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At Least 59 Dead, 527 Injured in Las Vegas Massacre; Moments of Heroism During Tragedy. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired October 3, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[05:59:11] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: To our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, October 3. Alisyn is in New York and we are in Las Vegas, Nevada, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
We now know much more about how this mass murder was planned and carried out and about the man and the mystery surrounding his evil decision to apparently kill himself by killing as many other people as possible. At least 59 lives were lost. Many are still fighting for life. Five hundred and twenty-seven injured after one of the most planned and long-lasting shootings we have ever seen, using two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort that's just behind us 500 yards away. Automatic fire that hailed maybe the most bullets we've ever seen onto thousands of concert goers below.
We have seen something else: the evil of one man countered by the love of many. Last night there was a truly poignant memorial for the victims. Among those killed, teachers, a nurse, a police employee. So many with so much life, taken by a coward.
Police say they found an arsenal in this killer's hotel room and home, 42 weapons in total. They recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition. They found explosive material in his car.
At this point, police are still investigating motive. We know that this was a 64-year-old gunman. We know he had no criminal past and no evidence of any training that would suggest an ability to do what he did.
President Trump is set to come here to Las Vegas tomorrow. And it will come after the president visits Puerto Rico today. Millions of Americans are still there, battling to survive a humanitarian crisis that is nowhere near over.
We were there over the weekend. We have a new look for you of the reality of recovery on the ground.
So, we have everything covered for you. Let's begin with Jean Casarez here in Vegas, taking us through what we now know -- Jean.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A very important part of this investigation is the state of mind of the perpetrator, his intent, his premeditation. There will not be a trial in this case, but investigators want to be able to classify what he did, and they want to be able to give the answers to the victims and their families.
The first question is, who is Stephen Paddock?
CASAREZ (voice-over): Authorities are learning more about the gunman responsible for the Las Vegas massacre, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. The retired accountant, firing dozens of rounds onto thousands of concertgoers about 500 yards away from two hotel windows he smashed on the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay. Police searching floor by floor until they found Paddock's room.
This video shot by an NBC journalist staying at the hotel. Paddock exchanged fire with police through his hotel room door, shooting one security guard in the leg.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone in the hall needs to move back. All units move back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breach, breach, breach.
CASAREZ: Police say Paddock took his life before a SWAT team stormed the room using explosives. Police recovering an arsenal of 23 weapons from Paddock's hotel room, including multiple rifles, some with scopes. Police say he had been staying at the hotel since last Thursday in a large suite. Investigators also finding another 19 weapons at his home in nearby Mesquite.
SHERIFF JOSEPH LOMBARDO, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA: Additional firearms, some explosives and several thousand rounds of ammo, along with some electronic devices that we are evaluating at this point.
CASAREZ: Investigators believe the guns were purchased legally. But according to law enforcement, initial reports suggest at least one rifle was altered to function as an automatic weapon. A gun shop owner in Utah is certain he sold a shotgun to Paddock earlier this year.
CHRIS MICHEL, OWNER, UTAH GUN STORE: He didn't set off any of my alarms, anything that I felt like there's a problem in any way, shape or form with him. He was a normal, everyday guy that walks into my door 50,000 times a day.
CASAREZ: Police say Paddock wasn't on their radar, with no criminal past, and believe he acted alone. His brother, Eric Paddock, left stunned by the carnage, telling CNN he never exhibited any violent tendencies and had no affiliations with any terror or hate groups.
ERIC PADDOCK, BROTHER OF SHOOTER: He bought the machine guns and he did this, he's never even drawn his gun, you know what I mean? It makes no sense.
He did not own machine guns that I knew of. This is something just incredibly wrong happened to my brother.
CASAREZ: His brother says Paddock was a successful real-estate investor who owned and rented several properties across multiple states. He also had an affinity for gambling, according to this couple who lived next door to Paddock for two years in Florida.
DON JUDY, FORMER NEIGHBOR: He was a gambler and a speculator. And he told us -- told us that right up front, since he was from Vegas. And he did a little online gambling, and he also did it in Vegas.
CASAREZ: But the family has a troubled past. Paddock's father, Benjamin, was a convicted bank robber, who escaped from prison in the late '60s and was on the FBI's Most Wanted List.
Neighbors, shocked by the news, some even describing him as a gentle giant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You wouldn't recognize him as being anything out of the norm.
[06:05:03] CASAREZ: And what the facts show, an extraordinary amount of premeditation. Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay right behind me last Wednesday, and it was on Sunday, the third day of the festival, the Route 91 Harvest Festival and the last song of when he carried out his plans -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Jean, thank you very much. Very thorough piece.
