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tv   Early Today  NBC  October 2, 2017 3:00am-3:31am PDT

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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 some sort of pyrotechnics
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or fireworks. it turned out to be gunfire coming from a high floor. during a news conference the sheriff of clark county announced that more than 20 people are dead, more than 100 others wounded. officials say the gunman was on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay resort firing down with what has been described as an automatic weapon, a submachine gun, at the crowd below. police eventually got up to the 32nd floor of that hotel. they breached the door of that room, and the gunman is now dead. >> police do know who this person is. they have not identified him publicly. they've just said it's a local resident of nevada, las vegas. there's a search under way for a woman who was traveling with him. authorities called her his companion. her name marilou danley. >> we also know that she is 62 years old. we understand, again, we're not
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identifying the suspect, but he is said also to be in his 60s. and now we apparently are able to identify the suspect. pete williams has that information. pete? >> reporter: matt, we've been told by several investigative agencies that the man they believe fired the shots is 64-year-old steven paddock, stephen paddock, of mesquite, nevada. authorities are now searching his house in mesquite, they have told us and the databases indicate this as well, that the woman they're looking for, mary lou danley lived with him. we don't know what their relationship was but the police described her as the companion or roommate. they were apparently living together. we don't know how long. we believe she is 62. you had asked me earlier whether he was known to the authorities. i have not heard any federal
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authorities say that he was known to them but i'm told that he did have a criminal past and was known to local law enforcement in nevada. what that criminal past is i don't know at this point but apparently his name was familiar to them. this doesn't help answer the big question here of why. there's no indication so far at this early stage that this was a terror attack. we're coming up now on, what, roughly -- >> five hours. >> reporter: five hours since this happened. they're obviously looking through his house, looking to see when he planned this, why he did it, whether they can find any indication of that but no known connection to terrorism at this point. but clearly that's an important question they're trying to answer and there's heavy involvement here from federal agencies to help the local authorities who remain in charge of this investigation. >> and, as always, pete, in the
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aftermath of an event like this there are a lot of conflicting reports. we've had people tell us that this shooting lasted between five and ten minutes. other people say this went on for almost an hour. do you have any indication, pete, that when police finally got to the 32nd floor the mandalay bay hotel and breached the door, did they get involved in any kind of a gunfight with mr. paddock? was he still shooting out the window? how did this all end? >> reporter: i don't know the answer to that, matt. that's a good question. the police earlier had said he was dead. whether he shot himself or whether he shot him, i don't know the answer to that. >> and as we understand it, the suspect, stephen paddock, lived with the woman of interest that police now seek, her name marilou danley. there are conflicting reports. we just don't know definitively whether or not she was actually in las vegas tonight, whether she was part of this or even at the hotel. this is an open question at this hour. >> and, pete, take us through
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another aspect as we play that videotape again and, more importantly perhaps, listen to the sounds that we're hearing coming from that videotape. this is the sound of gunfire we're not really accustomed to hearing. we have, unfortunately, in the past heard incidents where there have been mass shootings but the sound of the gunfire is different than what we're hearing on this tape. take me through that. >> reporter: right. this is the sound of gunfire you would hear from iraq or afghanistan from the u.s. military, automatic weapons fire. that means that somebody is holding the trigger down and the weapon just continues to fire as fast as it can chamber a new round and get it out of the muzzle. these weapons are heavily restricted by the federal government. it's illegal to own a weapon that can fire like that unless it's registered with atf, the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, fire and explosives.
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atf is one of the federal agencies assisting here. they're doing an emergency trace to try to figure out where that weapon came from. it's possible to acquire a weapon made to fire automatically like that. the u.s. military uses them extensively overseas. it's also possible to buy a weapon that isn't intended to fire that way and then modify it, make certain changes to the inside. if you're experienced with firearms, it's not a difficult thing to do. it's illegal to do that, but it's not a difficult thing to do. so that's one of the questions we're going to have to get answered here is what weapon was this, what the caliber of the weapon was, when this person acquired it, how many rounds he had with him. these are all questions that are going to be pretty easy to answer here in the coming hours. we just don't have the answers yet. >> as you and i and savannah talked about earlier getting a weapon like that into a place like a las vegas hotel when
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everybody going in and out is either carrying or wheeling some sort of a suitcase that is not, unfortunately, a very big challenge. >> reporter: no, and people check into hotels in las vegas with all kinds of things, golf clubs, tennis rack eets, it's n unusual to see big pieces of luggage. people are carrying firearms with them all over the country all of the time. they're in their vehicles, you know, the one place you can't take them is on an airplane, but you can check them onto an airplane. but that's not the case here because the suspect, stephen paddock, and also the woman who they're eager to find, marilou danley, lived nearby, lived near las vegas in the community of mesquite, nevada. and as i mentioned earlier
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they're now aggressively searching his home looking for the two cars that were registered to him, a hyundai and pacifica touring vehicle. they're asking people to keep a sharp eye out for those vehicles because they want to find them as well because they may hold important evidence as well. >> pete williams, as usual, every time we talk to pete he has new information. pete, we thank you very much. >> we now know the name of the suspect, stephen paddock, 64 years old. joe fryar is actually in a hotel room very close to the mandalay bay, actually part of that complex from a vantage point very similar to the one we believe the shooter had. joe, good morning. what can you tell us? >> reporter: hey there, savannah, good morning. we're staying in the four seasons which is part of the mandalay bay tower so the window that we're looking out of right now is on the 38th floor so six floors above where the shooter was who was on the 32nd floor.
