Return to Transcripts main page


Survivor Updated Victim's Families as He Searched Hospitals; Trump Meets Officers at Police Command Center; Maine Steals Truck, Transports Dozens to Hospital, Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired October 4, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] KODY ROBERTSON, VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: -- took my cowboy boots off, put on my tennis shoes, and jumped in a cab and went up there. And just waited. Went up to the front desk, gave them a description of who I was looking for. At that point I had jumped on her Instagram account just to get pictures. Took screenshots of them. So, some point of reference. They kept trying to ask for a name, but I figured there wasn't going to be a name because she didn't have any identification.


ROBERTSON: And eventually they --

COOPER: It's incredible that you were willing to not only help her but continue for her family's sake to go from hospital to hospital. And I know that's where you eventually found her. Kody, we've got to take a break because I know the president's about to speak, but I just want to thank you for what you did and for talking with us about it. Thankfully, there are a lot more people like you than there are like the person who did this. And that made all the difference on Sunday night. Thank you so much, Kody Robertson. We've got to take a quick break. Any moment the president is going to be speaking with police officers. We'll take a short break and bring you that live.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Vegas standing in a police command room. Let's watch.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. All over the world they're talking about it. The real professionalism. They want to thank you. Governor, thank you very much. Senator, thank you very much. We appreciate it. He's more famous than anybody.


TRUMP: Great leadership. That's great leadership

LOMBARDO: We wanted to explain earlier, this is our department operations center. At the benevolence of the federal government, we were able to fund it. So, this is obviously in the bottom floor of the police headquarters and this was where we did all our operational decisions throughout the event. It will be stood up for probably another week. Right? 24-hour basis. And all investigative leads, everything you can imagine funnels through here. This is where actually it's joining forces. So, we have all the department of public safety representation here along with emergency managers and the hospital system, the first responder medical system and everything as you can imagine during a crisis. So, we can speak with one voice. So that's the important piece.

A lot of these folks are not supposed to be in here. But these are all people who were instrumental in the success of our critical incident. And they will also be part of our success for the continuance of the investigation. So, I think it's important for you to see what your leadership is providing you.

TRUMP: Well, I can tell you on behalf of our country, our great, great country, we want to thank you. You have been a real inspiration. This is a rough time, but if you didn't get up there so quickly it could have been worse, could have been a lot worse. And we just want to thank you. The whole world has watched and they've seen professionalism like you rarely see. So, I just want to thank you all very much. Appreciate it very much. Thank you.

LOMBARDO: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start pushing back this way.

BALDWIN: Again, this was the second scene we've seen in just the last couple of minutes of the President and the first lady standing, and surrounded by the heroes in Las Vegas. The police officers, the sheriffs, the sheriff deputies, firefighters, the women who were working the radio on dispatch on Sunday night. And just reinforcing just a huge thank you to them. Keeping in mind some of those police officers and deputies lost lives in the midst of the carnage on Sunday.

As far as the investigation is concerned and the fact this girlfriend of the shooters is now sitting down with FBI, we need to talk about that. I've got CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd with me, who worked at the CIA, advised the FBI, who's the perfect voice in all this. So, let's start with this girlfriend. So, she was off is, when this mass murder took place, she was off in Asia. She has now been brought back to the states. She landed in LA some time ago and she is sitting down with the FBI. How did they even begin with her?

[15:35:00] PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I want to box her. I don't trust anything she says. It's not that I think she's lying. It's that I've got to affirm whether she's a good witness. At this stage we're 3, 3 1/2 days in. I have a lot of data. For example, I have things like text and email messaging. Is she talking to the boyfriend since she went overseas? Are the volume of calls or texts changing over time? Can I get into emails to see if I can get content? That is, what are they talking about. So, I have a whole variety of information about her and about her relationship already. And I'm going into that room and I'm saying, what can you talk to me about how you spoke with him in the past week, what the frequency was? One of the things I'm doing is to see what she says, whether what she says accords with the data I'm getting, whether there's agreement.

BALDWIN: Because you know the answers. You start with the simple questions to see if she's forthright.

MUDD: That's right.

BALDWIN: And plays along. Or you catch her in a lie.

MUDD: That's right.

BALDWIN: And if you catch her in a lie or to use your phrase box her in, then what?

