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AT THIS HOUR
50 Killed, 400-Plus Injured in Las Vegas Shooting; Press Conference with Las Vegas Authorities. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 2, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:32:41] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're expecting an update any moment now from the authorities in Las Vegas. We're seeing a live look. We will take you there as soon as it begins.
Here's what we know right now. None of it is good news. At least 50 people were killed and more than 400 people injured after a gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino opened fire on a concert that was taking place 300 feet below. People say the 64-year- old shooter -- here's one of the first pictures we're getting of him -- he killed himself moments before -- moments before police were able to breach his room. They've released this photo of him. So far, he hasn't been linked to overseas terrorism. He's believed to have acted alone.
President Trump is calling this an act of pure evil. He addressed the nation just moments ago. He's also ordering flags to be flown at half-staff and also announcing he will be traveling to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with survivors, their families, and first responders.
Moments ago, people who were staying in the Mandalay Bay Resort, they were finally allowed to return to their rooms.
More than 100 of the injured were taken to University Medical Center in Las Vegas there.
Danita Cohen, is a spokeswoman for the hospital Level-One Trauma Center, I think the only one in the state, joining me by phone.
Danita, can you hear me?
DANITA COHEN, SPOKESWOMAN, LEVEL-ONE TRAUMA CENTER, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, LAS VEGAS (via telephone): I can hear you. And you're correct, yes, we are the only level-one trauma center in Nevada.
BOLDUAN: Can you give me an update and our viewers of what the very latest is from the hospital? How many patients, how they're doing?
COHEN: Absolutely. We received a total of 104 patients from the shootings last night. Eight of those patients went straight to the O.R. We have a unique situation here at UMC, where we have a level one trauma center that is free standing. That means within those four walls of our trauma center, we can treat any life-threatening injury imaginable. We have three O.R. suites so we can get patients from an ambulance back to an O.R. in about one minute. We also have MRI CAT scan and blood banks within those four walls. We're very self- contained. Because of that we have excellent outcomes here. Our survival rate is 97 percent, and that's even for those patients who have less than a 1 percent chance to survive.
Of those patients who came in eight went straight to the operating room, 12 are in critical condition this morning. Unfortunately, four patients passed away. The good news, if there is any good news to be found, we are having some patients already treated and released.
It has been a challenge, though, to get them back to their hotel rooms where they originated last night because the Las Vegas strip is still shut down and many hotels are still in lockdown. We're working through those challenges this morning.
[11:35:25] BOLDUAN: Danita, are you at capacity? Can you take any other patients right now? What do folks need to know?
COHEN: We can take patients. Because we are a level one trauma center we can move patients through our trauma resuscitation area very quickly. We can get them back to the O.R., if that's where they need to be, or ICU units throughout the hospital or treat and stabilize them right there. We move patients through the resuscitation area very quickly. Yes, we could receive more patients this morning. And trauma continues in Las Vegas. We will have the typical unfortunate car crashes and people doing unfortunate things and accidents happening that we will continue to attend to throughout the day.
BOLDUAN: More than 100 patients being rushed to your trauma center, kind of flooding your trauma center. Can you walk us through how you handle that?
COHEN: Sure. So patients are triaged actually out in the field with trauma field triage criteria. And then once they make it to us, if they are critically injured, they will come to the trauma center. If their injuries are a little lower than critical, then they can go to our Emergency Department to be treated and stabilized there. Again, patients either go straight to our operating rooms or to an ICU unit, sometimes treated and released from our trauma center, although that doesn't happen too frequently if they have very critical injuries. Last night, we were triaging patients in our ambulance base, so even outside of our hospital, to make sure we were using our resources very efficiently and making sure we were sending our patients to the right level of care within the hospital.
BOLDUAN: What is your biggest need right now? We heard from police that, it's understandable, blood banks, people need blood?
COHEN: Yes. We are holding a blood drive today. Even though our levels are just fine and we are not at a shortage, we are -- have our shelves fully stocked with blood, we just want to make sure that we are ready. Trauma does continue to so we want to make sure we're ready. We're holding a blood drive.
Our other concern not just for the patients but their family and friends waiting and worried and wondering how their loved ones are. When we receive a patient, we don't receive just one patient, but their friends and family as well.
BOLDUAN: Danita Cohen, I appreciate you jumping on the phone. I can only imagine what last night and today is like.
I even heard Danita say early this morning the CEO of the hospital was helping with patients, wheeling patients around, because everyone was coming together to try to make it work.
I really appreciate it, Danita.
I'm going to go right now I believe to Las Vegas for an update from the sheriff. Let's listen in.
JOE LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, CLARK COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Are we ready?
Kevin, can you come up?
