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Las Vegas Massacre: Police Release New Details of Killer's Meticulous Plan. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You have a crisis and you deal with it in the moment. But let's leave that conversation.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have a meeting in a minute. Very quickly.
CUOMO: Let me ask you one more thing. Rex Tillerson, the president just tweeted that the secretary of state never threatened to resign. This is fake news put out by NBC news, low news and reporting standards, no verification from me.
Let's put this in context. The secretary of state didn't deny that he had called the president a moron. He said he doesn't want to deal with it, so didn't refute the reporting outright on that level. And then Bob Corker, a Republican senator, came out and said that Tillerson, Mattis, and Kelly are the three men that keep us from chaos. Do you have any concerns about stability within the White House?
CONWAY: That's Senator Corker giving accolades to the great leadership of our secretary of state, our former DHS secretary and now chief of staff John Kelly, and Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon. He is crediting their leadership for keeping this country from chaos around the world. They support the president. They serve the president.
CUOMO: You think it's the chaos around the world, not the chaos White House?
CONWAY: There's a lot of chaos around the world. This president inherited a true mess, as he says all the time. So Secretary Tillerson yesterday did a couple of, I thought, remarkable things. A, he got the president to say that the president has full confidence, and B, Rex Tillerson said he has never once considered stepping aside and resigning from secretary of state.
He also went on to give us a catalogue of progress as the secretary of state and as the president. He talked about Pakistan and Iran. He talked about crossing around the globe, he talked about all the progress we are making around the world. So I thought it was a remarkable catalogue of the progress. He said he had never once thought of resigning and he supports the president as much today as the day he took this job, and he reminded everybody why Donald Trump got elected. He got elected because he promised to take our country in a new and different direction around the globe and to ensure our safety and security.
Also Rex Tillerson said something that I know firsthand, it's a great way to operate in this twon against a lot of odds and naysayers and critics, which is he said he's not going to play this game. He doesn't understand --
CUOMO: He didn't deny that he said it, either. And it was odd that he felt the need to come out in a press conference to say all that. It's something we are not used to seeing.
CONWAY: I thought it was remarkable.
CUOMO: It was certainly remarkable. We agree.
CONWAY: It was great. We are glad he's that secretary of state and we're glad he's busy helping improve the safety and security of us and our allies and our interests around the globe because this president is right, he inherited a big mess.
CUOMO: Kellyanne Conway, thank you for taking the time. Have a good day.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, we have a lot of news to get to, Chris. So let's do it. Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to your NEW DAY.
We do begin with new details in the Las Vegas massacre. The sheriff says he believes the killer had to have help given the level of planning and the arsenal that he was able to amass. Authorities are trying to determine if something happened last October that led the killer to stockpile dozens of weapons, Chris.
CUOMO: And there is new video that captures the horror of that night. In fact it's just better to play it than to describe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go! Go! Everybody go! Go! Run! Keep your head down! Go! Keep your head down and go! Run!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: What you see, first responders keeping themselves in the line of fire to help others. The thousands that were exposed to this even from so far away. You see Mandalay Bay there some 300, 400 yards behind and yet very much the point of focus of life and death for so many on the ground. You also hear something that should not be ignored, not now, not ever. That field of fire that is being laid down was that fast because of a device that is completely legal that this man was able to buy and use, and he bought it to do exactly what you just saw. Why was he able to get something like this? Why was he able to do any of this?
We're also learning this morning more about this murderer's deadly intentions. We've never seen advanced planning like this in one of this mass shooting. Now we know he rented a condo across from another music festival in Las Vegas the week before this attack, raising the question, was he looking at an even larger group of people to attack?
We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Jean Casarez live in Las Vegas.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities want to find the intent of this killer. They say they are looking at facts. It is facts, they say, that will lead them to the truth.
[08:05:08] CASAREZ: A hail of bullets sending concert-goers running for their lives in this chilling new video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, don't stop! Run! Don't look. Run! Go! Go! Everybody go!
CASAREZ: Rapid fire starting and stopping as the minutes go by.
CASAREZ: A traffic systems technician heard directing thousands of frantic people to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your head down and run this way.
CASAREZ: As investigators work to find out what triggered this heinous attack, new details continue to emerge about the killer's elaborate plan. Authorities now looking into what happened last October that led the killer to begin stockpiling 33 firearms within the last year. Police also discovering 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in the killer's car parked in the hotel's valet.
SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: You look at the weapon obtaining, the different amounts of Tannerite available, do you think this was all accomplished on his own? It'd be hard for me to believe that.
CASAREZ: Investigators also confirming that the killer rented a room at this condo building in downtown Las Vegas across from a different and much larger music festival the weekend before he opened fire at the Route 91 Country Music Festival.
