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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Police: Suspect Dead After Shooting At University Of Nevada Las Vegas; FAA: Flight Impacts In Las Vegas Due To "Security Incident"; Police: UNLV Shooting Suspect Dead, Multiple Victims In Hospitals. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired December 06, 2023 - 16:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: We should be clear here. We are told by police or police have announced that the shooter in this case is dead.

So, what she is saying is raising questions. Obviously, police would be there with their own long guns.


KEILAR: So, lots of questions here as we try to figure out what happened.

SANCHEZ: A chaotic moment, no doubt.

Officials are now trying to piece together exactly what happened. Multiple victims reported at the UNLV campus.

We're staying on top of this the way that only CNN can.

We'll be right back in just moments with THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We have this breaking news off the top, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, reports of a shooting, reports of multiple victims. That's according to the Las Vegas police who add that the suspect is dead.

Let's get right to CNN's Stephanie Elam. She's monitoring this from our West Coast newsroom.

Stephanie, what can you tell us?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are getting a lot of information here, Jake, that we are just trying to sort out right now. What we are learning, though is it's noteworthy to say first of all that we do know that the shooter as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has said that the shooter has been contained and is now no longer alive. That part we do know.

However, we do know this started around noon local time, just about an hour ago when we saw the campus impacted by this near Beam Hall. And also, there is some reports around student union as well but those are very close to each other, so not clear yet if those are two separate incidents. We do know that this was study week at UNLV leading up to finals.

So, we know that there were a lot of students who were on campus --

TAPPER: We lost --

ELAM: -- getting alerts, all of them at the same time on their phones. They were closing the curtains to their classrooms. Some of them were moving to one side of the room, locking doors. They said they heard glass shatter. We heard one student say that they heard four shots go off.

But obviously, the campus is telling people to still stay, sheltering in place, telling people to stay in lockdown mode if they need to. There were even some tweets coming out from the campus where they are telling people to run, hide, fight if they needed to in this situation. We're seeing that the perimeter of what they had been locking off around UNLV has expanded some. But still, at this point, it looks like there is no further threat.

But still unclear how many people may be injured, how many people may have lost their lives, Jake, and also noting that the LVMPD also did tweet that there seemed to be multiple people who were impacted by this. So, still waiting to see what that actually means right now but this is still a very new situation that is developing here on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas.

TAPPER: All right. Stephanie Elam, thank you so much. We'll come back to you when we know that you have new news to report.

Let's bring in CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller, and former DHS assistant secretary and CNN's national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.

John, we're still just learning information about what happened. What is your take on what we are hearing so far on the police response? The campus is about a ten-minute drive from the Las Vegas strip.

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, what we are seeing here is, of course, a massive police response. And you also see a very fast response from the university, tweeting out that student-wide, faculty-wide, university-wide system that there was shots fired to shelter in place, to run, hide, fight, as Stephanie said.

What's going on now is Las Vegas Metro Police confirmed a suspect is dead. What we don't know there is that a self inflicted wound by an active shooter who took their own life, or was that in that confrontation with police? Still trying to get those answers.

As far as victims go, we know that one man is in critical condition and has been taken to Sunrise Hospital. We know that other victims are on the scene. Because of the nature of the active shooter incident, what was happening was they were locating victims that were in plain view. They had emergency medical teams from Clark County Fire and Rescue there with force protection by Las Vegas Metro Police and law enforcement to get them into the building.

With that protection around them to look at victims, triage victims, and try to do extraction of victims, which now that we believe that there was only one shooter and that the shooter is down, they can go forward. We also don't have any word on if with the number of fatalities. So, it is still an extraordinarily active scene. But we are getting the signals from Las Vegas metro that the incident is under control, the threat has been neutralized.


And now, really, and we've been here before, Jake, we are in a situation where you've got a lot of locked doors, you have people hiding in rooms, closets, other things. So what they're asking for on the scene is to get key cards so that they can get entry to these rooms or entry tools so that they can break in and make sure that there are no additional victims that need medical treatment.

That's the priority. And they can get to anybody who is locked in, locked down and needs to get out.