Well, good morning, everyone. For those of you who don't know I am Sheriff Lombardo for Clark County.
I don't have very much more to update you with from our previous briefings. One thing in particular that has changed, in the negative, is our body count. That's the wrong way to say it. The number of people who have died associated with this event has increased. Right now, we're using the number of 58. I just was informed it may be 59, of an individual that may have expired at sunrise hospital. So in normal fashion, I do not want to give you bad information. So please do not press me on that number until we get further into this investigation. The number of injured we are using the number of 515. And as you can tell, as the hours go by, that number continues to increase.
We have not received any additional intelligence associated with the suspect. We are -- we have completed the search warrant in Mesquite. I am not aware of any derogatory information that we can utilize to furtherance of this investigation at this point. But we have just recovered items and it will take a little while to evaluate that information. We have learned information of additional property in northern Nevada and the FBI has responded to the location and will be serving a search warrant here shortly.
We have completed the investigation at the room. We have collected all the items associated with the suspect and we are in the recovery phase of that.
The Mandalay Bay itself has gone back to service, minus the 32nd floor. And they would like everybody advised that if they are separated from their hotel room, they have the ability to return to the hotel.
[11:40:07] Now, the location in question, the concert hall, we will be in a long process of body recovery out there and evidence recovery. And evidence documentation. So you're going to have to ask the public's patience and as we bring information forward, it's a long, laborious process, to identify the victims and reunite them with the family members to advise them of their situation. So, we still have the families responding to the Las Vegas metropolitan police department headquarters in order to conduct a reunification of their family or friends.
Eventually, in the next few hours I don't want to give you a skewed timeline, but approximately 1:00 p.m., we will request the family members to respond to the convention area to utilize a larger space and we could bring in the victim advocates to assist with the family members in the long term. Right now, it's just a temporary phase associated with the reunification.
Additionally, we're asking to solely utilize United Blood Service for blood donation and UMC as the only places to donate blood. We had some resource issues associated with the laborers, medical clinic. I applaud their effort to help us, but we have some resource issues associated with that. Better utilize LVMPD.com to ensure you know where those blood service locations are so we can get the needed life- saving blood for the victims associated with this.
At this point, as you can tell, I have several individuals to my rear that would like to make comment.
Reference the ISIS statement, I want to bring that up now, so I give the opportunity to Special Agent Rouse to respond from the FBI and he will explain what we know now reference that ISIS claiming this individual.
AARON ROUSE, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, LAS VEGAS DIVISION, FBI: Good morning. As this event unfolds, we have determined to this point no connection with the international terrorist group. As this investigation continues, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that this is factually, thoroughly, and absolutely investigated to be able to bring comfort and peace back to this community.
REP. RUBEN KIHUIN, (D), NEVADA: Good morning. My name is Ruben Kihuin, the Congressman for the fourth congressional district in Nevada.
I want to say thank you to law enforcement and to all the first responders who are now fighting tirelessly to protect and save lives.
I had the opportunity to stop by Sunrise Hospital earlier this morning. I saw firsthand a lot of the victims, a lot of the family members. But I also saw a lot of nurses and doctors that were working tirelessly to save lives. Today is a very sad day for Nevada, a very sad day for Las Vegas. But if anything good came out of this, I saw humanity. I saw a community come together. I saw strangers helping strangers and saving lives.
I do want to say thank you to the sheriff and to metro police, to firefighters, to the doctors, the nurses, and everybody who is working tirelessly to save lives at this precise moment. I know we're going to get through this and our city will be stronger.
Thank you so much.
STEVE WOLFE, CLARK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I'm Clark County district attorney, Steve Wolfe.
And on behalf of the Clark County D.A.'s office our thoughts and prayers go out to everybody associated with this event.
Two of my prosecutors, two of my young female prosecutors, were actually at this concert, close to the stage. And I've spoken to both of them this morning, and they're pretty rattled. They're pretty shaken up.
This was a horrific event, to say the least. This is a classic WMD. A weapon and a man of mass destruction.
What I'm pleased so much about is how this doesn't involve politics in the sense of Republican or Democrat. We are here, all of us are Nevadans, and I'm very proud to be present with the other leaders here because we're working together to get through this. I want to thank Sheriff Lombardo for your leadership in leading us through this terrible, terrible day.
[11:45:01] STEVE SISOLAK, CLARK COUNTY COMMISSIOINER: Thank you.
Thank you, Sheriff.
I want to first off begin by thanking the sheriff, I got down here eight or nine hours ago and there weren't many of us here eight or nine hours ago, just a handful, immediately after this incident. But I can tell you our first responders, both the firemen and women of the fire department and metro were on their way in when this all happened. We've got first responders that are literally covered in blood as a result of this.
