Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

50 plus Dead, 400 plus Injured in Las Vegas Shooting; Trump to Speak on Las Vegas Massacre. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired October 2, 2017 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: At least 50 Americans dead, over 400 hurt. It is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In just a little while, later this hour, President Trump will address the nation. Of course you will see that live right here first. If you're just joining us here, what is we know at this hour.

This shooting happened on the final night of a country music festival attended by 22,000 fans. The gunman identified as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from the Nevada town of Mesquite. That's about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He opened fire it is believed from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel that is across the street from the concert venue.

Look at this scene, OK? In a moment this will be video from the fourth row of the concert where Jason Aldean was performing at the time. A warning, it is very difficult to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE: Get down. Get down.

Get down.

Stay down. Get down.

Get down.

STORME WARREN, RADIO HOST, ONSTAGE DURING SHOOTING: And there were bodies everywhere. I mean, I went out into the audience area from the back stage area. I went out into the audience area and there were bodies there. And you go up to them and go are you OK? Are you OK? Many of them were no longer to be OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's the voice of Storme Warren. He's a radio host. He was onstage during this country music concert and could not believe what he found in the audience as he walked out or tried to flee to safety after the shots rang out.

As you heard, the shooter fired hundreds, hundreds of rounds, for minutes on end. And then police say it does appear that he took his own life, either before or as police burst into the room. We have audio of this raid, of what is called the dynamic encounter, as police blasted through the door. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: We have sight on the suspect's door. I need for everybody in that hallway to be aware of it and get back. We need to pop this and see if we can get any type of response from this guy. See if he's in here or if he's actually moved somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCH: Copy. All units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach. Everyone in the hallway needs to move back. All units move back.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Breach. Breach. Breach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Breach. Breach. Breach.

And you heard the blast right then and then the gunman either right before or right after, police say they believe he took his own life. The room contained 10 guns at least. They are now searching the shooter's home some 80 miles away.

CNN's Jean Casarez has been on the strip all night, seeing -- I can only imagine, Jean. Tell us what's happening now.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we're learning is that a total of 406 people were taken from the Las Vegas Strip to the emergency rooms around Las Vegas. I can give you a breakdown from one hospital. Saint Rose Hospital, is reporting they received 55 people, but this is what's interesting, the breakdown. 51 of the 55 came into the emergency room with gunshot wounds and trampling wounds, four others, gunshot wounds, critical condition.

Now I'm at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, Mandalay Bay is behind me, you can see it. The country music concert with 22,000 people was across the street, across Las Vegas Boulevard. And anybody who has been to Las Vegas, even if you haven't, the Strip, the Las Vegas Strip, is where it's at. That's where people are. And it's a long way across the street. It's not a narrow street. It is a wide street, wider in some areas than others. But that -- those shots that came from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. They went a long way, across the street, to the concert venue, which is next to the Tropicana if you've been to Las Vegas.

[10:05:03] Well, as the victims are being treated and as their relatives are trying to find them, the Coroner's Office is offering their assistance if someone cannot find their loved one. They can call the Coroner's Office at this point of time.

But we also do know that at this minute a search warrant is being executed at Stephen Paddock's home in Mesquite, Nevada. He's a local resident. They are saying that it is going to be a slow and methodical search. And remember, this is the FBI, local authorities, and CSI Vegas are all part of this crime scene right now investigation that is apt to take days. Poppy, John?

HARLOW: Jean Casarez, thank you so much for your reporting. We know you've been up all night doing this and bringing this to us thank you so much.

Let's go to that home now. Our Kyung Lah is there. And then we go to Evan Perez who's working his sources in law enforcement on this one as well.

Kyung, you're outside the shooter's home. It's in Mesquite, Nevada. It's about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. What can you tell us?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we've seen here, Poppy, are some vehicles, police vehicles, from nearby jurisdictions as well as here in Mesquite going in and out of this community. The sun's been up about 30, 45 minutes and what we're seeing here because traffic right now is blocked off by the police. They're only allowing in residents right now or people who are doing construction.

