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Reports of Active Shooter on Las Vegas Strip; Trump Appears to Undermine Tillerson on North Korea; Active Shorter at Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas; Witnesses Describe Shooting in Las Vegas. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: With the US government's response to desperate needs in Puerto Rico under scrutiny, President Trump makes a symbolic move, dedicating a golf trophy to hurricane victims.
Despite violent clashes with police, Catalonians claim victory in their controversial vote to become independent from Spain.
And more than 100,000 are left far from home as a British airline goes bust. How the UK government plans to bring them home.
Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. We're live in Atlanta and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ALLEN: Breaking news that's into CNN. Police in Las Vegas are investigating reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino on the Strip.
Police are asking everyone to avoid this area. We're just getting to see some video of the scene. We'll bring you more updates as we get them. Right now, though, we want to join our affiliate in Las Vegas KLAS and try and get some more information from them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: - some just holding their arms or legs or whatever it is, just trying to find that medical staff to get the assistance that they need.
But for now, reporting live Darlene Melendez, "8 News Now".
ALLEN: So, again, we won't be able to tell much from that little clip we got that news reporter, but we're going to continue to monitor the story.
You can see, lot of police presence. Let's try to listen in and see if they're reporting on the scene again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - barricaded this area off. We've seen some of metro's units come through here. They have an entire kind of tactical team that is set up on the perimeter as well. And you can see all of the first responders, all of those firefighters, ambulances, all getting here, trying to help people who may have been hurt or possibly worse.
We don't know the extent of injuries at this point. But to kind of speak to that point that you were talking about Gerard, as far as potential shooters that had high-ground advantage, I spoke with one witness who told that that's exactly what he saw.
He saw someone that was several floors high and was shooting into the crowd of people. He said he heard hundreds of shots and we don't know exactly how many people might have been injured in this. But as you can tell, it's a very chaotic situation now here.
And I want to show you kind of what has happened here on the south side of the Strip. All of these people - and we can turn the camera around here. All these people have been told that they cannot stay in the area that is now - we have casino workers, we have tourists here with their luggage, and we have hundreds and thousands of people all lining down.
And let's just take a walk down here and you can see just kind of how many people - the scope of it - that have been affected by this.
And by the way this road, Las Vegas Boulevard completely and effectively shut down at this point. A lot of people on their phones, you can see, trying to get in contact with family presumably, trying to make sure that they know that they're OK, but also trying to figure out exactly what is going on.
But, again, Gerard, this is a very fluid situation. We're trying to figure out exactly what's going on here.
But the main priority that police have told everybody here, and you can see some of the police officers telling people that are getting into the roads - get out of the road - safety here is priority.
You can some more folks over here kind of coming into to the cordoned off, kind of safe area, the area that police are telling everybody to go to.
But there's a lot of folks here in - the aftermath is that, within 5 to 10 minutes, I caught up with them and they are asking where do I go, I don't know where to go, how can I get a cab out of here, and everything kind of just enclosing on them and was trapped.
And if you take a look on this side, on the west side of the Strip here, you can see it's all lined up with police cars, all units out here from different agencies here and trying to help out, and we also have air units that are kind of patrolling and getting a look at the - from the sky here as well.
But, again, we are actively trying to work - trying to figure out exactly what's going on here. We're going to talk to some more folks, see what they had to say and what this experience has been like for them.
But, for now, let's send it back to you, Gerard. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Nathan. Thank you once again for the update there, just outside Mandalay Bay. I want to bring people up to speed.
There has been a shooting with multiple victims just outside Mandalay Bay. There was a concert taking place -
ALLEN: All right. That's the station there in Las Vegas bringing us the very latest. You can see the police presence. We just heard from our affiliate reporter there that apparently there are multiple victims who were shots, hundreds of shots according to witnesses.
They heard someone was several floors high, shooting into the crowd from the area of Mandalay Bay Resort there. The Las Vegas Boulevard is shut down. There's no word on - so much we don't know.
