tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN October 2, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
this is cnn breaking news. >> and good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poppy harlow. we're glad you're with us. you're watching cnn's continuous live coverage of the massacre on the las vegas strip. at least 50 americans dead, over 400 hurt. it is now the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history. in just a little while, later this hour, president trump will address the nation. of course you will see that live right here first. if you're just joining us here what is we know at this hour. this shooting happened on the final night of a country music festival attended by 22,000 fans. the gunman identified as stephen paddock, a 64-year-old man from the nevada town of mesquite. that's about 80 miles northeast of las vegas. he opened fire it is believed from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel that is across the street from the concert venue. look at this scene. in a moment this will be video from the fourth row of the concert where jason aldean was
[ bleep ]. get down. >> golg get down. [ bleep ]. >> and there were bodies everywhere. i went out into the audience area from the back stage area i went out into the area and there were bodies there. and you go up to them and go are you okay? are you okay? many of them were no longer to be okay. >> that's the voice of storme warren on stage and could not believe what he found in the audience as he walked out or tried to flee to safety after the shots rang out. as you heard the shooter fired hundreds, hundreds of rounds,
for minutes on end, and then police say it does appear he took his own life, either before or as police burst into the room. we have audio of this raid, of what is called the dynamic encounter, as police blasted through the door. listen. >> on the suspect's door. i need everybody in the hallway to be aware and get back. we need to pop this and see if we can get any type of response from this guy. >> copy. all units on the 36th floor, everyone needs to move back. all units move back. >> breach breach breach. >> breach breach breach. you heard the blast right then and then the gunman either right before or right after, police say they believe he took his own life. the room, contained ten guns at least. they are now searching the shooter's home some 80 miles away. jean casarez has been on the strip all night, seeing -- i can only imagine, jean, tell us
what's happening now? >> what we're learning is that a total of 406 people were taken from the las vegas strip to the emergency rooms around las vegas. i can give you a breakdown from one hospital, saint rose hospital, is reporting they received 55 people, but this is what's interesting, the breakdown. 51 of the 55 came into the emergency room with gunshot wounds and trampling wounds. four others gunshot wounds, critical condition. now i'm at the south end of the las vegas strip, mandalay bay is behind me, you can see it. the country music concert with 22,000 people was across the street, across las vegas boulevard. and anybody who has been to las vegas, even if you haven't, the strip, the las vegas strip, is where it's at. that's where people are. and it's a long way across the street. it's not a narrow street. it is a wide street. wider in some areas than others.
but that -- those shots that came from the 32nd floor of mandalay bay, they went a long way, across the street, to the concert venue next to the tropicana if you've been to las vegas. well as the victims are being treated and as their relatives are trying to find them, the coroner's office is offering their assistance if someone cannot find their loved one, they can call the coroner's office at this point of time. but we also do know that at this minute a search warrant is being exes cuted at stephen paddock's home in mesquite, nevada, a local resident. they are saying it is going to be a slow and methodical search and remember, this is the fbi, local authorities, and csi vegas are all part of this crime scene right now investigation that is apt to take days. poppy? >> jean casarez, thank you so much for your reporting. you've been up all night doing this and bringing this to us
thank you so much. let's go to the home now, we are there and then evan perez working his sources in law enforcement as well. you're outside the shooter's home mesquite, nevada, 80 miles northeast of las vegas. what can you tell us? >> what we've seen here, poppy r vehicles, police vehicles, from nearby jurisdictions as well as here in mesquite going in and out of this community. the sun's been up about 30, 45 minutes and what we're seeing here because traffic right now is blocked off by the police, they're only allowing in residents right now or people who are doing construction, what we're learning from people who are walking around this morning, is that they are extremely confused. this is a 55 plus community. it is nestled in the hills. it looks like one of those idealistic places where you want to retire, where you see smiling senior faces, and so we're seeing people in golf carts,
people walking their dogs, and they are all talking about they don't understand how a 64-year-old man from their community could have ever done this. so what is happening right now are that investigators are behind these -- this blockade, trying to get at those answers. they are going through the house. they are looking through any potential social media, any paperwork, trying to figure out where the guns came from, the ten plus rifles that authorities found in that hotel room, what led him to check into the hotel room on september 28th, why all of this happened. it is the why that people here in this community say they absolutely need to know and right now, poppy and john, they simply don't have those answers. this community right now as confused as everyone in this country as to why a 64-year-old man would ever even do this. >> a 55 plus community in mesquite, nevada, you don't hear that usually around a case like this. thanks so much.