What we're learning from people who are walking around this morning, is that they are extremely confused. This is a 55 plus community. It is nestled in the hills. It looks like one of those idealistic places where you want to retire, where you see smiling senior faces. And so, we're seeing people in golf carts, people walking their dogs, and they are all talking about they don't understand how a 64-year-old man from their community could have ever done this.

So, what is happening right now, are that investigators are behind these -- this blockade, trying to get at those answers. They are going through the house. They are looking through any potential social media, any paperwork, trying to figure out where the guns came from, the 10 plus rifles that authorities found in that hotel room. What led him to check into the hotel room on September 28th? Why all of this happened?

It is the why that people here in this community say, they absolutely need to know. And right now, Poppy and John, they simply don't have those answers. So, this community right now as confused as everyone in this country as to why a 64-year-old man would ever even do this.

BERMAN: A 55 plus community in Mesquite, Nevada. You don't hear that usually around a case like this. Kyung Lah thanks so much.

Evan Perez with us also. Evan, again, we have no information as to the why here. What are you learning? What are your sources telling you about the suspect?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. That's the big question, as Kyung Lah said, is the why. And that's where federal law enforcement is very key to helping the Las Vegas Police, John and Poppy. As the FBI and the ATF are both on the scene. The FBI is going to try to figure out whether or not there are any social media postings, whether this suspect, this man, was politically active in any way that might, perhaps, explain his motivations. Again, looking to see whether or not there's any mental health records that might suggest that he had a history here that could predict something like this.

Obviously, this was something of a surprise to everyone. He did not have any significant police record, anything that would have suggested somebody who would be prone to do something like this. That's according to the local authorities. We did find in doing a search, we did find that he had a pilot's license and that would suggest that at some point, he would have had some kind of mental evaluation in order to be able to have a license like that. So that's one of the things that we did as we were searching.

We didn't find any voter registrations. Again, something that as the FBI and the ATF and the local police are trying to put together a motive, that's where they would try to go to. We do know the early indications at least according from the authorities we've talked to that they did not make any connections with any foreign terrorist groups. Again, one of the first things that they search for, to see whether or not there's any jihadi references or anything, perhaps, radicalization in this person's past, nothing like that has turned up in their search so far.

The police at the top of the hour, the last hour, gave an update in which they said that he had been holed up in that hotel since the 28th. So, one of the things that they're doing right now is, interviewing the people at the hotel. Did the maids come in to service that room? Would they have seen anything? If he had 10 firearms and I assume a lot of ammunition something might have stuck out and those are types of interviews that are being done at this hour. John, Poppy?

HARLOW: And Evan, if he did have -- if he did enter the room and leave the room during that time there are security cameras all over these hotels, all over Las Vegas. So they will be looking for anything that he may have been bringing in and out of the hotel.

[10:10:04] Evan, great reporting. Thank you so much.

Joining us on the phone is Brian Schmidt. He was attending the concert with his girlfriend. And Brian, I understand you traveled from Bismarck, go to Las Vegas, go to this concert, enjoy it like everyone enjoys Las Vegas and then this happened. What was it like to experience it?

BRIAN SCHMIDT, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING WITNESS (via telephone): Surreal. I don't think it is set in yet for either Ana or myself. We're just incredibly fortunate to be alive, not be injured. I think, obviously, seeing some things we'll never un-see. But at the end of the day we're very fortunate to be talking to you today.

BERMAN: Could you tell or when could you tell what was happening? Sometimes when shots come from above it is disorienting. You can't tell what direction the gunfire is coming from. When did you know exactly what was going down?

SCHMIDT: To be quite honest, I didn't know where the shots were coming from until we got situated and I guess it was the Hooters Hotel, ultimately where I ended up finding some cover and some safety and the news was on. Prior to then, you just heard gunshots and took off running until you didn't hear gunshots anymore and that was really all that we could do in that situation.