[02:05:13] How many victims? Do they have this shooter? Is the area secured? This story broke about - within the past 15, 20, 25 minutes. And what we knew was - all we knew was there is an active shooter, everyone should take cover.
So, we have several affiliates in Las Vegas continuing to bring us the latest on this story. And as we continue to get more information trickling in, we will bring it to you, but you can see the scene right there in Las Vegas.
It's evening in Las Vegas, on Sunday night. You can imagine the crowds. You can see the people that are standing around, not sure where to go. I guess they've been evacuated from that area, while police figure out what has happened and who has been injured and we'll continue to follow it as we get more information for you.
If we see a reporter like that, we'll go back to it. But for now, we're going to bring you some other news that we're following as well.
US President Donald Trump sending mixed messages about US policy towards North Korea. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Saturday he had lines of communication with North Korea, but a day later, the president tweeted that talks with Pyongyang were a waste of time.
We get more now from Ryan Nobles.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mixed messages coming from the Trump administration as it relates to North Korea. This, after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left a meeting with the President of China where he talked about having conversations and open lines of communications with the North Koreans.
The president tweeting on Sunday morning, quote, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he's wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy Rex. We'll do what needs to be done." Now, this is in response to Tillerson had to say in Beijing. Tillerson saying, "We are probing, so stay tuned. We asked, would you like to talk? We have lines of communication to Pyongyang. We're not in a dark situation or a blackout. We have a couple of channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them directly through our own channels."
Now, the president essentially telling his secretary of state that he's wasting his time by attempting to talk to China and that seems to fly directly in the face of the long-held administration policy that diplomacy was the first option and military action would be second.
And the State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert seemed to be trying to clean up this back and forth between the secretary of state and the president with a series of tweets of her own when she said, quote, "Diplomatic channels are open for Kim Jong-Un for now. They won't be open forever."
She went on to say that "DPRK will not obtain nuclear capabilities. Whether through diplomacy or force is up to the regime."
And the closest advisers to President Trump -- and that would be his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - have long pushed for diplomacy being the primary option, holding out a military strike as a last possible move, if they felt there were no options left.
The administration's stated goal continues to be disarming Kim Jong- Un's nuclear program and in particular preventing him from being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile that could strike the United States or its allies.
Ryan Nobles, CNN, with the president in Branchburg, New Jersey.
ALLEN: Mr. Trump's dismissal of diplomacy is also likely to have an impact in South Korea. Our Paula Hancocks Hancock is tracking that. She joins me now from Seoul.
And the new government though South Korea, Paula, has indicated a willingness for diplomacy. So, what's the reaction to this kind of disconnect between secretary of state and the US president?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, there's been no direct response to this. There's no direct reaction. We wouldn't really expect one.
This, obviously, is something that the South Korean government would not really want to intervene in. Clearly, the government here in South Korea is more pro-dialogue, pro-engagement than the previous conservative administration.
But up until now, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has been going along with the US' more hardline approach of pressure and sanctions. But when it comes to the actual tweets from the US president, the officials here - to be honest, officials in many countries around the world are quite reticent to comment directly.
I did speak to the South Korean President Moon Jae-in a couple of weeks ago and I asked him about a separate tweet from the US president when he talked about South Korea's appeasement of North Korea.
And President Moon said that it's important not to take Trump's tweets too narrowly. So, I think that's really the best answer you're going to get that officials here are not wanting to be drawn on what does appear to be a disconnect between the US secretary of state and the US president. Natalie?
[02:10:15] ALLEN: Do they have any plans for meetings with Mr. Tillerson while he's in that area?
HANCOCKS: Well, the secretary of state has gone back to the United States, but certainly it was an important meeting that he had in China. It was clearly coming off the back of renewed sanctions of the UN Security Council resolution, very important that China is fully onboard with implementing those sanctions fully.
And we have heard a number of the pledges from China recently when it comes to trying to prevent revenues getting to North Korea that can be funneled into its nuclear and missile program.