evan perez with us also, evan, again, we have no information as to the why here. what are you learning? what are your sources telling you about the suspect? >> right. that's the big question, as was said, the why. that's where federal law enforcement is key to helping the las vegas police, john and poppy, as the fbi and the atf are both on the scene. the fbi will try to figure out whether or not there's any social media postings, whether this suspect, this man, was politically active in any way that might, perhaps, explain his motivations. again, looking to see whether or not there's any mental health records that might suggest that he had a history here that could predict something like this. obviously, this was something of a surprise to everyone. he did not have any significant police record, anything that would have suggested somebody who would be prone to do something like this. that's according to the local authorities. we did find in doing a search, we did find that he had a pilot's license and that would suggest that at some point, he would have had some kind of
mental evaluation to have a license like that. so that's one of the things that we did as we were searching. we didn't find any voter registrations. again, something that as the fbi and the atf and local police are trying to put together a motive, that's where they would try to go to. we do know the early indications, at least according from the authorities we've talked to they did not make any connections with any foreign terrorist groups. again, one of the first things that they search for, to see whether or not there's any jihadi references or anything, perhaps, radicalization in this person's past, nothing like that has turned up in their search so far. the police at the top of the hour, the last hour, gave an update in which they said that he had been holed up in that hotel since the 28th. so one of the things that they're doing right now is, interviewing the people at the hotel. did the maids come in to service that room? would they have seen anything? if he had ten firearms and i assume a lot of am nmunition
something might have stuck out and those are the interviews being done at this hour. >> evan, if he did have -- if he did enter and leave rooms during that time there are security cameras all over these hotels, all over las vegas, so they will be looking for anything that he may have been bringing in and out of the hotel. evan, great reporting. thank you so much. joining us on the phone is brian schmidt, he was attending the concert with his girlfriend and brian, i understand you traveled from bismarck, go to las vegas to this concert, enjoy it like everyone enjoys las vegas and then this happened. what was it like to experience it? >> surreal. i don't think it's set in yet for either ana or myself. we're just incredibly fortunate to be alive, not be injured. i think, obviously, seeing some things we'll never unsee, but at the end of the day we're very fortunate to be talking to you today. >> could you tell or when could you tell what was happening? sometimes when shots come from
above it's disorienting. you can't tell which direction the gunfire is coming from. when did you know exactly what was going down? >> to be quite honest, i didn't know where the shots were coming from until we got situated and i guess it was the hooters hotel, ultimately where i ended finding some cover and safety and the news was on. prior to then, you just heard gunshots and took off running until you didn't hear gunshots anymore and that was all we could do in that situation. >> brian, we've heard some pretty remarkable stories from those who survived like you and i think you mentioned your girlfriend's name ana of off duty police officers, civilians helping tossing people into their car to take them away because, you know, so many people felt pinned in and trapped and the only direction they felt they could run was toward the mandalay bay across the street which is where the shooting was coming from. who helped you? >> quite frankly, it was from
where we were at, we were by the stage, it would have been the west side of the stage, and it was kind of an every man for himself type of mentality. you tried to protect the people that you came with and get out of there as fast as you could and just kind of keep running until you felt that there was some semblance of safety, although i don't think that there really ever was at any point last night. >> where did you go? how did you get out of the danger zone? >> we took off running and quite frankly the details on it are incredibly fuzzy. i believe we exited in the northeast corner of the arena and then it was sprinting through the back roads, i guess, would be the best way to describe it, until we just found as place that had an open door
and some shelter and just went in there and i know at one point i was hiding in a hallway behind a kitchen in some restaurant in the hooters hotel. >> at some point i was hiding in a hallway behind a kitchen. if i can, because people have asked, i'm not sure it matters, because the hotel did not have the same security as the concert, but people want to know, what was the security process of getting into this concert as a ticket holder? >> as a ticket holder, i guess we -- it was pretty much the same as going to any major type of event. they had metal detector wands you walked through and every individual ticket is -- you register on-line and it's personalized so you to swipe it across and other than that, i didn't feel that the security was inadequate by any stretch of the imagination. it was consistent with other events i've gone to the past. >> we are so glad you and your
girlfriend are okay. thank you so much for speaking to us about all of this. we're thinking about you and all those people, again, the headline, 50 plus people at least 50 people murdered, 400 plus people injured and transported to the hospital. we will be hearing from the president of the united states in just about 15 minutes. here's a look at where he will be addressing the nation from the white house diplomatic reception room. we will see that in just moments. stay with us. our continuing live coverage continues right after this.