CASAREZ: Investigators say new evidence suggests the killer planned to escape and had blocked off the stairway near his hotel room. Authorities releasing a more detailed timeline of how the carnage unfolded. Suspect fired the first shots at 10:05 and continued firing for 10 minutes. The gunshots stopping at 10:15. During this time an unarmed hotel security guard approached the room where the killer had set up cameras to see any approaching threats. The killer firing more than 200 rounds into the hallway at the security guard, wounding him in the leg. A door riddled with bullet holes. Twelve minutes after the shooting began, the first police officers arrived on the 32nd floor, finding the wounded guard and calling for backup before clearing the surrounding hotel rooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the hallway contained, the room where the shots were fired.
CASAREZ: After the SWAT team arrived the first breach of the hotel room was made at 11:20, an hour and 15 minutes after the shooting started. Police found the killer who they say took his own life, dead on the floor surrounded by his arsenal and bullet casings.
The shooter's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, breaking her science after being interviewed by the FBI. Her lawyer read a statement on her behalf.
MATT LOMBARD, MARILOU DANLEY'S LAWYER: He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.
CASAREZ: Law enforcement will not say the location of Danley this morning. They say she is cooperating with them, and when a witness does that they do not want to note where they are. They want to protect their privacy. They do say she is not a suspect and she also at this point, Chris, is not in any type of federal custody.
CUOMO: All right, Jean, thank you so much. We follow the investigation because we want answers because it helps deal with the pain and, frankly, the frustration that we keep seeing these. And it seems like there's nothing we can do to stop the next one from happening or, the bigger question is, will we even try?
Joining us now is independent Senator Angus King of Maine. He serves in the Senate intelligence and armed services committees. Senator, always a pleasure. Thank you for take the opportunity.
KING: Good to see you, Chris. Sure.
CUOMO: So let's talk about this. You saw me going at it with Kellyanne, and this is a proposition that needs to be tested. Either you believe the dignity of the survivors and those who did not survive warrants a look at this problem that recurs, or you see it as insensitive because that's politicizing a tragedy. Where are you?
KING: I don't think it's politicizing it at all. If this was a dam break that had drowned 59 people and there was a faulty valve, we would be talking about how do we fix that valve. This is a case where a particular piece of equipment enabled this tragedy to occur. The bump stock allowed this guy to shoot 600, 700 rounds a minute rather than 60 and have to stop and reload. So it was an integral part of this tragedy, and it was legalized seven years ago. It shouldn't have been. [08:10:00] And I think it's something -- believe it or not, we have
got Republicans and Democrats both talking about the danger of this thing. Machine guns are illegal. They have been for many years. This effectively converts a semiautomatic rival into a machine gun and it shouldn't be allowed.
CUOMO: In '86, the law took away the manufacturer of machine guns from the public. You can still buy older ones, pre 86, they're just really expensive. But I have to tell you, what are we seeing online right now? People running out to buy bump stocks. It's not because they just heard about them. It's not because they're a novelty. It's because they're afraid they're going to be taken away. And that is a big part of cultural currency. You're right, we see it every time, and we're going to see it now. And it helps fuel the speculation you people want to take away all our guns and help the bad guys.
KING: But that's one of the problems with this discussion is because it has gotten to the point where any limitation whatsoever -- we couldn't get a bill through last year to keep people who were on the no fly list from buying weapons. That was viewed as the first step. I don't consider this a first step. I am from a state that is a very strong Second Amendment state. I'm a strong Second Amendment guy. We have one of the highest rates of guns ownership in the country, one of the lowest rates of gun crime. We know how to handle guns responsibly.
But the bump stock it seems to me is a specific piece of equipment that enables a tragedy like this, most -- in my experience, most people who are really into guns and how to handle them don't have much respect for the bump stock. It makes the gun less accurate and they don't really think it's very important. We will see how the discussion unfolds and what the NRA says and gun ownership, but I don't see this as a slippery slope argument. This is specific piece of equipment. If it hadn't have been for this piece of equipment this tragedy would have been much, much less serious.
CUOMO: We'll see if there's any discussion at all, to be frank about it, because this is going to take political courage, and I made the analogy for a reason to Kellyanne. If you want to show respect to the survivors, you do what they did. They faced something that was dangerous, lethal in this case, and they helped each other anyway.
KING: By the way, watching that tape you just showed, the guy I want to give a medal to is that guy who stayed saying keep your head down, move out, get out. He was there and he was in effect putting his life on the line for those other people. That was really impressive to me.
CUOMO: And the first responders who do that, they put themselves in harm's way. A lot of citizens did it. Why would you let somebody have something they could put on a device that would overwhelm his ability to defend himself. But again, we'll see what you guys do on that.