MUDD: We've got a couple of options here. Option one is I presume she's lawyering up. Do I have a hammer on her already? Let's say and I doubt if this is true, there's content in the email traffic that suggests she's complicit. They're talking about an attack a month ago. Huge hammer. That's a whole different ball game. I'm going to guess that doesn't exist. There's some middle ground in here. I mentioned to you earlier it's something you call white socking. That is --

BALDWIN: Which means what?

MUDD: Which means, you're going in and saying this person smells dirty, I don't think she's cooperating, I'm going to look at other issues. Other hammers. There's an immigration problem. She didn't come clean on her tax records. In some law enforcement worlds white socking means I'm going in and saying there's nothing wrong with this police officer but he's got a uniform violation, he's got white socks on, so I'm going to go after him on that. I'm looking for some way I can get leverage on her in the room in the event I don't have a hammer and I don't think she's cooperating.

BALDWIN: So, we don't know a lot about her. We've heard the sisters and they've said one thing. That they think he sent her away to Asia to be away when he committed this mass murder. We don't know. We can't necessarily believe them.

That's coming from the single source from the sister. We know she lived with him. We know that -- I don't know how long she lived with him but presumably she was there through the course of the year. According to Kyung Lah, reporter, catching up all the firearm information. He accrued 33 weapons over the course of September of last year to October of this year. So presumably if you're living with a man who keeps accruing weapons one would wonder are you asking questions? Why are you buying all these guns?

MUDD: It's not just accruing weapons. Think of all the dimensions. You can almost think of it as a net around a human being's life. Think about if she lived with him, if she had interaction with him every day, of the amount of information around his life that we know as investigators and that we can use with her. That is, not only do we know he's acquiring weapons, he's also acquiring these stocks, presumably altering the weapons. I presume he's out practicing at some point to get expertise. He's also involved in things like online activity.

Did she ever witness any of that? He's emailing her, phoning her, texting her. Is that changing over time? Is the dynamic changing? I get a whole picture of your life based on digital information that I'm going to use in the interview with her and there's one final piece that will evolve. I'm talking to 100 other people at the same time. How are they adding to that dynamic of her life and how does what they say accord with what she says? What are the discrepancies?

BALDWIN: We know she's lawyered up, she's got this criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. They're supposed to release a statement later today. We'll see what that says. For now, Phil Mudd, thank you as always.

MUDD: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Now to this. A U.S. Marine caught in a mini war zone, his words, unable to fight back as a sniper takes aim at people simply enjoying a country music festival. The unarmed Marine veteran did the only thing he could. He stole a truck, drove it into the gunfire, and took the most critically injured to the hospital, saving more than two dozen lives. That hero is with me now. Taylor Winston, thank you so much for being with me. And thank you for your service. Thank you for your service to this great country. Take me back to Sunday night. You were out dancing with your girlfriend and you start hearing these shots. Everyone keeps saying we thought it was a rotor from a helicopter or fireworks. What did your instincts tell you at that time?

TAYLOR WINSTON, WITNESSED SHOOTING, DROVE VICTIMS TO HOSPITAL: Initially it did sound like fireworks. It's pretty common at these festivals and shows. But the second burst sounded a little more familiar and I was more concerned and looking around.

[15:40:00] But there was no indication by the crowd or staff or anyone that anything was wrong. And moments later the third set of shots rang out. That's when Jason ran off stage. And I knew it was really serious and stuff was going down and bad things were going to happen. And that's when all the chaos broke out and everything unfolded.

BALDWIN: So, your instinct was I'm going to go find a vehicle and try saving people?

WINSTON: I wouldn't give me that much credit. Initially --

BALDWIN: I'm going to give you that much credit.

WINSTON: I was just as scared as anyone. I was telling people keep their heads down and just to try to get away from the sound of the gunfire. People getting hit a couple of feet away from me. Looking over my shoulders, trying to get out of there, people were just dropping. It was quite terrifying because you can't defend yourself at all. You don't even know where it's coming from. Once we got to the fence line we were just trying help as many people over the fence as we could. Once we got myself and my girlfriend over, our friend was still stuck

on the other side. We were yelling at him to get over the fence. He was telling us to go because he wanted to grab some of our other friends. And just at that moment is when I realized we really needed to do something, and I started looking around and I spotted the dirt lot with the work trucks and I assumed one of them would be a shared vehicle and hopefully have some keys in it. Luck turned out. That was the case on the first vehicle I checked. We got in and drove toward the festival and just started looking for anyone critically injured to load up and take to the hospital as quickly as possible. There was no ambulances or first responders there. Every minute is somebody's life when they're bleeding out.