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more than 400 injured or transported to the hospital at this shooting at a country music concert in las vegas overnight. let's go straight to stephanie elam she joins us outside the university medical center in las vegas where many, many of these injured and those that were murdered were taken because of the trauma center there. >> exactly, poppy. you're talking about this hospital here which is the only level one trauma center in the state of nevada. from what we understand 104 patients were at mitted here, of that number, 30 patients were treated in the trauma center, eight were taken to the operating room and 12 remain in critical condition. we also know another hospital in the area saint rose dominican dignity health they have three campuses and across all three they received 55 patients. some of the patients have been discharged but they're saying there are four that remin in critical condition with gunshot
wounds. of the other 51 they're seeing a myriad of injuries that go from cuts and scrapes and bruises to gone shoot wounds and injuries from trampling and also cuts related to climbing over fences to get away. if you think about the fact there were 22,000 people or so in this venue for this concert in the dark trying to get away when they don't know where the bullets are coming from there are a lot of wounds related to that. the other thing that we have also learned is the fact that they are hosting three blood drives across the city today and we already know even in the dark people were lining up to stand and donate their blood. they're saying there's going to be a huge need for blood because there are so many trauma patients. one of the locations is this hospital at the university medical center they're asking people to come and donate blood. poppy and john. >> stephanie elam outside the university medical center in las vegas. joining us dr. alexander, a professor of emergency medicine
at emory university. thank you so much for being with us. 400 people taken to local area hospitals, not all the same hospital, but still, hundreds of people taken to the hospital. when you are in an emergency room what is the process? what happens? how do you receive this many wounded people from an attack like this? >> john, thank you for having me. absolute tragedy for that community. in the emergency department, which is just the front door to the hospital, there has to be plans in place already for managing such a large volume of patients. as stephanie had mentioned, there are a range of injuries that would present to the hospital. even the level one trauma center. some that are minor, some that are more serious, some that require immediate life-saving interventions be performed. it really starts with triaging patients again. they've been triaged in the field once, they've been transported to the nearest appropriate hospital by the emergency responders, and in the emergency department, a front door to the hospital in those trauma centers, the patients are
triaged again. to identify those that have serious injuries that require life-saving interventions, that may require going to the operating room immediately, or that otherwise require stabilization and go to an icu. >> this is also -- >> and -- >> go ahead, doctor. >> sorry. no, i would just add that the patients that stephanie mentioned with less serious injuries they need to be addressed as well, and having some understanding about where you would put the minimally injured victims and address their needs and then as stephanie mentioned, provide them enough information so they can be safely discharged, that's an important process for the emergency department and the hospital to plan for as well. >> some of the eyewitnesses were saying, you know, that some of the injured felt like they weren't hurt enough to go to the hospital. the ambulances, the first responders were under, you know, such duress trying to help all of these hundreds of people, some people that were injured thought we can handle it on our
own, it's pretty koerlextraordi. this is a sunday night, think of the staffing at these hospitals on a sunday night. what would it be like and what is las vegas dealing with, with stephanie said only one level one trauma center? so on the issue of there being only one level one trauma center i don't know las vegas enough to know if there are other designated trauma centers, you can have others to which patients would be distributed. two ways largely patients would end up at the designated hospitals. one is that ems transports them, another is that patients or people will self-refer for assessment and care, drive there on their own, walk to the nearest hospital. from a community planning standpoint, that's something that needs to be addressed as well. recognizing that the nearest hospital may get inundated with patients able to walk or self-refer there, while other hospitals or while ems is later bringing patients with more serious injuries that need to be tended to. but more than just the level one
trauma center is going to receive patients as stephanie has reported already, and the community and mass casualty plan which is no doubt been implemented in las vegas, is trying to determine the best match for a patient's injuries and the hospital that will receive them and my suspicion is that the most seriously injured will be going to that level one trauma center in las vegas and then other patients are being matched with the capabilities of other hospitals in that community. >> dr. isakov thank you for helping us understanding. after orlando there were some people who were injured that didn't go to the hospital until the next day because they didn't think they were injured badly enough but the next day they realized maybe they were shot or had a broken him they weren't treating at the other time. the other thing in orlando the doctors there what they told us was the only thing they had ever done that was analogous to what they were witnessing was iraq and afghanistan. >> as you said earlier, that sound, the automatic weapon, the sound of war, and it was war for
all of these people who were fired upon indiscriminately. joining us on the phone is one of the people who was in the midst of all of this. brian hop kin, he hid in the freezer of the mandalay bay during the shooting. he joins us on the phone. brian, how you doing? >> i'm good. how are you? this was pretty -- this was pretty traumatic, pretty crazy. >> how did you end up in the freezer, brian? tell us what happened? >> we were -- my bandmate and i we just came walking back from back stage and we snuck out into the audience to see the show. we wanted to see the last performance out front. and we were pretty close up to the front, jason aldean, and about the fifth song or so we hear pop, pop, pop, pop. and we thought maybe it was firecrackers or something. and then we hear it again.
