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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Shooter's Girlfriend Breaks Silence After FBI Questioning; Gunman Purchased 33 Guns in Just the Last Year. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 4, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:02] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- this worrisome story as well. Thanks very much with that.
That's it from me. Thanks for watching. Our continuing coverage from Las Vegas continues right now with Erin Burnett OutFront.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, we are liver from Nevada with the breaking news. Tonight, the Las Vegas shooter's girlfriend breaking her silence tonight questioned by the FBI. This as we are learning new information about the shooter's high stakes gambling life.
And also tonight, a hero who saved dozens of lives even as he was shot in the neck. He's OutFront tonight.
And miracle man, he was gravely wounded. A bullet pressed against his spine. Doctors said he might never walk again and tonight, he took his first steps.
Let's go OutFront.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. This is a special edition of OutFront, we are live in Las Vegas.
Tonight, the breaking news, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter speaking out tonight for the first time. Marilou Danley spent the day behind closed doors being questioned by the FBI. And moments ago, her attorney read a statement from Dunley, herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LOMBARD, ATTORNEY FOR MARILOU DANLEY: I am a mother and grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones. I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for quiet future together with him. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Danley arrived in Los Angeles last night. She came from the Philippines on the plane you see there on your screen. FBI agents then quickly took her away out of the sight of cameras. Investigators say Danley could be the key to establishing the motive, the intent for Stephen Paddock's monstrance rampage and horrific crimes. We're going to have much more on Danley and her life with the shooter in just a few moments.
Also tonight though, we are learning much more about the shooter and his deadly arsenal. Officials revealing that he bought 33 firearms, most of them were rifles and he did this in just the past year. That many in just one year.
And this is the police body cam footage that we now have which captures the panic and the chaos, the confusion as those bullets were raining down into the concert ground. When you think about this, there were 22,000 people. They were inside a space that was completely fenced off, they weren't able to run away. And almost every single person there that we have spoken to has said that they did not know where the gunfire was coming from at first, so they didn't know which way to run, and so many ran towards it in front of -- instead of away.
Also tonight, President Trump and the first lady, they were here in Las Vegas. They met with officials, first responders and some of the victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our souls are stricken with grief for every American who lost a husband or wife, a mother or father, a son or a daughter. We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain. You're not alone. We will never leave your side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And I want to go to Sara Sidner, she is with me here in Las Vegas. And Sara, we are now learning a lot more about the shooter's girlfriend or at least what she knows, from Marilou Danley.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And there was more information tonight now that we've just got after looking through the statement that she gave through her attorney. And one of the things, the question that has been answered that people have been asking is about this money that was sent from the shooter to the Philippines.
And in her statement through her attorney, she said, while there in the Philippines, he wired me money which she said was for me to buy a house. And what she thought when she got it was that he might be trying to break up with her and that he felt bad and was just sending her money to buy a house and she was worried about that.
She said she never ever imagined that he was about to do something violent.
SIDNER (voice-over): Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock. At FBI headquarters in Los Angeles, Danley was locked behind closed doors undergoing intense questioning from investigators. Their hope, that she may hold the key to what drove Paddock to Sunday's horrific mass shooting. Danley tonight issuing a statement through her attorney.
LOMBARD: It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone.
SIDNER (voice-over): This is the house in Mesquite, Nevada, where 62- year-old Danley lived most recently with Paddock. It's about 80 miles from the Vegas Strip. Danley's ex-stepdaughter had only kind words for her.
[19:05:01] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a good and gentle person. And I know she has to be devastated by what has happened.
SIDNER (voice-over): Danley met Paddock several years ago. She worked at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno. He was a high stakes gambler. Paddock's brother talked about what their life was like.
ERIC PADDOCK, BROTHER OF LAS VEGAS SHOOTER STEPHEN PADDOCK: He loved her and, you know -- she was a hostess at the hotel. You know, Steve was a big fish at the Atlantis for a long time.
SIDNER (voice-over): Danley had been married to Gary Danley since 1990. Their divorce finalized in 2015. Danley's sisters say they're heartbroken by the shootings and spoke to Australian television.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marilou seems madly in love with Steve, you know.
SIDNER (voice-over): But two weeks before the shooting, Danley's sisters say Paddock handed her what he called a cheap ticket to the Philippines. The search for Danley was complicated as it spanned several different countries.
First stop, Tokyo, from there to Manila landing on September 15th. On the 22nd, Danley flew to Hong Kong. Then, three days later, back to Manila for a week before returning to Los Angeles last night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imagine if she was there, if he took his life. He would definitely take my sister's life as well because she's there. What he done here is he spared my sister's life. He sent her away so that he can plan what he's planning without interruptions. In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister's life.
