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tv   Early Today  NBC  October 2, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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>> we're going to take a pause here in a moment, top of the hour we're going to continue our coverage. this has been an nbc news special report. the worst mass shooting in u.s. history. nbc news special report. the worst mass shooting in u.s. history. good morning. breaking news. a gunman opens fire on an outdoor concert crowd in las vegas. more than 50 killed. 200 others wounded, the deadliest mass shooting in history. the gunman, 32 floor s up, at te mandal mandalay bay resort. the shooter was 64-year-old stephen paddock. he was shot and killed by police. witnesses describe moments of pure panic. we have complete coverage today, monday, october 2nd, 2017. from nbc news, this is a
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special edition of "today," deadly washingtdead deadly las vegas shooting. with matt lauer and savannah guthrie, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to a special edition of "today" on a man morning. we almost feel like we should start by apologizing for what you're going to be hearing. in some parts of the country we join you live, a little early this morning, as we coffer what is the deadliest mass shooting in history. >> when you hear the toll, it take yours breath away. more than 50 people killed. >> this is the very information. it happened after 1:00 eastern time, after 10:00 in las vegas. the gunman on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay resort and casino. was shooting into the you at the root harvest festival.
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>> the sheriff just gave us the latest figures. at least 50 people have been killed. more than 200 others wounded. some of them, many of them, we're told, in critical condition and many in surgery this hour. >> we can tell you that the shooter who was shot and killed by the police, is identified as stephen paddock. 64 years old, from mesquite, nevada. >> in response to the shooting, authorities shut down part of the las vegas strip. said people should stay away, shelter in place. and all planes were grounded at the airport, just adjacent to that shooting scene. all flights in and out of the airport were temporarily halted. >> this story, as you know, and can imagine, is developing. we have full conch on the shooting and the investigation. we want to begin with nbc's steve patterson. he's in las vegas. good morning to you. >> reporter: we are in a central
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location on the vegas strip. all of the people behind me, in full police uniform, emts, people combing through the scene, especially focusing on that suspect's room where he rained down in fire. we spoke to people from that horrific shooting scene and got their tales of survival. this morning, las vegas is on lockdown, after a gunman opened fire at a popular country music festival. ♪ it happened just moments after country music superstar jason aldean took the stage at the rock 91 harvest music festival. machine gunfire from an automatic weapon, erupting into a crowd of fans. ♪ at first, witnesses say they thought it was a fireworks show.
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when the rapid gunfire continued to spray the crowd. >> get down. get down. >> reporter: confusion turned to panic. terrified concertgoers running for their lives. some laying on top of each other for safety. by some accounts, the bullets raining down for more than an hour. >> they cut the music. everyone said drop. and everyone dropped. and everyone said get up and they started to run and stampeding and charging, knocking over grills and fences and trying to get out. and we hid in a bush for like an hour. >> reporter: police s.w.a.t. teams tracked the shooter to the mond mandalay bejo tell. >> we are in fight of the suspect's room. we need to pop and see if we get any response from this guy. to see if he's moved in here. >> the 32nd floor, s.w.a.t. has
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explosive breach. >> reporter: police shot and killed the suspect. law enforcement sources tell nbc news, the alleged gunman has been identified as 64-year-old stephen paddock. we believe, we're confident but not 100% sure, we have located the female person of interest. so, i want the people to feel confident and calm in that asect. >> reporter: at this time, 4:00 in the morning here on the las vegas strip, most of it is eerily quiet, as the police investigation into the worst mass shooting in american history is now in full swing. matt and savannah? >> steve patterson in las vegas for us. steve, thank you very much. >> we turn to pete williams on the phones. you have new information on the gunman and the investigation, own the search going on in mesqui
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mesquite, nevada, in his home. >> and you heard the report about the female person of interest. that's marilou danley who lived in mesquite, nevada. they began to look into his past. and that search is still under way. his home in mesquite, nevada, they put an all-points bulletin out for the cars that were registered to him. they've found them. you heard the sheriff say they believe they have located marilou danley. we don't know if that means she is in ducustody. they're eager to talk to her. they don't know what her role in this was. several law enforcement officials told us when they got in the hotel room, they found what they describe as a cache of weapons. he had several weapons with him.
