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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  October 2, 2017 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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shooting took place about 10:08 p.m. and the suspect is now dead and they're looki asian female, mary lou danley. let's take a pause here, everybody. out of las vegas, nevada. a deadly mass shooting. >> it happened after 1:00 a.m. eastern time, about 10:00 local time near the mandalay resort and casino on the vegas strip. jason aldean was performing the finale of a three-day festival, when the sound of automatic gunfire erupted. >> we just received, you can
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hear the -- [ gunfire ] ♪ as you can hear, there were multiple gunshots coming from someplace near that concert stage. we just had a press conference a short time ago from the clark county sheriff who gave us a lot of information that we hadn't known previously. we now know that there are 20-plus people who have been killed as a result of this gunfire. more than 100 others have been wounded. we understand that the shooting now came from the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay resort, and police eventually located the room, where that shooting was coming from. they moved in, and the suspect was neutralized. >> that's right, he was killed. his name isn't being released but it is known to the las vegas authorities. they say he's a local resident. there's also a search under way for a woman who police believe was traveling with the suspect so they're asking for
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information about her as well. i believe her name is mary lou danley. and they're looking for two vehicles as well. >> registered to the alleged shooter. we want to get the latest on this. we have steve patterson, he is located in las vegas, down on the strip. we have other correspondents in the area as well. i think we're going to start with joe fryer, located in the hotel at the four seasons resort, which is a part of the mandalay bay resort as well and located on the 38th floor. joe, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey there, matt, good morning. so we have been in the hotel all night. this is where we were staying, the four seasons is part of the mandalay bay tower on the upper levels so we're on the 38th floor and as you just heard from the sheriff they say this shooter was on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay so six floors below here. we don't know from a left to right perspective where exactly the shooter was located, but we have been on lockdown ever since
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this shooting started, told not to leave our hotel rooms. obviously there is a strong police presence here. we want to give you an idea of the perspective. i need to turn off the light so you can look out the window without seeing the reflection. here we are high above from the 38th floor, what you're looking at right now across the way is where the concert was taking place. so a few hours ago that place was packed with thousands of people. jason aldean was performing. it's basically the middle of the screen you see there, where the concert was taking place. so we're on the 38th floor, it gives you a little bit of a perspective how from this high up what vantage point the shooter may have had in this vicinity. again, we have been told to lock down. we saw a clearly strong police presence. they worked very hard to try to actually keep anyone from entering the las vegas strip to getting on the las vegas boulevard here. we've only seen police and ambulances here over the last few hours. we see fewer of those vehicles
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and obviously this area was flooded with emergency response initially when the shooting happened. ambulances, police cars, whoever could were taking the injured and trying to get them to the hospital nearby. i'm going to pan to the right here a little bit if you're still looking at our shot. that is mccaron airport, the main airport in and out of las vegas. it's located near mandalay bay. flights going in and out of the airport stopped late this evening as an extra precaution. matt that's the situation here. we've been told to lock down, stay put and shelter in place until we receive the full call clear from here. >> we've heard from some former law enforcement personnel saying that was the sound of gunfire coming from what they described as a sub machine gun. you hold the trigger down and the gun continues to fire until the clip is empty, and just again, you're on the 38th floor, six floors below is where this shooting occurred, and when you look down at a crowd of concert goers from that distance, there is no way you're picking out an
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individual target. you're just shooting at an area trying to do as much damage as possible. would that be fair to say? >> there's a shooting! what the [ bleep ]! >> reporter: exactly. from our crews that have been staying here tonight we know that concert was packed. it was loud. the music was playing late into the night. we've heard from various people i know of some friends who had come here for this concert for this weekend, so that was an area that was just packed with people and from this distance, you know, we're not talking about someone who is, you know, trying to pick out a specific person. we heard the machine gun fire, it was continuous, clearly trying to hit as many people as possible from this vantage point. people who live in las vegas know this is one of the areas that is a soft target, an area where a lot of people gather, there's a lot of towers. there's huge acreage on these properties. obviously imagine mandalay bay if you know it, it's a huge property like most of these places in vegas so trying to search it and find this shooter in the building, obviously not