BALDWIN: Hang on, Taylor, I'm still back on the first truck you try. There happen to be keys in it. And you then take this truck and drive it back toward where these bullets are flying?

WINSTON: Correct.

BALDWIN: How many people --

WINSTON: I felt a lot safer in a vehicle.

BALDWIN: You did. How many times did you go to the hospital? And do you have any idea how many people you tried to save?

WINSTON: Estimated, between 20 and 30 people. I've been kind of talking with the hospital and they're trying to confirm numbers, but they know I've brought in a lot of people. They're saying I was the first one to bring in any of the victims. I'm just happy to get them there. There are so many people helping out that stood up to the occasion, I'm just glad there were so many good people out there to help others that were in need.

BALDWIN: Have you had a chance at all to speak to anyone you took to the hospital? I'm sure they were total strangers. Have you reunited with anyone?

WINSTON: I haven't had that opportunity yet, but I know we're in contact with some of them via social media and stuff, and we're trying to line up some meetings with them to just give them a hug and thankful I could help. It will be quite nice just to see their face and know they're OK.

BALDWIN: Can you tell me about this benefit you're involved in tonight, Taylor?

WINSTON: Yes. Stoney's Las Vegas, Stoney's rock and country over in town square is going to be hosting a free benefit concert. Some of the artists from the festival will be there performing as well as many others. It's just 100 percent donations to the cause and help the victims. If you're in town, come on out and celebrate an emotional life and celebrate those lost and those hurt and all the family and friends in need.

BALDWIN: I wish I were in Vegas. If I were I'd be there right with you. Taylor Winston on behalf of America. Thank you for all that you did.

WINSTON: Thanks for having me, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Taylor Winston, hero there in Las Vegas. Again, a reminder. The president of the United States has now met with survivors, victims' families, police, fire, EMS. He is set to speak formally there from Las Vegas any moment now.


BALDWIN: All right. Coming up on live pictures here where the president of the United States is slated to speak momentarily here. Should happen very, very shortly. Flanked there in Las Vegas by heroes, by Las Vegas police and the Clark County Sheriff and sheriff's deputies. EMS, first responders. He had already mentioned several women who were working the radio, who were working dispatch on that Sunday evening there. As just all hell was breaking loose in Las Vegas as a result of this madman taking to the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay hotel and wreaking havoc and terror in the lives of far too many Americans. 22,000 people were at that music festival. 58 at least have been killed. And we know at least 515 others were injured as a result of that.

So, with that said, we are talking a little about gunshot injuries as we wait for the president. So, we'll go to Dr. Amy Goldberg, an expert in treating gunshot victims. She works in the trenches, removing bullets for 30 years. So now trauma chief and chair of the surgery department at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

[15:50:00] Dr. Goldberg, thank you so much for being with me. And as we wait for the president, here's my question. And guys, if we have some of the photos of the guns the shooter had been using from his hotel room. This is my question. From the perspective of a trauma surgeon, apparently, he used what was called a bump stock device to turn the semiautomatic weapons into virtually fully automatic, spraying thousands of rounds a minute. When you see victims in the ER, how do you begin to treat that?

DR. AMY GOLDBERG, CHIEF OF TRAUMA, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: So, I think what we all do when we take care of patients such as these, we use the training we all have, and believe it or not try to ignore sometimes what we see and pay attention to the ABCs, airway breathing and circulation. And that's the training that all of us have had in how we take care of patients and what will kill patients first.

BALDWIN: I read a piece where you were profiled and said it's possible for a surgeon to get distracted by the wrong wound. Most dangerous wounds don't always look the worst. Explain, please.

GOLDBERG: That's exactly the point. These kind of injuries and bullets cause devastating outside injuries to the patients and it can be very distracting to see them. These are almost like military injuries that we are not used to seeing in the civilian population. So, we have to ignore what we see, and just take care of the patient's airway, and are they breathing, and what is the blood pressure, and stay on the path how we take care of all the patients regardless of what their injuries are.

