Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: October 2, 2017 Guest: Joe Fryer, Buzz Brainard
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: My colleague Lawrence O`Donnell picks -- we`re also posting all this information online at maddowblog.com.
But our coverage is going to continue not just through the evening, but through the overnight as well. My colleague Lawrence O`Donnell picks up our coverage now, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: I appreciate it, it`s another tough day, sorry to see you here --
MADDOW: Yes --
O`DONNELL: But there was Senator Chris Murphy who emerged on this issue after Connecticut was hit so badly at Sandy Hook and surely more will emerge from Nevada --
MADDOW: Yes --
O`DONNELL: Because of this same situation. We are going to go -- thanks Rachel, I`m going to have to come back and talk a little later.
We`re waiting for the news conference to begin here live in Las Vegas. We expect an update on the shooting, it is starting now, let`s go to the press conference.
TODD FASULO, ASSISTANT SHERIFF LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: Search warrant at the home of Stephen Craig Paddock in Mesquite, Nevada, detectives are combing to evidence to uncover the motive behind the shooting and any other pertinent information that will help shed light on this horrible event.
We have recovered 23 firearms at Mandalay Bay and 19 firearms at his home in Mesquite. I want to emphasize we believe Paddock is solely responsible for this heinous act.
We are aware of the rumors outside of the media and also on social media that there was more than one assailant. We have no information or evidence to support that theory or that rumor.
We believe there was only one shooter and that was Stephen Paddock. We are doing a thorough investigation and only want to provide what is accurate to you.
We will only give information that we have vetted and know to be true. I will not be speaking or answering questions on the issues that we do not have the facts yet.
The latest estimate on the number of injured still stands at 527 which the sheriff put out earlier this afternoon.
We have 59 that are deceased. Our homicide detectives are working around the clock to process the scene as soon as they possibly can.
We understand that there are personal belongings that people need to retrieve from all of the locations, once we come close to clearing that scene, we will provide more information for how people can get their belongings and we are coordinating that with the local hotels and with the venue so that people can get their belongings back.
The family resource center will play a role in that task. We want people to know that the center is up and running.
At the Las Vegas Convention Center and we are asking families and friends who live in Las Vegas to physically go to that center which is located at the Convention Center.
The hotline number has changed due to some technical difficulties. That new number is 1-800-536-9488. Again, that is 1-800-536-9488.
The number that we gave out previously is no longer in use. However, if you are a local person from Las Vegas and are looking for a loved one, please go down to the Family Resource Center in person.
That is the best way to get assistance. I also want to comment on some steps that MGM Resorts has taken.
They`re coordinating rooms at no cost at the Bellagio for families that are coming in to town. They`re also coordinating travel through Southwest Airlines.
They`re coordinating crisis counselors for people that worked as vendors, employees and guests. And American Red Cross has been given space over at Circus Circus to establish a headquarters for the local community until they get some national assets in.
We have had an overwhelming turnout of people standing in line to donate blood at the United Blood Services and at UMC, but they cannot take any more people right now.
We are asking that you not go down there until at least tomorrow afternoon if not the next day. They have enough supply to last them for the foreseeable future.
People are also donating food in large amounts while the gesture is appreciated, Metro does not have the ability to coordinate delivery or distribution and we`re asking that if you are going to donate food, do so with either bottled water or sealed food to the Red Cross at 1771 east Flamingo.
There have been remarkable amount of support from our community, we have been asked by concerned individuals from near and far asking how they can help.
At this time, the Go Fund Me page set up for the victims by Commissioner Sisolak and Sheriff Lombardo is the best mechanism to show you support to the victims.
We do not anticipate having any further updates tonight, when we have further updates tomorrow, we will send out a press release notifying you that we will be giving more information.
These past 20 hours have been trying and we know we have a long way to go, I`m proud of the courage and resiliency displayed by all our first responders on this event.
I also want to appeal to you and the public and the media, we know of no known threats in our Las Vegas area.
If we did know of anything that could harm the safety and security of our citizens, we would tell you that and our department would act upon that.
Please allow our department the ability to do what they do the best; investigate crime and keep you safe.
With that, I will turn it over to Commissioner Sisolak who has a few words.
STEVE SISOLAK, CHAIRMAN, CLARK COUNTY COMMISSION: I just have a very few words I`d like to say. Again, it`s just -- had several of these today and it`s been a long day for a lot of us.
But I just left Mr. Jim(ph) and I want to have a special thank you to two groups that we had our first responders, obviously, our medical personnel responded, but for the fact of the great work done by the men and women of Metro and the security at Mandalay Bay, we would have lost hundreds if not thousands more lives.
I mean, they were able to triangulate and locate their room and get people in there and saved countless lives.
And for that we will be eternally grateful for the work that you did and in conjunction with MGM. We did set up with the sheriff to Go Fund Me campaign and I appreciate Todd saying something.