So, certainly, China on paper and verbally corresponding with the sanctions that have been passed. But, of course, it's what happens on the ground that is the most important thing. China shares a very large border with North Korea. And if China was able to or willing to, then it could really strengthen the restrictions financially on North Korea and really start to make North Korea feel that pinch.
But, certainly, it's interesting that this is happening at this point when many people in the region are looking ahead to the US President Donald Trump visiting here next month as well. Natalie?
ALLEN: Yes. Many people will be watching that for sure. Paula, thank you so much for your reporting there from Seoul, South Korea.
I want to turn back to the breaking news that has just happened about, what, 20, 25 minutes ago. Police in Las Vegas investigating reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino on the Strip.
Police are asking everyone to avoid this area. You can appreciate the police presence with the sirens. Let's go to our affiliate, the reporter there on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just saw that team that was moving - that tactical team that kind of moved in. But a very serious situation out here.
And I want to bring in Danny (ph) here. He's visiting from Australia.
You were in the Mandalay Bay. Tell me what you saw, what you heard? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw first officers, about 8, running into the Lift A - the 31 Lift A. They were going up. They were coming down. They were going this way, that way. We were told to get out. We were told to get in.
The shooters - one shooter is up there still, we are told by police, shooting out and one is roaming around. And we've been told to come here and we think we're safe here because there is so many bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see the shooters at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no one saw it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Lot of people heard gunshots. Yes. But the initial gunshots apparently were like machine gun fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a like a rapid-fire?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, when you heard that, what was your reaction when you heard all that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew it was chaos and mayhem because people were running out of everywhere. The police were really unaware of where the ground person was. They were going this way, that way. There's SWAT everywhere.
We were tucked away, about 12 of us, in a little - like a carpark thing and then it's like - the SWAT came and said, hands up (INAUDIBLE) we were ushered out this way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that - you described to me that you were running from Mandalay Bay for like the last hour? Why do you feel like you are running? I mean -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't know where the shooter is. Police were - one of them telling us to go in, they'll tell us to go that way. So, we knew they were confused like we were. And we just wanted to stay close to the (INAUDIBLE). They led - ushered us out and they said go that way and we have come this way.
Like I said, there was a lot of police here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police said run and then we started running. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like, going on sprinting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were running. And carrying bags and helping people. It was about 12, 14 of us that we all stuck together. A couple of big boys, bigger than - like, big boys and we thought (INAUDIBLE) stick together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What ran through your head, I mean, when you heard shooter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Australia. We don't cop this sort of stuff in Australia that much. But it was just try and keep as many people safe, I suppose, and you're running where people tell you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you guys staying at the Mandalay Bay?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. We had conferences there tomorrow, today and the next day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see anybody that was injured or hurt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Apparently, all the Twitter reports is that the shooters were shooting at the concert across the hall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thankfully, you guys are OK. And, hopefully, everybody can stay safe out here.
OK. Looks like we have some movement here. They're kind of expanding the perimeter here. Police are telling everybody to move further south. So, we're going to do that as well.
And if you can turn the camera here, you can see - it looks like - seems they're getting ready to move in. So, this is escalating here, at least in the urgency that we see. A lot of people are here with their phones trying to document it.
But we can see - well, let's try to migrate with them, so we're not getting in anybody's way here. But as you can imagine, trying to get thousands and thousands of people to move all cohesively and out of the way and keep them out of harm's way, I mean, that's the priority here for Metro and all of the law enforcement agencies that are out here right now.
[02:15:13] But it's a surreal sight to see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Nathan, whatever you do, just make sure that you're following the advice there of the officers and the commands as all the residents there are and the citizens are.
We want to go ahead and show you some images as well that we've been receiving via social media. This is via Banjo.
And what you're looking at here are the crowds running presumably after those -
ALLEN: We're going to interrupt for a moment because CNN is just getting word that multiple people are at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas with gunshot wounds. That's according to a hospital spokeswoman.