SIDNER (voice-over): During that time, Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines. Officials still can't say who received that money. But Eric Paddock told our Orlando affiliate he believes his brother sent the money to, quote, take care of Marilou. But Danley's sisters don't describe Paddock as a caring man and they're angry at the pain and mystery he's left behind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very quiet. He's not sociable. He escaped, and leaves us here putting the puzzles together.
SIDNER: Now, again, we want to reiterate that there is new information coming out from Marilou Danley's attorney who said that indeed that money was wired to Marilou and she was told it was to buy a house. She thought that perhaps it was a way of almost getting rid of her and got very worried because she said she loved Paddock, she truly loved him and hoped to have a quiet life with him.
She also wanted the public to know that she flew back the America on her own. She flew back because she knew that the FBI and that local authorities wanted to talk to her and she wanted to talk to them. Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much Sara. Certainly, she wants them to know she had nothing to hide, no reason to avoid coming back.
Kyung Lah is with me now. And Kyung, as we're learning more about Marilou Danley who's obviously could be very crucial part of this puzzle, what she knows. You're learning more about his gambling life and it was a big one.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it absolutely was a big one. We heard his brother, we heard his family. We've heard a lot of people connected and talk about his professional gambling life. Well, we turn to his home in Mesquite, Nevada and it is in that home that there are some clues.
He purchased it in 2014 and in the application to purchase this home, a home he decided within five minutes that he wanted because it was at the end of a cul-de-sac, it had a lot of privacy. It didn't have any other houses around it in the backyard, it has houses on either side, but nothing obscuring the backyard.
What we've learned in that application, that real estate application is that he listed as his profession that he was a high stakes gambler and that he gambled a million dollars a year. And then to underscore that point, Erin, he purchased that home in cash for $369,000. Five minutes deciding to buy that house and just dropped in the cash right there. So he had liquid funds.
BURNETT: Right. So whether -- who knows whether he was being completely honest about the million dollars, but certainly the cash would seem to indicate that there was certainly something there. You mentioned the cul-de-sac and he had an intense and very unusual need for privacy, didn't he?
LAH: Quite unusual because -- and we've heard from other neighbors within that cul-de-sac, that area that yes, he was private. He kept to himself. I mean, how many times we heard that about people who engage in illicit type of activity. But his was unusual in that it caught the attention of people right around him.
This was a home that's already private. It's perched on a hill. It doesn't have any houses in the backyard, but then when he moved in he erected a privacy fence. It was a fence that irritated a rot lot of people. There was a screen around it and it was so ugly that a petition was started in this 55-plus community that's considered to be very, very safe. So he wanted to be intensely private.
That petition was signed 20 people and they asked that it be torn down and the association sided with them. Something else that he said that a neighbor heard is that I don't want people looking at me, I don't want to look at them.
[19:10:06] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kyung Lah. And this is shedding a lot of light here on what so far is still is that huge mystery of why he did this.
OutFront now, Nevada's Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison who was born and raised here in Las Vegas, and good to have you back, Lieutenant Governor.
LT. GOV. MARK HUTCHISON, (R), NEVADA: Thank you.
BURNETT: I just want to start with what Kyung Lah's reporting, that he said he was a million dollar a year gambler. He bought this house that he had there in Mesquite for $369,000 cash.
BURNETT: What does that all say to you? This guy had money.
HUTCHISON: He had money. I'll tell you, Erin there are a lot of big players in Las Vegas who come to this town with a lot of money and play with a lot of money. And so, Las Vegas is accustomed to those kinds of people. Somebody who has that kind of wealth and that kind of money come here. And so --
BURNETT: They wouldn't have stood out is what you're saying.
HUTCHISON: Exactly, that's right. This is what Las Vegas is built on. People coming here and having a great time. People coming here and wanting to try their luck.
BURNETT: What about the girlfriend? We are learning more about her, and you just heard her lawyer has now put out a statement. She's been questioned by the FBI. Do you know whether they were able to get more information from her today?
HUTCHISON: I don't know if they're able to get more than what you have now, Erin. I'm happy that she's cooperating and that the investigators will have a key source of the information to motive.
BURNETT: And how important is she right now? She's still the only person who really knew him.
HUTCHISON: Well, she's going to be the source to I think motivation and really somebody who understood him better than anybody else.
BURNETT: So, you know, I know I played a brief clip of what her lawyer -- she basically did the statement with her lawyer. This is directly from her lawyer then came out read it to the camera. And I just wanted to play another clip from that for you Lieutenant Governor. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOMBARD: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you believe her?