Let's discuss the latest on the investigation. We have CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano; and we have Mary Ellen O'Toole, former senior profiler for the FBI. Thanks to both of you for being here.
Let's start with clearing up one thing. People want it to be terror, because it was so evil. It seemed so intentional. But that's not what terrorism means to you guys. What are they looking for, before they move in that kind of direction?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure. The basic definition of terrorism, Chris, is violence or intimidation, or the threat of same in the pursuit of political or social angst.
CUOMO: The second part becomes very important.
GAGLIANO: Motivation. Motivation. Andrew McCarthy wrote a really good piece. This is the former chief -- chief deputy U.S. attorney, and he basically argues you almost have an easier standard with Nevada state law than you do to take this federal. So that may be something they look at. But the other concerns you have are the mental capacity of this person.
We understand somebody depraved enough to do what just happened, they're not right in the head. But can you prove that they were actually mentally incompetent? You know, can you prove that? And that's going to be the issue.
CUOMO: Especially here, because you're not going to have a trial. GAGLIANO: It's speculative.
CUOMO: So this analysis -- that's right.
And Mary Ellen, in terms of one of the things that makes this unusual, other than just the numbers involved, is this overweighting of information about how much went into the planning of this versus how much went into the motivation for this. They haven't found anything yet, at least that's been made public, about why he did this. And all of what they found about how much he went into putting into the planning, what do you make of that imbalance?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, it is an imbalance. And I think it's an important one. And what it appears to be right now -- and this certainly can change -- is that more and more, it appears he's leading a secret life, a life that he kept from other people.
But I'd also go back to the motive. The motive in this case was a very sensational suicide that was completed by also the murder of 49 people. And when you see this kind of a suicide like this, this kind of a sensational crime scene, with this kind of a personality, it's often not because -- not because they're depressed or suffering from severe mental illness. It's because their back has been put against the wall, and this is their only way out.
So my suspicion is at this point that, as they continue to dig, that's likely what they're going to find, as opposed to some type of mental illness.
CUOMO: Quick follow-up. What have you found over the years in what we see again and again in situations like this, where someone decides to take their own life, but as part of that decision, they decide to take as many other lives as they can before they do that? It seems that -- I don't see a lot of that anywhere else. But I do see it as somewhat of an irregular pattern with these mass shootings.
O'TOOLE: I agree with you. And I think part of the reason is the blame of other people for why their life has gotten to be such a disaster. So it's really an attack on other people for why they are in a situation that they're in. And they don't even view the people that they murder as humans. They're really objects. So -- but they're blaming them because of their own issues in life, and I think that's what we see here.
I think that's ultimately what we're going to find in this background.
CUOMO: And, you know, short of any writings, we sometimes see this perverse notion of a glorified exit. That somehow they become relevant in this infamy. Even that, we don't see any proof of here yet.
Then we have the issue of how he did it. And our eyes are drawn to the size of this cache; 42 weapons, at least the rounds. How he got them, whether or not he had qualified for a special permit to get an automatic weapon or whether he automated semiautomatic weapons. What's your best take on this.
GAGLIANO: Clearly premeditated.
CUOMO: No question.
GAGLIANO: This was set up. And I look at the model of this. How he picked an elevated position. The automatic weapons, and we don't know, as you pointed out, they were semiautomatic and modified or converted or whether he purchased it that way on the black market or had he got...
CUOMO: How hard is it to convert?
GAGLIANO: You don't need to be a gunsmith to do it, Chris, to be really honest with you. You don't need to be a gunsmith. And there's places that people can go to have this done. And this is the fear. Because you can go and legally purchase them. He purchased a number of them.
[06:10:05] And you know, police went out and talked to the folks at the gun store where he purchased them from. They said had no criminal history, had no history of mental imbalance or any issues of being, you know, put into a sanitarium. So you can't stop him from buying them.
CUOMO: And we don't even know that there was any kind of compressed period of purchase, you know, where he bought them all in rapid succession where, maybe to many of the smart gun owner of one of these stores -- and many of them are very savvy. Very often the best line of defense is just a concerned citizen who runs one of these stores. We don't have any proof of any of that.
GAGLIANO: No, you really can't. And we have to take the family members speaking about this in context, because they said he wasn't a gun guy. No he could not have had a relationship with that family member. They could not have been that close. And in some times after these instances, we find family members want to be protective of another family member.