We've been hearing from the people there who have been getting out of the way, saying that they heard up to hundreds of shots from a shooter that was somewhere in the vicinity of the Mandalay Bay Casino. That's it there, in the distance, you see with the vertical gold stripes. But, again, we're just learning multiple people have been taken to the hospital, suffering from gunshots.
We are also learning from the people, this reporter for our affiliate is talking with, that they were attending some sort of concert, and it seems that this shooter was aiming at them as this person move about firing a weapon that witnesses there - and, again, these are witnesses doing the best they can to explain what they experienced in a very, very scary situation, that it sounded like a very high-powered, some sort of machine gun.
And you can see right there that officers are moving in. We can't tell where they're coming from and where they're headed. But our reporter there also saying it seems that some SWAT teams were staking out a new location and continue to scour this area because we do not know right now whether this area is secure, whether they have an idea of where this shooter is, whether the shooter is in custody, we just don't know.
But this is a situation that has just been underway for about 25 minutes now and we're going to stay on top of it and continue to monitor it and bring you what we're learning.
A quick break here. We're right back with this breaking news out of Las Vegas.
(WORLD SPORT HEADLINES)
[02:21:39] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Hello, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church joining our Natalie Allen now as we cover this breaking news just into CNN.
Police in Las Vegas investigating reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino on the Strip. Police are asking everyone to avoid this area.
ALLEN: We're just getting more video from the scene and we're seeing more of the police response, moving in, SWAT teams moving into that area. They've ordered everyone out from around the area of the Mandalay Bay.
And as we were reporting a short while ago, we have learned - CNN has learned that multiple people have been taken to University Medical Center in Las Vegas with gunshot wounds. That's according to a hospital spokeswoman who talked with us.
And the people that they've been interviewing right here on the street had just been telling us they were just getting pushed back farther and farther and they apparently, Rosemary, were attending some sort of concert.
And this shooter, according to these witnesses, was somewhere, it seems, in the Mandalay Bay, just shooting down on people in the crowd.
CHURCH: Yes. We heard from a couple of Australians who had been there getting ready for a conference and, as you say, they were there at a concert, and as far as they had heard, it sounded like multiple shots, almost like automatic shots, some sort of automatic weapon.
But at this point we don't know very much as we watch our affiliates bringing in these pictures for us. As you say, these SWAT teams going in. We don't know where exactly they are at this point and we don't know very much about the situation.
But, of course, clearly, it has affected a lot of people there in Las Vegas along the Strip and police are trying to keep people as far away from this action as possible.
Let's listen in to this reporter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - telling us as we're walking down Las Vegas Boulevard that we have to keep moving to keep everybody safe. And it's a slow, but steady pace with thousands of people, telling them to keep on the sidewalk, so they can keep the roadways here - because they do have patrol cars that are kind of coming through and trying to make their way through here.
But they are telling us, all the way down to Sunset, that's where they are saying is potentially a safe area. And you can see all of these police officers here, they're coming from all over (INAUDIBLE) by the way.
We saw Henderson Police. We also saw Metro. We've got Clark County Fire out here. A lot of first responders, all out here. It's all hands on deck at this point.
But I was just talking to some folks about - I believe on the 14th floor on Mandalay Bay facing the Strip. They told me that when this all went down, they heard the gunshots coming near their room. They could hear it. It was rapid-fire. They heard, what they said was, hundreds of shots.
We're going to walk down here, so we're just trying to make sure (INAUDIBLE). Hundreds of shots that were coming from several floors up. That's what one witness told me.
And they said that they actually had a daughter that was in that concert venue. They were worried about her. They were able to get in contact with her, but someone was shot that was really close to her. Thankfully, that woman is OK as far as we understand.
But a lot of people just trying to figure out exactly what's going on here and it is a very serious situation. You see a lot of people crying, hugging, holding hands, just trying to find comfort. And it's a very chaotic situation.
