tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 3, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
we need to stay focused on. these are people fighting for their lives. when you turn it into, not very many people died, this was not a real catastrophe like katrina, you do a disservice to the real power that the presidency still possesses. it is not the bully pulpit it once was, but it can shine a light where a president wants to. and unfortunately for donald trump's presidency, he's so often, as he did today, shines a light on himself. >> i'm just left think, when you're a president and you talk about what a real catastrophe is, a real catastrophe being, as he said, katrina, the inference is saying to puerto ricans, this wasn't the real thing. and as chris points out and has been there and has talked to the people and listened, we don't know how deep in the island the president is going to go, but when i heard, at least when i heard him sitting there around that table, you know, pointing out to his chief of staff and the governor and maybe shaking the hand of the mayor and a lot of back patting and
self-congratulates, i didn't hear him speak about the need of the people, chris cuomo. >> reporter: i was at katrina and i understand what that scar on our history is all about. i saw the bodies. we understand what the death count was. yes, that was of epic proportion. and it showed a history of neglect of part of this population that must never be ignored. and hopefully some point will be improved upon. but to equate misery, it's counter productive. forget about tone deaf or style points. you can't go anywhere on the island. he doesn't have to go deep into the island or deep into the mountains or into the remote areas, it is everywhere. they are completely stuck. and again, the president at a political convenience early on decided to put this on us. and say that it was fake reports and that we were disrespecting the first responders. it reminded me of the war and terror where us reporting on the battle was us disrespecting the
troops. it is not true. we respect our first responder. we saw it here in vegas, we saw it in puerto rico, they are the angels among us, they are the best of us, they are working hard for the right reasons, but it is getting done. and not because of any fault of their own, but there is need. and you don't have to compare it to katrina. on an absolute level, it's the worst thing they have ever dealt with, brooke. and it's going to be like that for months and years to come. >> yeah. to my chrises, thank you. chris cillizza, thank you. chris cuomo, see you next hour. the nation is coping with the most deadly mass shooting in modern u.s. history. i'm brooke baldwin in new york. chris cuomo is live for us in las vegas. the motive is still a mystery. good to have you with us. the motive is still a mystery. what drove the retired accountant with no criminal history to stockpile 42 guns,
bring 23 of them into a las vegas hotel room to commit a mass murder. police also finding hammers in the hotel room, perhaps to smash out those two windows up on the 32nd floor. police are also finding ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives in his car. and we just learned that the fbi is looking into why he wired $100,000 to the philippines before murdering all these people. we're also learning more about the 59 people who lost their lives. and these are just some of the faces. they were mothers and fathers and children, a kindergarten teacher, a special-ed teacher, war veterans, police officers, a mother described as the glue in her family, a husband who saved his wife's life, and a wife who died in her husband's arms. the senseless attack, like so many before it, reigniting the
gun control debate. the president saying, hang on, still not time yet to have that discussion as he focuses on another tragedy, the hurricane recovery in puerto rico. here he is today before heading to las vegas tomorrow. and we'll bring you more on what the president said there as we were just discussing that is upsetting a number of people, but first to brian todd live in las vegas for us digging into a little bit more into the shooter and all trying to help anyone understand why, how someone could have done this. >> reporter: right, brooke. we're digging into the motive of the shooter, stephen paddock, and getting more information about his girlfriend. her name is marilou danley, she's 62 years old. police believe she was not involve in the shooting at all, she was overseas in japan at the time of the shooting. a law enforcement official tells cnn she has been cooperating with authorities. and she's expected to arrive back in las vegas tomorrow.