As when I walked in here, we received an excess of 30,000 donations exceeding $2.2 million. When we started it, we set the goal at $500,000, we got to $100,000 and one individual called and said I will get you to your goal.
And he donated $400,000. That individual was anonymous until now, he has said that we could release his name, it was Stephen Cloobeck donated $400,000 to support this community.
We ask you all to support our community. And again, I`d like to ask you next time you see one of our first responders, whether it`d be Metro or it be fire or what have you, tell them thank you because we owe them an eternal debt of gratitude for what they did.
And I`ve got some -- Congressman Titus and I know they have a few words to say, Senator, go on.
REP. DINA TITUS (D), NEVEDA: Well, thank you very much. This horrendous act of evil happened right in the heart of District 1 which I am honored to represent.
The whole day is revolved around that act. There`s been police briefings and talking with the FBI, visiting hospitals, all of the things that kind of are associated with an act of war.
But we also heard stories of individual heroism, people helping others through the gate, over the fence, shielding their bodies, standing in line for blood.
Those are the kind of stories that we need to focus on. And it was so appropriate that we`ve ended the day with (INAUDIBLE) church service on the strip where we gathered to grieve for the fallen, to thank our wonderful first responders who have done so much in coordination with each other.
And just to hold hands with family and friends, to cry and to recommit ourselves to do all that we can so that this never happens again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure. It has been a long day as you can imagine for everybody here, and like my colleagues and everyone here in Southern Nevada, I have to thank the first responders, our law enforcement, the medical community here, our EMTs, everybody who ran into the face of danger to save lives.
Many lives that families now are concerned about, those who have been injured, families now who are dealing with loss of loved ones.
I, too, had a niece there last night at the event, she was one of the lucky ones who made it home. But there are many who are still injured and who did not.
And now, it is time for all of our community to come together to bring comfort and relief to these families.
I know for all of us, this week is going to be about those families, those who have been injured and how we can do everything in this community continue to support them.
As well as supporting the ongoing investigation that needs to take place, independent, let them do their job, there will be plenty of time to second- guess, there`ll be plenty of time to play politics.
But right now is the time to come together as a community and support and comfort one another.
GOV. MARK HUTCHISON (R), NEVADA: Good evening, I`m Mark Hutchison; lieutenant governor of the state of Nevada.
And on behalf of the state of Nevada, I want to thank everyone who has already been thanked repeatedly today and we`re going to continue to thank them over and over again.
Everyone who ran towards the bullets when everybody else was running away from the bullets, those who met the victims at the hospital.
I spent most of my day at the hospitals and in an effort I just came from sunrise. Sunrise took care of 214 of the victims and performed over 90 emergency surgeries, just extraordinary efforts on behalf of our medical community.
They handled this tragedy with competence and character, and we`re very proud of them as Nevadans. I told you last time that UMC and Spring Valley both performed admirably.
I spent some time there as well. If you arrived at any of those facilities alive, you continue to be alive, I confirmed that again this afternoon.
It`s just the best of the Nevada spirit, the best of our community. Las Vegas has been my home, born and raised here, raised six children here.
And what we`ve seen today at the close of this day is the best and in the highest traditions of Las Vegans and Nevadans and Americans.
You`ve heard story after story when you meet with these families about their guardian angels who were at that tragic site.
Who carried them out of harm`s way or found vehicles and took them to the hospital and it`s just inspiring in a day that has been depressing and dark.
It`s inspiring to see what Americans do for each other. And so, to all of those who have helped today, I say God bless you and we`ll get through this together with our faith in God and the American and Nevadan spirit that we have. Thank you.
FASULO: I`ll take a small number of questions and then we`ll end it for tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. assistant sheriff, you mentioned 23 guns, are they all rifles? And how do we explain the difference from submarine?
FASULO: Well, Ken, like the sheriff explained earlier today, and as I explained moments ago, our information is the investigation continues can change.
We put out the information that we have at that moment in time, and sometimes those numbers will change, but there are 23 firearms at Mandalay Bay and 19 out of his house.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s in the investigation, is it a homicide investigation or are detectives involved? Is this case putting a strain on your man-power?
FASULO: So I can tell you that it`s a homicide investigation, and homicide is investigating that specific aspect of the crime.
We have every resource available on our agency working. And I can assure you that the sheriff has made a point that we have resources both in the neighborhoods and around the community as well as Las Vegas Strip and downtown that has not diminished, it actually has increased.
Hold on, one at a time with this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: Pardon me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) the victims.
FASULO: I have not personally gone through the entire list of victims, so I can`t answer that question for you right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long --
FASULO: Hold on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majority of the people in the world are not trained like yourself to know what to do when gun fire, you know, happens.
If last night, Jason Aldean had managed to say to the crowd, take cover before he run off stage and took cover, do you think it`s going to save lives?