[02:25:00] But you can still see, the help is coming. You can see more (INAUDIBLE) Metro kind of moving all over the place. But, again, we're still walking. We were out at Russell and Las Vegas Boulevard to begin with and they are telling us to go down to Sunset and they are saying that's where they want everybody just to make sure that they are safe because if these reports are true - they're saying these - that the shooters were at a high-rise position and it's very dangerous situation not only for the officers, but for everybody around here.
And we've got more movement coming out here. There are some - as you can tell, this is a very dynamic situation. We see some people kind of tripping and falling, trying to keep up with the pace.
But it's difficult. These are all different types of people. These are people who work at the casinos. There's locals, there's tourists, there are people who are just here for the concert. And they're all trying to make sure that they're safe and make sure that their loved ones are safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Hey, Nathan, we're just getting an update from one of my police sources who says one of the suspects has been found dead in a room at Mandalay Bay. We are working to confirm that. That is believed to be true. We have not confirmed that just yet.
But, obviously, this is still an active situation. We are also hearing from community ambulance, a private ambulance company here in the Valley, and they tell us that they have dispatched every one of their units to the scene. And it appears that there are multiple sites now with active shooters.
Again, that part with multiple sites is not confirmed, but that's what they're hearing via the ambulance company. Obviously, there's just a lot going on here. And police are trying to get a grip on it. And the priority is to get people safe and get the suspects into custody ASAP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. The question I have when I hear that update that the suspect has been, according to your source, one of the suspects has been found dead in a room. Is that a hotel room in a high-rise tower because you just heard Nathan say that a lot of people down there are thinking that some of the bullets came from above or from a high-rise.
So, it makes you wonder if they didn't storm some of the floors there and watch the security camera if you can get up there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's what we heard early on from one of our police sources as well that the suspects - two suspects believed confirmed -
CHURCH: All right. Very unnerving news here at the possibility. No confirmation here of multiple sites with active shooters. And we heard there again, no confirmation.
One suspect possibly found dead in a room there in Mandalay Bay Casino. But we don't - one of the rooms there. But we don't have any confirmation of that. There is no sense that this is at an end by any means.
This report of these multiple sites with active shooters very disturbing.
ALLEN: Absolutely. The thing that we do have confirmed, again, that the University Medical Center of Las Vegas says it is treating multiple people who have been brought there with gunshot wounds.
So, you can tell, as Rosemary said, very active scene, still chaotic. Police still trying to figure out where everyone should go and how they should respond. Apparently, units from all different kinds of areas of Las Vegas coming to the situation here.
And all of these thousands of people there on the Strip in Las Vegas, here it's not even midnight, you can imagine how crowded it is, wondering what is going on. Look at that scene right there.
We'll continue to monitor it. We're going to stay on the story. Quick break. Rosemary and I will be right back in just a moment.
[02:32:04] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage here at CNN. We are following a story that is still developing. So much not known. But police in Las Vegas are investigating reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino on the strip. Police have been asking everyone to avoid this area.
And we're to be see some video of the scene and -- well, there you go, the aerial shot of all of the lights still on. A crowded Las Vegas. But the police presence has been just remarkable.
Right now, we're getting an eyewitness in. Let's listen to that.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I asked them where they are staying, and they told me they are staying at Tuscany. So I drove them, I'm Mandalay Bay myself. I drove them down to Tuscany just to make sure they are safe. This kind of stuff cannot happen in America. And as an immigrant we need to come together and fight this stuff out. We need to come together and fight for America. Because that sour country. This is our nation. This is our people. We need to stand together. We need to fight this thing out. And we can do it. This is a great America. We got what it takes to do it. But we cannot fight this thing out. Fight it. We need to increase our security system in every aspect of our lives.
UNIDENTIFIED NEWS REPORTER: Thank you so much, Emanuel.