HUTCHISON: Well, when you see something this horrific and somebody this depraved and this evil, it's hard to believe. Yes, maybe it's true but it's hard to believe that people close to him didn't know something.
BURNETT: That something was wrong.
HUTCHISON: Something was wrong (INAUDIBLE) you know, it's a change in his behavior, a change in his personality. Something that they could see and maybe warn somebody about.
BURNETT: They are desperately working on this investigation to get more information. You and I spoke last night at this time. What is the most significant thing that you have learned from your briefings in this investigation today?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think that the investigation continues to progress and to progress well. Joe Lombardo, our sheriff is doing a great job directing from the local and FBI'S involvement. Of course in the federal level and I think what you're seeing a lot of time spent and occupying the investigators is evaluating electronic devices and evaluating the travel patterns that kind of thing.
BURNETT: And you brought those up to me yesterday because you said they found multiple devices both in the hotel room here at the Mandalay Bay, the suite and also in his homes. Have they been able to get into those?
HUTCHISON: Haven't got anymore information than we had last night other than they've continued to make progress with those and I think (INAUDIBLE) an awful lot of information.
BURNETT: So, there's a big question of course as whether there's some note that he may have left, whether on paper or one of those devices, some kind of a motive as to why he did this. His brother says we may not have one of those. Here's what he said when he broke his silence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PADDOCK: It doesn't make sense. That's the thing that's bizarre and that's what I'm hoping we find something. We've got to find something. I mean, the chances he left a note or something. I think we can find this. I mean, it's not his style.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you think it's possible that he left no trail?
HUTCHISON: It's just tough to fathom, Erin. They got so many who's doing this kind of activity and engaged in this kind of evil, depraved actions as I said before and those closest to him didn't know something. You know, he was texting with his brother, he's in communication with him.
This is a human experience. We all would probably suspect something or see something in a change in one of our siblings.
BURNETT: All right. So the brothers, a lot more to ask from him. The girlfriend, a lot more, even his mother of course (INAUDIBLE) of her.
HUTCHISON: We've got a lot more to learn, Erin and we're doing our best and I just want to thank the first responders and our investigative team, our sheriff for the great job they're doing.
BURNETT: All right, thank you so very much.
HUTCHISON: Thank you.
BURNETT: Appreciate it, Lieutenant Governor.
Next, this big question about how he did it. That of course was with an arsenal. The killer actually amassed 33 guns in the past year alone, 33 in one year. How exactly did he do it and why did such a quick collection of firearms not raise a red flag?
Plus, this man, single-handedly saved dozens of other lives. He was shot himself then, a bullet could be permanently lodged in his back. His name, that young man is Jonathan Smith and he is OutFront tonight.
And the president's visit here in Las Vegas today, was it overshadowed by this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron?
[19:15:01] REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OutFront tonight. We are live in Las Vegas where we are learning that the gunman who killed 58 people from the hotel behind us purchased 33 firearms in the past year alone. This is as officials have confirmed a total of 47 firearms were found at his homes and the hotel suite where he carried out this horrific carnage.
The big question of course is, how did he get so many guns and why didn't accumulating them so quickly raise a red flag for anyone? Jessica Schneider investigates.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Law enforcement sources say Stephen Paddock amassed 33 guns just in the past year. Many of those 33 may have been stockpiled inside his Mandalay Bay hotel suite where he orchestrated a shooting massacre. The spray of bullets lasted nine to 11 minutes, killing 58 country music concertgoers. Inside the suite, investigators counted 23 weapons.
JILL SNYDER, SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE, SAN FRANCISCO ATF: It is still being determined which firearms were used in the shooting.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Twelve of the weapons inside Paddock's room were equipped with bump fire stocks, a device demonstrated in this YouTube video. It allows the weapon to fire in rapid succession simulating fully automatic fire. A bump fire stock is legal and easy to obtain.
[19:20:09] SAM RABADI, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, ATF: Very easy. And it can be purchased directly from the company or in different online sales from a number of vendors.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Investigators have uncovered 47 firearms so far, 23 from inside Paddock's hotel room and another 24 from his homes in Mesquite in Nevada. Law enforcement sources say Paddock has been accumulating his collection of weapons for the past 20 years. The sales apparently never raised any red flags since Paddock had no criminal history. And out west, the possession of large quantities of firearms by hunters and collectors isn't uncommon.