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an easy process but we trust it's something that police and deputies in las vegas have been training for. >> needless to say, joe, there would have been security at the concert itself. we've heard from concert goers there was security but checking into a hotel, there's nothing to stop you from bringing in your own weapon. >> yes, obviously we checked into this hotel, no one is checking what we brought into this hotel. what we can say and we don't know the situation for every room here but this room we're looking at right now, this window doesn't open. we're not able to open this window right now to have sort of a free access to what's outside. i don't know the situation with the room in question here, but most of these rooms in this level don't have patios or anything to look out. we have to wait and see what police tell us about that but clearly anyone can get into this hotel, no one's checking them, if they check into a room obviously and brought a weapon, no one would have been the wiser. >> joe, we want to mention a couple other things. during the course of this
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shooting and immediately following it, the sheriff said that there had been reports of other gunshots coming from other locations. he says at this moment there is zero indication there's anyone other than the shooter that they've neutralized who was taking part in this. he also said there had been reports of explosions on other parts of the strip. he said that also is not true. he said that the only explosion that anyone would have heard would have been coming from the police, who used an explosive device or some sort of detonated some sort of a charge to breach the room where the suspect was doing the shooting from. is that what you're hearing? >> yes, that's exactly it. there have been a variety of reports from people and this was a panic situation of whether there was, you know, a possible device at one of the hotels in the area. people were clearly on high alert and concerned but the sheriff made it very clear that none of those things are true,
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none of those things have panned out. we can tell you there was one point where we sort of heard a noise here that very well may have been that noise the sheriff was describing, though we don't know the exact timing at this point. it certainly startled us. we know the police presence has been nonstop here, even after they would have taken out that one shooter. helicopters have been flying overhead, clearly we know they're looking for this one woman who they believe is somehow an acquaintance of the suspected shooter so we know the search continues for her, which is why we continue to see this heavy police presence in the area, and why if you look on these streets right now, they're not letting people back in here. the only cars and vehicles you're seeing are ambulances and police cars right now. matt and savannah. >> joe, stand by there, of course, thank you very much. we'll check back in with you. >> let's go to our justice correspondence pete williams in washington. pete, what are you hearing from your sources are? >> reporter: it's the very early stages of this investigation, matt, roughly four hours since this happened, started at 10:08
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pacific time, las vegas time but there's already a number of investigative leads. you're listening to the sound of that gunfire, you were just talking about the fact that was obviously an automatic weapon. clearly those are illegal in the united states, but the weapon itself, which the police have, is one avenue of investigation. they'll be looking to see where that came from. it's possible to acquire automatic weapons sort of on the black market if you will. it's also possible to take a conventional weapon that has high capacity magazines and modify it, so that it can fire automatically, as you say, you hold down the trigger and it will fire automatically. so obviously tracing the weapon is one thing, but they have the suspect. he's dead. they know who he is. they're now getting the search warrants necessary to search his home. they're looking for his cars. now they know what his cars are, because they're registered to him. they've given out the license
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number and the make. it's a hyundai tucson and a chrysler pacifica touring. they have the nevada plates on both cars and they're asking for public help out there in finding those vehicles so they can search them but obviously searching his home, looking for any information about why he did this. nobody knows at this point. we're four hours into this. it's going to take some time to figure out what went on here. obviously the big questions are why did why? did he have any help? where did he get the weapon? why did he choose this concert venue? what was going on in his mind? they've identified a woman they say was his companion, his roommate, and they're asking public help in finding her. her name is mary lou danley. she's 4'11" 111 pounds, they did not give her age but say she's is an asian woman and she had been living with him and they're
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eager to find her as well. >> pete, can i jump in for a second? we heard on a couple of occasions police know who the suspect is. >> yes. >> does that mean now he's dead they know him or that they had some prior knowledge of this suspect in the las vegas area? >> no, it's the former, that they know who he is because they were able to identify him after he was killed, after they breached the room, blew the door open, used a stun grenade and stopped any further shooting. so that's how they knew who he is. >> pete, stand by, please. i know you'll have a lot more information, as we get further into this. >> we want to go to vincent sager now, who was actually at that concert when this unfolded. we've been showing some of his video this morning. vincent, i open you're with me. can you tell us what happened, what you saw? >> yeah, i'm here. the video pretty much says it all, but yeah, we were just in the front of the stage to the
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right, the shooting started and when it first started it sounded like fireworks, and honestly, that's what i thought it was. some people freaking out and i started saying fireworks, relax, i thought they is it pyrotech c pyrotechnics and malfunction. it was jason aldean's big song and it was horror, transformed quickly when you see running with blood on them, and you look over and you see somebody laying down, and then that's when you have this, something triggers in your mind to get safe, and there was just honestly i described it to someone else like playing red light green light with gunshots. would you hear the gunshots trickling out, like i'm sure you heard in the video and everyone would get down laying down taken would stop, everyone get up and run somewhere to get safe.