BALDWIN: Dr. Amy Goldberg, thank you so much. We do need to listen in here to the governor of Nevada speaking ahead of the president.

BRIAN SANDOVAL, GOVERNOR, NEVADA: I also want to thank the people across the country and across the world for their outpouring of support and generosity. It's unprecedented in our history. Makes us feel like we are not alone and gives us strength. Briefly, I attended a candle light vigil last night at the University of Nevada, it was an impromptu event, over 1,500 people showed up on very short notice. We all held candles.

We all hugged one another. We held hands. And we held those flames out in front of us to show tribute to the victims and their families of this horrible, horrible event. And at that moment, despite how dark and cold it was, I saw and we all saw that the greatest darkness can't put out the smallest light. And we collectively felt for the first time the first pangs of hope. We saw that despite the sadness and grief all around us, that we are resilient, and we are committed to fight and recover and begin the long process of healing.

As Nevada, we have a long history of pulling together, yes, we are hurt, and hurt badly but not broken. We have seen generosity on a scale that is unprecedented in Nevada history. We know that we will never, ever forget this horrific event. But we will march forward as a family, giving each other comfort, support, and love. The future is going to come one day at a time. We all have a choice how we are going to live each day.

We must be glad. We must be good. We must be brave. And we must have faith. And we will emerge as a stronger, kinder, better state and nation. So, god bless the victims and their families. May they give them peace. God bless our great state. And god bless our nation, greatest nation on earth. And with that, I'm very privileged and honored to introduce the first lady and the president of the United States. I personally want to thank them on behalf of all the people of Nevada for taking the time to come out here and provide us their support and their comfort and everything else that they are going to bring to us. So, with that, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce the president of our great nation, Donald Trump. Thank you.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, governor. We really appreciate that.

[15:55:00] And I'll tell you the people of Nevada and the extraordinary city have shown the world their incredible character, courage, and resolve. Nevada really is a very, very special place. I'm honored to be here today at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in the company of heroes. Thank you to our police, our firefighters and to our first responders, and of course to Sheriff Lombardo. Incredible job you've done. Mayor Goodman. Hello, mayor Goodman.

Senator Heller, thank you very much. Senator Cortez. Majority leader. Where is Kevin, majority leader? Kevin McCarthy. Adam Laxalt, all of the great congressman we have with us today from both parties. We are just very honored that you could be with us.

And on behalf of the grateful nation, Melania and I, thank each and everyone of you in law enforcement. In the depths of horror, we will always find hope. In the men and women who risk their lives for ours. The mass murder that took place on Sunday fills America's heart with grief. America is truly a nation in mourning. I visited the hospital earlier today where many victims are still recovering from their wounds.

And we ask god to ease their suffering and to speed their healing. We pray for the recovery of the injured, and those injured officers, who bravely threw themselves into danger when duty called. And we grieve the loss of the law enforcement personnel who were killed in this vicious attack. Many families tonight will go to bed in a world that is suddenly empty. The people they so dearly love were torn away from them forever.

Our souls are stricken with grief for every American who lost a husband or a wife, a mother or a father, a son or a daughter. We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain. You are not alone. We will never leave your side. Here at the police department, we remember one of our own who died this week. Charles Hartfield. He was a very special person. Officer was a proud veteran, a devoted husband, a loving father. His death is a tragic loss for this police force, for this city, and for our great nation.

We struggle for the words to explain to our children how such evil can exist, how there can be such cruelty and suffering. But we cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that insights such terror. We are defined by our love, and courage, in the darkest moments what shines most brightly is the goodness that thrives in the hearts of our people. That goodness is our lighthouse and our solace is knowledge that the souls of those who passed are now at peace in heaven. Here on earth we are blessed to be surrounded by heroes.

As one eyewitness recounted this week, while everyone else was crouching, police officers were standing up as targets just trying to direct people and tell them where to go. The officers were standing up in the line of fire to help those in danger and to find out where those horrible shots were coming from. Words cannot describe the bravery that the whole world witnessed on Sunday night. Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage. When the word and the worst of humanity strikes, and strike it did, the best of humanity responds. Parents and spouses used their own bodies as shields to protect their loved ones. Americans dashed into a hail of bullets to rescue total strangers. Joining us today are many of the heroes who were here during that.