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ATF: Shooter Modified 12 Guns To Mimic Automatic Weapons; Shooter Planned Attack; Paddock's Girlfriend Returns to U.S.; Trump Visits Vegas; Vegas Shooter Set up Security Cameras. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired October 4, 2017 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Poppy Harlow.

If anyone alive today can explain how a 64 year old gambler, real estate investor, became the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, that person is now within reach of authorities.

Marilou Danley arrived in Los Angeles overnight from the Philippians, was met by the FBI prior to questioning by the Las Vegas Police. Now, Danley was the girlfriend of the man who opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on that open-air music festival Sunday night killing at least 58 people, wounding more than 500.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have new information about the hotel suite that was converted into a sniper's nest and the weapons, most of which seem to be modified legally, turning them into machine guns to kill even faster. We also have new body cam video, some from the first police on the scene.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That just hit my head.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go that way! Go that way! Go that way!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, they're shooting right at us, guys. Everybody stay down. Stay down!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North of the Mandalay Bay. It's coming out of a window.


BERMAN: All right, President Trump is in the air at this moment, headed to Las Vegas. He will meet with officials, first responders, victims. Of the investigation, he says, quote, they're learning a lot more. It will be announced at the appropriate time.

We're following all the new developments this morning. Let's begin with CNN's Jean Casarez.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When I started talking with victims Sunday night, just shortly after this all happened, they would say to me, it seemed like he was shooting for two minutes. Well, now law enforcement authorities have said that they believe the shooter was firing that barrage of bullets from nine to 11 minutes. That first call came in at 10:08 and they believe the shooter did not finish shooting until 10:19.

We also are learning that the processing, the crime scene processing of that hotel room, will continue for days more law enforcement says. And we are learning so much more about the planning, the details, the premedication. He had cameras put inside and outside his hotel room. Outside on a food cart there were two cameras. One camera he put in the cubby hole of his hotel room door. Authorities are saying he wanted to monitor any law enforcement that was coming to his door. And we do know a security guard went by himself to that room and was shot in the leg.

And we are also seeing inside that hotel room, photos, crime scene photos published by "The Daily Mail." We now have law enforcement not happy that they were published by that entity. But they have authenticated that that is the hotel room. You see guns just thrown everywhere. You see one part, it is confirmed, that that is the body of the perpetrator. And you see spent bullets. You see magazines in a corner that are neatly stacked up.

But at the same time, while that was happening, we have obtained brand-new video of another vantage point when the shots were ringing out. Listen to a minute to the chaos.


CASAREZ: And law enforcement is now saying that he had a total of 47 weapons that they have found in his hotel room, his Las Vegas Mesquite home, and also in Verdi, Nevada, which is a suburb of Reno.

John. Poppy.

BERMAN: All right, Jean Casarez for us again in Las Vegas.

Jean, thank you so much for your reporting.

So many questions this morning surrounding Marilou Danley, the girlfriend whom police are once again calling a person of interests. "Early Start" anchor Dave Briggs with us now from Las Vegas with much more on that.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": John, good morning to you.

Not just a person of interests. Probably the only person on earth that really can speak into the mind-set, perhaps answer that question as to why on earth did Stephen Paddock committed this heinous active crime.

As Poppy mentioned off the top, Marilou Danley, 62-years-old, lived with Paddock in Mesquite, Nevada. Is back in the United States this morning, having traveled from the Philippians to LAX late last night, accompanied by the FBI, where she will be questioned.

We're also hearing from her sisters in Australia, speaking about why she was out of the country at the time of the shooting. Their faces were obscured. Their names were not revealed. But they gave an emotional response as to why their sister was, quote, sent away at the time of the shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I know that she doesn't know anything as well. Like, she was sent away. She was sent away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he's planning.

[09:05:15] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn't even know that she's going to the Philippines until Steve said, oh, Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines.


BRIGGS: Now, how does Australia fit in here? Well, Marilou Danley did live in Australian for several years in the late 1980s. She's an Australian citizen traveling on an Australian passport. And traveling she sure was. Two weeks before the shooting, on September 15th, there's a flight from Tokyo to the Philippines. She didn't just stay there. She travelled to Hong Kong on the 22nd of September, and right back to the Philippines on the 25th of September, where she remained through that shooting until she travelled from Manila to Los Angeles, again, late last night. FBI will question her.

Las Vegas Police also expected to question her. I reached out to them this morning and Joe Lombardo, the sheriff, said that he hopes to speak with her and anticipates some information from her shortly.