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you hear the gunshots again and then you'd get down and people were hiding under the bleachers, a few times we hid under a couple hotdog machines. you just want to get down. >> vincent, i know time probably is just hard to even grasp in a moment like that, but if you had to guess, how long do you think the shooting lasted? >> oh, easily a good hour, hour and a half. easily. >> constant shooting? >> constant. i mean, i would say from the whole ordeal about a good two hours. we were on the ground inside, a good 45 minutes. you weren't looking at your clock to see it. it felt like an hour, but we were inside mgm and there was just these reports which are now, accusations of multiple shooters at different hotels, people getting terrified which you can't blame them for. >> vincent, can you try to estimate how many times this
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gunman may have reloaded that weapon? you talk about red light, green light, so obviously he gets rid of one clip, he fires all the rounds in that clip, and then there's silence for a little while. how many times did that repeat? >> i would say on estimate easily four to six different times because you heard it first, and then you thought it was something, it stopped and go back and forth. anywhere from four to six different occasions you would hear of those spurts him unloading his clip. >> of course, all this time presumably las vegas police are sitting there trying to figure out where is this shooting coming from, trying to locate the hotel room, which would explain why so much time, vincent, elapsed while this person was able to continue to shoot. could you, did you have perspective where it was coming from? did you realize fairly quickly it was coming from high above somewhere? >> reporter: yes, i realized fairly quickly it was coming from mandalay bay because of the way the sound how everything was
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echoed. obviously, yeah, jason aldean kept performing during the first round of shots, nobody knew what it was. it was during the moment where it honestly sounded like a paintball gun, muzzled, to a fireworks mishap. by the second round of shootings jason aldean stopped and everything went quiet and you could hear the sound where you can define it's coming from mandalay bay side. >> you said you could smell the gun powder. >> you could smell, yeah, that's where i was like you couldn't define the smell, you were smelling it and getting hints of smells like pyrotechnics but different and it was just in the air. >> vincent we're looking at live shots, photos mixed with live shots from the strip. by their very nature outdoor concert venues are wide open except for the structure of the stage. so what was there to hide behind when there were those pauses in
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shooting, where did people try to go? how did they try to get out of the line of fire? >> well how it worked is how the venue was set up is there was two stages that were parallel to each other, would go across. down the side there were vip areas which had anything from private little buildings to food vendors, you get any average carnival or fair, whatever. so hotdogs, food stands that kind of stuff, et cetera, so people were hiding behind them and bleachers that were your standard bleachers you'd see anywhere people were ducking behind and hiding. there was a big open venue in the middle but on each side left and right of the venue there were parallel places that people were using as shelter. hiding on top of each other. >> vincent, i know it's been an incredibly long four-plus hours for you and we really appreciate it.
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if you don't mind, stay close and we're going to be coming back to you throughout the morning, but thank you so much for your perspective. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i appreciate it, guys. it's crazy something like this could happen at a festival that is so happy. route 91 in the city. prayers go out to the people that are prayers that aren't from vegas. i'm a local. there are people here that are stranded don't know where to go. that's the scary part. thoughts and prayers with everybody that's here. we're not about this. >> we certainly agree. vincent sager thank you very much. >> thank you guys. >> steve patterson is our correspondent he's actually in las vegas now as i understand it, very close to, at the scene. steve, good morning. what can you tell us from where you are? >> reporter: good morning, savannah. i can corroborate everything that joe fryer said from above,
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where his vantage point is, which is just directly in back of me. we're about a central location as you can be here on the vegas strip. las vegas boulevard in tropicana, the tropicana hotel is behind me, the mgm grand is on my right side. new york, new york, is in front of me. this area has been on lockdown for hours. police flooded this area when that initial shooting occurred. they were in full riot gear. they had long guns. they were combing from place to place to place, making sure basically that this area was safe. we saw just moments ago busloads of people being taken away from this area, pedestrians were pushed back almost immediately, but what we've also seen are these witnesses and victims from that country music festival continuing to wander out of the scene. i'd say just about a half hour ago, there was a woman walking, she seemed disheveled a little bit in shock. we spoke to her. she said there were bodies littered everywhere, where she
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was, when that initial shooting took place. everybody we spoke to from that venue says initially it sounded like fireworks, so the performers on stage continued to play, the people in the crowd continued to cheer, maybe people took out their iphone and started to shoot but initially they thought it was part of the show and as it went on, because you're just not in this country, i don't think, used to hearing automatic gunfire like that. lot of people didn't know what it was and when they realized what it was, there was an incredible panic. one woman i spoke to said not only the shooting was dangerous, but the stampeding amount of people that flooded away from that scene and then into the vegas strip, which i don't care what time it is, is always heavily populated, was a very dangerous situation for people on the ground, trying to get away from that, and then caught up in the crowds who were panicked, who were pushed back and who were swarming out of that location which was at a very narrow channel at a very high rate. so again, multiple dangerous
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situations on the ground when that shooting occurred. people very relieved to hear that shooter was down and that police don't believe inthat anyf these other situations brought on by all this panic and kchaos confirmed not true, no bombs in this location. clamped down with police holding the scene for the better part of maybe even more now than a few hours. we'll send it back to you guys. >> steve, thank you. >> let's go to pete williams. we said we do not have an identity of the shooter, pete, but we do according to the local sheriff, have an identity of someone described as perhaps a companion or roommate. >> our assumption here based on the records we've looked at is that this is the roommate. this is her name, it's marilou danley, d-a-n-l-e-y, 4'11", 111