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we're trying to figure out what kind of weapons those are. obviously, you listen to the video, to the sound of the gunfi gunfire, those are automatic shots being fired. you hold the trigger down on the rifle and it continues to fire shots at a rapid velocity. weapons like that are illegal to possess, unless they're registered with atf. you can't go out and buy them. they're common in the military. one big question here, how did this 64-year-old man, get his hand on automatic weapons. did he buy a regular rifle and convert it to automatic? those are questions that authorities want to look into. this early hour, just a few hours after the shooting, no one in law enforcement has any idea, savannah, why this happened. >> pete, i should say, as part of the motive and preparation
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for this, did he go to that hotel and request a certain room on a certain floor facing a certain direction? >> yeah. very important question. was this a target he planned to attack in advance. or did he get there and just decide he would shoot out the window in whatever room he ended up in? and that's an important question. we don't know the answer to that yet. as police develop this backwards-looking timeline, that's going to be an important question. when did hi check into the hotel? what did he ask the desk clerk? was it him? was he with the woman? all questions to be answered. >> as we've been observing all morning long. nothing to prevent someone walking in with a gun like that in a suitcase, would not have caused any notice whatsoever. >> we're going to talk to a witness of the shooting. going to refer to him as shawn. shawn, where were you at the
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moment when she's shots rang out? >> good morning to you guys. i was probably 20, 30 feet from the stage, which is where the majority of the gunfire was targeted for the first few rounds. >> talk about what you heard and talk about what you saw happening around you. >> well, it sounded like a lot of people said, like fireworks at a vegas concert. you didn't know if it was or wasn't. the first rounds that were very quick, semiautomatic shots. very quick. you didn't know -- everyone was kind of looking around. i think it wasn't until the second round is when everybody started hitting the ground. that's when the band ran offstage. jason aldean was escorted offstage. and everyone hit the ground around us. there were people hit near us, as well.
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>> shawn, we saw jason continuing to play before running off stage. am i right that the location where the shots were coming from, was slightly behind the stage. in other words, the superstructure of the stage shielded the musicians? >> not sure where the shots were coming. we were 20 to 30 feet in front of the stage. there was a young lady that was shot right next to us. i don't know which direction they would have been coming from. but definitely the crowd that was a few feet from the stage, were getting hit. and then, as we maneuvered outside of the venue, running, like panic, there was people hit all over the place. hit as far as the back entrance to get out of there and there were people hit near the port-a-potties. and people hit everywhere. i don't know what kind of access he had to get everybody. but it seemed like his reach was
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far. >> just briefly, shawn, do you have any idea how long this went on? >> honestly, it felt like eternity. it felt like so long. it probably went on -- from the time we hit the ground, from the time we actually made it out of the venue, was probably like eight to nine minutes. but it felt like it was hours. >> shawn, we're happy you're okay. really appreciate you calling in this morning. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> let's go to nbc news analyst shawn henry who has been watching this. what are your thoughts? we have the name of a suspect? a high-powered weapon. someone who chose a vantage point, innocent victims watching a concert. >> it's the state of this country going forward, from a security perspective, when i think about this, we have to think about what was the motivation of this man?
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why did he do this? is he engaged with other accomplices? is there a wider conspiracy? police officers have to get credit here. trying to identify where this person is in a high-rise. there's a large open area where this concert was. and multiple venues where the shooting could have taken place. you have the mgm, the luxor hotels, all these hotels, 30-plus floors. for law enforcement to identify where he was, to try to narrow that down, and identify the perspective of where the shots are coming and other law enforcement officers are trying to evacuate people out of the area and then to gain access to that space and do a dynamic entry. we hear the law enforcement officers do an explosive breach, it's a dynamic entry. their primary concern is stopping the shooting to protect
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those people. >> they don't know what they're going to encounter. they don't know if there's more than one explosives or one more than one shooter. >> they use the explosion. a diversion, a lot of loud sounds. light. it's a divert the person, knock them offtarget and to eliminate this threat. >> bill bratton just came in, former new york city police commissioner. we have big events, like the tree lighting. and when police in new york, expect a gathering, a large outdoor gathering of a crowd like this, they do preliminary overviews of the area to make sure they know what could happen from different areas. would that have happened in las vegas? >> las vegas, like new york, is events like this going on all the time. the event last night, the protocols in las vegas concert
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promoter promoters have to hire one off-duty police officer for each 1,000 people attending the concert. las vegas benefits from the fact of having a full-time s.w.a.t. unit. there's a unit all the time. the quick response in las vegas, large department, very good response to this event. >> talk about the difficulty of going into a crowded hotel, as a s.w.a.t. team, and locating the room that you believe the gunfire is coming from. that's loud. that could be one of several rooms on a floor. and carrying out the mission they did. >> i stayed at the mandalay. it's a huge hotel. the quick identification of the location and getting a unit up there was just described. we have the radio transmissions that were heard this morning. those officers did a phenomenal