she is going to be absolutely crucial to this investigation because she possibly could speak to his motive of anything he might have said in the days or weeks leading up to the shooting. any place he may have gone, something about their relationship, that possibly could have triggered this, something about his gambling habits that could have triggered this. she's going to be a crucial person for information about his possible motive in doing this. we do have a little bit more information about her. again, i said she's 62 years old. we do have information that she worked as what is called a high-limit hostess at the atlantic casino resort and spa from 2010 to 2013. a spokeswoman there told cnn they have no information about her relationship with stephen paddock and that, quote, ms. danley left employment several years ago. another thing we learned from the law enforcement official, stephen paddock wired about $100,000 to the philippines
sometime recently. we're not sure exactly when. we're digging into that. and the recipient is a little unclear at this point. we are also digging on that. but we know that he did wire about $100,000 to philippines recently, brooke. >> brian todd, thank you, there in las vegas. now to puerto rico and here's president trump. >> we have all the way from mayors to fema, mr. president, we couldn't have done this if we didn't have that support. but, of course, we recognize and the president recognizes that we still need to do a lot more. but we know that we're going to do it together. this is a commitment by the president and the first lady being here, it shows a commitment to being here for the long haul, helping us get the emergency help, helping us get stability and then rebuilding puerto rico stronger than before. >> thank you. one of the things that you have heard from the mainland is not
happening here. before, during and after, same thing with maria. we have been hit by a category 5 in less than ten days. so they have rescued more than 800 people and -- this is the first time in history that puerto rico got direct communication with the federal agents and the governor to deal with this issue. we are used to having hurricanes, but never like this one. this is a major one, this was devastation, but thanks to all the help and all the resources. the response sent to the island, all 36 agencies on the island are here because of you. >> thank you.
thank you. >> they are still out of power and struggling for food and water. >> the power grid was honestly devastated before the hurricanes even hit. and then the hurricanes hit and they wiped them out. we're getting a lot of generators already brought to the island. most of the hospitals are open. or at least partially open, but most of them are now open. and again, the job that's been done here is really nothing short of a miracle. it has been incredible. and i appreciate virtually, this is the mayor from this very important area, and mr. mayor, i appreciate your efforts, too. and i appreciate what you had to say. >> thank you on behalf of my people and on behalf of the 3.5 million citizens over here. this is a team. your people are doing the right stuff for us. we, the mayors, this is my experience over here in the helping of the thousands and thousands of people. so thank you, mr. president.
>> thank you very much, everybody. >> what did you mean earlier when you said locals need to do more? >> so there is one piece of the president there talking to a number of people in puerto rico. we're waiting for now, this is all just video being rolled into us now. if you were listening to my discussion with chris cillizza a moment ago, you heard of the video of the president throwing stuff to the crowd. i think we're about to see that. let's watch. [ cheers and applause ]
>> mr. president! >> flashlights, you don't need them anymore. >> we're going to stay on the video, but let's kick back our conversation. i have chris cuomo in las vegas fresh off a plane from puerto rico and our chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta in san juan. the president is here inside this church in puerto rico holding up flashlights, holding up chicken, he's got rice, obviously, it's a bit of a circus with everyone wanting a photo with the president. but first, just chris cuomo to you, on optics and tone. let me just say, to be fair, i'm quoting the president, there's a lot of love in this room. great people. as he's tossing food and toilet
paper. what do you think? >> i think it is good that the president of the united states is on the ground in puerto rico. i think the island deserves and warrants as much attention as it can get. i think the resources that have come to bear are impressive. and i think a lot more is needed and to be sustained for a very long time. and the distraction of making this political and making it about any kind of opposition to the president was counter productivity. and now that he's on the ground there, hopefully he'll recognize the need. and i have to give it to sanjay, brooke, because he was so helpful to me on the ground getting me to understand the difference between numbers and resources and true recovery. when it comes to medical care and the problems now, sanjay, and the problems that may well be to come in puerto rico, as speaking to the need and the kind of energy that's going to have to be put there by the united states for months and maybe even longer. >> so sanjay, can you just talk
a little bit about that? and also, you went door to door, you have been talking to a lot of the doctors going door to door, tending to people in need, tell me about that. >> reporter: yeah, chris makes a really good point. there's no question that there's a lot of energy and frankly a lot of revelly around the president's visit. by now, though, the area that he's in is a suburb of san juan. it's a wealthier suburb of san juan. and area that is going to have more reserve, more resources than many other areas of this island. and i think that is an important point again, brooke, and a hard point to make, but a fragmented story, as chris is eluding to, you see a certain picture here, even behind me, you can maybe hear generators, see some work, it's different in different parts of the island. and i hope that doesn't get lost in all that. that people don't look at the images and say, everything is fine. i'm worried, still, because there are still people, i know there are still people who are going without pretty basic