TAPPER: So what we know is that the police say an 11:46 a.m. in Las Vegas, there was an incident reported, 4500 block of Maryland Parkway. UNLV wrote on Twitter, now known as X: University police responding to confirmed of the active shooting in BEH, that's a reference to Beam Hall, which is the home of the Lee Business School. This is not a test, run, hide, fight. That's in an all caps -- run, hide, fight.

And then later, the university police responded to additional reports of shots fired at the Student Union. But now we know that the shooter, we believe, has been killed.

Juliette, you were in Las Vegas just last week, what were some of the challenges that law enforcement deals with when it comes to closing off an area where just blocks away you have this major tourist attraction at the Las Vegas Strip?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, I mean, the first is obviously what you said, which is closing off an area like this at a university like this, at a university like this. As John was stating, universities are like many towns, many cities. They have their own protocols for communication. It appears they did this very quickly for the students with the police and the universities both doing alerts.

It's the best that you can do for the communities, just basically tell them what's going on and what they need to do. In this case, run, hide, or fight. In this instance, it looks like there's a lot of hiding in the sense of locking the door, those are the kinds of protocols that happened at colleges and universities all the time.

The second, of course, is it's Las Vegas, high tourism area, high tourism time. I was there a couple weeks ago, they had the Las Vegas Grand Prix. They have the Super Bowl coming up in January and that means that there are a lot of people a familiar with the area who might not have access to communications.

But what that also means is that this is a very professional group of people. I know both the police and emergency management very well. They've learned a lot since October 1st, 2017. That was a terror attack from the MGM Studio, that -- at the Country Music Festival that killed so many. They are very focused on family unification, because that had been a big challenge in 2017.

This is a -- these are younger people, they are adults, they are in college, but they have parents that are still very involved with their lives. There's a lot of communication and family communication going on as well.

So, those are sort of the top line issues that are under consideration until we find out the magnitude of this, and now that the suspect is killed.

TAPPER: I want to play a bit of what we were hearing from students on the UNLV campus. Take a listen here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, we were presenting in a -- in a bar room in Student Union, and I didn't hear much but we got an alert. All text messages at the same time. They shut -- they put the building in lockdown, they shut all the curtains. Everyone was to one side of the room.

After that, there was a lot of waiting, probably 20 minutes. And then we got told to move all to one corner. We heard a lot of yelling, that's where stuff started to get a little more hectic. Not to like everyone would say calm.


TAPPER: John Miller, it's hard not to think about the mass shooting that happened on the Vegas Strip in 2017. At least 58 people killed, more than 500 injured by the lone gunman, still a lot of mysteries about that shooting. It remains one of the deadliest in American history.

Given that experience, how does that play into what might have happened today at UNLV in any way?

MILLER: Well, it plays in a lot, Jake. You know, this is Las Vegas. It has always been a symbolic target in terms of terrorism. It has always been a magnet for attention. And because of that, Las Vegas Metro Police, under successive sheriffs, the current sheriff, Kevin McMahill, and Dori Koren, he's head of counterterrorism, they've been very focused on active shooter, active shooter response, active shooter training, active shooter protocols.

And after the Las Vegas sniper shooting, which was an event like none of us had ever seen before, they really looked at the lessons learned from that.


They honed their response capabilities, their communications, their active shooter plans. So, going into this today, there are few places, not that any places ever really prepared for this, but there are few places better prepared than Las Vegas with not just their rescue task force approach to bringing in the medics even when the situation is ongoing, by giving them armed force protection from police, by setting up that immediate command post, at this case, at the student union, where they were able to fairly quickly evacuated over 300 students in an organized way. They put a lot of work into this.

But what do they say, Jake? You know, plans are essential in war and useless in battle. No matter how much practice and protocol and training and drills, physical drills with real role players, you go through, when the bullets are flying and people are screaming and 911 and the units are arriving, keeping these things organized and focused and the information sharp is a real challenge.

And, obviously, we see some of that today. But it's a massive response from people who have unfortunately had a lot of practice.

TAPPER: Juliette, thoughts?

KAYYEM: I completely concur with John. This is a well-trained, very professional both city, university, and county efforts. And so, the main focus now, of course, is how many are dead and how many are injured. Those matters number to everyone in terms of what kind of incidents it was.