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pounds, they describe her as asian and it's important to point out they made it clear they have no idea whether she played any role in this shooting, but because she is the roommate, they definitely want to try to find her, talk to her, see what information that she can shed on what happened here. they also are looking for two cars registered to the male suspect, and we know it was a man who fired the shots, because the police have said so. hyundai tucson and a chrysler pacifica touring, both of which had nevada plates. they've given the plate numbers for both but they are very eager to find marilou danley because they believe that she can shed for light and at this point they simply don't know what motivated this man to go up to the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel and open fire with an automatic weapon. >> pete, just to be clear because the sheriff earlier in the news conference described ms. danley as a companion, when
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i heard that, i thought oh she was with him tonight at the hotel. you've said no, it appears that they live together, so perhaps this is a companion, some relationship there. can you clear that up at all or is it still an open question? >> no, i think it's an open question. i don't know the answer to that question. i don't know whether it's believed she was with him at the time and then fled or whether -- we believe that they lived together at some point, whether they were still living together we don't know but i believe that that's why he referred to her as companion or roommate. >> pete, while we have you here, we often talk in the aftermath of a tragic event like this, how weapons were gotten into an area where they could do so much damage. let's go back to this hotel and any hotel like it, for that matter, in las vegas and other cities, so by their very nature, you have people coming in and out, and a large percentage of those people are carrying or rolling large suitcases with them, so the idea that someone
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could either break down or get a rifle, even a sub machine gun type of rifle into a hotel like this and shoot is not something that would be very surprising. >> oh, no. this is a country awash in guns and nobody searches your luggage when you check into a hotel. you know, people can carry all kinds of weapons into hotels and i'm sure they do it all the time when they're traveling with their weapons legally. this weapon is an illegal to possess unless it's registered. this is clearly a machine gun or sub machine gun. it's an automatic weapon. those are illegal. the only way to possess them is to have them registered with atf. it's unlikely this weapon was registered, but clearly tracing it is one of the big investigative leads here. >> pete, for those who aren't as fluent in this area, i mean you say it's an automatic weapon, not a semiautomatic weapon.
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can you walk us through what you hear and how that enables you to make those conclusions? >> an automatic weapon means that as long as you hold down the trigger, it will continue to fire rounds until it runs out of rounds, and then you have to stop and reload, change magazines and put a new magazine. semiautomatic weapon means it fires every time you pull the trigger, as opposed to a weapon that you have to do something to cock the weapon to discharge the spent cartridge, bolt action rifle or a pump action rifle, a semiauto you simply pull the trigger taken chambers new round and fires it but a fully automatic weapon which is what we're hearing here means as long as you hold down the trigger, it's firing weapons and these are heavily restricted. some police departments have them. obviously they're used by the military overseas, because you want that maximum fire power
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when you're in a combat situation, but clearly this is something heavily regulated in the u.s., but it's possible to take an ordinary semiautomatic rifle and modify it by making some internal changes so that it will fire automatically. and that is by the way something that's illegal to do, but it can be done. >> and pete, the caliber of a weapon like that, and i mean the fact that you can be 32 floors above the ground and it still has that kind of lethal potential. >> absolutely right. i haven't done the math yet to see what the distance would be from the 32nd floor of the hotel to do my high school trigonometry here to see what the 32nd floor of the hotel would be to that concert venue across the street but certainly within the range of a rifle. we are trying to find out what
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the caliber of the weapon was to try to get a better idea of that question. >> with the map we're looking a great distance individuals on the ground look very small and yet this shooter was able to inflict massive carnage. >> about ten feet. er floor so that's 300-plus feet in the air and whatever the distance. now he's talking about his map. you have the triangle basically and whatever the distance away from the building, plus 300 plus feet in the air and that's your, what you're talking about. >> and just to bring people up to date if you happen to be waking up and turning on this terrible news. >> still with me? >> yes, we're still with you, pete, as well. from the las vegas, clark county sheriff at least 20 people killed, more than 100 people injured, one gunman on the 32nd floor of a mandalay bay hotel and opened fire on an outdoor concert, jason aldean, the country music star, playing at the time. >> pete, you want to say
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something else? >> yes, we had believed that the suspect and this woman, marilou danley, were from the nevada town of mesquite, nevada, and producer andy blankstein has been told that the mesquite police department says that search warrants are now being served on an address in mesquite that we believe is connected to the suspect and this companion, so that's the investigative step that we expected would next happen would be that they would be serving search warrants on the address to try to figure out what information they could get. >> that looks to be about an hour and 15 minutes northeast of las vegas in terms of the drive, mesquite, nevada. >> all right, pete williams, pete, thank you very much for your information. we'll be checking back throughout the morning. nbc's tom costello joins us now, taking a look at so-called soft targets like this festival.
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tom, can you give us a brief report on what you know? >> well, this is really the classic definition of a so-called soft
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we are back with more of our special report on a mass shooting that's taking place in las vegas, nevada, at an outdoor country music festival. the shooting not coming from the concert venue but from a window 32 floors above it at the mandalay bay casino in las vegas. what we know right now, more than 20 people have been killed. more than 100 have been wounded. >> the shooter is dead according to police. his identity is known to the authorities in lass vegas. they have not released it publicly. they're looking for a woman marilou danley, who is said in the words of authorities to be a companion of the shooter.