You know, we were speaking a little bit off camera before we got this interview started. And something he mentioned to me is it's a very unfortunate event. And of course, all of us agree the majority of these people don't even live in Las Vegas and may have come out for fun. The night ended up turning tragic. It's very unfortunate that many people were negatively impacted by this weekend. But talk to me about you are a Las Vegas resident. This isn't something you witnessed before. Speaking to the people who came to Las Vegas for a good time, what is your reaction to them?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I feel so bad for them. Honestly, I just met another man right here, Motor 8, that was looking for the wife and the best friend. The best friend wife got killed. I feel with the tears and everything going on them. I feel for such a person, because all they came to Las Vegas for is just to have fun, not to end their life. If they knew this was going to happen, they wouldn't even make that journey.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Listening to an eyewitness there. Just people in shock, understandably. And the same there.
We have a witness joining us now, Brian Heifner. He is talking to us now.
Brian, what did you see? What did you witness?
BRIAN HEIFNER, WITNESS (via telephone): I didn't see much. Mostly I heard the shots. Just so many shots. I thought it was a semi braking, the air brakes. But then I went downstairs and saw people running and looking for family. I immediately went back to my room, locked the door, turned the lights off. Directly at my window, you can see the Mandalay Bay. And it overlooks the concert venue. So I'm pretty much staying in my room with the doors locked and all lights off. I'm hearing that there are more shots going on at the Bellagio right now. So this is all up and down the strip at all the hotels. So I'm not sure what hotels are being affected. But I think a lot of them are having shooters at the moment.
[02:35:31] CHURCH: You're talking about your feeling that there are multiple sites with active shooters? We had heard possible reference to that a little earlier, but no confirmation. What do you think is the situation with that?
HEIFNER: Right now, down the strip, you can see all the cop cars, the police officers heading towards the Bellagio. They're all going from the Mandalay Bay right now literally passing Tropicana heading towards the Bellagio where they just had more reports of an active shooter.
CHURCH: And what's your sense with the shots that you witnessed, where did you think those shots came from? Did you feel they came from high up, another floor, many floors above you?
HEIFNER: I mean, in Vegas, all the concrete and the echoes, I can't really tell. It took me a minute to even realize they were shots. I mean, you're just not used to hearing that.
ALLEN: Yes, and Brian, give us a sense for people that don't know Las Vegas where is the Bellagio in relation to Mandalay Bay? Are they in close vicinity of each other?
HEIFNER: I would say within a half a mile. The blocks seem a lot larger here. But I would say about a half a mile. It's been a walk. I just arrived today. I just got to my room probably within 30 minutes of this happening.
ALLEN: Oh, my goodness. Are you in contact with anybody at the hotel? You chose to turn off the lights, lock the doors, stay in. Are you getting any kind of direction from the hotel? Do you get a sense that it's been evacuated for the most part? HEIFNER: No. When I stepped out of the room, I'm fairly on a lower
floor. So when I stepped out the see what was going on, everybody was heading to their rooms to kind of stay safe. The actual casino lobby was chaos. And my windows actually look out on to the strip. So I can kind of see what's going on, if I wanted to, but I'm staying away from them. I closed the shutters. But occasionally I have some shutters cracked. I'll look out and see what is going on.
CHURCH: Brian, are you getting any guidance from the hotel management at all? Are people being told what they should or should do at this point?
HEIFNER: I'm not. I'm in my room. I'm sure they're directing things down stairs in the casino. I'm also listening to the police scanner as well to see what's going on.
ALLEN: What have you been hearing?
HEIFNER: Well, nothing at the moment, since I'm on the phone.
ALLEN: Got it.
HEIFNER: It's just chaos. I know that they were out of ambulances at one point recently. And it just seems like it's getting more and more severe.
CHURCH: How concerned are you at this point?
HEIFNER: I think I'm in shock. So it's hard to say. It hasn't really set in yet. It took me a minute to even realize what was going on.