Questions they will ask. What was with the $100,000 wire transfer from Stephen Paddock to the Philippines in the days ahead of the shooting and what did she know about these enormous cache of weapons Jean Casarez mentioned a short time ago. Forty-seven weapons bought in four different states, 23 of which they found inside that suite behind me on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. That suite, you have seen inside because of those crime scene photos that were leaked.

Now, on the other side of us is the country music festival. You can see the stage where Jason Aldean was performing at 10:08 Sunday night when the shots rang out and killed 58 innocent people.


HARLOW: Dave Briggs, thank you for the reporting this morning. We'll wait to hear what else you get from the sheriff on that.

Police have released body camera video that captures the panic, the chaos as this massacre took place. The video also shows how the first responders worked frantically and very quickly to help get people to safety. We want to warn you, this is very hard to watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go that way! Get out of here! There's gunshots coming from over there. Go that way! Go that way!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's gunshots right here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That just hit my head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming from multiple (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go that way! Go that way! Go that way!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, they're shooting right at us, guys. Everybody stay down. Stay down.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the Mandalay Bay. It's coming out of a window.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go back! Go back!



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 790 can you help (ph).











UNIDENTIFIED MALE: we see muzzle flash from the Mandalay Bay!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: from the Mandalay Bay.


BERMAN: You can hear the gunfire there. Those doctored weapons from the bump stocks right there, sounding like automatic rifles. You can also hear people responding to it, what it sounded like, and the first responders.

The president meets with some of those first responders today. He will also meet with some of the survivors of the shooting.

HARLOW: That's right. He's in the air. He's headed to Las Vegas. He'll land in a little over three hours from now.

Let's go to our Alex Marquardt. He is in Vegas with more on what we can expect from the president today.



That's right, this is the second time in as many days that the president has had to play the role of comforter in chief. Of course the president was in Puerto Rico yesterday in the wake of Hurricane Irma. He says he's here to pay his respects. And as you mentioned, he's due to land here in around three to four hours' time. He's running a little bit late.

He and the first lady will be making two stops here on the ground in Las Vegas. The first one at a hospital to meet with some of the more than 500 people who were wounded in this attack, as well as the doctors who have been working on them. The second stop they will be meeting with first responders, with the sheriff, and what the White House is calling civilian heroes.

The president has been tweeting about this attack, yesterday writing, it is a miracle how fast the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were able to find the demented shooter and stop him from even more killing.

We now know that this entire incident lasted an hour and 12 minutes from the first moment at 10:08 p.m. on Sunday night when those first shots rang out from that hotel room right up there over my shoulder, to the time the SWAT teams bursts into that room finding the gunman dead from a self-inflicted wound.

[09:10:16] Now, of course, this has reignited the gun control debate, as it so often does in the wake of these awful tragedies. The arguments again falling on partisan lines. Democrats arguing that more gun regulations are need. Republicans arguing that now is not the time to have this debate.

The president was asked about this on Air Force One on his way back from Puerto Rico yesterday. He said that at some point perhaps that debate will come. That is not today. Asked if the shooter should have had as many weapons as he did, as our reporters have been saying, he had some 47 weapons in his possession. The president said, we'll be talking about that at a later date.

Democrats have argued that nothing can happen on that gun control front without the president's emphasis because Republicans on Capitol Hill, they say, will not do anything.

All told, the president and first lady are due to spend around three and a half hours here on the ground in Las Vegas before heading back to Washington.

John. Poppy.

BERMAN: All right, Alex Marquardt for us in Las Vegas. Again, awaiting the president. He arrives in Las Vegas shortly. We'll bring that to you live when it happens.

Joining us now, CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Gagliano and FBI Supervisory Special Agent John Iannarelli.

James, first to you. I want to ask about Marilou Danley. She's back in the United States. The FBI greeted her in Los Angeles.

You've been part of these investigations. How do you approach this witness? What do you want to get from her?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, John and Poppy, there's a lot that can be harvested from this person. First of all, she had a very obviously close, intimate relationship with the subject. I believe that the amount of human intelligence that can come off her can also be combined with the forensic accountants that are going to be going over and studying the money transfer, as well as the folks who are going to be tracking her travel in between those different countries. The human intelligence is going to be critical.

I'm pretty confident, talking to some of my sources, that there is going to be a motive established somewhere along the way, hopefully shortly, because right now we're still dealing with the situation, as awful as it was, the carnage, the terror. But to define this as terrorism, which is obviously going to give the FBI purview in this investigation, we've got to get to motive to find out why the shooter did what he did.

HARLOW: That's really important because a lot of Americans are sitting at home wondering, how is this not terrorism? They terrorized. Well, there has to be a political motivation to define it that way. But that allows the FBI to have some say in a bigger role here. So we'll watch for that.