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they want to know who she knows and looking for two cars registered to the shooter and we are just learning from our pete williams they're conducting searches of a residence or some building in mesquite, nevada, about an hour and 15 minutes northeast of las vegas. >> this was the ending day of a three-day country music festival, a harvest festival. jason aldean, the country music star, was performing live on the stage at the time this happened. a according to some eyewitnesses they heard rapid gunfire, automatic weapon gunfire and it came in spurts, apparently the shooter 32 floors above would fire until it was out of bullets in one particular clip. there would be silence for a while and then the shooter would reload and begin firing again. an eyewitness we spoke to said people played an almost life and death game of red light, green light. every time there was silence they would get up and try and move around to find some cover and when the gunfire began again
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they'd get down on the ground and try to stay in place. one eyewitness told us this went on he thought for nearly an hour, but clearly there were a large or there was a large number of bullet s fired into this crowd that was simply gathered to listen to country music. >> let's go to nbc's joe fryer, he's actually in a hotel room very close to where this all unfolded about six floors higher than where we believe the shooter was. joe, good morning to you. what can you tell us? >> reporte >> we might have trouble reaching joe. we should say that after this shooting had been going on for a while, police in that area located the room. they realized where this was coming from, 32 floors up, from a window at the mandalay bay, according to a press conference we listen in on a while ago they located the room, they went up into that hotel, they breached the door. they mentioned some sort of an
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explosion to breach the door of that room and the shooter was neutralized. at the moment we do not have any reports that there were any other shooters, any other explosions, anywhere near the strip, although there had been some previous reports from eyewitnesses to that extent but that does not appear to be the case. >> no, that sheriff has said he thinks there were no explosions and there's only one shooter and that shooter is dead. let's go to somebody who was at that concert, alex rasmussen is on the phone. he traveled from memphis to go to vegas and to attend this festival. it was a three-day festival. alex, good morning. we're glad you're with us. we're glad you're safe. can you tell us where you were, what you heard and saw? >> yes, absolutely. thanks for having us on. we were just in front of the stage, about 50 feet back on the left side of the stage, so we were on the farthest side away from the mandalay bay where it turns out the shooter was shooting from. the first thing we heard sounded
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like maybe it was fireworks or some type of fire cracker even in the crowd, but it was very loud, rapid popping noise. the first one happened, it was going on, the second the shots went off -- >> alex, are you still with us? i think we may have lost that line as well. obviously difficult to communicate with people there right now. steve patterson is down on the strip not far from the mandalay bay. steve, can you hear me? >> reporter: i can hear you, matt. >> bring us up to date on what you're seeing. i understand that the scene behind you is quiet now but we're talking four-plus hours since this shooting occurred. the police were pretty quick to isolate that area. what's going on behind you? >> reporter: for four-plus hours the scene remains very active.
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you can see behind me kind of the stretchers that are out here, the ambulances that have swarmed in, the squad cars that remain here. traffic as you can see back open one lane here with people trying to get through and filter through this scene but police have had a lock on this now for a few hours. what happened initially, police swarmed in, after they heard reports of gunfire, and as we've been mentioning multiple reports of multiple scenes of gunfire so police are dealing with reports coming in from all different directions. they swarm in, they take over this scene. they go from property to property to property, hotels and casinos, we're in a central location on this strip, so i can see the mgm, i can see the tropicana, i can see new york, new york. i can tell you that police in full s.w.a.t. gear at times with long guns cleared these areas, in other words went in, pushed people out. patrons came out with their hands up and they basically cleared this scene.
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in what has to be one of the most eerie parts about all of this, the vegas strip, which is always so populated, revelers out at all times of the night, last night it was completely shut down, when police had a lock on this scene. very eerie to hear almost nothing on this strip after police had swarmed in, and set up and made sure that everything was safe. that's work that continues now police a lock on the scene here. they want to make sure everybody's pushed out of this area as we continue their operation with what happened, the tragic events as you heard. as we mentioned earlier, that automatic gunfire from an elevated position, we heard so many stories of people who were filtering out from that area on the ground who had to get out quickly and because they had to get out so quickly with that amount of people in that location, there was almost like a stampede of people, so not only was it dangerous from above with so much confusion of what
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was happening from above, but on the ground, people were getting trampled. one woman i spoke to said there were bodies and people who had been shot and victims who were laying around here scattered everywhere. she said one body laid on top of her as the gunfire was going on. another woman i spoke to said she hid in a bush for the better part of an hour, not knowing what's going on, terrified of what's happening on the outside world. so we're hearing obviously accounts from those victims, and then there are just people revelers who were out on the street as normal on the veigh was strip. i don't care what day it is or time of night there's always people enjoying the festivities here. they hear all that gunfire and the stampede of people from that location behind me flooding onto the street and they start running and so it's obvious to hear why there were so many reports of gunfire at various locations and reports of explosives because there was so much confusion on the ground, which police now have a good hold of at this point. matt and savannah?