things. basic medications, they are not people, brooke, who are necessarily impacted directly by the hurricane. they did not suffer trauma, physical trauma from the hurricane. but they are people who are elderly, who are ill, who are already teetering on the edge. and it is all about reaching those people now. and they are not necessarily in places like guaynabo. they are in many parts of this island. and those are the people who are, in this time period, the most critical. they are the period at risk of preventable death. >> so what was it like going door to door? >> reporter: well, you know, you saw the job that needed to be done, right? this is, many places are just not accessible by air or by vehicle. the poles are down, the streets are flooded, lots of different reasons. so it becomes a question at that point. i think a question for relief organizations, a question for any kind of organizations trying
to provide care. so what do you do? what do you do at that point? do you say, well, we have to wait until the roads are cleared and we have to wait until things are more stable there? or do you say, no, we have to go now because people are at real risk. and we are with an organization project hope yesterday, that was going into these neighborhoods door to door, knocking on doors, many of these people, again, not directly impacted by the hurricane, their homes may have been damaged quite a bit, but they have a roof over their head. the real concern is they have uncontrolled diabetes. they are lapsing in and out of hypogly c hypoglycemia or at risk for heart attack or stroke. and i keep using this term, preventible death. it's the worst thing in hospital. it mean that is we failed somehow and there's a real risk of that happening over and over
again. >> sanjay, thank you so much. i'm so glad you are there and helping out. sanjay gupta in puerto rico. let's go back to las vegas and chris cuomo. chris? >> reporter: hey, i'll tell you, we need him there so much. everybody knows sanjay is the real deal. he's a healer and understands the policy and the requirements that often give a very different picture than just numbers. that is why he's there telling these stories, because that's the only way we're going to learn right now. there are no calms and communications for people to get their story out. so that brings us back here to las vegas. this is still a very untold story. there are still people in the hospital that are fighting, we don't know which way it's going to go for some of them, but we do know this. the first responders, including the medical side here, saw such a mass of humanity. 560-plus injured. we know about the 59 lives lost so far, who knows if that number
changes, god forbid it does. one of the healers to step up is dr. stephanie strite at umc, she's a surgeon and seeing dozens of people herself, at least 25 by your count. doctor, thank you so much for what you did. how are you and the staff holding up under conditions that you certainly could never prepare for? >> well, you're welcome, and thank you for having me. i think our team is holding up about as well as can be expected. fortunately, we are a very big team so we have a lot of shoulders to lean on. >> reporter: so the types of injuries that you have seen, take us through the categories that you understand patients to be in. because there's a tendency to think, all right, they are injured and will all be okay. that's not a given, right? >> no, sir, that's not a given. the first priority in any triage situation is to identify the patients who need immediate life-saving interventions. and from those that do get it and those that don't, you know,
we have perceived with a standard medical evaluation. we saw all types of injuries, everything from extremity wounds to truly life-threatening injuries. >> and we keep hearing from medical professionals, they are not typical gunshot wounds, they resemble what you believe to be battlefield wounds, but that makes sense. this man was using very serious weaponry. and he had designed it in a way to rain down on people, having them go as fast as possible, it's going to create the most injuries. his evil is now coming to bear in what you're trying to heal. we have the senator here from nevada who said a lot of families have not been able to identify or find their loved ones yet. why does it take time? take us through the reality. >> well, that would be a better question honestly for the people on scene, but the reality of the first response is at first
chaos. and there's a lot of dust that settles later on. i grieve for the families. i can't imagine what they're going through. and the first responders on scene as well have truly been through harrowing times and were immensely grateful for their experience. >> okay. you are one of the people keeping some of these families from having the ultimate bad news. you're healing people and keeping them alive that came in. nobody can ask to be doing more than that. what can you tell us in terms of how long we have to pay attention to some of these conditions? is this where everybody gets out in a few days? or are there people you have seen or heard about where it could be weeks or longer in terms of the injuries sustained? >> sure. fortunately, a good number of patients have been able to be discharged all right. but these -- there are several patients who will continue to need medical care for a long period of time. if you look at the experience of
senator scalise who was in the hospital for several months, that could turn out to be the reality for some of our patients. it is too soon to say. >> doctor, sorry to take you away from your duties at all, but it is so important to understand all the different facets of this. thank you for telling people what is going on. >> thank you so much for telling our story. >> thank you for doing the work you're doing. be well, doctor. >> thank you for telling our story. thank you. >> thank you for the much-appreciated work there from the hospitals in las vegas to the stories of the victims' families, the survivors. let's talk about big & rich. they opened for jason aldean sunday night and shared the powerful moment of unity with their fans today. big kenny and john rich are joining me live from phoenix. thank you for being here with me. and if i may just begin with, describe how you're feeling today and what or who you have been thinking most about. >> well, we're no doubt, our hearts are crushed.