And then second, what's the motive? John and I were supposed to be on your show for another reason, which is the increased threat environment related to a lot of issues right now in the United States. And so, now that they know who it is, they're going to -- and he's dead, and confirmed dead, they are going to now look to motive.

Was he a student that had some vengeance against the person or a professor? Which we sometimes see. Or was it a larger motive out there? And that's going to be a big question in the next 24 hours.

TAPPER: Juliette Kayyem, and John Miller, thanks to both of you.

I want to bring in CNN's Pete Muntean.

Pete, it would appear that the incident at UNLV is impacting flights in and out of Las Vegas right now.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Here is the latest from the FAA, Jake. That there was a ground stop just put in place for flights bound to Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. To put this in context, we were talking about an airport defense line which is only a few thousand feet away from the UNLV campus. This is a really large and swath -- live swath of ground stop here that impacts flights pretty much everywhere on the western U.S. We are talking about 1,200 flights so far delayed according to the

FAA. They could be delayed an hour. They could be delayed even longer. The FAA says this is specifically for security incidents and that there is a chance that this could get extended.

But this is impacting flights not only from places like San Francisco and Oakland, but all the way to Denver. A really big airport that is right there on the strip and a big hot spot for travelers. We know that this will have an impact and oftentimes when these do go in place, there is a ripple effect on travel elsewhere.

But the latest news from the FAA, they've put in place a ground stop because of the security incident for flights going into Las Vegas. They could extend this even longer, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Pete Muntean, thanks so much.

We are standing by for a news conference from police in Las Vegas any moment now. We see them starting to set up the microphones. We're going to squeeze in a quick break. We'll be back in a moment.



TAPPER: We're back with the breaking news.

This scene just moments ago, military style tanks rolling near the University of Las Vegas -- I'm not sure if it's a tank, a military style vehicle of some sort. Police say the shooter, or the suspect at least is dead. We're standing by for a news conference with police.

Let's go back to CNN's Stephanie Elam who's in our West Coast newsroom.

Stephanie, what's the latest?

ELAM: Yeah. I think one thing that's really worth noting out is that the tweet from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department actually said, quote, the suspect has been located and is deceased. So, again, not clear if the suspect killed themselves or if they were killed in shooting. But very interesting warning right there to give us more context of what may have happened.

We are hoping to learn more about this when they do this press conference closer to as we approach 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time and get more information.

But when we listen to what the students say they encountered, we know this was study weak. This was a time for students to prepare for finals before they could go away for the winter break. They were on campus. A lot of them were studying. Some of them trying to figure out what to do, and really going to protect themselves the best way they could. They became very aware very quickly, we heard, that this was a serious situation. They are saying some of them closed curtains to classrooms, moved away

to the other side of the room, locking doors, many said that they heard glass shattering. Some hearing shots fired as well.

So, all of this happening on campus and it's still unclear whether or not this was just happening in Beam Hall, which is where the Lee Business School is. It has computer labs, laboratories, classrooms, obviously. And whether or not there was also another shooting incident very close by in the Student Union. So, we are hoping to get clarity on that as we get more information here.

As far as the school is concerned, they are still telling people to shelter in place. While this was unfolding, we were looking at the tweets coming out from UNLV telling people this was not a drill, this was real, telling people to run, hide, fight, writing that in all capital letters to make sure students understood. Students saying they got text messages all at the same time from the campus telling them what to do.

And the mayor coming out and saying that this is tragic and heartbreaking. But, obviously, we're still have a lot of questions that we're hoping we get answers to when we hear from LVMPD, as we near the bottom of the hour, Jake.


TAPPER: Let's bring back -- thank you, Stephanie.

Let's bring back John Miller and Juliette Kayyem to talk about what is going on.

We expect to hear from police soon, John. What kind of details are we expecting to hear this quickly after the shooter, or at least the suspected shooter has been stopped?

MILLER: So, Jake, what we are going to expect here is the basics. Which is this is what we know, this is what we don't know, this is what we're doing to find out. I think you will probably take the shape of here is where the incident started, this is how we responded, this is where we encounter the gunman.

It appears, and all of this is subject to change because you understand, having done way too many of these, the fluidity and preliminary nature of this information. But it appears that the suspect was encountered by police. I don't know if that is the Las Vegas University Police, the University of Las Vegas has its own police department. But that was the responding Clark County Police. That is how the suspect came to be deceased.