There's a lot of victims that have not been identified as of this point. But they have stepped up.
It was a sole shooter. There is no further threat that we're aware of. No immediate threat. I want to ensure everyone that's listening, hear our words, Las Vegas is safe.
The men and women at Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts have been incredible in terms of communicating and working with the sheriff's office and ensure us everybody can be taken care of and get back in the rooms. And they understand we are safe and doing everything humanly possible to protect all of our tourists and our citizens in Clark County.
That being said, the sheriff and I have set up a GoFundMe account some of you might have seen. We have been inundated with phone calls and text messages of people asking what they can do. A lot of family members going through an awful lot at this particular time. As the sheriff said we have over 500 in our hospitals being treated and we need to provide them with some sort of support and we have done that.
And I can't say enough about the fine men and women that are our first responders here in Clark County and all of the cities and jurisdictions have pulled together. I thank them all for that. We pledge the full resources of Clark County to assist the sheriff and FBI in any way humanly possible. We will be at your service.
And we ask for your prayers. God bless you.
CAROLYN GOODMAN, LAS VEGAS MAYOR: I want to thank you all.
I'm Mayor Carolyn Goodman of this great city.
I absolutely mirror what Commissioner Sisolack spoken to about the great response, rapid, thorough, of the first responders and law enforcement.
I spent part of last night and was late this morning with you all because I was over at UMC and the trauma unit and it's been a very, very difficult time for us.
And as we look forward to continuing what our great city does, we offer a safe place. This is a crazed lunatic, full of hate. We don't know much about his background, but it certainly is not an extension of what we believe in, what everybody who lives here and works here and those who visit here want to see. This is something that was simply outrageous, uncalled for. And so many innocent people, young people, children, parents, who have lost loved ones, and so many still suffering in the hospitals going through major surgery. We have some that were hit quite lightly, with shrapnel as they were near the exits. It's been a hugely traumatic time for all of us.
And for our visitors, who love country music, many of whom have come from the northern part of our state here and just really came here for a wonderful, safe time, we pride ourselves in our law enforcement. They are unequalled. They are so rapid to respond, so thorough in what they do and our first responders have been simply phenomenal.
It is a city and a community that has pulled together. Everybody is working so hard to make sure that we are taking care of the needs of the families and those who have lost loved ones and it's just been a very, very traumatic time for everybody.
The president gave a beautiful message. And he will be visiting us either some time later today, tomorrow, or Wednesday. Great concern.
And we just know that the entire community -- I have so many mayors that have called, governors who have called me personally to express their support, help.
And what we ask for is blood. That's the main thing right now. Is that if our people want to do something, and they are healthy, then please, donate blood. We'll have plenty of bags available. Always call a hospital if you're unsure where to go. So thank you very much.
And Madam Congresswoman, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to step in front of you.
[11:49:30] REP. DINA TITUS, (D), NEVADA: It's a pleasure to follow you. Thank you very much.
I'm Dina Titus, I represent Nevada's district one that includes the fabulous Las Vegas strip, including the Mandalay Bay where this horrendous act took place.
You know, so many times I welcome people to Las Vegas and all the excitement and entertainment and fun it has to offer. I never thought I would be standing here trying to offer solace for something like this would happen.
And all through the night we were briefed by law enforcement.
And I thank you, Sheriff, and your team for all that you did and the first responders.
Mainly we were trying to stay out of the way because you don't want to turn a personal tragedy into a political event.
Today, my office will be giving blood, as the mayor said. They appreciate your thoughts and prayers. But what they need is blood. We will be open to do anything we can to assist.
But I have been hearing all these stories of heroism that occurred in the midst of this tragedy. Off-duty police officers who were there just for the concert for an evening of fun able to help people get shelter and able to identify the location of the shooter and random strangers. A friend of some of my staff members who live in the district said they were running and being trample and somebody opened a van door and pulled them inside for shelter and safety. That's the kind of people we have here in Las Vegas who are willing to reach out and help one another.
I thank all of our law enforcement and first responders, and those in the hospitals where people are in the halls and the parking lot trying to take care of so many.
And please call on our office if there is any way we can be of assistance.
ADAM LAXALT, NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm Adam Laxalt, Nevada's attorney general.
I want to echo what a lot of people said today. I have been here since 2:00 in the morning, and the job that metro and law enforcement has done is absolutely remarkable.
We have never been hit with such a tough situation in this city, and to see the poise and pressure they performed under was astounding. I believe they are always going to be able to get us out of these situations. Our law enforcement will step up to the plate when we need them most. Of course, the city and our state will bounce back.
Thank you very much.