we feel just terrible that this happened at all. and right now all we can think about are the family who is have lost loved ones and the ones who are there, as you were just describing, struggling for their lives still. we're so thankful, we're so thankful for all of those that came running to help, all the first responders there in nevada, the police department there with the amazing job they all did. all the doctors that are there in the hospital, that they even prepare for stuff like this, i heard the other day, they run through drills like this three or four times a year. and we are just thinking about all these people, the individuals, we're thinking about the young man who was standing there in the meet and greet line right before we played that night that was so happy to be there. and then hearing that, you know, he lost his life protecting his wife.
this stuff is just so heartwrenching and heartbreaking. and our hearts pour out to these people and just all the love that we can send. that's what we're thinking of right now. >> can you tell me a little bit more about the meet and greet and how you found out that that young man was killed? >> yeah, so my aunt back in tennessee, she's a former schoolteacher, and matter of fact, she's teaching again, my aunt brenda, she never asked for anything, and she had e-mailed me and said, hey, my best friend's son is coming to las vegas, his name is sonny melton and would like to meet you before the show. he's coming to his first big and rich show and he's all excited so we hooked him up with meet and greet passes. he came back and we shook his hands. he was excited to be back there to meet big & rich and be a part of the great music festival.
and i got word that he had become a casualty in this shooting back through my family members. so back through that aunt that had originally asked for me to get him back there. so it just goes on and on. the country music fans and country artists like ourselves and country radio stations, it is a tight-knit group of people. we know a lot of the fans personally, we know their names and faces. we talk to them on social media a lot. we do a lot of the meet and greets. and fan interaction from the stage is a really big thing with our shows in country music. so to see these folks going through what they are going through, it is literally like watching your own family. we know them. we know what their jobs are, we know where they come from, at this show, this was not just people from las vegas or nevada. there were people there from california, arizona, tennessee, sonny melton was from tennessee. there were people all the way from canada that had come to this show. when you see that image of
22,000 people singing "god bless america" holding their iphones up in the air and lighting up the sky in las vegas -- >> celebration. >> that's one of the most unifying, most pure american moments you can possibly have. and if there was ever a stark transition or stark reality between good and evil, you witnessed it right there in those two events. >> it is senseless, but talking to four young people last hour, they were sitting there, in their t-shirts from the festival line and said, we love our country music. country music is countrywide, and they just were saying, we want to continue on with our lives and try not to be afraid. big & rich, it is senseless and i'm so sorry, but glad the two of you are okay. thank you so much for your time. i've got to hop back now over to puerto rico. our correspondent layla santiago is standing by with an interview of the mayor of san juan. layla, the floor is yours, what did she say?
>> reporter: well, brooke, she's actually joining me right now for the first time since wrapping up the briefing with president trump. of course, mayor, we had a back-and-forth on twitter before today with the president, the president being very critical. today you were finally face-to-face with president trump. there was an exchange, i saw you shook his hand, tell me about the exwhat i think, whchange, w? >> i said, mr. president, this is about saving lives, not politics. that's the only interaction i had. the productive part of the meeting was the second part when we got to meet with white house staff. and i truly believe that they finally saw the connection or the disconnect based on what they were hearing on the one hand and the reality of what is happening on the ground. not only for myself but from other mayors that are confronting the same situation that i have been talking about for the past two weeks. >> so there were two parts to this meeting.
one with president trump and one without his white house staff? >> yes. in the first part where he was present, he made some pretty strong remarks. he talked about the budget that puerto rico is sort of throwing the budget out of whack. he compared with what is happening here to a real catastrophe like katrina. when you heard that, you were sitting in that room, you had been criticized by him before, what went through your mind as the mayor of the capital here? >> well, it just goes to prove the lack of sensibility. you're coming to a place where people are expecting you to be comforted and are expecting you frankly to speak as to which actions are going to happen. and that is what happened on the second part. when i heard him say, and i quote, puerto rico, you have thrown our budget out of whack for all the money we have spent here. that doesn't make you feel good. and again, this is about two things. it's about respect for the puerto rican people. and it's about saving lives.