RABADI: There are states in the country where there's a lot of hunting that goes on and outdoor activities. There are also areas where you have a higher population of collectors. So the purchase of that many firearms in and of itself would not necessarily be an indicator for us.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Rabadi estimates Paddock's arsenal costs tens of thousands of dollars, with some weapons costing $2,000 to $4,000 each. Paddock purchased his guns in four separate states, Nevada, Utah, California and Texas according to the ATF, frequenting shops in Nevada.
He bought several long guns at Cabelas in Verdi according to a law enforcement source. In Las Vegas, he bought a shotgun and a rifle from the New Frontier gun shop and two rifles and one handgun from Discount Firearms and Ammo in November and December of 2016.
In Mesquite, Paddock purchased a handgun and two rifles from Guns and Guitars within the past year. And the owner of Dixie GunWorx in St. George, Utah sold Paddock a shotgun.
CHRIS MICHAEL, OWNER PF DIXIE GUNWORX: He passed all of our background checks here in the store. He passed every red flag that could have popped up, but it's still there. It's still that I'm still going what else could I have done better?
SCHNEIDER: There's no national registry of firearm ownership in the United States, so even though Paddock acquired those 33 guns in a span of one year, since they were from different locations and he presumably passed background checks, no red flags, Erin were ever raised enabling him to carry out his horrific attack. Erin?
BURNETT: Jessica, thank you very much. And now, retired FBI special agent James Gagliano, former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker.
Chris, let me start with you. There's no database which, you know, putting aside my personal views, I find that absurd. Thirty-three guns purchased in one year. How does that compare to the average gun customer?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: I don't know what the average gun customer is, but I would imagine that the average is one gun, one handgun, maybe two handguns per person. What's interesting is the National Instant Check System, the NIC system has all that data.
All those inquiries went in from all those different places and it's forbidden for any law enforcement agent to mind that data to look for patterns like --
BURNETT: So you think there actually is -- there was a record. Someone could have looked and seen that this guy bought 33 but they weren't allowed to.
SWECKER: Right, correct.
BURNETT: That's pretty incredible.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It is, Erin. I mean, it's stupefying. But what really struck me is just a loophole that's got to be closed is this bump fire stock. It is -- I mean --
BURNETT: That's what you put onto a gun to make it fully automatic.
GAGLIANO: As FBI firearm instructors explained to me, it is easy to procure, it's about $100, it's easy to install and then it takes a weapon that semiautomatic and (INAUDIBLE) fully automatic. And those type of weapons that he had, 750 and 900 rounds per minute, it's insane, you can't shorten the barrel of a shotgun. There are rules and restrictions that only silencers, you can't file the serial number off of a rifle. But you can convert, you can convert a semiautomatic weapon into fully automatic. It makes no sense.
BURNETT: And the other thing of course is how he learned to use these guns, right? We know no background that was -- no criminal background, no military background, but yet it isn't something you can just do. And putting a bump into semiautomatic isn't just like, OK snap, here we go.
He had to practice somewhere, right Chris?
SWECKER: Right. I researched some of these guns. These are high-end weapons with high-end accessories, scopes that are, you know, really, really good scopes. Expensive weapons.
The actions on those weapons, how they load, the chamber loads, how you pull the trigger, how you (INAUDIBLE) the action and all of that, you have to practice that. And then how it fires, particularly with the bump feeder, so, you know, it's like holding a high pressure garden hose in your hand unless you practice with it.
BURNETT: So somewhere, going out to the desert as you all were saying before this interview. Somewhere, he actually had to practice.
So James, the girlfriend obviously is crucial here. Now she came back on her own, she says she has nothing to hide. Certainly her actions would indicate that, that she wanted to say everything she knew. I just want to play a little bit more of what her lawyer said because she just issued a statement through her lawyer. Here he is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:25:02] LOMBARD: I was grateful but honestly, I was worried that first the unexpected trip home and then the money was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way he was planning violence against anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is it possible she really had no idea as he's buying all these guns and practicing. Clearly, this was something that took a lot of planning and a lot of premeditation.
GAGLIANO: Sure. What was Ronald Reagan's famous saying? Trust but verify. So, we'll take her out of place but the FBI is interviewing her. I know that Deputy Director Andy McCabe I believe came out this morning and said that they still had not gotten to motive.
This is going to speak to that. She's a person of interest. She's been cooperative, coming back, we didn't have to figure out a way to extradite her or bring her back in any other means. And the FBI is 65 legal (INAUDIBLE) scattered around the world. In those embassies where she traveled, to a number of count countries --
BURNETT: Right, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila.