We have heard numerous reports of a possible second suspect. Now, let me go full stop here. That is almost 100 percent common in these incidents. And most often, there is no suspect, no additional suspect other than the original shooter.

But the way that occurs is people see plainclothes police arriving or running away from more towards where they are supposed to deploy, not in uniform with a weapon out, and those calls turn into possible second shooter. We will have to sort through whether this gunman was alone, which is the indicator we are getting from the police tweet. But they have -- they have to go through these reports and look for those people.

So that's where we are right now. The number of casualties is still uncertain. Obviously the shooter is the -- at least one dead. There may be an additional. And what I'm given to understand, there is a handful of people either shot or injured, perhaps half a dozen.

But that is all still developing as they continue to use entry tools and key cards, where they have them, to get in those rooms to see if anyone else was injured or worse, is hiding somewhere that hasn't been located yet.

TAPPER: That's a good point. Almost every single shooting I've covered, there is always a report of a second gunman, a third gunman. I can only think of one time where there was more than one gunman ever. It's almost always just one solo gunman.

Juliette, would police be in a position at this time to talk about the number of victims?

KAYYEM: Yes. For a variety of reasons, they are going to have this press conference, obviously, to tell us what they know. But they would not be having this press conference if they were still counting bodies. So, that's -- I hate to sound so crude about, it what we just basically know how these work. There is no way they will go out there and not at least have some semblance of what the numbers are.

Look, this is a -- this is a 330-acre area with 30,000 students. So, this is a big area. They have communication systems that will tell them what areas were secure and not secure, and also where the gunman may have been by the stage and where he may have traversed to. So, we will hopefully hear about what the numbers are, how many were shot, what the injuries are.

Here is something that comes up in these active shooter cases. This happened with Michigan State University just earlier this year. We have these active shooter cases, someone dies, maybe two, lots of people injured and they are not considered mass shootings because in our definition, we only count the dead. And I think that's just -- I mean, I honestly think that's just ridiculous.

A lot of people were shot at, that is a mass shooting. But in the way we define it by the FBI standards, and most journalism standards, it is four dead not including the assailant. So, we'll find out what they are calling this as well, hopefully, in the next couple of minutes.

TAPPER: It is possible that if we lived in a less violent country, we would adhere to your definition, Juliette, but because we have so many shootings to adhere to your definition for a mass shooting is just the number of people shot as opposed to the number of people killed, then the numbers of mass shootings would be through the roof. I mean, I'm sure in other countries --

KAYYEM: Right.

TAPPER: -- where they don't have mass shootings the way we have them in the United States, they probably do define them the way you think they should be defined.


KAYYEM: Yeah. That's exactly right. I mean, it's -- I don't know what we're hiding from, but for example, there is a big debate on the literature. It sounds silly but it's not because how are we going to get an inventory of what is actually happening in this country if we define mass shootings as just the person got lucky and wasn't killed? But they were shot at.

And so, this is the challenge right now is if we actually want an accounting of what is actually happening in this country, it would take into account that a lot of these lone gunman, we don't know what kind of gun it was. We don't know what his motivation is. I'm not even pretending that I do at this stage, but that these incidents at these public facilities, lots more people are shot than are killed and in some of these incidences we should consider those mass shootings.

We'll find out what is happening on the ground but it's, you know, it's worth raising in this instance because the last major -- or one of the last major university college shootings in Michigan, Michigan state, you know, the guy happened to not kill as many people as he really, really hurt and that is therefore sometimes not considered a mass shooting.

TAPPER: We are now getting even more sound from some of the people who were on the UNLV campus when this shooting occurred.

A reminder, the suspected shooter has been killed. We don't know if it was by police or by his or her own hand. There are multiple victims. We do not know their status as of now. We don't know if they are wounded or if they were killed as well.

Let us listen to the sound of people on campus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cops lined up, going in. Some in threes, some in multiple pairs. Moving towards the Student Union because we were told the shooter was right in the student union area section. That is literally one building over from us.

So, we were really nervous. We barricaded all up and I started watching that windows with a couple other kids to see what we can see. We saw students running out in single file lines with their hands up, scared. We saw officers going in little groups. So, that's about all I saw.