so i really felt that the productive part of everything was the second part. where i got to meet with people from the office of management and budget. small business administrator was very, very kind and very astute. and there are things that i asked for, and i know that the mayor also asked for. >> what did you ask for? >> there are 350 million that they took from the mayors, to give this back. this was taken from cities to pay the debt and it crippled our ability to deal with situations like this. two, let's adapt to standard operating procedures to our reality. we don't have connectivity. we don't have phone lines. so don't keep telling people to just register on the phone. three, we get some cbg funds. give us the ability to put that money in one pot. and you said in order to rebuild
homes. we need a robust center of distribution. a robust supply chain that is not only robust but also is consistent. what i heard from the five mayors there is exactly what i have been talking about, you get one palate of water today, you don't get one for the next week. five, listen, if you're going to make or do a contract for something, at least save 20% of that contract for municipalities. so that if you want to breed or get picked, well, then if you have a $1 million contract, set aside $200,000 of that so it is the municipality that does the work. and last but not least, we need to divide the country of puerto rico in more areas so that there are centers controlled by mayors and run by mayors that can look at the neighboring
municipalities and just sort of give them what they need. but that was, that part of the meeting was very good. >> so there are six things you asked for. do you feel that you were heard? >> by the members of the staff, yes. >> reporter: do you believe that president trump will move forward in helping you with those? >> well, i sure hope so. but, you know, sometimes his foul communication gets in the way. we would have all preferred, and i'm speaking for myself, to just have him hear from us the reality on the ground versus alice in wonderland and back to reality. so we saw two meetings, totally disconnected, one to another. one was to praise the people that are working here. and we all praise them. we all know the effort that they are doing. but if we don't have interconnectivity, then we don't stabilize the hospitals. then we don't have a robust supply chain. if things are not going to start to get better, listen, i would
love nothing more than to stand in front of the camera to say, we were hurt and things are starting to move along. >> reporter: do you think that is going to happen? >> i saw a real connection between the reality and the white house staff. i think that they finally understood, while talking to the mayor ponce and myself, there were five of us mayors there, that there was a disconnect between what they were hearing and what was really happening. the other thing is, i think we tend to as seaa society to judg the number of crises by the number who die inup substantiately. so katrina was thousands and here we are up to 26, that doesn't convey the message that people are dying because on a continuum, they don't have dialysis and are drinking out of
creeks and the potential things that can happen. the second part of the meeting was productive. the first part was a public relations situation. >> reporter: so mayor, yes or no, do you think this trip with president trump on this island will help the people of puerto rico after maria? >> i think his staff understands now and they have all the data they need. but i would hope that the president of the united states stops spouting out comments to hurt the people of puerto rico. rather than commander in chief, he sort of becomes miscommunicator and chief. >> reporter: thank you for your time and for coming to us to discuss what happened in such an important briefing today. still so much going on on the ground as president trump is on the island. and as puerto rico continues its own recovery efforts after hurricane maria. chris? >> reporter: leyla, thank you for the interview and the reporting you're doing there, very helpful to the audience.
stay well. let's bring in general russell, nobody understands what happened during katrina better than the general. he was down there in charge and those of us who covered watched his work day in and day out. general, thank you for joining us. i want to play you what the president said earlier that is getting the attention so you can provide context for our viewers. here's the sound. >> now, hate to tell you, puerto rico, but you are throwing our budget a little out of whack because we have spent a lot of money on puerto rico. and that is fine, we have saved a lot of lives. if you look at the, every death is a horror. but if you look at a real catastrophe like katrina, and you look at the tremendous, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody has ever seen anything like this, and what is your death count as of this moment, 17? >> 16. >> 16 people. 16 people versus in the
thousands. you can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people, working together. 16 versus literally thousands of people. you can be very proud. >> reporter: general, what do you make of the comparison? >> well, first of all, i have to say, katrina was a failure. and afterwards congress forced the military to reorganize fema and gave them more capacity to be able to respond to a storm like this. as well as the headquarters, the u.s. northcom or north under general buchanan. along with the marine, navy and air force headquarters to be able to maneuver along the hurricanes. and general buchanan is there now. and my observation from one is that it should have been there earlier. it is not a function of them not doing the right thing, the
government did the right thing, they prepositioned. the problem is scale. and this was a horrific storm. and they still don't have the scale right in terms of response. if you took irma, irma was a textbook operation, president trump did good on that. he did great on harvey. he gave them everything they asked for. but for some reason on this storm, we didn't maneuver on it. we responded to it in a different manner. again, it's harder and the off the continental united states, which means we should have been even more prepared to maneuver in behind marimaria. we saw it comes for days. that being said, it is still a function of scale. we don't have 100 helicopters there. we have less than 6,000 military. i agree with just about everything the president said. they were there, they are moving, the problem is the scale, it is not big enough. they still need to scale up to over 100 helicopters. we need to make exceptions and exemptions to the fema rule to handle the recovery in a different way. we need to put pods on the ground, chris.