CUOMO: Now, one other thing we want to turn to before we move on in the discussion this morning, the altitude, the position, that cone of death that he created by shooting down all speaks to a level of sophistication that we don't see how he got it. And also, if it wasn't on automatic, you can explain to us the lethality rate of those bullets, the ability for one of them to go through multiple people because of the additional speed, automatic versus trigger-pulled semiautomatic. Those are all relevant considerations for investigators here.
GAGLIANO: Chris, I haven't heard that type of fire other than on a range or overseas. I've never heard it here in an American city. And it was chilling to hear. The sustained rate of fire, as soon as I heard it, you -- I was convinced it was an automatic weapon. And then just the cyclic rate of it. Now, we think that it was about 400 yards, and that is about the extent. Maybe you could push it to 450 or 500 for the average rifle, that type, whether or not it was an AR- 15 or an M-16. We haven't got a release of all the different weapons.
But to be firing for up above, what caused the chaos, we teach people run, hide, fight if you have to. And the final thing is to tell. Take this information to law enforcement.
In this instance, the folks who were trapped down there -- you called it a funnel of death. They had no idea where the rounds were coming from. Unless you were on the stage and you saw the rounds impacting, you could tell the trajectory, you didn't know if it was coming from the side or coming from above.
It's conceivable that people could have been running out -- back into the killing field. And the fact that he had two positions, he also had tripods up there. So he had some level of sophistication in mounting the weapons, had either drums or a number of magazines taped together that he could quickly change out 20- or 30-round magazines, it's chilling, absolutely chilling to listen to.
CUOMO: And there's going to be a lot more that we learn about it. James, I'm going to need you here all morning. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Mary Ellen, thank you so much for helping us understand the mind that motivates this kind of madness a little bit.
More will come out as we learn more about how this monster reached this level of sophistication to know that so many of his decisions would increase the lethality, the ability to kill. How did he figure that out? Why did he figure that out?
So we're balancing that part with the amazing moments that led to even more not losing their lives. People jumped into action in the way that we only see in the worst of circumstances.
CNN's Alex Marquardt has that part of the story. He's at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. And look, Alex, as we were talking about last night, there's a lot more that we still don't know in terms of timeline that is crucial information in understanding our response to this. We already know what we need to know most, which is people stepped up and helped one another when they had to.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And the authorities are trying to fill in those gaps in that timeline. Chris, you were talking about the cone of death, that vantage point that the shooter had up there in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. One of the country music musicians who was at the concert said it was like shooting fish in a barrel. So we are learning a lot more about the investigation.
We are learning a lot more about the shooter but also about those incredible moments of chaos and the selfless acts of people helping other people.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): When the fist gunshots first rang out, concertgoers didn't know what they were. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just sounded like fireworks. Almost fake, at
MARQUARDT: Chaos erupting, as the crowd of 22,000 country music fans tried to find cover from the hail of bullets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not sure what's going on out there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing. Nothing.
MARQUARDT: Musician Bryan Hopkins hid in a backstage freezer after running from the gunfire.
BRYAN HOPKINS, SURVIVED SHOOTING SPREE: We see a guy right in front of us goes down. Then another person goes down. And guys. I turn, bang, bang. Two girls go down behind us. So I grab the two girls that are standing in front of me and grabbed them and took them with me.
MARQUARDT: Anthony Rabone, an off-duty paramedic, sprang into action to save his brother.
ANTHONY RABONE, PARAMEDIC: The real moment I realized that it was gunshots was when I heard my brother say I got hit. And I -- I turned around, and I saw him coughing up blood.
MARQUARDT: Using a piece of plastic and some Band-Aids to cover his chest wound.
Sonny Melton grabbed his wife, Heather, and was ushering her to safety when he was shot in the back. He died trying to save her.
[06:15:06] MIKE CRONK, SURVIVED SHOOTING SPREE: Most people started scattering, and they climbed the fence, but I had to stay with my buddy.
MARQUARDT: Mike Cronk rushed to help his friend, who was shot three times in the chest.
CRONK: So we got him over the fence once the fire stopped and slid him under a stage so we were safe.
MARQUARDT: Vanessa, an off-duty nurse, initially ran for cover, as well. But then her training kicked in, and she ran back into harm's way.
VANESSA, FIRST RESPONDER TO ATTACK: We went back, because I'm a nurse and I felt that I had to. So I went to three different scenes. And by the time I'm coming up to the third one, there was just dead bodies.
MARQUARDT: Addison Short was shot in the leg while trying to get away. A stranger came to her aid.
ADDISON SHORT, WOUNDED IN SHOOTING SPREE: 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.
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.