HARLOW: Brian, we've heard some pretty remarkable stories from those who survived like you and I think you mentioned your girlfriend's name Ana, of off duty police officers, civilians helping tossing people into their car to take them away because, you know, so many people felt pinned in and trapped and the only direction they felt they could run for some of them was towards the Mandalay Bay across the street which is where the shooting was coming from. Who helped you?

SCHMIDT: Quite frankly, it was from where we were at, we were by the stage, it would have been the west side of the stage, and it was kind of an every man for himself type of mentality. You tried to protect the people that you came with and get out of there as fast as you could and just kind of keep running until you felt that there was some semblance of safety, although I don't think that there really ever was at any point last night.

BERMAN: Where did you go? How did you get out of the danger zone?

SCHMIDT: We took off running and quite frankly the details on it are incredibly fuzzy. I believe we exited in the northeast corner of the arena. And then it was sprinting through the back roads, I guess, would be the best way to describe it, until we just found place that had an open door and some shelter and just went in there. And I know at one point I was hiding in a hallway behind a kitchen in some restaurant in the Hooters Hotel.

BERMAN: At some point I was hiding in a hallway behind a kitchen. Brian, if I can, because people have asked, I'm not sure it matters, because the hotel did not have the same security as the concert, but people do want to know, what was the security process of getting into this concert as a ticket holder?

SCHMIDT: As a ticket holder, I guess we -- it was pretty much the same as going to any major type of event. They had metal detector wands that you walked through and then every individual ticket is -- you register online and it's personalized. So you have to swipe it across and other than that, I didn't feel that the security was inadequate by any stretch of the imagination. It was very consistent with other events that I've gone to the past.

HARLOW: Brian, we are so glad you and your girlfriend are OK. Thank you so much for speaking to us about all of this. We're thinking about you and all those people.

Again, the headline, 50 plus people at least 50 people murdered, 400 plus people injured and transported to the hospital. We will be hearing from the president of the United States in just about 15 minutes. Here's a look at where he will be addressing the nation from the White House Diplomatic Reception Room. We will see that in just moments. Stay with us. Our continuing live coverage continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:18:30] HARLOW: All right. If you're just joining us, I'm Poppy Harlow here in New York along with John Berman.

You're looking at live pictures out of the White House. The president is expected to address the nation in under 15 minutes from the Diplomatic Room there on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. At least 50 people have been murdered, more than 400 injured or transported to the hospital at this shooting in a country music concert in Las Vegas overnight.

Let's go straight to Stephanie Elam. She joins us outside of the University Medical Center. Stephanie in Las Vegas, where many, many of these injured and those that were murdered were taken because of the trauma center there.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Poppy. You're talking about this hospital here which is the only level one trauma center in the state of Nevada. From what we understand here, more than - or I should say, 104 patients were admitted here. Of that number, 30 patients were treated in the trauma center, 30 - I'm sorry, eight were taken to the operating room and then 12 they say remain in critical condition. We also know that another hospital in the area St. Rose Dominican Dignity Health. They have three campuses. And they said, across all three, they received 55 patients.

Now, some of those patients have already been discharged but they're saying that there are four that remain in critical condition with gunshot wounds. And of the other 51, they're saying that they're seeing a myriad of injuries that go from cuts and scrapes and bruises to gunshot wounds and also injuries from trampling and also cuts related to climbing over fences to get away.

[10:20:02] If you think about the fact that there were 22,000 people or so in this venue for this concert, in the dark trying to get away when they don't know where the bullets are coming from there are a lot of wounds related to that.

The other thing that we have also learned is the fact that they are hosting three blood drives across the city today. And we already know even in the dark people were lining up to stand and donate their blood. They're saying there's going to be a huge need for blood because there are so many trauma patients here. One of the locations is this hospital here at the University Medical Center where they're asking people to come and donate blood. Poppy and John?