Other topics as well this morning. We have what is going on with the Russian investigation. The president and his surrogates continues to say there's nothing there, and the proof is you have come up with nothing. How do you see it?
KING: Well, I wish they would quit saying that. What was clear yesterday from the press conference and it's clear to me being on the intelligence committee working on this for nine months, eight, nine months, is the Russians meddled in our elections at the order of Putin, and in the end they were trying to help Donald Trump. There's no argument about that.
And the problem is, if we are going to defend ourselves against this in the future, and by the way, they are going to be back. This isn't a one-off deal. We have to acknowledge what they did so the American people can prepare themselves for it, we can understand how to prevent it.
The question of whether there was collusion is a second question. That's important. But the problem is the White House is so defensive about that question they're trying to say the whole thing is a witch hunt, the whole thing is a hoax. It's not a hoax. The Facebook ads were paid for with rubles annuals. Give me a break. If that isn't evidence of Russian involvement in trying to get --
CUOMO: They are saying show where Trump became involved instead of an unintended beneficiary, who around him, who was part of this?
KING: That's a question -- remember Watergate was a two-hour event involving four people. This is an 18-month event involving a foreign country, hundreds if not thousands of people, and it's going to take time to get to the bottom of it. As Richard Burr said yesterday, some of the things that we've turned up and gotten into we wouldn't have expected nine months ago. The whole thing with Twitter and Facebook, that maybe one of the most important parts of the investigation. We're going to have the CEO's in in a few weeks, and we're going to go from there.
CUOMO: Senator, you came this morning and you said to me before we came on, we have to talk about Iran. It's not in the headlines right now. What is the issue?
KING: It will be in two or three days, because the president has to certify whether Iran is in compliance with the agreement next week, by the 15th of October.
CUOMO: Or else?
KING: If he doesn't certify it, then it throws it back to Congress and Congress has to act to put the sanctions back in place. It begins the unraveling of the agreement which I think would be a disaster. And you don't have to rely on me. Two days ago, in the Armed Services Committee, I asked Secretary Mattis, pointblank, do you think it's in the national security interest of the United States to stay in this agreement?
[08:15:06] He paused and then said, yes, senator, I do.
There's no upside to unraveling this agreement. Iran is doing a lot of bad things. This wasn't a friendship treaty. This was about a narrow issue of nuclear weapons, and all the bad things Iran is doing in the region are terrible, they're unacceptable.
We just passed new set of sanctions on those things. The only thing worse than a malignant Iran in the Middle East is a malignant Iran in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. And that's what this agreement is all about.
So, I understand the president doesn't like a deal. It's not a great deal. I didn't think it was a great deal but it's the deal we have.
And if our allies aren't with us on this, and there was a meeting up on the capital yesterday, there are not with us on this, there are violations. Intelligence community has told us there are no violations. They abided by the agreement, to try and unravel it now, I think a year from now, we'd have North Korea and Iran almost identical.
If I were the president, I will say, I will take one of these at a time, not both at one time.
CUOMO: Senator, thank you for being with us. Always a pleasure.
KING: Thank you. Good to see you.
CUOMO: From Maine.
Alisyn, to you.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. So, did the killer behind the Las Vegas massacre have help? Up next, we discuss the working theories of the sheriff today.
[08:20:11] CAMEROTA: Investigators are beginning to piece together details in the Las Vegas massacre. The sheriff there suggesting the killer must have had help and he had a plan to escape.
Joining us now is former FBI special agent David Shepherd. He worked for the FBI for more than 20 years and is the former head of security at the Venetian Hotel.
Also joining us is CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano.
James, let me start with you. Do you agree with the sheriff, that the fact that this guy had 50 pounds of explosives, 47 guns, 1,600 rounds of ammo, that that suggests that he had help of some kind?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It defies logic, Alisyn, that he could have done this alone. But there have been cases in the past of unhinged people that live separate lives. So, we know that he had an interim relationship with the girlfriend. The girlfriend is now on U.S. soil. FBI agents are debriefing her.
FBI agents are just trained in this type of interviews and interrogations. They study body language. They study tone. They study the words. And then they're going to go out, and anything that she says to help
out, those are going to lead to different leads. They're all have to be tracked down. There's also all the forensic evidence that have been arrested, the videos from the hotel, the video from the casino. You're going to start to see a pattern developed here, as well as tracking down the weapons purchases.
We know that 33 were purchased within the last year alone. Each of those weapons has a serial number and a serial number is like as indelible as a fingerprint, and we're going to track down the relationships of the purchase of each of those guns. Who was with? Was he using the Tannerite as a training aid? Was he using it exploding targets as a training aid or was it part of a bigger, more larger, nefarious plot? I think a lot of those answers are going to come out very shortly.