MARQUARDT: Addison says she never got the man's name.
Amid all the bloodshed, countless stories of heroism coming to light.
VANESSA: There were so many people, just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics, nurses, just off-duty. Everyone is just communicating and working together. It was -- it was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing to see all the people come together.
MARQUARDT: Such horrific but inspiring moments.
Now, Chris, you have been talking with other guests about whether to classify this as an act of terror. Here at the sheriff's office, he has been repeatedly asked about whether this was a terror incident. He has said that they're waiting to figure out the motivation of the shooter.
Now, the White House, of course, has also been asked. Yesterday the press secretary saying that because this is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to weigh in on something like that before the facts were established.
So both local authorities and the White House refusing to call the biggest massacre in modern U.S. history an act of domestic terrorism -- Chris.
CUOMO: And, look, we'll see where the feds want to go with that, as well, when they start to weigh in about why this was. And there's a lot of information we still need to know about the response by police in the situation. Alex, we know you're on that. Thank you very much.
But what a damn shame that all these people were forced to live this nightmare because of the evil of one man. And when we come back, we're going to talk with two survivors who made it through. But they did more than that. They helped other people in a moment of need. When everything in them was telling them to just take care of themselves, they did more than that.
And we want to honor, all morning long, the lives that were cut short as a reminder of what was lost here. Please, pay attention to this.
GRAPHIC: Rachel Park, 33 years old; Jenny Parks, 35 years old; Sandra Casey, 35 years old; Lisa Romero-Muniz, 42 years old; Susan Smith, 53 years old; Rhonda LeRocque, 42 years old
[06:21:10] CUOMO: You know, as we've seen time and again, the most impressive part of a story like what we're living through right now is not what led to the madness or the evil or how it went down. It's how people escaped from it and what they did for one another in a moment where many of us would not know what to do.
And we're hearing stories about that type of heroism here again. Michael and Jamie Goguen from Montana, they were here, like thousands and thousands of others, just to enjoy a great night of country music in the VIP section. They start to hear bullets, and they had to make a decision. And their decision was to try to help other people, try to get them out of there. And they wound up being with dozens of people who were hurt and getting them to places, cars, ambulances, anywhere they could, to make a difference.
And they join us this morning. Jamie, thank you for being with us. I appreciate it very much. Michael, thank you very much. Thank God you're OK. And I know that in the moment you did what you had to. And I'm sure the hardest part of you has been the hours since then, and dealing with what went down. How are you doing, Jamie?
JAMIE GOGUEN, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: When we finally got to sleep, it was like waking up and realizing, I must have had this crazy nightmare and then seeing my phone and seeing the messages, "How are you doing? Prayers are with you." And I'm beside myself that it actually happened. Shocked. Still in shock.
CUOMO: Are you being able, Michael, to get your head around the idea of what somebody was trying to do there, you know, what -- what initiated the need for you to try to figure out how to help people?
MICHAEL GOGUEN, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Yes, I mean, there's some small percentage of evil, I think, in humanity. But an incident like the other night showed that the vast majority of people have such goodness in them and bravery. So, you have to keep it in perspective, even though that evil can have such a disproportionate impact on people. There was more goodness that came out, I think, in the wake of that tragedy than evil.
CUOMO: The truth, and the story that's dominated by the numbers, the most lives lost, the most injured. We also saw the most acts of heroism that we've ever seen before. Because that was the worst situation to be in. Thousands of people, slowing exit.
What made you decide "I've got to get out of here, I've get the woman out I love out of here, but look at all these other people. I have to do something for that"? What was that decision?
M. GOGUEN: I don't remember it being, really, a conscious decision. It was just a certainty. There was obviously something bad happening, and it was really the incident that we realized that the shooting was hitting people.
See, when the gunshot, the automatic fire first started happening, the Mandalay Bay was right over our right shoulder. And that's the direction I heard the sounds come from. But we still didn't know, whether at first, it was firecrackers, whether it was gunshots but maybe just meant to panic people, to cause that chaos. Until, as we were filing out, we saw the first victim, gunshot victim with an abdomen wound, and then it was just a certainty that we had to stay and help.
I did want Jamie to leave and tried my best to get her to leave. But she refused, and then she just ended up helping for the next, probably, hour and a half.
CUOMO: Why did you stay?
J. GOGUEN: I wasn't going to leave my husband, and I was terrified. I saw people that were shot, and I knew he had a duty in him. It's his character, in his nature, to go back and help people. And I wanted to help any way I could. He really instilled that and inspired that bravery in me. So, just do it.