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i'm not sure are you able to see the shot right now? >> yes, we can see your shot. >> reporter: i'm holding that shot right now. so this is what we're doing from the 38th floor. we're looking over the concert venue. this is basically the block that's kitty corner from the mandalay bay, this is our vantage point. as i zoom in here i will show you as i get tighter, that's the stage where jason aldean was performing. that was sort of closer to the mandalay bay. and then as we move to the left, that's where all the crowd was. so you can see at least from where we are on the 38th floor, you can pretty much see everything that was going on inside this concert. you can see a lot of people from this viewpoint. now we don't know if the shooter was six floors directly below us, to the left of us, or to the right of us. as i pan off here you'll get a better idea of just sort of where the mandalay bay is. you can see there's a lot more rooms off to the right of where we are and a little bit of some of the rooms to the left. as we look to the left -- >> joe, a few of the witnesses
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said that as they were facing the stage they felt the shots were coming obviously from behind them but from the right side. does that make sense with what you're seeing? >> reporter: based on what we believe to be the stage, the shots actually came from behind the stage so from where looking at if the fans were facing the stage the shots would have been coming from their right or in front of them but more than likely their right. that's what would have made sense is they would have been looking forward on the stage and the shots would have been coming from the right side of where they were. >> joe, thank you very much. stand by there because we have another eyewitness on the phone. >> we're joined now by jake owen who actually performed at that country music festival just before jason aldean. he joins us, as savannah mentioned, on the phone. jake, thank you for joining us. how are you doing? >> thankfully we're doing all right.
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unfortunately, there's a lot that aren't. it's been a pretty crazy evening here in las vegas. i think we're all still trying to process. >> jake, you had performed earlier. you were not on the stage when this happened. where were you. >> no, i was on the stage. i had just walked up on the stage with a couple friends of mine including one being luke combs, another artist, we were standing 50 feet away from where jason was on stage and all of a sudden you heard what sounded -- you know, it was the thing where, is that gunfire? and it got faster and faster, it sounded like an automatic rifle. you could hear it ringing off the tops of the rafters of the stage. that's when you saw people fleeing and at that point everyone on stage started running everywhere possible. and it was pretty chaotic for sure. >> where were you able to go to
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seek cover? >> unfortunately, i ran on the opposite direction from where my usual shelter would be which is my bus which was on the opposite side of the stage. so i kind of ran like everyone else. at one point i was crouched down behind a parked car with about 20 other people that were just people had come to the show and everyone's asking if everyone is okay. there's blood on people and you could see a couple folks on the street that looked like they'd been shot lying there. i mean, it was like a movie that you feel like you've seen before that's not real life. >> i know when something like that happens, i imagine time is really hard to even get a grasp on. but we're interested in it because it does sound like from other witnesses we talked to that this went on for some time. if you had to guess, how long
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from when you first heard the sounds to when the shooting finally stopped? how long do you think it took place for? >> without even over exaggerating i would say it was close -- it had to have been close to ten minutes because -- it went on for a good four or five minutes before i got back, luckily, to a bus that was safe in a crew parking lot. i got back to a bus. once i got on the bus we were hiding in the bus because you could still hear gunfire outside. it wasn't something that just was quick. it was chaos for seven to ten minutes. >> were you able to get back in touch with all your friends and fellow performers, or is there still difficulty because everybody scattered in so many different directions? >> there was after a while -- recently my store manager and manager got back over to where i am now. we were all separated. a friend of mine is here with