maybe it's the sound system or maybe pie row teches that are not working. when we heard a spray of it and see jason drop his guitar and take off running to the back and the lights go out on the stage, we knew something was wrong. but then the guy down in front of us about ten feet up goes down, the guy to the right of him about three feet over goes down, and when i look back, looked behind us, two girls go down. and he says, run. and you see the crowd running towards us, which was -- they were running to just the back corner. and so we're running away from them to not get ran over and not knowing where to run to. i grab the two girls in front of me, i just grabbed their hands, and i -- and instead of running towards the crowd, i took off to the right because we were just back stage. so i just went that way, and i got separated from ben.
because he was trying to get a friend of ours' wife and when we -- i get back -- to the back stage area i run past catering and past the fence and it's just -- all you hear is pop, pop, pop. it's constant is. and then it would stop for, i don't know a few seconds, and then it would start again. and so we see, there's just a fence. i thought that we had played there a few years ago and there was a fence on the back area that we could go through and i was guiding everyone who was following me to that area and we just hit this wall. so we see an ice chest. it's like -- it's a trailer. and we open up the doors and just start helping people up inside this trailer which happened to be a freezer. and there must have been, i don't know, 23 to 30 of us inside this freezer and we're
hiding in there. when we all got inside we were trying to stay calm and literally can't believe it, i mean, about halfway through i start to shoot a video and then i stop because it got too real and the guy ahead of me is -- is -- he's drunk, he's standing up, i'm trying to get him to sit down, throwing up rock signs like it's a fun thing to be a part of while his girlfriend is hysterical and the two girls that i helped are cuddling and helping her and trying to calm her down. >> yeah. >> and so i go to open up the door and all i hear is gunfire again. this time i know it's -- this is -- it's for real and i know that we have to -- we have to get out of there. i turn to a couple of the guys in there behind me and said we got to leave. we can't -- if there's people running around with guns they're going to find us and they're just shooting up this place. so, we waited until we didn't hear anything. we open up doors and somebody
had thrown a [ inaudible ] on the fence next -- right outside like they had jumped the fence, so a guy went over, another guy went over, and one dude took off and the other one stayed and i was standing there helping the women get over the fence. and we hear shooting again. we hear it again. and by the time the -- i get to the lasts part of it, the last couple girls that were helping me couldn't get over in their shoes and i just grabbed them and pulled them the thing i'll always remember is a police officer who ran towards me and said, this way. pointed to where to run. and then ran towards the gunfire. >> brian, i'm so sorry to interrupt. >> yes. >> i'm so sorry to interrupt. but we are moments away from the president of the united states addressing the country. >> sure. >> we are thankful you are okay. thank you for sharing that with us. and our best to you and everyone who went through it. you're looking at pictures of
the white house diplomatic room where president trump will address the nation in just moments following the most deadly mass shooting in u.s. history. as we wait for the president, let's go to jeff zeleny outside of the white house. what can we expect from the president this morning, jeff, with us also is lisa monaco, former homeland security adviser under the obama administration who dealt with many tragedies including the pulse night club massacre. first, to you, jeff zeleny. >> good morning, poppy and john. president trump will be addressing the nation momentarily and i am told by advisors that this speech is going to be largely one of comfort and a consoling the victims, of course. this is a time of tragedy, a time of national mourning, so this is unfortunately one of the president's roles. his predecessors have gone through this time and time again. this is the president's second time addressing the country after a major incident like this, but, of course, this is the worst in u.s. history at this point.
we are watching closely to see what the president will say about domestic terrorism, if he will use those words. >> hang on one second. jeff. i don't mean to interrupt you, but the mesquite police department, this is where the gunman lived, they're giving a press conference right now. let's listen. >> the information that gets -- that comes from that search warrant or processing the home, we will be giving to las vegas metro police department and their detectives are here as well. and that information will be getting released to the media through the las vegas metropolitan police department. so our role here is just to assist. i can't give you a whole lot more information than that. so i would -- what i would recommend is that from this point forward most of the information you can get, you can probably get through their office. >> can you just tell us if there's anything remarkable officers saw about the house when they first approached? >> no. it's a newer home. it's a new subdivision and it's a nice, clean, home. nothing out of the ordinary. >> [ inaudible ]. >> a search warrant was served at the house?