CUOMO: What were you telling yourself when you kept seeing that more and more people were being hit by this? Because this is such a confusing situation. You're not used to hearing gunfire like that; you're not used to seeing its effects.
J. GOGUEN: No. I'm -- help people. Help people however I can. Comfort them, direct. Open up walkways and paths. Grab a foot, grab a leg. You know, grab a shoulder. Help them onto the wheelchair, and let's move them to safety. Let's move them to transport, to the hospital.
[06:25:05] Michael was helping with, you know, basic EMT. And that's not what I know how to do. I'm no professional at that. But sitting with people, trying to comfort them, praying with them, asking their names, asking them about who their children are. And trying to give them -- remind them why they have to fight. And they did. And they would.
CUOMO: One of the things that is so bizarre and unusual that you had to live through is duration. Did you have a sense of that in the moment that, Jesus, this isn't ending? These shots just keep coming, keep coming?
M. GOGUEN: I did. I did. It was long, continuous bursts of automatic fire, as you know by now. And when we made it to the point where it was potential safety for Jamie, there was kind of a brick retaining wall, cinder block retaining wall that people were filing past. And I tried to get her to go along there and we, as we mentioned, we saw that first victim crumpled against that wall with an abdomen wound, that was in the midst of, I think, one of the last long sustained bursts. So the fire was continuing as we turned back in. And we helped that gentleman, we lifted up; and a passerby, a civilian car was there, already being loaded with victims. We got him into that vehicle.
When I turned back in, that's when I started noticing so many others that were on the ground. And the next gentleman we went to, unfortunately, had a very severe head wound. And it was -- one of his friends was trying to help and another similar EMT was trying to give CPR. Compression, checking the pulse. He was fading fast. He ended up dying there in our arms before we could get him over to the makeshift little trauma center.
The medical tent had become a bit of a triage center. And that's where we started, just one after another bringing victims. And then trying to find them transport. The biggest critical issue at that moment was...
CUOMO: How do you get them out of here?
M. GOGUEN: How do you get them out? I'm sure that the ambulances responded very quickly. In the moment it felt like forever. And maybe they were being held back, because the shooting was continuing. I don't know the details. I do know that these victims with -- many, many had multiple chest wounds, head wounds, as I said. And there was no action that someone could take on the ground there, even if you were a battlefield surgeon, other than getting them quickly to a real trauma center.
CUOMO: You did the thing that was needed most, was trying to get them to a place where the people who could help would be there, and take them to the next step. And obviously, everybody was overwhelmed. And as terrible as those numbers are, you had thousands and thousands of people who were sitting ducks.
M. GOGUEN: That's true.
CUOMO: So everything is relative. I know that you're here. I know that you have a business. I know that you're into helping people be well, right?
J. GOGUEN: Yes.
CUOMO: You could have never done that more than you've done it already. So thank you, guys, for what you did.
M. GOGUEN: Thank you.
J. GOGUEN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Thank you for talking about it. I know it's not a conversation you want to have. Thank you to both of you.
M. GOGUEN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Thank you very much. And be well.
J. GOGUEN: Thank you for telling the story.
CUOMO: And let yourself deal with this process as it goes forward. All right?
Listen, we're going to hear stories about this. And thank God we will, Alisyn. Because if you don't have people who step up in a time of need like this, everything gets so far out of control so fast. And it's a big part of the story, and we won't neglect it.
CAMEROTA: It's wonderful to hear from them, Chris. And it's so good to have you on the ground out there.
So I have some other breaking news, though, to tell people. And it is sad breaking news from the music world. Fans are shocked and heartbroken over the sudden death of rock legend Tom Petty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PETTY, MUSICIAN (singing): Hey baby there ain't no easy way out. Hey, I I will stand my ground and I won't back down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Just so many hit songs. According to his manager, Petty suffered cardiac arrest and could not be revived. Fans and fellow superstars paying tribute on social media. Petty was a three-time Grammy winner and had just finished a summer tour with his band, The Heartbreakers. They gained a passionate fan base over 40 years of playing, thanks to classics like "Won't Back Down" and "American Girl." Petty was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He was just 66 years old.
All right. Back now to our top story in Las Vegas. The killer's motives remain a mystery, but we do know the gunman was extremely armed and determined to kill. What we're learning about his arsenal, next, as we remember all the victims in Las Vegas.
GRAPHIC: Bailey Schweitzer, 20 years old; Angela "Angie" Gomez, 20 years old; Neysa Tonks; Jennifer T. Irvine; Sonny Melton, 29 years old; Rachel Parker, 33 years old