every town should have a pod. that's appointed distribution run by the national guard with the help of puerto rico national guard troops there and bring in more national guard to man those pods. those pods provide food, water and ice. and even medics sometimes if people need help. and they have communications. that is not the setup. i'm sure general buchanan will get there, but we have a need for speed. we have to get the additional he want comers thehelicopters ther. i had ceos say, what do you need? it is on the way. we need the same focus on puerto rico and the virgin islands. those of us in the american island need to get out there to move the truck. people get paid $10 an hour and expect them to go in areas not secured. put guards with them. and the other thing we need to do, chris, we need to have a fema evacuation of the vulnerable population. i've sent a note to the governor, i hope he had the
discussion with the president. people are free to leave the island, but the airport is not open 24/7. when i was at the airport sunday, two of the six lines at the tsa were not open. we have people standing there for hours. we need to scale up. and i hope the american people are not taking this as a criticism of the president. this is -- an idea that we have not compared with the capacity to handle the scope of the problem. he's a businessman. and i hope he sees that today. we need to scale up and get the additional national guard. we have to get the additional helicopters. we have to bring in the industry quickly to mobilize, use the military ships that roll on and roll off to get all the heavy equipment in there to get the power grid back up. we need to get generators to every home where people are staying. we need to encourage the national guard families to go to military bases and friends and family so the guardsmen can
focus on the job and not worry about it. and we have to worry about the curfew. you can't recover a community when you only work during daylight. that means gas stations are closed ten hours a day. we have to get them all open all the time. and that may have changed since yesterday because we have been pounding on that as a recommendation. and we have to do recovery in a different way. we cannot do recovery there like we did in texas and louisiana and mississippi. we need to allow local mayors to issue contracts, 40% of puerto ricans are out of work. let them solve the recovery and disaster they bring on their own and bring the companies back up. but we need american ceos to stand up. because it is businesses at the end of the day that go from disaster response, which the military is doing to keep people alive, to get that company up and operational again. and any company that got equities down there, they need to put their first team together and need to mobilize and get there. and all of america, the virgin islands of puerto rico need to call in and make your
reservations to go there. because if you do that, the hotels will open up. we need to go there and work for two or three days, just like the people in new orleans needed to rebuild. and i think it was a great visit. i hope he's got a better understanding of the scope of the task. he's a businessman. he's got to scale this up and give general buchanan everything he has. and i think it will take days and weeks to get this stabilized, but he needed to put something on his watch on how many hours or days until he's wanting those pods stood up in every town. because until they are stood up, the mayors are out there standing alone. >> reporter: general, everything you say squares with what we saw and heard on that island and what we have been reporting now for weeks. it's not about how hard the men and women from the national guard and the related agencies are working, it is about how many of them are and how much they are able to reach. and how good the communication
is and the logistics. obviously, the need is still very great. and that is not about politics, it's about people. general, thank you very much. we'll take a break, but when we come back, we'll update you on the president's trip to puerto rico. and we have new information about the deadliest mass shooting in modern american history. we'll give it to you right after the break. stay with cnn. building a website in under an hour is easy with gocentral...