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her family for a 50th birthday, just like a lot of other people that come out to these concerts. that's what it's about to get to live this freedom thing for the men and women that fight for us and we live this life of not being scared, which i think is great. but this is reality these days. this stuff is really happening. we were all scared. and i do think it's important to say, too, the las vegas police department, responders, you could tell they did everything they could to get out here as quickly as possible and take care of people. they need a shout out as well. >> i heard somebody, jake, earlier talk about the staff of the concert venue, the people who were working who normally would help guide you into a concert venue and that person said they reacted with great calm and they really seemed to try to do everything they could to help people get out of that
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area. we thank them as well. jake, we're happy you're okay and, again, we thank you for joining us on the phone this morning. >> thank you, guys. just keep everybody in your prayers. >> we will. >> jake, thank you. let's go to clint van zandt, a former fbi profiler. when you see the images and hear the sound of the gunfire, what strikes you as somebody with a trained ear and eye? >> well, first of all, as you've been discussing with your other guests, it seems to be an automatic weapon and, you know, we make a lot in this country about assault rifles but most of the time when law enforcement goes up against something they're going up against a semiautomatic weapon you have to pull the trigger every time. this individual appears, from my experience, it sounds like a fully automatic weapon. and your last guest suggesting that this went on for five to ten minutes. if you realize a magazine has 20
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or 30 rounds perhaps, this individual had to have so many magazines of ammunition and have so much time. as you know, something like this is alclcalculated. he figured out how many rounds he could fire and how long it would take law enforcement to respond. that's a terrible mathematics that someone has to do. this morning it was mathematics that spelled life and death for dozens of people. >> clint, i guess it was probably a couple hours ago now that police revealed the name of this woman they're looking for, this marilou danley. and it's unclear, still, whether or not she was at the hotel or just somebody that lived with the suspect here. are you surprised that we haven't heard -- that she's turned herself in -- there's been no resolution? it feels like a long time in the sense if this woman was saying,
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hey, i know nothing about this, you'd think she would have already called police by now and we'd have more information. do you find anything suspicious there or am i overreading into it? >> well, what we usually find with mass shooters is there may be planning right up until the time of the shooting. there is usually poor planning on a getaway plan. they may have discussed by themselves if one or the other is captured or killed they'll have our names. so don't go back to the house. don't go to the apartment. use a switch car, a rental car. she could have just jumped in a car and drove out toward the desert right now for all law enforcement knows and realize it's in the middle of the night out there so it makes searching for somebody like this very difficult. >> that presumes she is somehow involved. that's what i was zeroing in. if we don't know she is somebody who just knows the suspect versus whether she is somebody
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that was somehow involved, that's what i'm trying to figure out. >> yeah, yeah, and i think the point is something like this could be carried off by one person. look, looking for his two vehicles, they have police officers scouring the parking lots. as most of us know having been in las vegas there could be hundreds, thousands of cars that could be parked there and they have to use computer aided search for someone entering a paid parking lot or if they're parked on a street somewhere else, that search continues until they find the two vehicles and until they find the second person of interest, they're not going to know what they have. and, of course, we're all concerned with the life and death of the individuals, those wounded, but we want to know motive. was this so-called terrorism involved? you and i can say it's an obvious act of terrorism. look how many people were killed
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and injured. but we need to know the motive of the shooter. and if there's anything else planned to take place after this terrible event. >> can i go back to the weapon here for a second and use your expertise. first of all, is this a weapon that would require any kind of real training to use? also, what would the typical caliber of a weapon like this be because if you're shooting from 300 feet in the air and 100 or so yards away out in the distance, i'm just curious as to how lethal this weapon is at that distance, and would you be aiming at anything in particular or just an area. >> well, number one, it was likely a military assault-style weapon. that's something we would call an m-16 or some hybrid or lookalike of an m-16 or ak-47. the staccato of the shots sounds faster, perhaps, than an ak-47.