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>> steve, you talk about the time you just mentioned from upwards of an hour and you heard from an eyewitness, i said how long do you think this went on? he said more than an hour and you think of people trying to hud until place, not able to get up and run around, because they're not sure if this shooter has reloaded and is going to start firing again at any second. that is a very long time to be under those circumstances. also want to mention that in that press conference not long ago the clark county sheriff was putting out a call for anyone who was there in that area who may have taken cell phone video, to please review that video to see if it might have any importance to law enforcement in this early stage of the investigation and please, turn that video over to the local law enforcement. steve, thank you very much. >> let's go over to buzz brainard, sirius xm host, he was near the stage actually broadcasting the concert. buzz, good morning to you. tell us what you experienced.
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>> well, you know, we were on stage for the entire festival, doing intros for the show and we had just left in the artist tent area right off stage and nobody knew what it was. it's the last day of a three-day festival, the last act and we thought it was maybe fireworks and it took a couple of rounds for anybody to do anything. we heard a rumor it was possibly power lines. everybody moved out of the tent and by the time we realized it was gunshots we were pretty much, everybody was hiding under the tour buses, the artist tour buses back stage. we were there for a while, and then you heard the rounds going and then a pause and it would start again and then i don't know if it was law enforcement or civilians but somebody started to try to move everyone out so everyone in the back stage area, we had run across the stage of route 91 and joined
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the mass exodus of all the concert goers and it was chaos. it was just, you know -- people were on the ground, you could see some were injured. some were sitting trampled. people were running as fast and as far away as they could as quickly as they could. >> buzz, could you estimate how long from the first, i know you didn't know they were gunshots right then and there but until the gunfire stopped about how long that went on, how long this shooting was going on? >> well it's so hard to tell. i mean, we felt, it maybe was five minutes or so, but we ran and you start to think where a safe place is, so everybody just dispersed. we had a pretty large crew, we all separated. couple of us stayed together. everybody ended up at a different hotel and finally it seemed like it calmed down, and i'm at the tropicana now, so they've got us all in the
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convention center on lockdown and my co-workers, some are at the mgm, some are at other casinos. we were all staying at the mandalay bay but we're not going back there any time soon. >> buzz, let me ask you to take you back to the venue for a second. you were on stage for much of the festival, went to a talent tent. what's the viewing area size here, 00 yards by 00 yards, something bigger, smaller, and do you know, buzz, were you able to see where most of the victims were? were they close to the stage? were they in the back side or i know mandalay bay is to the right of the concert stage. do you have any information on that? >> here's what's bizarre. our rooms were in mandalay bay. i was on the 23rd floor, my room, and so my view had to be pretty much the same view. we didn't realize the shots were coming from there, but i had on a couple of occasions looked down out of my room and could see the entire festival grounds so where my room was situated, i
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believe close to where the shots were coming from is you could see everything. could you see where all the patrons were. you could see the entire -- basically it's a parking lot that was set up with a stage and a few tents and a bunch of country music fans. >> and buzz, do you have any idea how many people were at that concert, as jason aldean was performing? >> i was just talking toof my co-workers we don't know the number but with jason aldean performing you see people you couldn't see the end of it from that stage. it was thousands and thousands of people. you couldn't see the end of the crowd. >> buzz, thank you very much for your information and we're glad you're safe. >> thank you. thank you. >> let's go over to nbc's pete williams who has been working the phones at this early hour. pete, have you picked up anything more? you reported last hour about
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these search warrants that are being executed in mesquite, nevada. >> reporter: right, and that search is well under way now, and let me just explain why we believe they're searching that address. our understanding from the federal agents we've talked to, and this is, you know, obviously the las vegas police, las vegas sheriff's office is in charge of this case but they're getting heavy assistance from the federal authorities from atf, we're told atf agents are in that room at the mandalay bay hotel looking at beginning to process the scene there, looking for forensic evidence. they have the weapon that was fired. i don't know the caliber yet. i don't know any information about the weapon, but they are beginning to conduct an emergency trace to see where that came from, so that's one investigative avenue of inquiry but the second thing is, they know who the gunman is or was i should say, and that has opened up a second investigative line
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which led them looking at the records to the two vehicles. we've heard a report that one of them may have been found at this point, but the second thing is that led them to this address in mesquite, nevada, and they're now searching that person's house. now, we showed earlier the photograph of marilou danley, who the police and the sheriff's office said this woman here was his roommate or companion, is the way they described it. and are search of the databases indicates that she is 62 years old. we have a name of a suspect that we're not reporting yet until we can get triple confirmation of it, but he is also 62 years old. the two of them were seen together at this hotel apparently before the shooting. witnesses have already been talking about that. so we're just waiting to get additional confirmation, but i mean, this is an unusual situation here for several