FASULO: I don`t know, I wasn`t there. I don`t know what Jason Aldean was thinking when he was on the stage.
I do know that a common thing is when people hear gun fire, they run for cover, right? That`s a natural human instinct.
I don`t know what he said before he left the stage, but the investigation will bring that out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he did --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long did Paddock shoot for? Was it continuous or did he stop? And I mean, how long do you think the shooting actually lasted? How long was the shooting at the crowd?
FASULO: We are still putting that time line together --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give us a time line about movements? When did he shoot the security guard and did he continue shooting out of the window after he shot the security guard?
FASULO: I know that he shot the one security guard up on the 32nd floor. But I don`t know if he continued to shoot after that or not.
Hold on, hold on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Details on his movements in 24, 48, 72 hours before the shooting?
FASULO: That`s --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detail on what he did, where he went?
FASULO: That`s what our detectives are in, our partners are working on right now. It will be sometime before we are able to give you that, and a chronological order and with an amount of confidence that it`s accurate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you made any progress at all on his motives? There`s word what he was sending money to the Philippines.
FASULO: So like I said earlier, we`re hunting down and tracing down every single clue that we can get in his background.
Until we confirm all of those things that are floating around out in the media and in social media, I can`t comment on that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two questions. Any timetable for when you are going to get those hard drives open up and looking into them that you find at Mesquite?
Second question, did he specifically request that hotel room?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to answer that?
FASULO: No, we don`t have a specific time line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: I don`t know that yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he have a computer in the room?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did receive -- we did see several pieces of media including a computer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you examined it? Does it give you anything about motive?
FASULO: It`s ongoing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Especially (INAUDIBLE), one other question. After the raid in Reno, can you tell us anything about what was taken there?
Is any weapons, explosives, computers or clues that give us something about motive?
FASULO: Nothing that I can speak of and that scene is still being resolved as we speak.
Let me -- let me emphasize something to you that might help. I know that you are all very eager to find out exactly what his motive was or what was going through his head or what he was doing up to two weeks ago.
I promise you the sheriff will provide that information when we have confirmed it. It doesn`t make sense for us to put out information that is not accurate and isn`t timely and reliable.
So please have some patience with our agency and our partners to get you that information, I promise you we will provide it to you when the time comes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you quickly tell me (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: Hold on --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got into your hotel?
FASULO: What was your question, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What time exactly did his room get breached?
FASULO: I don`t have -- do you guys have that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: We have a time log of everything that we do. And that`s what the detectives will be putting together as part of their investigation, is from start to finish and including that entire time line.
So we`ll probably have more information on that probably tomorrow. So I`ll take two more questions and then we`re going to be done for the night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE), the resources that are being provided for them.
FASULO: They can go there for help and resources, OK? If they`re looking for a loved one or a friend and they`re in town, they need to go there at the Convention Center or the ones that are coming in, they can go there as well.
They also have that 800 number that they can call ahead of time if they need to find out a piece of information in the back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Specifically about that search warrant, the additional one that you guys allocated today, you were originally saying northern Nevada, can you not confirm about what`s in Reno?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any center of how (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: No, but I can tell you that that`s part of our investigation of determining just that. Obviously, every hotel has video, I`m sure that we`re going back and reviewing every ounce of that. So --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you detectives find any more guns as part of this investigation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Agent, is that possible that that number will go up any further?
FASULO: I would say that in the areas that we`ve been so far, I would say, no. But until we`re done with the investigation, I`m not going to marry to that number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mister --
FASULO: OK? Last one, Ken --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other rooms at the hotel?
FASULO: Not other than what the sheriff put out today at 4:00 or 3:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Affirmative we`ve got all the guns out of the suite for the two rooms where the -- from which shots were fired?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident that you have all the guns?
FASULO: I am confident in the number that I gave you of what we have recovered.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you (INAUDIBLE) --
FASULO: All right, that`s it, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: That was assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo updating the media with the latest numbers, especially the increasing number of weapons that have been found in the possession of the shooter both at the scene and at his homes.
He also updated us on the most important number, that is 59 dead, and 527 injured. Those are the latest horrible statistics coming out of this mass shooting here in Las Vegas.
We`re joined now with the latest by Nbc`s Joe Fryer who was in the Mandalay Bay Tower right behind us last night as this shooting happened.
JOE FRYER, NBC NEWS: Yes, we happened to already be here because of the O.J. Simpson release, so that`s why we were already in the Vegas area.
It`s hard to imagine that just 24 hours ago, this was a very different scene. Behind us, thousands of people had come from all across the country for the third and final night of this route 91 harvest music festival.
That`s when gun fire erupted not just for a few seconds but for several minutes. Right now, we want to take a look at how the night unfolded.
FRYER: In a matter of seconds, a country music festival turned tragic. A storm of gun fire raining down upon an innocent crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was shooting everybody, and there was dead people everywhere, and I don`t even know what was happening.