BERMAN: All right, Stephanie Elam outside the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Joining us now, Dr. Alexander Isakov. He's a professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University. Doctor, thank you so much for being with us, 400 people taken to local area hospitals, not all the same hospital, but still, hundreds of people taken to the hospital. When you are in an emergency room, what is the process? What happens? How do you receive this many wounded people from an attack like this?

DR. ALEXANDER P. ISAKOV, PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: John, thank you for having me. Absolute tragedy for that community. In the emergency department, which is just the front door to the hospital, there has to be plans in place already for managing such a large volume of patients.

As Stephanie had mentioned, there are a range of injuries that would present to the hospital, even the level one trauma center. Some that are minor, some that are more serious, some that require immediate life-saving interventions be performed. So, it really starts with triaging patients again. They've been triaged in the field once. They've been transported to the nearest appropriate hospital by the emergency responders.

And in the emergency department, a front door to the hospital in those trauma centers, the patients are triaged again. To identify those that have serious injuries that require life-saving interventions, that may require going to the operating room immediately or that otherwise require stabilization and go to an ICU.

HARLOW: This is also -- and -- go ahead, doctor.

ISAKOV: Sorry. No, I would just add that the patients that Stephanie mentioned with less serious injuries they need to be addressed as well. And so, having some understanding about where you would put those more minimally injured victims and address their needs. And then, as Stephanie mentioned, provide them enough information so they can be safely discharged. That's an important process for the emergency department and the hospital to plan for as well.

HARLOW: Some of the eyewitnesses were saying, you know, that some of the injured felt like they weren't hurt enough to go to the hospital. The ambulances, the first responders were under, you know, such duress trying to help all of these hundreds of people, some people that were injured thought we can handle it on our own. It's pretty extraordinary.

This is a Sunday night, late on a Sunday night, you think of the staffing at these hospitals on a Sunday night. What would it be like and what is Las Vegas dealing with, with Stephanie said only one level one trauma center?

ISAKOV: Well, so, on the issue of there being just one level one trauma center. I don't know Las Vegas long enough to know if there are other hospitals that are designated trauma centers, but you could have level 2 trauma centers in that community as well to which patients would be distributed.

There are two ways largely patients would end up at the designated hospitals. One is that EMS transports them. Another is that patients or people will self-refer for assessment and care, drive there on their own, walk to the nearest hospital. From a community planning standpoint, that's something that needs to be addressed as well. Recognizing that the nearest hospital may get inundated with patients that are able to walk or self-refer there, while other hospitals or while EMS is later bringing patients with more serious injuries that need to be tended to.

But more than just the level one trauma center is going to receive patients as Stephanie has reported already, and the community and its mass casualty plan which is no doubt been implemented in Las Vegas, is trying to determine the best match for a patient's injuries and the hospital that will receive them and my suspicion is that the most seriously injured will be going to that level one trauma center in Las Vegas and then other patients are being matched with the capabilities of other hospitals in that community.

BERMAN: Dr. Isakov thank you so much for being with us, helping us understand what's going on right now. Remember, after Orlando, Poppy, there were some people who were injured that didn't go to the hospital until the next day because just what you said, they didn't think they were injured badly enough. But then the next day they realized that maybe they were shot, maybe they had a broken limb that they weren't treating at the time because they were so concerned. And just one other thing in Orlando and I'm sure they're doing this in Las Vegas, the doctors there what they told us was the only thing that they had ever done was analogous to what they were witnessing was Iraq and Afghanistan.

HARLOW: As you said earlier, that sound, the automatic weapon, the sound of war, and it was war for all of these people who were fired upon indiscriminately.

Joining us on the phone is one of the people who was in the midst of all of this, Bryan Hopkins. He hid in the freezer of the Mandalay Bay during the shooting. He joins us on the phone. Brian, how you doing?

