put him in a chair and he got chaired off.

And, you know, the time I got there, you know, after that happened, I was just trying to help out and I found out there was another guy there. he was -- he was on his side and he had a back wound. And we picked him up and some guy had a wheelbarrow and we put him in a wheelbarrow and wheelbarrowed him off.

And then at this point I was just -- I was just trying to, you know, see what else I can do. And I started walking back to the venue. And by this time it was kind of like a ghost town in there. And I was walking towards the entrance and then I yelled at some other guys. I said, hey, come help me out. And then we ran back towards where the shooting was, the venue, and just tried to see if anybody else needed help. And we were yelling at people just to see if anybody else -- and everybody said, we're good, we're good, that they're getting everybody.

And then after that is when I started to walk out through the entrance. But by this time, you know, it was -- the whole Las Vegas Boulevard was shut down. There was just -- there was cops. And I couldn't even go through the hotel. I had to go through some back door because all the hotels were locked down.

BALDWIN: Daniel --

MCDONALD: And it was just -- it was -- I don't -- it's hard to explain, like, what -- you know, it's -- it's just barrages of just gunfire.

The only time we got a break was when, I assume, he was reloading. So, and, you know, I don't know what I could have done. I don't know why, like, my first response was to go to the right side of the -- I was just, I don't know, I thought he was -- I thought someone was over there shooting, you know, and -- and I just -- I don't know, I was just trying to help people out.

BALDWIN: Daniel --

MCDONALD: I saw a lot of good Americans out there helping out. And -- and there were a lot of good people. So, you know.

BALDWIN: Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, I have been hanging on your every word. And you -- you are one of the people we keep hearing about. I mean the fact that you raced toward the stage, that you wanted to take the shooter down, that you kept helping people. I mean we talk a lot about flight and fight, and would you be the person in the case of a disaster to stoop and help people, and that is you. That is you, sir.

MCDONALD: Thank you.

PARSLEY: Both of them.

BRUNNER: Both of them.

MCDONALD: It's everybody there that was -- it was -- it was all the police officers, it was the first responders, it was just regular people. I mean, the guy I was helping, I don't even know if he's still alive. His name was Tommy. And, you know, I'm looking at this guy and I'm like, Tommy, like, we're here, we're here with you. You know, God's here with you. And we're trying to, you know, get him off the field. And he's still conscious, believe it or not. He's still -- like he's -- it's just -- (INAUDIBLE) to this point, if you're out there, Tommy, man, I hope you're -- I hope you're OK, man.

And it was just -- I don't know. I mean, if you weren't there, it's just hard to like explain what was going -- it was like a war zone, you know? That's -- I don't -- I don't get how someone could do that, you know? It didn't really hit me until after I got back to my hotel and I just started -- I'm covered in blood at this point, and my buddy Sheldon comes to, you know, kind of like wash me down and I just -- it finally -- everything just came to me and I was just like, how can someone be so evil.

[14:30:13] BALDWIN: I don't know if we'll ever know the why --