There was just -- he was just shooting randomly.
(GUNFIRE) FRYER: It started at 10:08 p.m., the first reports of shots fired as singer Jason Aldean performed. Initially, there was confusion, many wondering if the sounds were part of the show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s fireworks! stop, what is the matter?
FRYER: But they quickly realized what was happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an active shooter! We have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds!
FRYER: A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort had opened fire on 22,000 concert goers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got about 40 to 50 people who were pinned against this wall.
FRYER: All of them scrambling to find shelter wherever they could.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got down and then one after another, and we were laying down on the floor, I didn`t know whether to get up, to run, to stay, to duck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What if --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down, get down.
FRYER: At 11:20, an hour and 12 minutes after the shooting began, the SWAT team busted into the gunman`s hotel room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All units on the 32nd floor, SWAT has explosive breach, everyone in the hallway needs to move back. All units move back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breach.
FRYER: Inside, they found 64-year-old Stephen Paddock dead and sheriff says he killed himself. Authorities initially sought Paddock`s girlfriend Marilou Danley, but quickly learned she was out of the country saying she was not a suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point in the scene this static.
FRYER: Law enforcement officials believe Paddock fired out of two adjoining rooms using a device similar to a hammer to smash the windows.
Authorities say they found more than a dozen weapons inside those rooms. As the chaos unfolded, our team was actually staying in the Mandalay Bay Tower under lock-down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are flashing red and blue lights everywhere as this area has been flooded by police and emergency responders.
FRYER: We were six floors above the gunman who was on the 32nd floor of the hotel firing across Las Vegas boulevard towards the concert.
The stage 400 yards from the hotel where the crowd gathered in front, many of them fleeing to the festival`s main entrance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very scary at the time, and then I got my wife up. As I got her up, two guys came running by that were carrying a girl or somebody that was all bloody and it looked like they had been shot.
FRYER: In the end, a massive loss of life and hundreds injured in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
O`DONNELL: Joe, how long did it take you to realize what was happening when you were inside the hotel hearing this?
FRYER: You know, so I wasn`t in that one room where we were hunkered down, I was actually across the hallway facing sort of the other way.
I was asleep at that time, honestly did not hear the gunshots, but our producer who was in that room was sleeping, heard the gunshots, like so many people, thought it was part of the concert, thought it was something to do with the concert -- you know, it sounded like gun fire.
The concert is very loud, it must be something to do with that, and then eventually it started to realize what was really going on because it was directly below us, we couldn`t see what was happening so it wasn`t until later, we heard it was at the 32nd floor, we knew it was below us and then we eventually realized it was really directly below us.
O`DONNELL: And joining the discussion now, Buzz Brainard, who was a witness to this. Buzz is the host of "The Highway on Sirius Xm" radio. Buzz, you were there, what was it like to your just now watching the video that we just showed?
BUZZ BRAINARD, RADIO HOST: You know, every time I see something new from that, it just starts to bring back the gunshots, the noises is what gets me.
That`s something I`ll never forget because pop like he said at the beginning, we weren`t sure. It was our last performance of a three-day festival.
People thought maybe fireworks, but the second time, we were walking out to see what was going on, somebody said maybe it was something to do with the power lines and by the third time, the third set, we knew, and we were right by the stage, going near the artist area.
So we were lucky because we have the stage, we had tour buses, we were at the -- dive under those, we could see the dirt flying up because of the bullets coming in.
So we stayed there for a while until security asked us to leave.
O`DONNELL: So that -- you went yourself under a bus to hide from the shooter?
BRAINARD: I had my son in town who is 19 years old in L.A., I brought him out to hang with his dad for the weekend. I grabbed him, I tackled him, I put us both under a bus, we were all under the tour buses.
At the time, Jason Aldean was coming off stage with his very pregnant wife. They had shielded -- and one of the buses was the bus where we ran to.
I think they just went straight on, that`s where we all were. Eventually, we didn`t know if they were coming toward us, we didn`t know if they were stationary, but security on hand said let`s go, so everybody had to run.
And our only escape was to run across that stage.
O`DONNELL: Yes, how much time was there between the different bursts of gun fire?
BRAINARD: It was just seconds. It was like pop-pop, going to be a few seconds.
O`DONNELL: And the first one -- what did you think the first one was? You didn`t think it was gun fire?
BRAINARD: Nobody did.
O`DONNELL: No one.
BRAINARD: We were all in the tent -- we were -- you know, we were celebrating. We had this great festival, nobody thought that was gun fire, it took a little while.
O`DONNELL: So then the second one happens --
BRAINARD: Second one --
O`DONNELL: Did that change your thinking?
BRAINARD: Yes, that`s when we went outside of the tent --
O`DONNELL: You want to see what this is?