TAPPER: John Miller, your reaction? MILLER: I think as you indicated before, we have done this drill too

many times. The fact that -- the fact that this is familiar to us is a problem. And, you know, as "The Washington Post" reported by its count, you know, we -- this -- in the last few days, broke the record for mass shootings in the United States.

I think we have passed 37 for the period that we're looking at, into 38. This might be 39 today, depending on the numbers. I think they defined a mass shooting as a shooting incident where four or more people are shot.

So that's a -- that's a problem. There is also the question of, as Juliette was talking about, what about the motive here? Is this a student? Is this somebody from off campus? Is this related to events going on overseas, as the FBI director was concerned about yesterday.

And I say that in the context of this is, Las Vegas Metro last Friday, just a few days ago, arrested a 16-year-old suspect who was gathering bomb components and posting on an online message board about following ISIS propaganda and launching an attack in Las Vegas that would lead the Zionist know, you know, that I'm here.

So we still have nothing on motive here, but we have a police department that has been really heightened security footing because it's Las Vegas. And now, for the second time, in a number of years, they found themselves in the middle of another mass shooting.

TAPPER: Juliette?

KAYYEM: Yeah. I mean, you cannot underestimate the extent to which the terror attack in 2017 that killed over 50 people at the concert has changed the way both Las Vegas, public safety, and police, both train, think about the community, think about community response, think about communications to the community based on lessons learned. And also how it really did help to professionalize and make, you know, make an already pretty good group of public safety entities very, very sophisticated in gun response training.

As you -- everyone will remember, you know, that there were delays in response. There was not good interaction between the hotel and public safety. People on the streets didn't know what was going on. There was very little communications.


It was a -- it was a very unique and disturbing shooting from above -- above ground, shooting below from a hotel room. And so, there's been a lot of changes over the last couple of years, and then, certainly, as Las Vegas hosts major events. Once again, it has the super bowl relatively soon, it continues to do that.

But I'm glad to hear that they are having a press conference soon. We've seen public safety begin to delay this, which I never -- not that I need to know something that they don't know, it is just simply a way also to reassure the community, reassure students, and also reassure parents, as I keep saying, 30,000 students who are probably between the ages of 18 and 22, anyone with kids this age, they're not -- you don't consider them adults, right?

There are lots of family members and others who are waiting to hear what happens if they hadn't heard from their children.

TAPPER: Yeah, and just to reiterate the numbers that John was just talking about over the weekend. Shootings in Texas and Washington were the 37th mass shootings in the 38 mass shootings in the United States, according to "The Washington Post," defining that as four or more victims killed in incidents, breaking last year's record of 36 mass shootings.

According to the Gun Violence Archive's, which provides just strictly evidence based research, the total number of gun violence deaths, according to all causes in 2023, has been 40,059, that includes 275 children ages up to 11 and 1,303 ages 12 to 17.

I want to bring in Brett Forrest. He is a reporter at the local Las Vegas station KSNV. He's also a student at UNLV.

Brett, tell us what you've experienced. Tell us what you know about the incident.

BRETT FORREST, KSNV REPORTER (via telephone): Hey, Jake. So I'm not a student, but I was here interviewing students.

TAPPER: Oh, I'm sorry. Okay, my apologies.

FORREST: It's all right. Yeah, I was here on assignment interviewing a student about the project right when we were getting a walk out of the door, people came kind of running, flooding into the building we're at, saying that they had heard there was a shooter and we had to shelter in place. We are still sheltered in place. I feel confident speaking to you right now, we feel like we are safe where we are.

But we are on campus and we are with several dozen students, staff, and faculty just kind of waiting here until we get the all clear that we can exit the building we're in.

TAPPER: I think we lost him there. Are we getting him back?

FORREST: I can hear you.

TAPPER: Okay, go ahead. I'm sorry. Please continue.

FORREST: Yes, so we are just here continuing to shelter in place until we hear otherwise. We, like you guys, are just waiting to get this police presser just to hear any updates. But, for now, we've been in this room we are sheltered and for several hours where we barricaded the doors, people are trying to stay away from the windows as much as we can.

TAPPER: What are you hearing from students? I want to steal your reporting, but tell us what they are telling you?