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we are back. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. 59 people were brutally murdered in las vegas and hundreds of others have been injured. one of the victims, 28-year-old christopher royval continued to struggle with his experiences after coming home. he wrote about his experiences of being shot at during war.
so in one post, let me just read you what he wrote, what's it like being shot at? a question people ask because it's something that less than 1% of our american population will ever experience. especially one on a daily basis. my response has always been the same. not one filled with a sense of pride or ego, but an answer filled with truth and genuine fear/anger. it was never fear, to be honest, mass confusion, sensory overload. what's it like to be shot at? it's a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape. he went to las vegas to celebrate his 29th birthday and they got separated somehow during the concert as the shots were coming down. his mother managed to escape unharmed. with me now is ryan shibarini, the former brother-in-law of christopher's. ryan, so sorry for you loss, and
i'm so grateful for christopher's service to this country. and i understand you actually lost another friend as well. so we'll get into all of this, but first, you know, i find it so tragic that he saw some of the fiercest fighting in afghanistan and yet it is on u.s. soil at a country music festival where he loses his life. >> yeah, you know, brooke, it's painfully ironic that he signed up to defend this country, he knew what he was getting into by defending this country, defending americans in a war zone with military weapons. and it's just so painful to think about the fact that he's defending americans, but yet he comes home and gets killed by an american with weapons that he should never have access to. and, you know, when you were reading his facebook post, it's just chilling for me because i can hear him speaking those words. and he was so proud to defend this country. and he was involved in a lot of
heavy firefights in afghanistan. and he tried to work through the ptsd when he got home. and he was doing well in his work, he was promoted and recently moved to colorado springs to kind of try to, you know, get his life in order. and it's just so surreal right now. my phone was ringing off the hook. and i missed a lot of phone calls yesterday from my sister-in-law. and you look at your phone and you've got the missed calls and you have a text that says, call me. and the first thing i did was turn on the news because my gut just told me something awful had happened. and i called my sister-in-law who answered the phone. and she told me one of our good friends was shot in the head and was dead. and that chris was shot in the chest and missing. we didn't know all day whether or not he was in a hospital and just unable to contact us. >> with chris, i would love to hear more about him. the fact that he went to las vegas with his mom to celebrate his upcoming 29th birthday.
it is so sweet. just tell me more about him. >> yeah, they had a really special relationship. and chris married my sister. and we had a really great wedding in cancun. and it was a huge party. he was a really fun guy. the last time i saw him, he had a baseball hat on, and i said, i really like that hat. and the first thing he did was took it off and gave it to me. and i said, no, i don't want to keep your hat. he goes, just keep it. i have more of them. and that is kind of the guy he was. he loved reciting movie quotes and comedies. and he, he loved being a part of the family. he would usually call me brother and say it in a high-pitched voice to be funny with it. and he always wanted a hug and would recite the famous quote that says, brothers don't shake hands, brothers have to hug. it is an old chris farley thing. he had a fun sense of humor and a fun, sweet way about him. >> in reading further about chris' story in las vegas, the firefighter saw him down, he was hit, and the firefighter tried to stop, tried to revive him,
but the bullets just kept coming down. and help couldn't. and apparently according to his mom, this firefighter actually says, he saw christopher take his last breath. so can you tell me what happened to your other friend? >> i just want to touch on that. i talked to my sister about what happened.eparated through the c. chris, from what i was told, got shot in the chest, realized he was shot, and then showed his friend he had been shot in the chest. he was obviously not in his right state of mind. laid him on the ground. and first responders were yelling for everyone to get to safety and leave the wounded and they would tend to them. and a firefighter did tend to him. and we were hoping that maybe he was in a hospital and couldn't contact us. and we got the word late, you
know, my sister and friends drove to las vegas, and once they got to the convention center, that's when he was on the death list. a long-term was there with other people, her name is hannah, loving mother of three, and her daughter is three years old. and i don't know how you describe this to her kids. and she always had a smile and hug for any one who worked in the room. she couldn't hurt a fly. she was one of the kind es person i met. and i was told she was shot in the head and i don't think that she had much of a chance. it's unfathomable to think this is real. i kept waking up last night thinking maybe this is an awful dreamment and here we are again. it just keeps happening. and i work in the television business as well. and usually i'm one of the transmitters of this kind of thing. and it's just a very surreal feeling to be a part of this