BRAINNARD: We want to see what`s going on there, so we`re not sure.
O`DONNELL: Did you then understand right away what it was?
BRAINARD: It was almost immediate for everybody that was back there, at the same time, everybody realized something was going on.
That`s when we scattered, people started taking cover, we were lucky we had cover. The people in the middle there -- I had just left the stage -- you know, introduction and I was watching the 22,000 people that -- a sea of people I couldn`t see the end of them.
Those people didn`t have the cover that we had. They didn`t have tour buses or speakers or a stage to hide under.
O`DONNELL: And so did you just -- how did you stay with your son? Did you just lock arms?
BRAINARD: I grabbed his hand --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
BRAINARD: And we ran, you know, he`s 19 years old but I grabbed his hand because he`s my little boy still.
O`DONNELL: Yes --
BRAINARD: And we ran and ran, and we crossed the street right here behind us, and gun fire the whole time, people were running into each other, trampling each other and of course the injured.
So just running too fast to really know what was going on, and we sprinted as far as we could. We got to the Tropicana here where we thought it would be safe.
O`DONNELL: Right across the street.
BRAINARD: I was still holding his hand, I think I held for another half an hour after that.
O`DONNELL: What were you saying to your son as you were running along as this was happening?
BRAINARD: It`s almost going to be OK, I said follow me, follow me, I got you, I got you, it`s going to be all right. He`s having a hard time with it.
O`DONNELL: Yes --
BRAINARD: He`s having a real hard time with it.
O`DONNELL: Everyone there certainly would be having a hard time. It is unforgettable experience.
BRAINARD: Yes, it was scary.
O`DONNELL: And what about -- did you have other friends there that you`ve talked to afterwards?
BRAINARD: Our whole Nashville community was in town, so it`s interesting because back home, everybody was on social media and letting everybody in our community, the Nashville community, the management, the record labels, the artists, everybody who was involved in this, we all were able to find out that we were all accounted for, so we`re OK.
So we`re such a tight-knit community in Nashville, Tennessee, and such a -- this country music family is a family, so we`re looking out for each other.
O`DONNELL: How are you feeling now?
BRAINARD: I`m sad and I`m -- I don`t know what`s going to happen in the future for what we do. Can we do this? Can we continue to do this?
I mean, I don`t think that could have been stopped. I don`t know how we could stop something like that. So where do we go now as a community, as a format?
What do we do next? I know we`re strong and I think we can get through it because we are a one big country family.
It`s going to be hard, but I don`t know how we do this again, certainly not right away.
O`DONNELL: Buzz Brainard, thank you very much for sharing that experience with us tonight. Joe, thanks for joining us, really appreciate your reporting on this -- invaluable.
Coming up, what investigators know about that giant stack of guns that this shooter brought into that hotel right behind us here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: That was the President addressing the nation this morning and calling for unity and peace after the Las Vegas shooting. Both the Whitehouse and Congress observed moments of silence in honor of the victims of the shooting. President Trump will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of victims. Here`s the Whitehouse Press Secretary on whether the shooting will have any impact on the President`s position on gun control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITEHOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is an unspeakable tragedy. Today is a day for consoling survivors and mourning those we lost. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with all of those individuals.
This is -- there`s a time and place for a political debate but now is the time to unite as a country. There`s currently an open and ongoing law enforcement investigation, a motive is yet to be determined and it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don`t fully know all the facts or what took place last night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by MSNBC`s Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes. It is about day for thoughts and prayers.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well there`s something -- I mean, watching Sarah Huckabee Sanders say that I`m taken back to Orlando and the horrible trauma of the aftermath of the pulse shooting and watching then candidate Trump the day after rthat shooting call on a ban of a full million people from coming to the country. ..
Now there was no sense then it was too early, if there was a day for consoling victims. If there`s an ongoing law enforcement investigation that we need to get the facts. All of the - and some of those should be clear are totally reasonable things to say particularly about the fact there`s an ongoing law enforcement -- O`DONNELL: Yes. HAYES: let`s -- but that is a standard act to say. It`s most kind of maddening actually to watch that because there`s a standard this extremely unevenly applied by this Whitehouse which is jump out to call things like Egypt Air flight terrorism that turned out not be. that has run with the first reports of all sorts of things when they thought they could have points on the board politically and very different Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
MADDOWS: So you`re saying they`re happy to acknowledge there are appropriate policy responses to mass shootings and massacres except when -
HAYES: Right. When it didn`t fit -- doesn`t fit into the sort of box that they have. And we have seen it time and time again and it`s been a really - - to me unnerving tendency of the President to Tweet about things happening that appear to be x by say ISIS or jihadist or some sort minutes into it, an hour into it while people figuring out what happened.
HAYES: You see all of a sudden this restraint now. That doesn`t -
MADDOWS: Because it`s -- and it`s because it`s friends and only apparent -
MADDOWS: I mean -
HAYES: The only thing we know for sure.