CAMEROTA: David, I want to ask you about the hotel security guard. That's your expertise. Hotel security. And not enough has been said about Jesus Campos. He is basically the guy who distracted the gunman enough to stop the massive shooting spree. This hotel security guard figured out that the gunman was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. He ran up there. He encountered a barricaded stairwell.
In other words, the gunman had already had enough premeditation to barricade the stairwell, knowing that security would be coming after him, once the security guard didn't make it up, he ran to the room, and as you know, the gunman had staged these cameras outside of his room so he could monitor what was happening in the hallway, and started shooting out through the door, out into the hallway at the security guard, something like 200 rounds, this security guard, Jesus Campos, was shot but he continued to help clear the floor of other people and he continued to be able to tell police where the shooter was holed up.
I mean, you deal with hotel security. I mean, you did for a long time. Do they train for things like an active shooter scenario?
DAVID SHEPHERD, FORMER FBI SWAT LEADER: Yes, we train quite a bit on active shooters throughout our properties. We look at it from the situation like different properties in relationship to multiple shooters, single shooters in rooms. So, we look at all different scenarios and how we interact with law enforcement, how we get them up faster, and how we move all the guests on the property as fast as we can.
CAMEROTA: And are hotel security guards armed?
SHEPHERD: A lot of them are. It all depends on which property. They are trained on firearms, on handguns and revolvers.
CAMEROTA: And, David, what do you think will change? I mean, in terms of hotel security. Do you think that an incident like this is making everybody at hotels across the country rethink their processes?
SHEPHERD: You're going to have to look at some changes. You look at open air venues. It's going to be one of the things. That was actually where the shooting took, the targets per se.
So, if you're looking at the hotels themselves, you have to look at all hotels in the United States now, and not only casinos, but hotels anywhere, that has a high altitude looking down on a particular property. We're going to look at that today. And we have meeting today talking about what new things could come out, what expectations have, what the guests are expecting, and talked to a lot of experts about what needs to be done as we move forward.
CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, look, obviously, there's always tragic lessons after these things.
So, Jim, let me just put up the timeline for you. This is interesting. This just came out in terms of how things unfolded.
The first shots were fired at 10:05, and at 10:12, officers who were on the 31st floor looking for the guy heard more gunfire above them. The last shots were fired at 10:15. That wounded security guard that I had been talking about.
At 10:18, he is able to give the police the shooter's actual location, what room he's in.
[08:25:04] They start clearing the rooms of other people. Of course, they did not know if the guy planted explosives or if he was still alive or if he was going to continue to shoot, and then the first breach that we've heard the audio of, that doesn't happen until 11:20. Obviously, they had to get all of their ducks in a row.
What do you see, Jim, when you look at this timeline?
GAGLIANO: Alisyn, in studying active shootings from 1966, the University of Texas clock tower shooting and on forward, yes, we have seen shifts in the paradigm. We've seen that more of the instances within the last 10 to 15 years, there's a -- I don't want to say that negotiations are becoming obsolete, but these committed shooters are much less interested in negotiating.
They are not looking to bargain but we're finding that these committee shooters are much less interested in negotiating. They're not looking to bargain. They're looking to kill as many people as possible, and then they're either going to take their own lives or commit suicide by cop.
I think we've talked about it a lot this morning. I think you had a conversation with the special agent in charge, the former special agent in charge of the ATF, in regard to this bump stock, and what's frustrating is just, when you listen to the volume of rounds on those videos, of those different types of weapons, those different type of weapons that were basically turned from semiautomatic to fully automatic, we have to figure out a way to convince Congress make these devices illegal, this workaround, because --
GAGLIANO: -- people are going to see this, and my fear is going forward, that as you see them being purchased in large numbers now and people are selling out, people are looking to get their hands on these things.
GAGLIANO: And it is a workaround and a circumvention of the law. It is basically putting fully automatic weapons, weapons for warfare into the hands of U.S. citizens. And again, many of them we can trust, but you get an unhinged lunatic like this subject was and you get 58 dead people.
CAMEROTA: Look, on Monday, we didn't know that term, bump stock. Today, we do. Talking about it helps to sound the alarm, and it does sound like some members of Congress are already proposing legislation.
So, gentlemen, thank you very much. James, David, we really appreciate all of your experience.
Let's get to Chris in Washington, D.C.
CUOMO: Some people didn't know. A lot of gun owners do know what a bump stock is, and that's why if you look online right now, you see sales are spiking and supplies are going down. Why? Because they are concerned they may be taken away. It's a big factor in this debate, this fear of losing weapons.
So, moments ago, we discussed this and other topics with Kellyanne Conway, of course, President Trump's adviser, and she dismissed reports of tension between the president and secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson says he has no plans to resign, but why did he feel the need to hold a press conference telling us that? Next.