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job. one locating the individual and, two, making that entry and taking him out as fast as they did. fortunately, none of the officers going in appeared to be hurt in the exchange. the man was hef hi haavily arme. >> and what everyone is responding about, is the gunfire. people that have heard it said that is abautomatic weapon. and the caliber. you go back, 300 feet, the distance. and to the able to inflict that kind of damage, shawn. what kind of weapon are we talking about? >> it could be multiple weapons. 9 millimeter or 10 millimeter, perhaps. but raining those shots down from 300 yards away, perhaps, that person is likely spraying across the entire crowd. and there's people that's going
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to be hit indiindiscriminately. was he trying to hit the performer on stage? or was he trying to inflict damage? with the amounts shots that were fired, this was intended for mass casualty. >> bill, you know in your mind what the weapon looks like. and we talked about the last couple of hours, everybody that walks into the hotel, has a suitcase. >> there's no problem moving a weapon alongdisassemble, can be back together again. on the way over, i was on the phone with a senior law enforcement official in vegas, whose daughter was at that event. he said his daughter was totally traumatized. he is a law enforcement official, familiar with what's going on. he thought his daughter might be one of hundreds of people in
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this issue. >> you think about how many times we talk about mass shootings, whether that's a few people or dozens. but now, you look at these numbers and you hear at least 50 with many more in critical condition at the local level one trauma center. and it's hard to get your arms around this. >> if you will stay with us, we want to turn now, we have another witness on the phone, russell black, who was there. russell, good morning to you. i'm glad you're safe and able to talk to us. can you tell us about what you saw and experienced? >> thank you. that was absolute chaos. whoever the shooter was, was just spraying the crowd. saw people dropping left and right. i'm looking at the footage now for the first time. it's hard to process what just happened. >> where were you when this shooting started?
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>> we were in the v.i.p. tent, which is directly facing the mandalay bay. i'm guessing that's where most of the carnage happened, over where we were. after the first few bursts, it sounded like firecrackers or like an amp crackling. jason aldean had just started playing. i was shooting video of his performance. and i was thinking, that sounds like an ar-15. and sure enough, it was an automatic rifle, without a doubt. he was spraying the crowd. he was redent lelentless. five, eight seconds, to move and get out of there as he reloaded. >> did you see the wounded, russell? did you see people who had been injured? >> it was everywhere. i saw people -- thank god it was a country concert. you saw exmilitary jump into
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gear. guys were plugging bullet holes with their fingers. i saw police officers standsing up as targets, just trying to direct people, telling them where to go. the amount of bravery i saw there -- words can't describe what was like. there were ten-foot walls boxing everybody in. we couldn't escape. >> how did you get out, russell? >> ten minutes, five minutes, under bleachers. cover-to-cover. waited until he reloaded and moved. just trying to get out of there. one way in, and one way out. and the gunman had that bottlenecked. we escaped to the side where all of the food trucks were entering and exiting. through the police checkpoint. >> i can't imagine experiencing what you did. could you tell, especially at first, where the gunfire was
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coming from? it must have felt like it was all around you. >> yeah. i could hear it going through the tent flaps and stuff. and we could feel it ricochet off the ground. what was interesting, i'm from kentucky. i've been around guns my whole life. the guy was so far away, you did not know where the shots were coming from. and it would echo throughout the whole area. nobody knew where to go. and a couple people would run away from a safe area, but you didn't know if it was safe. there was no -- it was absolute chaos and carnage. >> russell, stand with us for a second. i want to ask our guests here about something you just said, commissioner or shawn. he said, it seemed like there were only five to eight-second silences between the gunfire. talk about your knowledge of loading and unloading a magazine from a weapon like that. does that indicated this guy had
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practiced this and had training? >> it seems like he was familiar with the weaponry he was carrying. it only takes three to five seconds to remove a clip and put another one in. it will be interesting to see the type of ammunition. the type of ammunition is critical here, in the sense of the injuries that are being described, typical military style cartridge can cause incredible damage. >> when you hear him, russell, talking about police officers standing in the line of fire, talking about the people that had fallen victim to you, is probably not surprising to you? >> not surprising and reflective of what i was hearing from my colleague down in las vegas in terms of what his daughter was seeing. >> russell, have you made contact with everyone you were with in that concert? >> yes. about an hour and an hour and a
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half later, we got in contact with everybody. a few friends and acquaintances that we know are in the hospital. they were hit. we don't know the condition. there's not a person in las vegas that's not affected by this in some way. we're a close-knit community. god bless the police officers. in a world where everyone is kneeling, these guys stood up. they knew what they were against. and they ran toward the danger. that's real bravery right there. >> it is. >> they say -- there's no telling how many they saved. every second was a life lost. and he was just spraying the crowd, tens of thousands of people. he fired into that crowd. you were going to hit something. total -- makes me so sick. >> hold on, russell. shawn? >> i'm thinking about the rounds and the cas that were or0
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millimeter. those are tactical rounds on the s.w.a.t. team. but military grade, those bullets, rounds, have the capacity to go through multiple people. the 9 milliliter and 10 millimeter that law enforcement uses, you want to make sure they don't go through sheet rock and go through rooms. but this particular case, an ar-15 or another military grade weapon, those rounds would have been able to go through multiple people. >> russell, our eyewitness, who has just experienced something unimaginable, i hope you will stay with us. we're thinking of you and sending our prayers and so glad you were able to mention the bravery of so many people in that crowd. it bears highlighting and repeating. we send our best to you. >> thank you very much. i hope everyone is going to end up okay out of it. >> indeed. thank you, russell. we're hearing from the president. he's been briefed. he just tweeted.