MADDOWS: And the thing that seems different about this, I mean different even compared to Pulse, different even compared to Sandy Hook, different even compared to Virginia Tech, is that this killer appears to have put together an arsenal that is -- seems to have been sort of maxing out what you can do with legal weaponry.
MADDOWS: AND we still don`t know the question of automatic weapons fire. We still don`t know. But we have lots of suppositions in terms of hands on an automatic weapon or whether he modified semi automatic weapons to make it fire like an automatic and what that means. But the sheer number of guns. I mean what just got at the press conference, right?
O`DONNELL: They updated the number, yes.
MADDOWS: In the hotel room 23 guns, at his property in Mesquite another 19 guns. And we are told through other reporting sources that those were all long guns. It was all rifles there. If he was using weird aftermarket modifications on those guns, one of the problems for that for somebody who wants to create maximum mayhem using those drum magazines or those other modification is that they make your gun glitchy
Well you can solve that if can have 20 of them because then as soon as one misfires you another, grab another. So if one misfires you grab another. That makes the financial aspect here very interesting. It makes technological aspect here very interesting in terms of what kind of weapons he had access to and it makes the policy question very, very clearly guns even before we know about his motivation or any connections to anybody else. And we as a country decided to not talk about guns at least at the Federal Level and so it leaves us mute in terms of whether or not we will have a practical discussion.
O`DONNELL: Well then politically now the one thing other thing Republicans anyway in Congress don`t want to talk about is silencers. They were moving legislatively possibly as early as next week toward deregulating silencers to make this worse because we heard Buzz Brainard saying they didn`t think it was gunshots at first. It took a long time to realize it was a gunshots.
If there had been any kind of silencing capacity on this, what would it have taken? They would have to see the bodies be falling before they will have a sense of it at all. But the Republicans are pulling down that effort to deregulate the silencers so that`s some movement.
MADDOWS: There`s been a lot of disinformation, not just misinformation but disinformation about that today we ended up. When the NRA saying stuff about how silencers wouldn`t have made a difference in terms of finding the shooter. We ended up calling gun ranges and people who deal with, you know, the kind of exotic weapons that you can pay money to shoot around here. We just called people locally and talked to them about that. And everybody told us, you can put silencers on that weapon and it would have made a huge difference. Why you need silencers in this country instead of just ear plugs to protect your hearing it means something that --
O`DONNELL: Yes, Chris?
HAYES: There`s a -- Rachel and I have been talking about this. There`s just an inscrutability in this. I mean you know the mental categories that we have erected that we have now come to apply to events like this which happen with the frequency in the United States and nowhere else in the world have certain boxes that is we look for. So you know the idea that it would be a terrorist attack from ISIS, that the idea of mentally disturbed or if you had red flags or social media posts or some process of sort rage filled dissent that happened and we`ll learn more.
But there is at one level there`s a desire to understand the motivation to make - to make sense and some level there`s an essential inscrutability about whatever the motivation will be. Standing here and looking at this person did is so ghastly and so horrible and took such a combination of planning and malevolence without any apparent animating reason that it is - that we know of.
MADDOWS: At least that we know it.
HAYES: That we know of, yes. At least at this point it feels like it plummets my capacity to because that`s --
O`DONNELL: Yes, one of the people on the stage yesterday and last night was Caleb Keeter, one of the musicians in one of the bands. He today has said I have been a lifelong proponent of the 2nd amendment, a strong supporter. He said I cannot -- these are his words. I cannot express how wrong I was. He has completely reversed himself on this 2nd amendment publicly today. And what`s really surprising about that is we normally don`t have something like that to report after one of this event.
HAYES: No one ever changes their mind.
O`DONNELL: We can`t bring you the prominent person or the person involved who changes their mind about it. It`s just an amazing thing.
HAYES: There was a man trying to murder a dozen Republican members of Congress several months ago and there was no -- I mean, they were on the -- they were there. They were on the receiving end of this, almost murdered, one of the prominent Republicans in congress and nothing like that. And the thing that Keeler said that`s key here, also, is one of the most perverse notions in this conversation, taking aside all the policy rationals, the legal questions, the 2nd amendment is some notion that if people have guns then they will stop things like this.
MADDOWS: That if there had been more guns, that is a -- he addresses that.
HAYES: Specifically to say -
MADDOWS: there are people who have concealed carry licenses, guns on our tour buses all useless to us because of the insane amount of fire power that he was able to put together. This is technology story and it -- if it`s going to be -- going to be anything other than usual impotence on the story it is a discussion about the technology that made this possible at a policy level. And we forego that here at a moment like this.
O`DONNELL: Rachel, Chris thank you very much for doing this, really appreciate you joining the discussion. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Coming up, another survivor of what happened here will join us and tell us what he experienced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAS VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: They cut the music and everyone said drop and everyone dropped and then everyone just got up and they said run and everyone started stampeding and charging and knocking over grills, jumping over fences, getting out.