>> yes, sir. >> can you tell us what was found? was anyone inside. >> no persons were inside of the home. >> were any weapons found? >> i believe there was some weapons found and maybe some am n munition. as far as what type or how many i can't give that information out because i don't know it. the information will have to come through the las vegas metropolitan police department. >> are we talking about a number of weapons? >> i don't know. >> can you talk about the evacuating the neighbors around paddock's home? >> prior to executing the search warrant we did have the homes adjacent on each side of the home evacuated for their safety. obviously because we don't know what's in the home. to be safe we cleared the whole area around it. >> the residents been allowed back in? >> i don't know at this point. >> can you describe the neighborhood for us? is it a cul-de-sac, is it a street corner? >> so it's a retirement community area. i believe 55 and older. it's a newer part of the community, so all the homes there are fairly new. it's really quiet.
it is a cul-de-sac. it's just a regular neighborhood. >> how many homes are on that cul-de-sac? >> maybe four or five. >> and can you characterize any sort of contact you may have had with the gunman? >> what's unique for us is the gunman, the shooter, and the person with him, we in the mesquite police department have not had any contact with these people in the past. we haven't had any traffic stops, any law enforcement contact, no arrests or nothing. >> have nothing and then to have this happen, as a police officer, how do you reconcile all of that? >> we don't know how long they've lived here, whether they've been here a while or not. that's something being investigated as well. it is unique. >> when you say they, how many people lived in the home? >> we don't know at this point for sure how many or just those two or if there were more. >> those two is a man and a woman. >> yes. >> has the woman been accounted for? >> i'll have to refer to the las vegas metropolitan police department for her location or if she's been located. i don't know. >> did you have any contact with the neighbors?
were they surprised? [ inaudible ] kind of reacting to this, the neighbors? >> i don't think anything out of the ordinary that any of us wouldn't react the same way. >> do they remain in the homes while you were executing the warrants? >> they left their homes. >> a lot of residents here seem very confused because i mean look at where we are. >> it's a very quiet neighborhood, very quiet. it's a low crime area, very beautiful, clean area to live. so it is unique. it's a unique situation. >> [ inaudible ] children or -- >> i can't hear you. >> did the couple have any children? >> i'm not aware. >> were they married? >> i am not aware they were married. i don't know. >> and do you know how long they've lived here? >> i don't know that. >> just to clarify, forgive me, the woman was the person of interest or the person that the female was named by las vegas? >> the female that was named by las vegas does show she's lived in this home as well. >> what do you want to tell residents here who may be
concerned? >> don't be concerned. we have no indications there's any threats or any problems that everybody is safe. there's no active threats at this time. >> were the weapons and ammunition found in one particular area? were they spread around the hou house. >> like i said i don't know. >> was there active construction going on in this neighborhood? this is a neighborhood under development? >> this is an area constantly growing. there's always active construction going on in one part or another. >> which percentage of mesquite is 55 plus? >> that's a good question. i don't know. i could guess but i don't know. maybe a quarter of the population. >> the home a single-family home or town home? >> single-family home. >> and their immediate neighbors around it in the rest of the area? >> there are immediate -- i have some -- a couple pictures of the home once we're done here if you give me your business cards, i will get you those pictures to you. >> does it look like [ inaudible ] newspaper in the driveway? >> just a regular home, yes, ma'am. looked like it was lived in.
>> have you spoken to neighbors with interactions with them? >> that's something being done. >> are you getting calls about the suspects from people in the neighborhood who have known them? >> as far as? in the past have we? >> no currently today. >> no. >> is there a search warrant on the house? >> yes. >> thank you. >> you bet you. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> all right. you've been listening to a briefing from the mesquite police department. that is the town where the gunman, stephen paddock, lived, 64 years old. they just searched the home where he lived. and it was remarkable because the news from this news conference was, nothing unusual. >> yeah. >> found in that home. a regular community. a 55 plus community. right there. >> although they did say as we're getting our reporter up asking all those important questions there to the officer they did find some weapons or ammunition in the home. they don't know how many, where they were in the home but a
quiet neighborhood, a new subdivision, nothing remarkable, his words. >> again, the weapons and ammunition with someone who had no record like this man not in and of itself unusual. lisa monaco joins us, to have no information at this point, nothing unusual about the house, you know, it's a tough place to be this many hours after the shooting and tough for the president, too, who has to address the nation shortly to try to unify but a nation looking for answers. >> that's exactly right. what you'll see is information we're starting to get, right, from the search warrant that is executed, we're going to have to see what happens with the interviews of the neighbors and the people in the community. but you're right, very little for the president and his communications team to go on, which is why i think it's very important that the message be one of calm, of unity, of resolve, and the nation is going to be turning to a set of questions about how something like this could happen and have this individual have so many
guns and have -- no one has seen him as far as we know go into that hotel with them. >> yeah. and a new kind of ambush from above. 32 floors above these 22,000 people. lisa, stay with us, please. we have with us our john king, our david fallen, political director, senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny, as we wait for the president to address the nation. david, to you first, a message of unity is what lisa monaco who has been in the white house for tragedies like this, that is what we need to hear and are expecting to hear, she says, from the president. what can you tell us? >> well, as jeff zeleny was reporting earlier, the president is expected to fill that role of consoler in chief. and that's what the country sort of needs to hear right now from the president of the united states. there will be lots to learn about this investigation and motives and as all of that comes out, you know, hours away from now, days down the road, politics will enter into this,
but president trump right now has the very solemn job that just comes along with the office of sort of wrapping his arms around the country through an extraordinarily difficult moment. >> and it is what he did after the steve scalise shooting, the shooting of those individuals at the republican baseball practice earlier in the spring, so he does have some experience with this, john king, but remember, i mean this is a president who as a private citizen and then as a candidate would often speak or tweet or write things before all the information came in, and now he is learning, no doubt, that when you're actually in the oval office, things are quite different. >> yes. and we've seen this president get out ahead of the news if you will on some past incidents around the world and in the united states, suggesting, for example, in the past that terrorism was a play, and he's been right about that but frustrated law enforcement officials by getting out ahead of it if you will. the president issued a tweet expressing his condolences, been low key, very presidential.