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reasons. one is that, if you just look at the very sad history of mass shootings, they tend not to be carried out by people in their 60s, and the second question, of course, has been, why? what could possibly inspire someone to do this, and that is an open question at this point. the search in mesquite may begin to shed some light on that and of course the other important question here is, was this part of some other plot? was there something wider here? there have been a number of small scale terror attacks around the world in the last few days, one in canada, one in france, the obvious question, are these somehow related or does this have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism? the initial report, the initial assessment from the las vegas county sheriff was that this person was not involved in any terror groups, but it's going to take a while to try to figure
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out what was going on in this person's mind in the days leading up to this horrible attack. >> and obviously as we talked about before this person bringing a weapon or weapons, we don't know, into a hotel. we also have to find out, pete, how long he was registered in that room, how long he may have sat in that room thinking about doing this or planning this. was he there for a week or did he check in just before this particular concert to do this? how did he begin shooting? did he simply shoot out a window of a hotel famously the hotels in las vegas those windows don't open generally although some expensive rooms have balconies but semplely shoot out that window and then aim the barrel of this weapon out toward that crowd but how long he was there, how long he planned something like this, going to be a huge concern and interest to law enforcement. >> they're already starting to work the time line backwards,
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matt. you're absolutely right, to try to figure out working backwards from the moment of the shooting, then going back in time, when he did check into the hotel, when did he get to las vegas from mesquite, when did he get that weapon, when did he buy the ammuniti ammunition. those are all going to be key investigative steps to try to figure out what went on here. >> there's a lot of rumors online about a woman being there, so i mean, pete, did i hear you correctly, they believe that this woman marilou danley was actually at the hotel or somewhere near the scene? >> to be clear about this, savannah, this is witnesses have said they thought they saw the two of them together at the hotel. i've not heard from law enforcement whether, in fact, she was there. >> okay. >> so just to be clear, the witnesses said that law enforcement has been circulating with a photo of marilou danley and that's how they got that information that people say yes, she was spotted at that hotel. >> yes, because there's also the
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picture of her and an older man, who we believe is the shooter, but we're not identifying him until we're absolutely certain of the identity, but it's, you're right, one led to the other. once they began to show the picture of marilou danley, then people say ah-ha, i saw her with an older man. we believe marilou danley is 62, the photo would seem to indicate that, beginning of gray hair, and the databases indicate there is such a person in mesquite, nevada, aged 62, and she was, we believe, living at the home owned by the suspect, who is also 62, if we're correct about the suspect. >> and just to go one more time, pete, for people who may be just joining us and missed our conversation that we had with you a little bit earlier, they now have an identity of the suspect. did this person have any history of breaking the law, any sort
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of, you know, was he on the radar for law enforcement in mesquite or in las vegas for any other reason in the past? >> you know, i've not seen anything in the search of databases i've done for any kind of court record but i just don't know, i think it's going to take us a while to figure out the answer to that question. i've not heard that he was on anybody's radar but i think it's a little too early to know that for sure. >> okay. pete williams, pete, thank you very much. >> we're just starting to get more images and video of the moments after the shooting. if you haven't seen this, here we are, this is the aftermath, this video just came in to our newsroom. you can see what our correspondents described just utter chaos as you hear gunfire, and you hear people running for their lives and just adding to the terror of this moment. people not knowing where the gunfire is coming from and now we know of course it's somebody 32 floors up who has a vantage point looking down and can see the entire breadth of this
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concert festival. people just listening, this is the third day of the music festival, and we know according to the sheriff that at least 20 people were killed here, more than 100 injured. >> that is startling video there, as you see people start to get up during the silence between the firing and then as the bullets ring out again, dive to the ground. you don't know whether some of those people were struck or simply diving for cover, but you also look with that hotel in the background and you know that this shooter was simply aiming that weapon into a sea of people, hoping to hit as many people as he possibly could. >> and by all accounts this is an illegal automatic weapon. you hear the firing of it. we've had law enforcement experts say this is a machine gun. this is a gun you pull the trigger -- >> nobody can pull the trigger that fast and with that sort of rhythm. that is simply hold a trigger down, the gun does everything else for you, and fires until
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it's empty. >> it's an open air festival. obviously just precious few places to run and hide or to take cover, adding to the absolute just horror of what we've seen unfold over the night here in las vegas. >> tom costello is also joining us this morning for this report. tom, what else can you add? >> let's talk for just a moment about the observation you had, matt, about that machine gun. we are talking about, it certainly sounds according to the experts like we're talking about the kind of machine gun you set up on a tripod because the kickback from that kind of, those kinds of rounds, that many rounds coming off the weapon would make it virtually impossible to hold. it's quite possible this was on a tripod type of mounted machine gun which makes this as you could imagine all the more deadly. the other observation is that as the shooter was firing down into that festival, he was literally taking his pick of targets because everybody in that