LAS VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Clip after clip after clip, bullets flying everywhere. Everybody running. It was really, really bad. We were the furthest VIP stages away from Mandalay Bay and they were ricocheting everywhere where we were. They were firing from somewhere high and they were unloading clip after clip after clip after clip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: joining us now is Ken Dilanian, Intelligence and National Security reporter for NBC news. Ken, what are we learning about this arsenal, the numbers have been updated tonight, about just how much weaponry this shooter had?
KEN DILANIAN, NBC REPORTER: That`s right, Lawrence. The authorities updated it to 42 guns in total that Stephen Paddock allegedly purchased including 23 that seized in the hotel and 19 in his separate house. And you know, just stepping back, we have learned a lot of new facts today about Stephen Paddock and much of what we have learned is utterly confounding because while there is no one pattern of mass shooters, things that we are learning about Stephen Paddock are completely different from anything before. Starting with the fact according to his family he`s wealthy and maybe worth as much as $2 million,
They say he`s been making his living as a professional gambler, a college graduate. He had jobs as an auditor. He was living in a retirement community with his Asian American girlfriend who he may have met at a casino. And there`s no known criminal record, no known extremist beliefs.
Obviously were missing a big chunk here which is what authorities are going to find on his computers and what he was up to. But we know that he was living a life much more high functioning than many mass shooters we see and he sort of brought a level of diabolical competence to this act with all these firearms and also, you know, as Rachel and Chris were saying, the automatic weapons question.
We don`t know yet whether he acquired a machine gun because you can purchase a machine gun legally in Nevada if you register a pre-1986 machine gun. Machine guns have been banned since 1986. But There are some that are grandfathered in.
Secondly, you can get a semiautomatic weapon and modify it using things that you can purchase over the internet for little as $50. We don`t know yet whether he did either of those things but almost every expert we talked to today said there was clearly automatic weapon fire in that recording. And clearly that was of a key factor in the casualties here just the amount of bullets this man was able to rain down on the crowd.
So a high functioning competent potentially well think person here, gambling. Tens of thousands of dollars because of cash reports that casinos were filing that the FBI had seen. But the key question is we don`t understand are his state of mind, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And, Ken, for those of us who don`t own any guns, these numbers sound extraordinary. But for collectors, and gun dealers, they -- some I have talked to, gun dealers, they deal with people who collect dozens of guns, that they never use in any sort of dangerous way. And most of the guns they never use at all. There are things that they just have kind of on display and never bring to the range.
DILANIAN: You`re absolutely right. That is great point. But his brother said in an interview today that Stephen Paddock was not a gun collector that he knew of. He knew him to have a couple of handguns but not any real experience with long guns.
No military experience so it does raise a question of whether he assembled this arsenal purely for this act. And you know his wealth comes into play here because these guns can cost hundreds or more than $1,000 and if he had 42 guns in total, it required a lot of financial resources to put that arsenal together leaving aside the ammunition and other factors.
O`DONNELL: Ken, how helpful is the federal component of this investigation?
DILANIAN: Well, it`s crucial, Lawrence. I mean, in this kind of situation, the Federal Government pulls out all the stops and this is a man who lived in multiple states and has relatives around the country and the FBI has been interviewing them and trying to put together a picture of what may have led this man to do it. The mystery here, obviously, not necessarily what happened and how it happened. That`s pretty obvious.
The mystery is why. And then I would say the secondary issue is, what gun laws are implicated here with the automatic weapons issue? Did he acquire a machine gun either legally or illegally? Did he modify a semiautomatic legally or illegally? That`s a question going forward, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Ken, going forward, what is your sense of a timetable here? What do you think we`ll know by the end of the week, by the end of next week?
DILANIAN: Well, you know, you and i were both watching that news conference that authorities just had and conducted a search of a property that the suspect had near Reno and you`ll notice they didn`t answer questions of what they found there. They were asked what did you find on his computers that shed light on motif ? They were coy and it suggested to me they know some things they`re not prepared to say tonight but that in the next day or maybe two days to learn a lot more about what was driving this man.
O`DONNELL: Ken Dilanian, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
DILANIAN: Thank you, lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Up next, another survivor of this horrible massacre will join us.
O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Alex Rasmussen. He and his wife were sitting about 50 feet from the stage when the gunfire erupted at that concert in Las Vegas last night. Alex, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate that you could do this for us. Tell us what you experienced and when you realized this was shooting?
ALEX RASMUSSEN, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Yeah, I mean, Lawrence, we were right there close to the stage and the first set of gunshots went off and to me, they sounded like gunshots. But no one really reacted in that moment. The band continued to play and there was an assumption possibly that maybe they were fireworks.