the challenge for the president, i covered the bill clinton white house during columbine, 9/11 during the george bush presidency. lisa was in the white house during sandy hook. the job of the president to tell all americans we're neighbors, brothers and sisters, and then tell them their government, whether the local police in nevada or the fbi in washington, helping them and every other agency in between, is on top of this and we'll get to the bottom of this. the president doesn't have the latest facts. he knows how many have been killed and the injured, but as we listen to the remarkable news conference in mesquite we don't know much about the shooter yet. the job of the president is not to dissect the crime but tell the country, look, we'll get through this and i'm going to stay on top of it, i promise you. >> jeff zeleny, to you outside of the white house, waiting for the president, he was supposed to speak at 10:30, he could come out at any moment. we had to interrupt you last time to get to the press conference in mesquite, but you were saying? >> i was saying look, again as david and john are saying, the
first and foremost thought on this president's mind is one of unity, is one of issuing his sympathies and condolences but also at the same time there are advisors here, of course, at the white house and, indeed, across washington and the government trying to find more out about this gunman. it is unusual the president often weighs in early as john was saying, he has been very quiet about this morning, with the exception of that message he sent out earlier ob social media. but part of that is because there isn't a lot of information. and part of it also is, of course, he's being presidential in this moment. the information, of course, as it comes in, we will learn more of it. this speech, i am told, is going to be more of a schematic speech, comforting speech. we do not expect at least the president to make any news in the speech in terms of revealing any new information, as he did during the speech when congressman scalise was shot. the president, indeed, announced that the gunman had been shot
and he identified him. we do not expect anything like that because the las vegas police have already made that information known here. but look for this to be a moment for this president, a moment of leadership for him to speak. as you said he was scheduled to speak about 11 minutes or so ago. i'm not sure what is holding him up. he has rearranged his schedule this morning to give this address. he was supposed to be in the east room of the white house at 11:00. that event is being held by the vice president. an event on economics and other matters. the president is focusing on this and again, he's still scheduled to go to puerto rico tomorrow, that could always be adjusted, but his words that he'll say today, will be, again, something that his predecessors had to do so many times as consoler and comforter in chief. >> it is interesting, one of the things that could be delaying the speech is the lack of information. you want to find out everything you can before you come out and speak before the country, but we do know a lot, which is that more than 50 people were killed on american soil. gunned down bay killer from the 32nd floor and more than 400
people injured on american soil. and that is enough to speak to the nation, david, to try to bring the nation together in this moment, to try to keep, you know, the focus where it should be. >> yes. john, you noted those comments earlier this year when steve scalise and others were shot at that ballpark. the president hit that tone spot on. he was sort of tonally perfect i thought when he gave those remarks back when that shooting occurred. what we'll all be watching for here is he is going to resist what some already i've seen a slew of democrats, including hillary clinton, already sort of going to the politics of this moment in their social media statements and talking about fighting the nra and bringing in the gun control debate, just hours into this unfolding tragedy, and we will all watch now to see if the president sort of resists joining that
political conversation and sticks to what we're discussing here, just sort of the empathetic moment here that the country clearly would love to hear from the president. 44. >> we do have a statement in now from the attorney general, jeff sessions, who said he met with the new fbi director christopher rate, this morning, also assured the sheriff there in las vegas that they have the full support of the fbi, atf, the entire department of justice, his message to the many families whose lives have been changed forever by this heinous act, we offer you our prayers and our promise that we will do everything in our power to get justice for your loved ones. >> it strikes me, john king, that the very people advising the president right now, in the aftermath of this shooting, are the same people dealing with puerto rico. >> yes. >> in some cases. tom boss sert the current homeland security adviser, elaine duke, acting head of the department of homeland security. this show house quickly a government can be stretched thin, john. >> it's the one thing every new
president and president trump has been on the job a little more than eight months, still a relatively young president in office, something every new president and every new presidential staff learns is that you don't get to dictate what comes across your desk. you have your plan, the president trying to sell his tax reform agenda, planning to make that trip to puerto rico tomorrow, we expect that to go forward, the president has things on his schedule including a visiting foreign dignitary, you can plan that but can't plan this. stuff happens in the country that comes to the president's desk. the note that the outgoing president leave, the next incoming president a note, george bush wrote to the president, i know you want to focus on the economy but every world problem comes to your desk. every domestic problem comes to a president's desk as well. one of the things that will be interesting as we wait for the president here too often, this is not unique to president trump, it seems exacerbated, the volume is higher under president trump, but lisa lived through this in the obama years, i remember this in the george w. bush and bill clinton years covering the white house, we lost our ability to set politics