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nbc's peter alexander is at the white house with more of what the president had to say. >> matt, savannah, on this terrible day in las vegas, we are hearing from president trump. he writes, my warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the las vegas shooting. god bless you. sarah huckabee sanders, his press secretary, i hung up with her moments ago. the president was briefed by his chief of staff, general john kelkel ly. he had been briefed and said, we're monitoring it closely. all those affected are in our thoughts and prayers. i just spoke to the president's adviser in charge of homeland security and counterterrorism, tom boss eert, who is trying to help out with the hurricane
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zones, like in puerto rico. he was woken up, has been up all night since this took place. has spoken to the fbi director and others. at this point, has no details on when the president will be briefed more thoroughly about this. he will continue to get updates on this over the course of this day. matt and savannah? >> peter alexander, thank you. >> we'll have more on this horrific story, the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history, in a moment. in a moment. fi (honking) (beeping) we're on to you, diabetes. time's up, insufficient prenatal care. and administrative paperwork, your days of drowning people are numbered. same goes for you, budget overruns. and rising costs, wipe that smile off your face. we're coming for you too. at optum, we're partnering across the health system to tackle its biggest challenges. when it comes to reducing the evsugar in your family's dietom.
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- i'm a father. - puerto rican. - african-american. - i am bicultural. - we're all equal, no matter our differences. - and strong because of them. - celebrate diversity. 7:27 on a monday morning. covering the deadliest mass shooting, deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history. more than 50 people, more than 50 have been killed, as a gunman opened fire from 32 floors above an outdoor country music concert. i'm joined by bill bratton and shawn henry. we were talking about the venue.
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it's outdoors but walled in and surrounded by buildings. in this case, that's what prevented people from escaping. >> when you think of military tact tactics, you want to get high ground because you have the visibility and the opportunity to see multiple targets. in this particular case, when you're in a venue like that, the first thing you want to do is get to an egress. how do you get out of the line of fire? because the concert venue is set up, there's likely an area of tickets to come in and people are prevented from getting out of the venue. >> bill, what they try to do to prevent people from sneaking into a venue, is what traps people in that venue. >> the unfamiliar venue, the preplanning for this, you have to have a secertain number of exits to accommodate the egress of the crowd. >> because of the tens of thousands of people couldn't tell where the shots were coming from, they didn't know which
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direction to run. >> that's correct. >> i think about russell who was on earlier, an eyewitness. talking about the police officers. you have a lot of off-duty police officers, maybe former military. you hear the sounds, the sounds of automatic gunfire, their first response is to identify where the shots are coming from and direct people to protect people. and i think as russell said, a lot of lives were saved by quick actions of law enforcement. >> law enforcement and members of the military, he was surmising by the way they were treating the wounded there, and seemed to have some knowledge how to handle a pbattlefield wound, as it were. >> the horror of running towards the building, the mandalay bay resort, with a handgun, as an officer. knowing what you're hearing is the sound of incoming fire from an automatic weapon. >> the descriptions going on here.
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the handgun would not be effective anyway, until they got into the hotel. effectively unarmed, even though they're carrying a weapon. they have no ability to take him out. >> we'll continue our coverage in a mole. let other stations join us. we're back with a special edition of "today." it's been a long night. the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history has taken place. more than 50 people have been killed. 200 others wounded. >> this happened at an outdoor country music festival. the last day of a three-day festival. jason aldean was on stage when shots rang out. shots of an automatic weapon rang through this crowd, from 32 floors up at the mandalay bay resort. he fired. he emptied magazines and relo


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