GAGLIANO: Yes. They've already reached out right now. Those leads are being run down. The hundred thousand dollars, there are forensic accountants right now that are going to determine how that was transferred, what that was spent on.
And, she is also going to be -- as long as she's cooperative she's also going to be a treasure-trove for them for more lead. I imagine the next couple of days we are going to get closer to motive, Erin. BURNETT: She is crucial. There is no one who knew him better even though of course he did have a relationship with his family and a pretty close one.
SWECKER: Well, with one brother, he apparently text his brother. He was in business with his brother so you would think that he would know something about his own brother. But, you know, I'm one of those people who think that the FBI is working very quietly behind the scenes and knows more than they're letting on right now.
There's social media, there's computers. There's his mobile device, there's possibly notes. We don't know what they found in the hotel room. I don't think there's a situation like this that I know of where the person that did commit the crimes didn't have something that he left behind. He or she left behind that led to some conclusions about why they did it. And I'm pretty sure that some of that is already out there --
BURNETT: You think so? And they do have as they said, the lieutenant governor was saying multiple electronic devices at this point. We understand from McCabe that they have had no issue breaking into those. It's not like San Bernardino, right where they need -- they're in there.
SWECKER: She's certainly a key, and you would think as a live-in girlfriend that he would confide in her probably before anyone else. I mean, A lot of neighbors talk about him being a loner. One even said he was aggressively unfriendly.
So, you know, the girlfriend is going to know some things and there's a tendency to minimize their own involvement and what they know in the beginning. And I think it takes a little while, some good interview techniques to kind of break that down. Maybe they'll have to polygraph her eventually.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both so very much.
And next, this man is a hero. A hero in this tragedy. He saved 30 people even as he was shot in the neck himself. And he's OutFront next.
And these are bullet fragments removed from my next guest's body. He has a new sense though of hope tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The doctor told you that you were a miracle. And he thought you might never walk again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:31:38] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Welcome back to our special edition of OUTFRONT. We are live tonight in Las Vegas where police news conference is about to begin any moment. Obviously, we will be bringing you that live as this investigation continues.
It comes as doctors are working around the clock helping hundreds of victims from the mass shooting that took place behind me. It was a hospital today. They still have 29 people still in critical care right now.
And as the healing is beginning for so many, we are hearing some incredible stories. Incredible stories of heroism and humanity, including the story of Jonathan Smith. And, you know, you may have seen his picture. It's a picture frankly that has been seen around the world and the same word is in pretty much every single headline.
And you can see it there. Hero. Hero. Hero. Hero. Hero.
Jonathan was credited with saving the lives of some 30 people even as he himself was shot in the neck.
And Jonathan joins me now. He is back home. That's Irvine, California.
And thank goodness for that, Jonathan. Look, I'm so grateful that you're able to talk to us. I know that you are obviously very seriously injured. You have that bullet that is still in your neck.
How are you feeling tonight?
JONATHAN SMITH, INJURED WHILE TRYING TO SAVE LIVES IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: Well, thank you for having me on. Still in a little pain, but I think honestly, it's going to take time to heal. I can't not forget about what happened. I'll relive it every day, through social media, from people calling, people texting me.
I think the people that weren't there don't realize how traumatic it was. The whole time, I thought honestly I would die. I really did.
BURNETT: And when you were there, Jonathan, you're getting on the fourth song of Jason Aldean's act, you're a music concert, all of a sudden, you hear those gun shots. You know, a lot of people heard them and did what most of us would do. They were terrified. They went down or tried to run away.
But you ran towards. Do you, did you even think about it? Or you just did it on instinct?
SMITH: Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking, honestly. The moment that I got my brother and my three nieces across street, I don't know what made me turn back around. Maybe it was a screams. I don't know.
But there were a lot of people still running out. A few of them fell down. I still remember it vivid. I try not to, honestly. But I really can't explain why or what made me turn around. I just felt, you know what, if I could help one person or multiple people, at least that's one life that was spared.
BURNETT: It's just incredible, Jonathan, because so many say that and they are good people, and they tried to help people.
[19:35:01] But you did something that so few human beings would actually do and you saved so many lives. I mean, how does that make you feel? Do you realize that yet? That there are maybe 30 people who are alive right now because of that decision you made to go back in?
SMITH: Yes, I do. I do. And I mean like you said earlier, everyone's been using word, hero.
I've been saying it since the whole time I got home. I'm not a hero. I'm far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do. Was this smart? Probably not.
But that was someone else's shoes and they seen me, I would want them to come back and at least help me. So I'm -- I can't say that I am a hero. Everybody might see different, but I'm not -- I'm just a normal human being, who basically seeing people's lives in danger.