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but it's going to be somewhere in that range, unfortunately, of a typical assault rifle that we see here in america. as far as the killing field, which is what this really is, matt -- this is somebody taking an automatic weapon and spraying -- it's like a fire hose perhaps where they're hosing back and forth and they're not really aiming at a particular person but they're aiming at everyone. so anyone they hit at this particular time qualifies to them as a target and, again, until we find out motive, we don't know was he after some particular person in the room or after anyone, therefore he was after everyone. >> tom costello was just speculating that a weapon that sounds the way this one does and presumably has the caliber it does because we know it was able to inflict such damage, 20-plus
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people killed today, that might have been set up on a tripod of some sort because of the significant kickback, it would be hard for one individual to hold it. does that make sense to you? >> it could. it could have a bi-pod, hooked on either side for stability as you're shooting down. we haven't seen mass shooters do that but this shooter could be capable of anything. a bi-pod could attach to the barrel of a rifle and that would be simple to do. the mentality is someone playing out this terrible video game in his mind, spraying the bullets when the weapon is held to the shoulder. there's a mentality that goes with this once someone engages
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in an act of total mass shooting. he or she reminds how they've practiced. we've so many that will use video games that practice mass shootings and, of course, could this be a military veteran? i guess it could. but also in mass shootings when they use practice games to do this it allows you to numb yourself to the tremendous loss of human life that takes place in this occurrence. >> clint, please stand by. we have more information to share. we were talking with pete williams a few minutes ago asking if he had any information on how this shooter was killed. we know, though, that the police located the room at the mandalay bay where the shooting was coming from on the 32nd floor. we know some kind of a s.w.a.t. team went up to that floor,
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breached the door, and we can now say we know the shooter was killed by the police, that this was not a situation where the shooter, stephen paddock, took his own life. we know that he was taken down by law enforcement. >> pete williams has also talked about the fact this individual was known to police. now the nature of that we don't know. whether there was a criminal past or the local authorities in mesquite, nevada, where he presumably lived were familiar with him for whatever reason but this was someone that they were familiar with. >> and we heard earlier that when police initially responded to this they were beat police officers. they had handguns as the weapons they were carrying. we had someone say they were severely outgunned. it took a little time to get a s.w.a.t. team, a more tactical team to that hotel and get them up 32 floors in an elevator to where they could take out the shooter. >> we've been showing the images
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and you have to just focus on them for a moment and it helps convey what a horrible situation this was. scores of concert goers shooting that goes on for several minutes. police are trying to identify where the shooter is. you can see how people would crouch down when the shooting began and then as a pause when he reloads his clip, they would try to run for their lives. a horrific situation. >> if you're just waking up it's 6:24 on the east coast, 3:24 out west, waking up to tragic news of a mass shooting in las vegas, nevada, at an outdoor country music festival, a harvest festival, that had been going on for three days. jason aldean was on the stage when someone on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay resort began to open fire with what's described as an automatic
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weapon. this news obviously shocking. i want to go to peter alexander who is at the white house in washington and how is the news being received there, peter? >> reporter: matt, nothing from president trump on twitter, which is often where he would go in the case of situations like this to quickly communicate his thoughts about a crisis of this kind. we've reached out to some of his top advisers and we'll let you know as soon as he has been briefed. we have not confirmed he's been briefed yet. his briefing is not scheduled until later this morning. in a situation like this it's likely the president would be alerted very early on to the circumstances. this is a president who has been tested on a variety of fronts but this would be the first mass shooting he's forced to respond to. there was the shooting in d.c. about 15 weeks ago where steve scalise was shot, who heroically returned last week.
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he's not been at the helm during a situation like this. in the past during the course of the campaign, the president would be quick to respond often before authorities had communicated their thoughts on the situation, even overseas suggesting it was another act of terrorism, radical islamic terrorism. so far nothing from president trump. we've reached out to his top advisers and will let you know as soon as they communicate to us he has been alerted to what's taking place. >> peter alexander at the white house monitoring what's going on right now. we know more than 20 people have been killed. 100 or more injured in this mass shooting that took place just after 10:00 local time at a country music festival being held outdoors as a shooter on the 32nd floor of a hotel just adjacent to this outdoor festival area opened fire and inflicted mass carnage. >> imagine the wheels turning as part of this investigation right now. stephen paddock identified as
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the shooter, 64 years old from mesquite, nevada. police are looking for his roommate, a 62-year-old woman named marilou danley. here is the picture of her now. they have not been able to locate her since. there were some reports earlier that she was seen in that hotel. we believe that was a report that came from an eyewitness after police perhaps circulated with her picture and was seen here with an older gentleman as well. we presume that older gentleman was mr. paddock. mr. paddock is dead but -- and there's a search, we should mention, going on at his residence in mesquite, nevada, right now. >> authorities are on the lookout for two cars, two vehicles that were associated with him. a hyundai and a chrysler pacifica touring vehicle. so they're looking for that. this is an active investigation and the big question looms this morning, why? why would a gunman open fire on people enjoying a concert on a fall night in las vegas?
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we'll continue our coverage here. you've been watching an nbc news special report. much more as we continue in just a moment.
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good morning, everybody, 6:30 on the east coast. it's 3:30 a.m. out on the west coast. we continue our nbc news special coverage of a terrible situation in las vegas. a gunman on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay casino opening fire on a crowd of concert goers enjoying a concert by jason aldean, who you see on stage. this is the moment it happened. you start to hear the gunfire. gunfire that went on for several minutes. and we know now at least 20 people were killed, more than 100 injured as this terrible


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