FORREST: Well, like any situation like this, we know just any kind of rumor or words spread like wildfire. All the students I'm with are getting information from their friends, social media, Discord, just saying they keep saying there is multiple shooters or how many people may have been shot or killed.

TAPPER: I need to break. And I'm so sorry, Brett. I think the press conference is starting. So, let us go to that, if it is in fact starting.

ADAM GARCIA, DIRECTOR OF UNLV POLICE SERVICES: -- director of University Police Services in Southern Command. Adam, A-D-A-M, Garcia, G-A-R-C-I-A.

I wanted to give you just a very short briefing on where we are at this point. Before I want to do that, I want to introduce Sheriff McMahill, who you see to my left, and the fire chief, Chief Steinbeck.

So, we received a call of an active shooter event at 11:45 this morning. Officers immediately responded, engaged the suspect. The suspect at this point is deceased. We do not have information on any potential victims at this point.

What I can tell you is that the entire Nevada system of higher education in southern Nevada, campuses are all closed out of an abundance of caution. There is no threat to any other campus. But we are doing this out of abundance of caution.


With that, I will turn over to the sheriff.

SHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: I'm Kevin McMahill. I'm the sheriff of the Las Vegas -- and I wanted to say to the community, there is no further threat. I will tell you that this combined police, state, local and federal law enforcement, along with the fire department worked very well, as the chief told you. We do have one suspect down.

Of course, we have no idea on the motive. There are a number of victims that have been transported to area hospitals. So, I don't want to give you false information and tell you how many victims we have. We'll be providing that update very, very shortly.

I want to ensure the community there is no further threats. We are continuing the investigation here. This is still a very active and dynamic scene. So, if you can avoid the area, we would appreciate it. We will be providing additional updates in the very near future. Thank you.

REPORTER: There are victims?

MCMAHILL: Yeah, there are victims.

JOHN STEINBECK, FIRE CHIEF: Yes, on behalf of the entire first responder community, of course, our hearts go out to the families that are affected by this. Our update right now is that we do have a reunification center that has opened up at the convention center. That's at the North Hall. It will take time to transport students over to that area.

But if you can't get a hold of your loved ones right now, your kids, or somebody that you are concerned with, that now would be the place to go and try to go ahead and do that reunification. We will have people there to assist you.

We also have a phone number. It is being staffed. It is 702455-AIDE. And there will be a website opening up. It is, okay?

And so, that is our current information that we have for victims services and that will change also as -- or be updated as necessary but we will have those resources there. Understand when you call that number or you check the website, the information right now will still be limited and there won't be any specific information as far as individuals that have been injured or deceased.

REPORTER: Sheriff, what's happening on campus now? I see people leaving.

MCMAHILL: So, as you can imagine, the campus is a very large area to cover. Much like we had in the aftermath of 1 October, there was a lot of additional calls coming in that students hunkered down, they are afraid, they are scared. Our officers are going unit by unit, building by building with the university police and the rest of the police officers, firefighters, EMS, and making sure that we don't have any additional victims and/or subjects.

So, we'll be back with you in the very near future to provide an update. Thank you.

REPORTER: Any info on the suspect?

STEINBECK: I have an update as well, I'm sorry, on that website. It's going to be I believe I said dot-com. That is -- that is dot-org.

REPORTER: Thank you, sir.

All right. So we just got the latest --

TAPPER: All right. So, that is the latest information from officials there in Las Vegas, including the sheriff saying that there is no further threat and that there were a number of victims who were taken to area hospitals, although he did not go into detail about their condition, about whether they were alive or whether they -- their condition at all.

They did confirm -- the sheriff and others -- that the suspect has been killed. They are also working on a reunification center for students and others on campus.

I want to bring back CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller and former DHS assistant secretary and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.

John, your biggest takeaway?

MILLER: Well, I mean, we were talking before about, you know, we expected that press conference to be barebones, which is usually here's what we know, here's what we don't know, and here's what we're doing to find out.

We got all that, maybe a little bit less in that what we do know is there was a shooting, we knew that. What we do know is the suspect is down and I think from Kevin's statement, Kevin McMahill, the sheriff, that there's no further threat. That tells us a third thing, which is the shooter is down and they do not believe there is a second shooter as we so often see in those reports in the -- in the fog of war as Davis called it after these things.