BURNETT: Well, you may yourself as normal, but I think most see you as truly extraordinary, whatever word you want to use for it. I know you were hit and kept trying to save people. And then there was someone else who came in, San Diego off duty officer, he came in and saved your life, Jonathan.
And we actually have him with us tonight. Officer Tom McGrath is here and I just wanted to bring him in.
And, Officer McGrath, thank you. I know you just heard what Jonathan said.
OFFICER TOM MCGRATH, SAVED JONATHAN SMITH'S LIFE: Yes, I did. I think he's being a little too modest. I think what he did was extraordinary. For somebody who trains for things like this, San Diego is kind of large states where you have a lot of attraction and something we train for, but I think somebody like him, he did something extraordinary, showed tremendous bravery.
And, you know, he's somebody who inspires me. And I think, you know, I know he may not want all the credit, but he definitely did a wonderful job and I was happy to be there to help him towards the end and get him out of there when he was hit.
SMITH: I don't know even know what to say. I talked to him every day. He did call me. Honestly, I owe the man my life because from the moment I got hit, he was the first one to actually help me stop the bleeding. He never left my side at all.
And I remember him helping me get in the back of a pickup truck, a red pickup truck with another young lady that had a gun shot wound. And I kept telling him, I don't want to die, I don't want the die. He kept saying, you're not going to die. I got you. Look at me, you're not going to die. He even said it as they took me out and put me on to the concrete in
front of a patrol car, that I wasn't going to die. We even talked about the moment where he put his finger inside the wound just to stop it.
It's stuff like that I won't forget. I owe him my life. And I know out there how everyone bashes everybody. They feel like it's fake. There was no way -- there was no way this was fake at all. The shot that I took in my arm was not fake, from the people that lost their lives. This was a horrific tragedy.
And I think, not just myself, but even Officer McGrath who now I consider as a brother to everyone else, that's -- this is what we should be doing. It didn't matter what race is. It didn't matter what race anyone was at that time. All we seen was a human life. I'll never forget that day, or anybody else for that matter.
BURNETT: And, Officer McGrath, you -- as Jonathan said, you -- you put your finger on that wound and saved this man's life.
MCGRATH: Yes, I --
BURNETT: Do you feel like he does -- you are forever, as he said, a brother.
[19:40:01] MCGRATH: Yes, I consider him mine as well. You know, we said a lot of words. I was able to get in contact with him.
You know, I just remember always telling him when we got that (INAUDIBLE) wait for the paramedics, I just tell them, you know, now, it's time to fight. I know he was feeling weak. I understand that.
You know, it was a scary moment for both of us, but I remember just holding his hand, this is the time to fight. You made it this far, and this is the time to fight, and he's fighter. He's got that warrior mentality. He went into the gunfire. He saved, you know, it could be more than 30 people. If it's 30, then it's 30.
You know, he had that warrior mentality. He went back in there and, you know, that's the type of mentality that got him through that. And what kept him alive. I think you know, as long as he recognizes that, he needs to keep that mentality, because that's a rare, rare thing for people to exhibit and to have in themselves and through this tragedy, I just remember you know, suffered alone.
When people were drying, there was somebody there probably holding their hand or holding them in their arms, you know, comforting them. When people had injury, you know, how severe it was, trying to get them to safety, nobody suffered alone. I think that's the takeaway from the whole situation is that we might have our story on CNN or whatever news outlet, but I think the bigger picture is when you take a look at the whole, nobody suffered alone. Everybody rallied together and everybody wanted to have a purpose that night and I think people did.
BURNETT: Jonathan, you had a great purpose and you have saved so many lives. What is next for you? What do you do now?
SMITH: Well, first is basically to get my strength back up. I have not that much feeling in my left shoulder. I mean as you said, bullet is still in my neck. They won't remove it just because they fear if they do, it might cause more damage.
I'm in constant pain. But my main focus is to try to live my life as much possible, spend more time with my kids. Eventually, get back to work. I've got nothing but great outpour from my job, from people all over the world that I don't even know, on Facebook. And I just, I just want to get back to my normal life.
BURNETT: Jonathan, thank you so much for sharing your story for us, with us, and for showing everybody what extraordinary means. Thank you so very much.
SMITH: Thank you.
BURNETT: And, Officer, thank you so very much for being with us and for what you did.
And next, a miracle. Doctors said they thought he would never walk again. Even he thought it was all over when the bullets were raining down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Did you realize that for you, it really was possibly, you were going to die?
ROBERT AGUILAR, SHOT AND INJURED DURING LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Today, he walked.