aside, some people have, if you look at the social media chatter, if you look at the predictable critics if you will, many people have lost their ability to set politics aside in a moment like this and just be americans listening to the president. to hear what the president has to say. to set everything else aside. that's the challenge for this president. because we do live in such a polarized climate that some people go into their boxes, even before we hear the words from our president. >> john king, well said. this is a moment not for politics, a moment to be the comforter in chief. jeff zeleny, we did get the two-minute warning, the president is coming out. as we wait, jeff, more from you, you understand, there is some reason for the delay here? >> there is a bit of a reason for the delay. i am told the speech was just updated in the president's teleprompter. this will be a teleprompter speech from the diplomatic reception rooms. one of the, you know, most somber stoic patriotic places to deliver this message. so the speech was being updated in real time. new information being added.
we don't know what that is, but we are expecting the president here any moment. he has rescheduled his entire morning here. they wanted to do this speech in a separate event like this with those flags behind the podium as you see, not simply tack it on top of an event he had at 11:00. he canceled that to address the country here, again, this is a -- the biggest shooting on his watch, something that is a test for any president, rhetorically, and we'll hear from him shortly. >> jeff zeleny, thanks so much. lisa monaco, last word as we're waiting for the president. the speech being revised as we speak. >> look, i'm sure they're trying to know everything they can before the president goes out there, but i think the point was made previously, this is not a time for the president to be talking about investigative steps or talking about even the facts as we're learning them, about what happened early this morning and late last night in las vegas, but rather, to have a message of unity and of calm and of reassurance.
>> as he did after steve scalise was shot. >> that's right. >> and others injured in that congressional republican baseball practice that was going on. he has shown he can bring this country together and the words of unity is what this nation needs this morning. >> let's remind people again of the facts as we know them waiting for the president. the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history. see on your screen more than 50 people killed, 400 injured. the shooter is a man named stephen paddock, 64 years old. what we know so far, no next u.s. to -- nexus to foreign terror or criminal record other than a traffic violation. law enforcement had no contact with him. they've searched the house. ten weapons found in the hotel room. >> right. >> where he carried out his mass murder. some weapons in the home but that in and of itself doesn't tell you much. nothing unusual seems to be the headline here which in some ways is so confusing. >> it was surreal, horrific, for all of the people, the 22,000 people, all of those you would imagine hundreds of first
responders who came, some of the eye witnesses, that we've had on who lived through this morning, saying to us, 10 to 15 minutes of constant, constant fire, saying it felt like it would never end. >> it went on twice. you could hear pauses where the gunman was clearly reloading. law enforcement saw the flashes from the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel. they radioed to other law enforcement who were able to go up to the room and through a dynamic raid using an explosive breach, they blew down the door and went into the room, not clear exactly how he died. at this point law enforcement says it is likely that the gunman took his own life. >> and very remarkable how quickly lisa monaco, the response was, as we wait for the president, 10 to 15 minutes, it seemed like an eternity for the people living through this, 10 to 15 minutes for first responders, s.w.a.t. with explosives to get up to that room it's remarkable. >> it's really incredible. by all accounts it was really an incredible response by las vegas police and the s.w.a.t. team there, to determine where those
shots were coming and the chaos that was going on in the ground there and to make it up there, have a plan to dynamically breach that door. they didn't know what would be on the other side of it and, obviously, a great risk to the first responders' lives as well. >> the president of the united states. thank you. my fellow americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief. last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in las vegas, nevada. he brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. it was an act of pure evil. the fbi and the department of
homeland security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops. i want to thank the las vegas metropolitan police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. the speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. to have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. it shows what true professionalism is all about. hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a
child, a brother or sister. we cannot phantom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. to the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. and we ask god to help see you through this very dark period. scripture teaches us the lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. we seek comfort in those words, for we know that god lives in the hearts of those who grieve. to the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward. in memory of the fallen, i have directed that our great flag be flown at half staff.