So now it is a question of counting up the number of victims. Beyond the gunman how many of them might be deceased, how many were removed to hospitals and in what condition and what their condition will be.

And I think the last piece is they are continuing to go through those rooms to find out if there is any other victim who is either unable to move, unable to communicate, or still hiding.


That's a process of clearing two buildings. The Student Union building and the business center where this may have started.

Those are fairly significant spaces to go through if you have to open every door, every room, every closet. So, that will take some time but he did say they would be back.

Let me just say this. Kevin McMahill is the sheriff when they had the Las Vegas sniper incident with over 500 people hurt and multiple calls (ph) -- he was the under sheriff and he was in charge of that operation from a tactical standpoint. I was with him in the early summer around June out in Las Vegas when we had a leadership and counterterrorism conference when we bring together all of the top counterterrorism people from around the world.

And, you know, the presentations that went on at the conference that Kevin hosted were all about what to do in a major incident, how to handle it, what the threat picture was, what was coming and so on. He's a guy who is very much attuned to the global picture, to the big picture, and very experienced in crisis management.

TAPPER: And, Juliette, we didn't get really any information about the victims, other than the fact that they are on their way to the hospital. Is that -- I mean, why is that?

KAYYEM: So, one -- one would be notifications to the family members. I was surprised we didn't get numbers. They clearly think this is over. They know what the count is.

I think it's better for, you know, even if they are not -- even if it's a floor, to give a number of how many people have been transported. If it's a low number of people, we feel calmer. If it's a high number, we know what kind of incident we are facing.

The family unification center is one of these lessons learned after the terror attack in Las Vegas. It's at the convention center. It sort of pops up, they sort of know how to do this at this stage. And they are trying to get students with family members if they haven't been able to connect particular parents that can't get their kids on the phone or find out whether their kids are okay.

So they know how to run this. They have separate -- what's called assistant facilities, it's a euphemism for, you know, a place in which family members who may have children or friends who've been shot or are taken separately, then there is a unification center. So, we didn't hear much about that so that might give us a hint about what the numbers might be.

But some number of people have been shot. We just don't know how bad and -- nor do we know anything more about the background, the age, the gender of the shooter. So, hopefully, we'll hear more. Those are all known -- those are all known facts right now. And I'm -- as you know I've been a big proponent of getting that stuff out there quickly.

So you can calm communities that are rightfully concerned. Nevada is an open carry state. And it is familiar with guns in the sense that this is -- we should not be surprised that this is a community where lots of people have guns and so this is a community that also you don't want them taking stuff into their own hands.

You want to calm people and public safety needs to be able to do that even if they don't know every single detail.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, Juliette and John.

We're going to continue to monitor this story as we learn more from Las Vegas, we will bring you that news. We are going to squeeze in a quick break. We'll be right back.



TAPPER: And we're back with the breaking news.

This scene just moments ago, military style vehicles rolling near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after a shooting. Police say that the suspect is dead. They say that multiple victims have been taken to the hospital.

Let's go back to CNN's Stephanie Elam in our West Coast newsroom.

Stephanie, what is the latest?

ELAM: Right. So, what we have learned is that the place engaged the suspect, that was a new detail that we learned from that quick press conference that we heard, Jake, and that the suspect was put down. They're saying that there are no other threats throughout the campus but what they are doing now is the police are going floor by floor, building by building to make sure they haven't missed anything, to clear it out, to also let any of the students, faculty, staff that might be in those buildings, letting them know that they are okay.

They have also set up a reunification center at the convention center. And they say it's going to take some time to remove all the people from campus and to meet those -- have those people meet their loved ones over at the convention center. They're saying they are working there.

But obviously, it's way too early to know if there is a motive at all at this point. They're also saying that they have a number of people who have been moved to hospitals, they didn't want to go into that. Still not clear if there is any deceased, according to officials on the ground there, they still didn't say that.

But still, what we have heard from some of these students indicates that there may be shootings into places that are very close together, that still has not been made clear. Whether it was just there at the Beam Hall or also at the Student Union, which we know are very close to each other on campus. So, that is one thing that stands out there.

We do know that some of the hospitals have gotten patients but we know one hospital that has not in the area. So, still looking for more clarity on that.