And President Trump was in Las Vegas today even as controversy swirled over whether his secretary of state called him a moron.
BURNETT: Welcome back.
We are live tonight in Las Vegas where we are standing by for a news conference. We're going to get the very latest on the investigation into the deadly shooting massacre in American history, 58 people dead, more than 500 recovering tonight from their injuries. Many of them still in critical condition and for so many people, it is going to be a very long road to recovery.
Today, I went and visited Robert Aguilar at the hospital. He was there at the concert with his girlfriend and protecting her when he was shot. I want you to hear my conversation with him today.
BURNETT: Robert, how are you feeling today?
AGUILAR: A lot better. A lot better today than yesterday and the day before.
BURNETT: But still a lot of pain.
AGUILAR: A lot of pain. The waist down. Getting back to my basic movements again in walking.
BURNETT: Well, the doctors said you were a miracle. That's literally the words they used.
AGUILAR: Yes, that's what they told me. It's --I put everything in their hands and they took care of me.
BURNETT: You said that it's a miracle that you're going to walk again and you are going to walk again.
BURNETT: You did. You did today, right?
AGUILAR: Today, I took some steps with physical trainers and it was pretty good. I felt good to get moving out there.
BURNETT: And the pain obviously, it's over there on that side of your hip.
AGUILAR: Yes, little bit of both. But more on the right side than the left.
BURNETT: That's where the bullet went in.
AGUILAR: Right above my right hip, right above my right hip.
BURNETT: And the doctor got it out.
AGUILAR: Got it out, four pieces. And now I got a couple of screws man in my back and vertebra that was kind of fractured.
BURNETT: So, what happened? Do you remember all of the moment? When it happened?
AGUILAR: Yes. It was, Jason Aldean had just started his set. He was -- fourth song, probably about fourth song, and we started hearing dot, dot, dot, dot. We thought it was fireworks going off.
And it kept going and the next thing you know, just heard people yelling and screaming, get down, get down, get down. And next thing you know, I was grabbing my girlfriend and we were just starting to move.
[19:50:00] And I felt -- it felt like a concussion for me. I was in the military. So, it felt just like a concuss, it's like boom, it hit me, I was like, oh. I just saw my leg kind of twist a little bit and grabbed her. Took her to the ground to where I'm kind of getting a little barrier, and I was like, stay down stay down stay down, and she was starting to freak out. I said just stay down right here, stay hidden.
And from there it just kept going. I mean, we must have heard 300 to 500 rounds going off.
BURNETT: Three to 500 rounds.
AGUILAR: Oh, easily. Yes.
BURNETT: And you're sitting there, I know, you're protecting her?
BURNETT: Did you realize that for you it really was possibly you were going to die?
AGUILAR: Yes, oh, yes.
BURNETT: You knew?
AGUILAR: If we weren't going to be able to get out of there, I mean I felt it. I knew I had it in my side. I was just waiting to see when it was going to end, and just, you could hear the bullets was -- and I just told her stay down, stay down, stay down. And I just kind of had my head turned just thinking the next one's going to hit us again.
BURNETT: And how did you get here?
AGUILAR: Oh, a guy we met there on the field. Troy from Michigan, I never got hi last name but I got his phone number. We've been keeping in contact.
BURNETT: Oh you have.
AGUILAR: Yes, he's an EMT from Michigan. Troy, I owe you everything, buddy.
BURNETT: How did it feel whether you saw your daughter?
AGUILAR: I have a list of here, you see them, they're faces when you're barely coming out of it, and they're both there. They had been crying and, it's like, relax it's good, I'm all right, I'm alive.
BURNETT: And your mom and dad?
AGUILAR: Them too, my mom and dad, both of my brothers were here, my sister, my brother-in-law. So, it was definitely a life changing experience.
BURNETT: And they were there. While I have talking with Robert, his parents and daughter came in to be with him and it was an emotional moment that we wanted to share with you also.
BURNETT: How are you doing now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're doing good. I'm thinking (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's tough, it's tough. You don't want this to happen to nobody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He felt so blessed to be there with his daughter and his parents. At that hospital alone, they took 200 people the night of the shooting, 200 people. Fifty-seven of them are still in that hospital and so many people are still fighting for their lives, 29 of them including Robert in that one hospital are still in critical condition tonight.
Well, President Trump paid tribute to falling Las Vegas police officer today, Charleston Hartfield. Hartfield was off duty during the shooting. He was actually at the Harvest Festival with his wife attending because he loved country music, like so many others.