SISOLAK: I want to add more thing before the governor comes up. I have to ask you to do something else. When you see one of these men and women who are wearing a badge, tell them thank you. Their selfless actions saved the lives of hundreds of people. Not a dozen, but hundreds of people. This death count would have been many hundred more were it not for the brave work of every one of men and women you see wearing a badge and members of the fire department and the first responders and the police department. I encourage all of you watching to say thank you, appreciate that.
BRIAN SANDOVAL, (R), NEVADAS GOVERNOR: I'm Governor Brian Sandoval.
I don't know if I have words to describe what we are going through and what these poor unfortunate victims are going through. We are angry, we are grieving, we are confused. People are hurting.
I want to thank the sheriff and all the first responders.
I had an opportunity to visit some of the patients in the hospital. It's unimaginable what people are going through right now. You have family members who are here and don't have anyone to reach out to.
But the first responders and what they have done, this is their finest hour. Their finest hour. The way that the sheriff and the metropolitan police department handled this event is unprecedented. The paramedics who came on the scene and basically what was the car zone and treated all the men, women, and kids. The health care professionals at the hospitals and the doctors that came from all over the valley to do whatever they could.
And now we don't understand what's happened and I'm sure we will find out a little more from when metro continues to do its investigation.
I do know for everybody watching -- and I want to thank the president of the United States and the other governors that reached out to offer help and assistance. We need blood. If anyone can contribute blood. Anybody in the Las Vegas area or locally who can do that. As we move on, we are going to need this help.
This is obviously an unprecedented event in our nation's history and we will have to learn from this. We are going to have to fight through this. We have to stop and pray for the families and for the victims. We have to rely on our faith in a time like this to get us through all of it.
[11:55:13] I couldn't be prouder of the way Nevada ANS have responded and what they have done. Doctors and nurses and everyone else who has worked through the night to save lives. And they have told me they saved lives that if not for the organization and professionalism and training.
So again, Sheriff, thank you for the courage that you have shown. To the people at the concert, you see courage and compassion there,
people helping total strangers, risking their own lives to help people. That really speaks highly to the character of America.
So again, there is a lot to learn from all of this. It was a cowardly despicable act that I'm very angry about. Not much we can do, but we can learn.
So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for everybody's care and concern. I'm really proud to be with everybody who is here, the mayor and the congressman and the attorney general and the sheriff and congressman and law enforcement. This is the Nevada family at its best. God bless all of you. And God bless, most importantly, the families and the victims and the mothers, fathers, and daughters and aunts and uncle, cousins, nieces, nephews and neighbors. For everyone who is watching, please stop and pause and say a prayer for them.
LOMBARDO: Hold on a second. I will take questions shortly.
As you can see, we had the opportunity to have some of Nevada's delegation here today, and some are missing, but I don't want them slighted. They reached out to me. They reached out and offered their assistance. I don't want them slighted because they are not standing behind me.
Additionally, I have a chief of police next to me, and as Chief Troy Tanner of the Mesquite P.D. He has been instrumental in the assistance of his folks towards us to complete this investigation. I think it's appropriate he gets recognized. Greg Kassel is very humble. He is the Clark County fire chief and likes to stand in the back. But where we are different in our jurisdiction, as through my travels in comparison to other jurisdictions, we work well with the fire department. They did not hesitate to pair up with an officer and enter the fray. I want to thank you for that.
Thank you, Greg.
I'm happy to answer some questions.
As you know, the investigation is continuing. So please do not get too detailed on your questions because I probably will not be able to answer at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sheriff Lombardo?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE). You mentioned a second location in northern Nevada?
LOMBARDO: No, the second location is based off of assessor's records of ownership. He owned another piece of property in Nevada. As far as electronic evaluation, we haven't had the opportunity to do that yet. The only thing we are immediately aware of in our position is firearms and ammunition.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: People were hit with shrapnel you said. And also, how did he get the weapons into the hotel room?
LOMBARDO: Like I said, we are doing the investigation. I don't want to give you any inaccurate information, but we know he brought them in on his own. In an original briefing, we believe he was in partnership or companionship of a female and we have determined the female is out of the country. He brought the weapons in on his own. As far as method, I don't have the ability to give you an accurate answer.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was the shooter known to local law enforcement in Las Vegas or Clark County on any prior charges?
LOMBARDO: No, not at all. We checked the federal and local databases and state databases. We had no knowledge of this individual.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We going to see the designation -- (INAUDIBLE).
LOMBARDO: We still consider her a person of interest. We have been in contact with her and plan to engage her upon her return to the country.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any idea how he broke through (INAUDIBLE)?
LOMBARDO: We believe he had a device similar to a hammer to smash --