[10:25:05] BRYAN HOPKINS, HID IN FREEZER DURING LAS VEGAS SHOOTING (via telephone): I'm good. How are you? This was pretty -- this was pretty traumatic, pretty crazy.

BERMAN: How did you end up in the freezer, Brian? Tell us what happened?

HOPKINS: We were -- my bandmate and I we just came walking back from back stage and we snuck out into the audience to see the show. We wanted to see the last performance out front. And we were pretty close up to the front Jason Aldean. And about the fifth song or so we hear pop, pop, pop, pop. And we thought maybe it was firecrackers or something. And then we hear it again. Maybe it's the sound system or maybe he's got pyrotechs that are not working.

And then when we heard a spray of it and see Jason drop his guitar and take off running to the back and the lights go out on the stage, we knew something was wrong. But then the guy down in front of us about 10 feet up goes down, the guy to the right of him about three feet over goes down. And when I look back, looked behind us, two girls go down. And he says, run. And you see the crowd running towards us, which was -- they were running to just the back corner.

And so, we're running away from them to not get ran over and not knowing where to run to. I grab the two girls in front of me, I just grabbed their hands, and I -- and instead of running towards the crowd, I took off to the right because we were just back stage. So I just went that way, and I got separated from Ben. Because he was trying to get a friend of ours' wife and when we -- I get back -- to the back stage area I run past catering and past the fence and it's just -- all you hear is pop, pop, pop. It's constant. And then it would stop for, I don't know a few seconds, and then it would start again.

And so we see, there's just a fence. I thought that we had played there a few years ago and there was a fence on the back area that we could go through and I was guiding everyone who was following me to that area and we just hit this wall. So we see an ice chest. It's like -- it's a trailer. And we open up the doors and just start helping people up inside this trailer which happened to be a freezer.

And there must have been, I don't know, 23 to 30 of us inside this freezer and we're hiding in there. When we all got inside we were trying to stay calm and literally can't believe it, I mean, about halfway through I start to shoot a video and then I stop because it got too real and the guy ahead of me is -- he's drunk. He's standing up. I'm trying to get him to sit down. He's throwing up rock signs like it's a fun thing to be a part of while his girlfriend is hysterical and the two girls that I helped are cuddling and helping her and trying to calm her down.

HARLOW: Yes.

HOPKINS: And so I go to open up the door and all I hear is gunfire again. And so, now, this time, I know it's -- this is -- it's for real and I know that we have to -- we have to get out of there. I turn to a couple of the guys that are in there behind me and said we got to leave. We can't -- if there are people running around with guns, they're going to find us and they're just shooting up this place.

So, we waited until we didn't hear anything. We open up the door and somebody had thrown a (INAUDIBLE) on the fence next -- right outside like they had jumped the fence, so a guy went over, another guy went over, and one dude took off and the other one stayed. And I was standing there helping the women get over the fence. And we hear shooting again. We hear it again. And by the time the -- I get to the lasts part of it, the last couple girls that were helping me couldn't get over in their shoes and so I just grabbed them and pulled them the thing I'll always remember is a police officer who ran towards me and said, this way, pointed to where to run. And then ran towards the gunfire.

HARLOW: Bryan, I'm so sorry to interrupt.

HOPKINS: Yes.

HARLOW: Bryan, I'm so sorry to interrupt. But we are moments away from the president of the United States addressing the country.

HOPKINS: Sure.

HARLOW: We are thankful you are OK. Thank you for sharing that with us and our best to you and everyone who went through it.

You're looking at pictures of the White House Diplomatic Room where President Trump will address the nation in just moments following the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history. As we wait for the president, let's go to Jeff Zeleny outside of the White House. What can we expect from the president this morning, Jeff? With us also is Lisa Monaco, former Homeland Security adviser under the Obama administration, who dealt with many tragedies including the Pulse Nightclub massacre.