John, to you.

James brought up the travel. So the U.S., to the Philippines, to Tokyo, to Hong Kong, back to the Philippines, now back to Los Angeles. Her sisters in Australia say, look, she was sent away basically so that he -- she didn't interfere with this planning. And that very well may be the case.

But she is also now a person of interests. She was -- was at the beginning, then wasn't. Now police say she is. What does all of this tell you?

JOHN IANNARELLI, FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Well, first of all, the FBI has offices in 65 different countries. So we have people on the ground already who can conduct interviews, talk to anybody that might be involved. It's not just his girlfriend. Whoever his girlfriend has been meeting with over in the Philippines and other places, associates she may have there.

As Jim had said, tracking the money is going to be crucial. Was that money sent to her so that she could have for future use, family, or something more nefarious? Philippians has terrorism nexuses, as does other parts of the world. Australia has the same problems. It's going to be very interesting to see what the forensic accountants come up with.

BERMAN: Indeed. Follow the money on this one.

Let's talk about the cameras, James. They're strange, right? This guy had cameras set up inside his room and outside his room. It doesn't appear he was broadcasting any kind of video to the world. It was to set up some kind of a security perimeter, yet he still appears to have killed himself. So what does this tell you about his mind-set and psychology?

GAGLIANO: John, from what I can tell from this is there were cameras outside. Obviously he was looking to track the folks that were going to be responding. And then there was a camera in the peephole, again, to track the folks what were going to come to try to make entry through that ingress point.

Now, if you look at the timeline, I've studied this pretty closely, most active shooter situations are interdicted between three to ten minutes. So we know that the shooting went on for about nine to 11 minutes and it roughly stopped about the time that the first team got to his door. That's what we call in the business, you know, going to the sound of the guns. And that's what we would call a hasty assault. You want to stop somebody from killing people, or if it's a hostage situation. Once the shooting stopped, this now then moves into a different phase.

And that means a barricaded subject. Because now you're not trying to interdict. You're not trying to stop killing. And that's where the hour and fifteen minutes elapsed so that they could bring in the appropriate, you know, technically trained SWAT operators that had the explosive breaching technique to make entry into the room.

[09:15:06] HARLOW: One also -- two interesting additional nuggets of news that we have according to NBC News, James -- John, rather, he purchased 30 of these guns. He had 47 at least. He purchased 30 of them in the last year, and also there's reporting that the weekend before this shooting, the previous weekend, he rented a room in a high-rise condo in Las Vegas that overlooked another festival, a festival by the name of Life is Beautiful. Whether that was a dry run, you know, we don't know. What do these two things tell you?

IANNARELLI: What it tells me is some people have said this guy had a break with reality. He planned this a long time. This is a year in the making possibly. The fact of the matter is that he was scouting targets. Terrorists have been known to do this, and in an active shooter situation it's very unusual. This is a situation unlike anything law enforcement has ever seen.

HARLOW: All right. Gentlemen, thank you so much. Stay with us. We have a lot ahead we want you to weigh in on.

You've heard us talk about over the past two days especially bump stocks, right? They are legal. They added to these guns to basically make the machine guns automatic weapons. The shooter used 12 of these. We will talk more about that.

BERMAN: Also, the president praising the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, but what does that mean to the hundreds of thousands still without power. We'll be joined by Puerto Rican rapper, "Fat Joe," who is taking matters into his own hands, and he will be with us.

Plus, a CNN exclusive, Russia-linked Facebook ads targeting two states, crucial, maybe the most crucial to the president's win.



HARLOW: The ATF says the shooter in Las Vegas used 12 devices called bump stocks. Why? Because they modify guns into essentially machine guns. Our Drew Griffin looks at what they do and how easy they are to get.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A fully automatic rifle requires two components, a trigger mechanism that allows multiple rounds fired with one finger squeeze and a magazine able to feed the weapon with a continuous stream of bullets. The result is the kind of weapon one could logically only use in a war or like Las Vegas, in a massacre. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be advised it is automatic fire, fully automatic fire from an elevated position.

GRIFFIN: You would think that kind of weapon power would be illegal for average gun owners to possess. Think again. This is a slide stock, perfectly legal after-market component. According to the manufacturer's video it's easy to assemble on an assault rifle, and the results though technically do not make a machine gun, ask yourself if you can tell the difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one of several ways that you can make a semiautomatic rifle into essentially a fully automatic.