hand be affected directly and just wonder when is this going to stop. we keep seeing it happen in schools. i was football player in college at the university of colorado when columbine happened and we all wore the flower on our uniform. that was 18 years ago. i want to find common sense how to stop this. it's not about politics or the second amendment. a mass shooting has nothing to do with protecting your family or the right to bear arms. i'm not a gun owner but i'm not against people owning guns. i'm against people owning military weapons that should only be in the hands of u.s. military. and it's chilling to me, and irony of chris, fought in the
floor of the manned bay. our affiliate xst reports these were used in the killings. so let's talk to you first on the guns. and let's throw the pictures up against if we can. and you tell me what you see looking at these guns. >> i see a person who had no reason at all to possess such weapons. for the life of me i cannot understand why these weapons are possessed by a u.s. citizen. >> tell me why for people who don't know much about firearms. >> well, he has this weapon in a hotel. he's not doing any type of hunting. these are not hunting weapons. their purpose for the military to possess and for mass destruction. so i don't see the purpose of u.s. citizen having these particular weapons. only intent as far as i can see is to kill or maim, which he has done. so someone would have to explain to me why would they have those weapons, someone not working for the government, or any type of law enforcement capacity to possess these weapons. i've never known a reason for
them to exist other than to destroy. >> 23 guns. 23 found in that mandalay bay room. 19 others found back home. listening to our reporting, she's been in the gun dealership in utah, apparently bought from multiple guns in multiple states over the weeks. tripods, scopes, computer in the room. he brought them over course of time in suitcases. you are an investigator. what would you be asking? >> i would be afraid someone would look at these guns or look at what happened in terms of relationship with the girlfriend, that's not how this business works. >> all interconnected. >> you can almost think of it as a time line. think of the time line in terms of purchases of weapons, for example. and also we know we have a computer, what's the time line of google searches. let me whoever load the things like email and text. we know from his family he was a text messager.
lay that over as well. then start with interviews, what did he say three months ago, last month. and in combination i washnt to e two things. for example, with the google search. or a friend says i don't know anything, and we see text messages to that friend at the same time. that's anomaly. the time line on day two, three, four will get facts. >> what about the girlfriend, first she was a person of interest, then she wasn't. she's been in asia. suddenly i'm not connecting the two, but this $100,000, according to reports, he wired to the philippines. she's apparently a philippine national. we don't know if he was wiring it to her. what questions are you going to ask his girlfriend? >> first of all, i want her data, who she is, where she lived. i want her digital data. every email she had. phone number. i want to see her digital life and how it matches up with his
life. then i want to not hoenl interview her, i want to interview people like family friends to say what they say. person of interest, are you kidding me, shooting is sunday night, it's turks she's a person of interest. and believe me outside the family members to lost family in that event, the family members though are part of the family of the shooter, let me be blunt, i don't believe anybody. show me the money. i want to see the facts in digital life before i take somebody's name off the table. >> back to the guns. and i'm still hung up on this number of 42. 23 plus 19. hotel versus home. tan that's of what's been reported. and apparently all bought purchased legally. the man had no criminal history other than some miner traffic violation settled in the court. so he did this above the law. how do you buy 42 guns? >> in this country very easily. but, brooke, i want to be clear, because i think ryan brought up
a good point. here was a person who would probably pass any existing law now certainly, and any proposed law in front of congress now. so the act he was looking to carry out, he would have been able to carry it out no matter what legislation existing or proposed. soy want to put that into context. now, i do support tougher gun control laws. i do certainly do on universal checks. but what is the fascination u.s. citizens have with mass destruction, whether columbine, sandy hook, what is happening that's going on? i support as former law enforcement official, i support stronger good control, anything that would reduce violence, because i've seen it firsthand and impact it has. but certainly i'm not so sure that the tougher laws as proposed would minimum mice the atrocities that we saw that took place in las vegas. >> i hear you. and i know you know your guns, law enforcement. i know a lot of critics would disagree. and we'll have those conversations down the road.
today it is about the investigation and victims and survivors. thank you so much for your in sight into this investigation. and, again, that news conference set to begin any moment now on the investigation side of all of this. i'm brooke baldwin, thanks for being with me. jake tapper starts now. thanks, brooke. they have found even more weapons. but still no motive. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news, we are just now getting our first look at the las vegas killers hotel room. as investigators try to find out what possibly could have dprif ina high rolling retiree to become a mass murder. a man thought using a semi automatic weapon would not kill enough people. and rapid fire, just how was the las vegas killer able to turn arrive el into essentially ha automatic weapon. turns out all he needed was online access and 40 bucks. plus trumpoe