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festival was trapped. there were walls surrounding the festival. there were only a few access points because you had to get a ticket presumably to go to this concert and therefore people had nowhere to go. they were trapped inside that ring, if you will, with the shooter firing down on them. this was the route 91 harvest festival, a live nation event, a three-day concert event, and it was, as you know, at the moment we had jason aldean on stage at that very moment. really what many people describe as kind of a classic soft target, if. you're looking for a large number of people to inflict maximum damage, this would be exactly the kind of event. there are no shortage of those events around the country and unfortunately, for whatever reason, this was the event overnight in las vegas. we don't know the motivation. the question is going to be, was there a political motivation, a religious motivation? was this guy having some sort of a personal grudge or vendetta? we simply don't have the answer to that at the moment, but
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listen to that weapon firing off. that's like something out of vietnam or iraq. that is just a mass slaughter that's under way at that moment. >> tom, you have to imagine that the gunman in that room with whatever number of rounds he had available to him was trying to get through those rounds as quickly as possible, because if you're in that framework of mind and you're shooting out of a window, a high floor window, at a crowd of people, you have to know that it's just a matter of time, you're facing away from the door of that room, it's just a matter of time before the police are going to come through that door and your time will be up, and it sounds like that that person was just simply trying to get through as many rounds as he had available to him. >> that's right, and we also are reading reports from eyewitnesses on the ground who say that the officers who were running to that building by and large were the first officers were armed only with their handguns, only a few minutes later, when the s.w.a.t. teams and the tactical units arrived
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more heavily armed units with kevlar vests and high caliber weapons, only then were the officers able to really truly run towards and storm that hotel. the first officers clearly were outgunned. you know, it's absolutely horrific that we're now already talking about this in the scope of the worst mass casualties incidence in american history. the pulse nightclub in orlando, virginia tech, sandy hook, the cafeteria in texas shooting. this is going to go down among those already, and we still don't know the accurate number of people who may have been killed. >> and think of the challenges for law enforcement, tom, as you're entering the mandalay bay hotel after the shooting has begun and you're trying to apprehend or take down a shooter. there must be hundreds of people fleeing that building, trying to get away, or get out of harm's way, and you, as a police officer, don't know if one of those people is involved in this shooting, and is running past
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you in the other direction. you're simply trying to get up an elevator to the 32nd floor, because you have to imagine they had triangulated the location and trying to get up to that shoot and there's chaos in that building. >> that's absolutely right. anybody who has ever been in one of these las vegas casino hotel resorts knows they are often absolutely packed with people. it is on a typical day it seems like organized chaos. imagine in this kind of an event trying to weed your way through all of those people and get to the suspect and you're now looking at the scenes of the fire department, the paramedics working on these victims. absolutely horrific. it looks, the other thing that is striking to me, guys, it looks as if the vast majority of the people at this concert were young, 20 to 30-somethings who were there for just a great night of country music. >> we have the map up just a moment ago. it bears repeating this is the las vegas strip the
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international airport close and for a moment, tom, i know that flights in and out were stopped, and it can only imagine how difficult it was in these very first moments trying to figure out where the gunfire was coming from, which hotel. okay, which floor, which room. so you can understand why we've had so many witnesses say to us this morning on the phone it felt like the shooting went on for some time, because it took some time to figure out where it was coming from. >> and there are people who say that you know, you look up, tom, in a fairly dark background, and you do see the flash of the muzzle when the shots are being fired so i'm sure some people on the ground were helpful to law enforcement to locate that. look, we've been and we've all covered large events where there are large numbers of people in an area surrounded by buildings, and oftentimes, and there's one example that i can think of here we've been involved with in new york oftentimes when you have large crowds like that surrounded by buildings, the
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police in advance will actually mark certain floors of a building with a large number so that if if something were to happen, they'd be able to identify a floor quickly to get help to people or to get to a suspect on that floor. >> i think that's a huge challenge. you and i both know we all know what it's like to look up at a building and try to guesstimate which floor is that, and you really can't get a very good accurate picture of that. you count the floors, you try to figure it out by landmarks and in the case of the situation therein las vegas, this place where there are strobe lights flashing, concert lights flashing, cameras flashing. there's an awful lot of distractions trying to, as you try to make that assessment. >> all right, tom, thank you very much for your input as well. >> we are going to continue our coverage of this situation. terrible mass shooting that took place in las vegas at a country music festival, the final night of a three-day festival, a gunman on the 32nd floor of the
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nearby hotel opening fire on the crowds below, inflicting massive carnage. we'll continue our special report in just a moment. .tay with us
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and good morning, everyone. i'm matt lauer alongside savannah guthrie in new york. we are on the air early to bring you the latest on breaking news coming from las vegas, and it is terrible and tragic news. there's been a deadly mass shooting in an outdoor country music harvest festival. >> this happened just after 1:00 eastern time, about 10:00 p.m. local time in las vegas near the mandalay bay resort and casino on the strip. jason aldean was performing. this was the finale of a three-day outdoor country music festival when the found of automatic gunfire erupted. [ sound of gunfire ] >> you can hear it on that tape. a lot of people at the concert have already told us they sort it was somor

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