i will be visiting las vegas on wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims. in moments of tragedy and horror, america comes together as one. and it always has. we call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. we call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger, at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today. and always will. forever.
in times such as these, i know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. the answers do not come easy. but we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope. melania and i are praying for every american who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. we pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear. may god bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may god
give us the grace of healing and may god provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. thank you. god bless america. thank you. >> mr. president, travel -- >> a message of unity, of resilience from the president, saying that this was an act of pure evil in las vegas, pledging prayers to those who lost their loved ones, those lives lost, also saying to those wounded that are in the hospital now, we will be with you now and always, saying in moments of darkness and chaos like this, the answers do not come easily. also saying he will travel to las vegas on wednesday. >> he will travel to las vegas on wednesday after presumably going to puerto rico tomorrow. of the families of those killed and he noted there were hundreds of people who will have had family members killed or wounded we cannot imagine their pain, we cannot phantom their loss. back with us john king, our
chief national correspondent, john, in ways some of the most important words the president said were the first three, my fellow americans, bringing the country, trying to with his words bringing the country together. >> and then saying as part of his remarks our unity cannot be shattered by evil. look, pitch perfect from the president right there. again, i'm sure already, there are some people out there because of the polarized environment we live in won't like something they heard or won't trust something they heard or won't find truthfulness or credibility in something their president just said. i would hope they would take a breath and let the president have his peace in the sense he came out, said he wanted to unify the country. the president supposed to go to puerto rico tomorrow. had political pushback there and now says he will go to vegas on wednesday. the president has two tragedies, very different types, the hurricane damage in puerto rico, after texas and florida, and other places in the united states, and now this the deadliest mass shooting in american history taking place on his watch. i don't think whatever your politics are there is anything you can take issue with what we heard from the president of the united states right there.
at moments like this, we will be talking something about very different about the trum presidency had this not happened. because of that, because of where we began before this shooting how do people who don't agree with this president on just about anything else, process this, but as someone who covered the white house for ten years through two different presidents, been in town almost 30 years now, that was pitch perfect. >> yeah. this is the time to bring the country together. that is exactly, john king, what the president did with those remarks. not a time for politics nor did he inject them at all into his remarks. as john beautifully said to my fellow americans, with us, again, our political director david chalian, jeff zeleny, lisa monaco is with us. jeff, as you noted the remarks were updated until the very last moment from the president. >> pretty standard operating procedure, particularly for a speech like this. you want to get every word right. and again, the president, he left it to his role of being a
unifier. did not talk about the investigation, did not talk about the suspect. one of the reasons is, you know, not much is known. he said that the fbi and homeland security and others are -- are looking into this. this is not a lot -- >> you pronounce the "g." >> the nation to convey. by saying that he will go to las vegas on wednesday, by visiting this, this is something that puts him in line with what so many presidents before him have done and paid their respects. of course las vegas is a town that he is connected to and knows well. his name is emblazoned on the top of a hotel there as well. he campaigned there a lot. this is something i'm not surprised to see him go there visiting early. the moment here is what comes after this. this invariable -- invariably after today and tomorrow, will become a discussion of politics, of guns. it's not appropriate for that moment today. you will hear it. >> got it. >> but what will this president do in -- >> cedric -- >> will he take a leadership
role in that respect. we will watch that as the days unfold, but the president clearly, as john said, striking a pitch-perfect tone there. something else i think to keep keep in mind, a lot of these country music supporters were likely trump suppers. this is -- supporters. this is hitting the tapestry of all americans and going to be victims from across the country here. so this is something that is a national tragedy as the president said and the flags he ordered at half staff today in memory and thought of all of the victims in las vegas. >> david, we have a few seconds left right now. want to get your last word. your last thoughts on what we heard from the president? >> everything you would want to hear from a president of the united states. everything that you wanted to hear there. i agree with what john and jeff are saying, this was certainly pitch perfect. i also -- it struck me because of how divided our politics are, because of what a divisive figure he can be for many people, to hear him talk about the comfort of our common
humanity, i just think is such an important call for everyone in the nation to hear this president say that. >> an act of pure evil and we as americans all come together on this day. that is the message from the president. thank you all for being with us. david, thanks to you, and everyone, who is with us navigating these last two hours. we appreciate it. i'm poppy harlow in new york. >> kate bolduan picks up our coverage right now. thanks guys. hello. i'm kate bolduan. welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we are going to continue cnn's breaking news coverage and the heartbreaking tragedy in las vegas. americans are waking up this morning to a horror story playing out in front of them of historic proportions. the deadliest mass shooting in american history. the sites, the sounds, of relentless gunfire and fear. the images and videos that have been coming in