And we just saw a quick shot of what appeared to be the concert, the country music concert. It looked like somebody on the stage. We don't know who was performing, how many people were there. We don't really understand the venue yet and how this shooter might have had access to people. Perhaps one would think an open-air concert if they're shooting down from a hotel room.
And, again, there is no confirmation whether there was one shooter or more shooters. And we certainly haven't heard about anyone being in custody.
[02:39:18] CHURCH: No, no, we haven't.
And, Brian, as we talk to you, there had been an unconfirmed report of one suspect found dead in a room at Mandalay Bay. But, again, no confirmation of that. Also, there was chatter of multiple sites with active shooters. No confirmation in that at all. And that is the problem in situations like this. There is so little information. People are in shock. People are scared. They're worried.
Brian, Brian Heifner, thank you so much for talking with us. You stay put. You stay safe.
We're going take a very short break. But we'll be covering this breaking news when we come back. Do stay with us.
ALLEN: If you're just joining us, we're live here at CNN. Rosemary Church, along with me, Natalie Allen, following this breaking news out of Las Vegas. Multiple people have been wounded. They've been shot somewhere on the Las Vegas strip in the vicinity of Mandalay Bay Casino. Police, of course, asking everyone to avoid the area. The police presence has been massive. As we've been bringing you this breaking news for about almost 45 minutes here, we have heard so many sirens going by. And we hear that everyone in the vicinity that they can think of, that different police forces are coming to the scene. We've seen SWAT teams moving in. Questions we don't know, was there more than one shoot had they arrested anyone? We have had one report that a shooter was found dead in a hotel room.
CHURCH: We also talked to an eyewitness, Brian Heifner, who was there in his hotel at the Mandalay Bay. And his understanding is there was this move towards Bellagio, and police were heading that way, according to him.
And this, of course, there were talks, there were reports. Let's listen to our affiliate KSNV now and hear what's happening.
[02:44:27] UNIDENTIFIED KSNV REPORTER: We keep getting moved down the way here. We are just behind the Mandalay Convention Center right by Las Vegas boulevard. And I believe, if I step out over here, I can tell. I think we're just south of Russell. And I am hearing that there are two homicide squads that are rolling. Another two are on standby. That is from a police source.
We also had someone from concierge working inside the Mandalay Bay saying one of her crewmembers had seen dead bodies laying on the ground. Very, very distraught people walk by.
I can tell you when we came down Russell to Park over here we had a man come running up to us, blood down his shirt saying his friends were dead, his friends were dead and please come help him. And then he went running down Las Vegas boulevard, back towards the scene, asking people, anyone, please just come help me. And then he got so distraught a little later that he actually pushed our photographer away out of the scene.
As you can see, multiple police here, just setting up, getting ready to move towards Mandalay Bay as they are need. We have Clark County fire over here, of course. And I don't know if you remember, but a couple of months back, I had reported on a mash casualty from the fire department that had 80 stretchers on it. It had enough equipment on to handle a situation. I'm trying to confirm that if it is out here right now assisting on this scene. I'm not sure.
Of course, we're getting as much information as we can on the ground. But many people just reporting those fireworks. It sounded like fireworks at first. And then eventually those pops, they realized that it was a serious situation and happening out here.
I just want to show you this live situation. We have ambulance over here, of course. Still trying to figure out what's going on. Plenty of people, who are firemen, out here below or south of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. You can just see the lines of police cars, of, you know, medic, other people just helping on the scene, trying to figure out how to get this under control and just keep everybody safe out here.
I'll send it back to you in the studio.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: All right, thank you so much.
We know that that, obviously, is the priority.