GRIFFIN: The slide stock is legal to buy and use. Former ATF Agent Sam Rabadi calls it a work around the gun laws, not a loophole. That may make no sense to you. This will make even less sense. Kits you can buy online to turn a semiautomatic rifle into a fully automatic weapon. Legal to buy, yet illegal to actually use.

SAM RABADI, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT: Anybody with a basic machining skill set could go ahead and convert a semiautomatic rifle into a fully automatic rifle. The conversion kit itself is legal but when you use it to convert a rifle into fully automatic, obviously then makes it illegal firearm.

GRIFFIN: Rabadi says the Las Vegas shooter may have used both and firing from the 32nd story into a huge crowd needed little training if any to kill so many. Any attempt for more regulation on guns is likely to go nowhere with a Republican-led Congress.

But even after the Sandyhook shooting in 2012, when Democrats had control, a bill calling for tighter background checks failed to pass the Senate. As for the states, in Florida, after last year's massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, two Democratic state legislators introduced bills to ban sales of assault weapons and limit high- capacity magazines. Both bills died without even a hearing. Drew Griffin, CNN, Winter Haven, Florida.


BERMAN: All right. Our thanks to Drew for that. Back now with our law enforcement experts to get a sense of what this all means. And James Gagliano, you know, first to you, from a law enforcement perspective, is there any difference between a modified semiautomatic weapon with a bump stock, which makes it less automatic. Is there any law enforcement difference between that and an automatic rifle?

GAGLIANO: John, in the piece of your viewers just watched, you saw a gentleman on the range with a military style -- that was an M-60 machine gun. It fires 762. It's a belt fed weapon (INAUDIBLE) weapon and then you saw a civilian also using the bump fire stock.

The distinction between the two. You are still going to get the rate of fire, 750 to 900 rounds a minute. That's what the subject used in the shooting. Here's the insanity. I talked to a number of different FBI firearms instructors that say this, you can buy the bump fire stock, you can install them easily without any special training and you can use them very simply.

Now here's what is so confounding to me. If we can have laws that restrict silencers, and laws that restrict defacing the serial number on a firearm, and laws that restrict other laws involving weaponry, you can't shorten the barrel of a shotgun past a particular length.

[09:25:06] And yet in this instance you can take a legal weapon, a semiautomatic weapon and easily convert it to fully automatic, and that's what was on display out here just a couple of days ago and that's what result in 58 senseless deaths.

HARLOW: John, help us understand what a civilian would legally use a bump stock like this for? It's 100 bucks. It's not cost prohibitive. What would somebody legally buy that for?

IANNARELLI: A lot of gun enthusiasts like to go to the range and shoot and that's something that they might want to use, but just because it's legal doesn't mean it is right. The reality is there's a lot of things people would like to have and use that are prohibited by law. As Jim said, we have to have reasonable restrictions because look at the tragedy we just had.

BERMAN: Just to be clear, both of you have been in law enforcement. Automatic weapons are heavily regulated, to say the least. Mostly not legal. You cannot own easily an automatic weapon unless, John, you go out and spend 99 bucks. Is there any logical reason you would have the $99 loophole, John?

IANNARELLI: It doesn't make sense to me. At the very least when you look at the aspect of it, when persons in law enforcement like myself who have access to those weapons, we received thousands of hours of actual physical training.

And now you are selling a device that you can give to somebody who whether they have nefarious purposes or are totally innocent don't have that kind of education. I've seen no need for something like that in the private sector.

HARLOW: James, does it change anything? Americans -- I didn't know what this was before this happened on Sunday night. Now many Americans, millions will know what it is and know the price and know they can legally buy it and essentially make a machine gun. Will this change anything?

GAGLIANO: Well, Poppy, I think that it's definitely changed the lexicon. Before this horrific tragedy, as you pointed out, most civilians never heard of what a bump fire stock -- what that item did and what its purpose was. It's insane to me from this perspective.

You remember the days back in the '80s when the rage was buying the fuzz busters and they were radar detectors, and you could own one, but it was illegal in many states to have it in your car and on. This is the same thing.

I heard a number of folks say, it's not just to work around. This is a way of actually taking something that is legal and making it illegal, and I understand the gun enthusiasts' argument.

Listen, I am former law enforcement and I am a military veteran and I am a proud Second Amendment supporter and gun owner, and I am looking at this and saying if I can look at this and say it's insanity, it just boggles the mind.

HARLOW: Thank you, Gentlemen, both very much. We are going to keep talking about this a lot. We appreciate it.

BERMAN: New details on the Russia investigation. Highly sophisticated Russian-linked Facebook ads that targeted maybe the two most important swing states in this election. The exclusive report ahead.