Here's how President Trump remembered Officer Hartfield.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here at the police department, we remember one of our own who died this week, Charles Hartfield. He was a very, very special person. Officer Hartfield was a proud veteran, a devoted husband, a loving father. His death is a tragic loss for this police force, for the city, and for our great nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Captain Elizabeth Ochoa Ellis. She's with the Nevada Army National Guard. Hartfield also served there. She was Hartfield's supervisor.
I'm so sorry for your loss. He leaves behind his wife, two children, only 34 years old. When you heard that he had died, could you --
CAPTAIN ELIZABETH OCHOA-ELLIS, SUPERVISOR OF OFFICER KILLED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: Surreal. Just -- he not only leaves behind his family but a legacy. He was a devoted husband, father, veteran, police officer, coach, all these things that anything that Sergeant Hartfield touched, I mean, he impacted greatly.
[19:55:06] We are devastated for his loss. Words can't express how much the soldiers of the unit, the Army National Guard, the impact that he had for us, and his reach was phenomenal. I mean, he was apart of the soldier' lives not just doing drill and,
you know, for army things but he really cared about what they were doing. And he wanted to be the example, somebody they could look up to and mentor, and he did. And a lot of these soldiers not only saw him as that but they saw him as a father. His family is so wonderful and loving and, you know, support him through everything.
They just -- I can't express how much we are praying for them and wishing them whatever we can do. I know from the family, how wonderful of a man he was. The kind of impact he gave not only to his family but to anyone he touched. He was just -- he reached many people.
BURNETT: And he -- I think people may not realize, he was of course so young, 34 years old. He had written a memoire about being in public service here in Las Vegas and how important that was for him. Maybe for some of us, that brings home how deep in his soul, he felt that connection to public service --
BURNETT: -- which is something you saw every day.
OCHOA-ELLIS: Every day. Absolutely. His book, his memoire not only gives us insight to not just, you know, his life as a police officer, but also him as a soldier, as a veteran, as a coach. Yes, he was -- I cannot express and say the words of -- type of person that he was. I mean, just a prime example you'd want from a senior leader, a human being. Just -- I mean, he just gave, gave and gave and never asked for anything in return.
BURNETT: And I know that that is a great gift for his children to know that they are his father and to hear that. But they are losing him, they're young. How are they?
OCHOA-ELLIS: You know, from the family they -- you know they, asked for some privacy and just some space for them to mourn their loss and obviously with anybody who's going through the tragedy, just to give them the time to process it. I think for most of us, it's still a surreal feeling.
I know for myself and my soldiers, we got together yesterday and held something for him. And the stories that I heard and the laughter, and just the words that the soldiers had about him, those are the memories that will live on. I don't think for anybody it will really hit home until, you know, we're out there in formation and he's supposed to stand in front of everyone and he won't be there.
But we know that his memory will live on and we're shaken but we're not broken. And, you know, he lives on through his family, his friends, his legacies, just the memories. I think it's a surreal moment for everybody, just for his family. I mean, just to have for same for them to heal and figure out going forward on how do you move on from such a devastation.
BURNETT: Captain Ochoa-Ellis, thank you very much for coming and talking about your friend and your colleague, that so many of us now know and could admire.
BURNETT: Thank you.
OCHOA-ELLIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And at this hour, President Trump is heading back to the White House. Obviously, he was here visiting the site of the worst shooting in American history, meeting with doctors and police officers during the day. He was praising their heroism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Words cannot describe the bravery that the whole world witnessed on Sunday night. Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Alex Marquardt is OUTFRONT.
And, Alex, it was a busy day, it was an emotional day for the president. And yet, as all of this was happening, there was a Trump controversy as I will call one of these, relating to his secretary of state.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The story exploding right as President Trump was on Air Force One on his way here. It started with the report from NBC News that over the summer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a meeting at the Pentagon had called the president a moron, and in the wake of that threatened to resign.
So, this morning, the secretary of state was very quick to come out and go on camera saying he supports fully the president's agenda, he called the president smart. He denied he threatened to resign.
But if you listen closely, he didn't exactly deny calling the president a moron. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Could you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron? And if not, where do you think these reports are --
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean, this is what I don't understand about Washington -- again, I'm not from this place, but the places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense.
TRUMP: I'm very honored by his comment. I have total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: So, the president appearing to forgive Tillerson there. This strained relationship already, clearly, at a new low, but he can't exactly get rid of Tillerson at this point after this wave of departures of firings and resignations particularly after Secretary Tom Price resigned last Friday -- Erin.
BURNETT: Alex Marquardt, thank you very much. And thanks very much to all of you.
"AC360" starts now.