But it is worth noting that the UNLV campus is closed for the rest of the day, as well as all of the institutions of higher education throughout the state of Nevada, for obvious reasons here.

The mayor calling it tragic and heartbreaking and the governor of Nevada, Governor Lombardo, saying that his office is in constant communications with LVMPD as well as UNLV on as well, to make sure they have the resources that they need and they can get to the bottom of this. But obviously right, now it's still just very early.

Keep in mind that this all started at about 11:45 a.m. local time. So, it is still really very early on in this investigation -- Jake.

TAPPER: That's right. And for those just joining us at 11:45 a.m. Las Vegas time, authorities first received a call of an active shooter at the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. And according to a spokesman for the university, quote, officers immediately responded and engaged the suspect. The suspect at this point is deceased. They say they do not have any information about potential victims.

We are told that a number of victims from the shooting have been taken to area hospitals, but we have not been told how their condition is or the number of victims.

Let's bring back Brett Forest, a reporter at the local Las Vegas station, KSNV, who joins me on the phone.

So, Brett, I understand you're still on campus, tell us what's happening where you are, what you're seeing. FORREST: Yeah, Jake. So, we toned in to the press conference here. We

heard that there is no threat but we are still sheltering in place. We are in one of the buildings on campus. We've been here for several hours now.

You know, I was here for an assignment interviewing students here at UNLV, just about the work they're on, and that was when they started running in around 11:45 saying a shooter, and we have been sheltering in place inside since then. We are told that they're coming building by building, slowly letting out each building, making sure there are no additional victims or anyone else inside. So, they might take a while to get to us, so we are all inside here, just prepared to wait another hour or two.

But we do feel safe in here, thankfully. The students -- I'm with dozens of students and faculty and staff, they have been checking their phones, messaging loved ones, getting whatever news they could from the Internet. But for now, we do feel safe where we are at least and we're going to have to stay here for the time being until we get the all clear.

TAPPER: The shooting happened about a stone's throw away from the mass shooting from 2017 on the Vegas Strip, where at least 58 people were killed, more than 500 wounded by a lone gunman. That has to evoke some horrible echoes.

FORREST: Absolutely. A student here just said to me, you never think it's going to happen until it comes to you. That is how a lot of them here feel, a lot of students at UNLV are from Las Vegas. They are homegrown. They know exactly what the community went through in 2017.

And so, it is -- it is a scary and unfortunate situation, I'm sure a lot of them are worried, maybe their classmates or friends amongst the possible victims. It's just hard to say there are so many rumors swirling right now and the students are getting whatever update they can. But, yeah, it truly is just a stone's throw away, as you said, it's just unfortunate our community has to go through this again.

TAPPER: Yeah, no, it's horrible.

Brett Forrest, thank you so much.

And we are continuing to follow this breaking news, a shooting on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We'll bring you all the latest after this quick break.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we start this hour with breaking news. Police say that multiple victims have been taken to area hospitals after a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Officials say that the suspect is dead and there is no longer a threat to the community.

Let's get straight to CNN's Stephanie Elam in our West Coast bureau.

Stephanie, tell us what is the latest news from this latest shooting.

ELAM: Yeah, Jake, we just got a new update coming in from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. I want to read it to you. It says: urgent from Sheriff Kevin McMahill. Quote, no more threat to the community. The suspect is deceased.

And right now, we know there are three victims but unknown extent of those injuries. The number could change, they're going to continue to update with more on this. So, we're getting a bit of a number here, which we didn't get when we just had that quick press conference. There is still trying to put all of this information here.

And just to reset what exactly happened, we know that it was just before noon time in Las Vegas that there were calls for an active shooter on the campus of UNLV, that it was happening near Beam Hall or in that building. We know from some students that were there that they were sheltering in place, that they got a message that went out unified throughout the Rebel community that let them know they needed to either run, hide or fight and shelter in place.

Students were hearing glass shattering, some heard shots fired. They are hunkering down in classrooms, closing blinds, just trying to hide. All of that is what they are doing well, at the same time, we know that LVMPD was making their way in.

According to the press conference, what we know now is the police engaged the suspect at the suspect is now deceased.

We also know that they do not have a motive at this time. They said the number of victims have been transferred to area hospitals.