So at that moment, I was looking around trying to kind of gauge where the closest exits were and trying to decide if we were in a good place to be able to get out of there if something bad went down. That`s when the first shots rang out. It wasn`t very much longer that the second shots rang out and I was looking up at the stage and security had come and grabbed Jason Aldean and pulled him off stage. I immediately grabbed my wife and headed for the closest exit. So by that time it was just, get out alive.
O`DONNELL: Alex, the video we`re showing beside you on the screen is the video that you took. When did you turn on the camera? Were you -- did you know you were safe at the point you turned on the camera?
RASMUSSEN: Amazingly enough, my wife took that footage. So we -- my only concern, the only thing I could even think about is getting her out, getting her out safe and alive. She had somehow had the where with all to pull out her camera and start recording.
But I was right there by her side. I didn`t realize she had the camera going. It wasn`t until later on in the evening when we were going back through the night we realized we even had that footage and went back and watched it and realized how really quite disturbing it was and how you continue to hear gunshot after gunshot. I mean, two, three minutes into the video. This thing went on for what felt like eternity but a good, 15, 20 minutes.
O`DONNELL: Alex, what did you say to your wife when you realized you had to get out of there?
RASMUSSEN: It was a let`s go moment. I said we got to get out of here. We got to go. And the band by that time had quit playing so the third set of gunshots that rang out were so loud, Lawrence, they sounded like, you know, you were 10 feet behind me shooting a gun at me. We took cover at that moment.
There were bodies lying everywhere. 40, 50 people piled on top of each other trying to stay safe. As soon as that gunfire stopped, I grabbed her and we took off. It was a stampede style environment where people were running over people, pushing through barriers, knocking things over.
It was the most chaos I`ve ever been part of. She tripped and fell multiple times but each time I kind of grabbed her, scooped her back out of there. The video starts once we`re outside of the venue on the backside of the venue away from the Mandalay Bay. We thought the shooter was in the park and I know a lot of other people did, too, and I think a lot of people fled to the gates at the Mandalay Bay in what had to be a massacre scene over there.
We never saw what happened over there on that side of the stage and on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of Mandalay Bay. But there were multiple people shot over on the side we were at. People were fleeing the scene, running, just trying to get out alive. It was pure chaos, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And Alex, at what point did you decide or realize that you were safe, that you had reached a safety zone?
RASMUSSEN: So we headed back towards the strip and ended up over at the MGM. We saw people flooding out of the MGM and this is what I really -- I really want to get this out there, Lawrence. We hopped into a cab and turned on police scanners and there were reports of multiple shooters in multiple hotels.
There were people fleeing from all hotels in the area. I know this has come out more and more as we`ve seen the news throughout the day, one shooter and one person pinned down. But I don`t wholly believe that story. There was shots coming from everywhere, from all over the place and I know that because we had made it back up to the strip and there were people running from the MGM apparently, you know, running from bullet fire or running for some reason, running for their lives.
So once we got into that cab and had turned around away from the backside of the MGM and headed up towards Sammy Davis Jr. Boulevard that runs behind the strip, I felt in that moment we would not be shot or die at that moment.
O`DONNELL: And you got yourself completely out of Las Vegas last night, didn`t you?
RASMUSSEN: We did, because Lawence again just like I was telling you over the police scanners, we`re hearing that there are multiple gunmen. There was a report of a bomb at New York, New York.
So the city of Vegas was chaos in the moment because we were staying on the strip up on the north end. So all we wanted to do is get back to our hotel room and bunker down if that was the case that Vegas went on a lockdown but we got to the room. We immediately packed our things and headed back down to the lobby, got a cab and headed to the airport. We were able to reserve a rental car and immediately got in the rental car and drove to Phoenix, Arizona. We were out of Vegas by midnight last night.
O`DONNELL: And you flew home to Tennessee from Phoenix?
RASMUSSEN: That`s right. So we booked the first flight out of Phoenix we could get on the way to Phoenix we booked the flights, flew Phoenix to Dallas this morning and Dallas to Memphis this afternoon and made it home safely about 3:30 central time today.
O`DONNELL: You had your children waiting for you. What did you tell your children about this when you got home?
RASMUSSEN: well, you know, my younger children, you know, I want to answer their question, we have an open, honest household. We`re letting them know we were in a scary situation and we were running for our lives and it was something that, you know, that we were trying to explain to them in the best way possible.
My 16-year-old son was very well aware of what was going on. So we had to, you know, so I had to talk to him with that. He`s still shaken and upset about it as you can imagine, as we are, as well.
O`DONNELL: Alex Rasmussen thank you for sharing your experience with us and our best to your wife and our regards to your family and hope you can hold hands and get through this. Really appreciate you joining us.
RASMUSSEN: Thank You, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank You. I`ll be back here live from Las Vegas in two hours, but right now the 11th Hour with Brian Williams is next
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