We are hearing now, we got another report from community ambulance. And that is also disheartening and discouraging. Initially, we heard that there were casualties, including fatalities, near the main stage, which is across the straight from Mandalay Bay. Now EMTs at Mandalay Bay itself report that there are many casualties on the ground at the property there. So, again, we're getting multiple reports of multiple injuries and casualties as a result of this what appears to be a mass shooting involving at least two suspects that occurred immediately following this concert, the Harvest 91 concert outside Mandalay Bay.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: And every time you hear about someone saying it was bloody, people were running, people were dying, you think that's someone's father, that's someone's sister, that's someone's mother.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: Absolutely. Somebody's family.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: They're somebody's somebody. And this is not just numbers. These are people who really went to have a good time. Possibly on vacation. Of course, a lot of people here, locals were looking forward to this three-day festival as well. A lot of people just looking for a good time.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: Sure.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: And now this is a moment that they will never, ever forget. None of us will.
UNIDENTIFIED KSNV ANCHOR: We're looking at a live picture here of the Las Vegas strip. It's a picture we almost never see. A section of the strip, a large section of the strip is empty. And you see all the blackness there. And that's as a result of --
CHURCH: We're listening to our affiliate there, KSNV. Very disturbing developments there as we hear multiple reports of injuries and casualties. We heard the reporter there on the ground. She had talked to a witness who had said that friends of his had been killed. There were apparently scenes of dead bodies. No confirmation of this. We're just getting this from our affiliate, KSNV.
We're going to continue to follow this. We'll take a very short break, but continue our breaking news when we return.
[02:52:44] ALLEN: Following our breaking news from Las Vegas, Nevada, a very chaotic scene there, a tragic one. Multiple people have been wounded after a reported shooting on the Las Vegas strip. It happened near the Mandalay Bay Casino. Police asking everyone to avoid the area. Apparently, they're also going over to the Bellagio as well.
We have just learned that flights at McCarron Airport have been suspended due to this developing breaking story in Las Vegas.
We've also gotten word that multiple people are at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas with gunshot wounds.
Apparently, the target was a concert called Root 91, a country concert. It was a two-day concert, and it was wrapping up here October 1. Numerous people had been performing on the stage there. But that is apparently was the target, for whatever reason. Still don't know who is in custody. There was an earlier report that one shooter was dead in a hotel room.
CHURCH: Yes, at this point, we don't have confirmation of that. But we'll certainly follow up on that.
And hundreds of people immediately started running from the scene, of course.
One witness described hearing the gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: When we were coming out, we just heard it sounded like fire crackers at first. Maybe there was a firecracker show, I don't know, a fireworks show. But it didn't sound normal. It sounded like machine guns. And it was several rounds, like hundreds of rounds. And then it stopped. And then it sounded like different guns shooting. And then it stopped and it started again. It's hard to explain. And then my boyfriend had me move behind a building here, because it just didn't sound right. And then we hid behind the building and we could hear hundreds of rounds going off. And about 10 minutes later, the police came and then blocked off all the streets. And just very overwhelming. And very scary, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED NEWS REPORTER: So as you move down this way, how far up were they? How close were you to the Root 91 festival?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Oh, we're only about -- not even a block from it. Maybe no more than two blocks.
UNIDENTIFIED NEWS REPORTER: And you can hear it from that far away? UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Absolutely. What was weird is sounded like
it's coming from the roof on the back side. But it sounded like it was going towards the Luxor. That's what it sounded like to me. But now hearing from what some people were saying, they were shooting into the crowd, which is across the street, makes a little more sense. It's so surreal.
[02:55:18] UNIDENTIFIED NEWS REPORTER: Were you at all concerned about your safety? Because, obviously, we were moving that direction.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Absolutely. Because it just sounded like open shooting for a few minutes. And that's why we hid behind a building. And then we saw people coming out of the Mandalay Bay. And then we saw police officers running across the street into Mandalay Bay. And we just hid behind a building and kept peeking out every now and then. And we're trying to watch safely from behind the building here.
CHURCH: Another eyewitness report. Terrifying moments there as all of them relay to those of us just watching and listening. We don't know a lot of the details. We understand at least two suspects are involved. Multiple reports of injuries and casualties. Still waiting for official word.
We'll take a very short break and we'll have more on this when we come back.
[03:00:10] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.