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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 2, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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er sandy casey. her partner christopher said she lived life to the fullest and made me the happiest man in the world. >> all right. rachel maddow here to continue msnbc's live coverage on the ground in las vegas. take it away. >> thanks, chris. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. at first i thought i got the date wrong why nobody noticed this man taking 20 long guns into his hotel room plus at least -- ammunition. how did that not set off alarm bells in the hotel where he ended upsetting up his sniper position last night? i remembered reporting in the past on the great las vegas gun show, so we looked it up and in fact, the great las vegas gun show just happened last weekend, september 23rd and 24th. but then something went wrong in fact checking that because it turns out the great las vegas gun show isn't last weekend,
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it's also next month. it's november 25 but then we found out it's also on february 3rd and then it's also in march on march 17th and actually turns out the great las vegas gun show isn't really a show, it's just all the time. it like one of these permanent magic acts at the casinos, always running. if there does happen to be one weekend you want to go to a gun show that doesn't happen to be running, there is a pretty good chance that a competitor gun show will be running like this one, the original las vegas gun show. pretty good chance that will be on instead and other competitors. turns out if you're not soaked in either gun culture or las vegas culture, this is an easy thing to get wrong. and people who know guns and know gun culture very well get very annoyed, sometimes they get superior about it at times like this when the rest of the country tries to figure out
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another civilian gun mass cua c in this country. many find themselves having to figure out things about guns that the experts know by heart. the difference between semiautomatic weapons and automatic weapons or the number of rounds that go in a typical magazine for a semiautomatic rifle or how fast a good shooter can swap out a magazine and put in a new one and will you get mad about me calling it am an in addition magazine because that's not the right jargon and what is the official range of the gun. if legal guns are modified by aftermarket giz momos, are thos mod caucasians legal and do they have downsize? all of those questions are known by heart by the many, many gun enthusiasts and gun lovers and fellow citizens. but if you're not one of them, if you're not particularly into gun culture, if you're an everyday american trying to
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figure out how the latest mass shooting happened and why this one person, this one killer was able to kill and wound more people than even the worst plane crash in u.s. history, then a reasonable non-expert observer might reasonably wonder, how in god's name did the shooter get, we're told, 20 rifles into the hotel room without attracting any untoward attention for doing it? 20 rifles plus the sniper tripods he also reportedly set up and plus what must have been hundreds or thousands of rounds of ammunition. you might wonder how a civilian wouldn't draw attention when bringing an armory worth of high-powered rifles into a space like the mandalay bay casino. maybe there was a big gun show in las vegas sometime around now and maybe it didn't seem strange
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he had all those guns. it a reasonable question, a reasonable inquiry from a distance until you look at real gun culture and the way it's manifest in a place like this where it turns out yeah, there was a gun show last weekend and turns out there is another gun show coming up this weekend at a casino not far from here at all but one last weekend and one next weekend, because there is always a gun show, always. year around. all year. every year. it's not like holiday, it's a gun show. it like saturday, it's a gun show. so 64-year-old stephen paddock got 60 rifles into his room when he started shooting out the broken windows of his hotel suite. but it's worth knowing that a random civilian guy with a ton of guns in las vegas is a benign
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occurrence in a place that hosts large gun shows on a standing basis. we're not aware that the killer had served in the military, which might have given him specialist firearms training. we're not aware if he had specialized training at all. we contacted ranges and training facilities near here and where he lived. those inquiries haven't given us anything to go on in terms of how or whether he trained for this as civilian. we know simply from the sound of the attack that he appeared to be discharging rounds at a rate faster than you could typically do with a semiautomatic rifle like an ar-15. fully automatic weapons where you just hold the trigger down and they keep firing, fully automatic weapons are not illegal in this country, but they are highly regulated and hard to get. even so, there are a few different no big deal enhancements and modifications you can make to a legal semi automatic rifle that make it
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more like the kind of machine gunfire that you would see in war, which is what was unleashed on this concert crowd last night. a semiautomatic firing mechanism is designed to fire every time you pull the trigger, but you can install a double tap trigger or a trigger that can double the firing speed by making the gunfire twice, once on the pull and once on the release, so that can double your speed. you can also use something called a trigger crank. i think it sometimes gets called a gap crank. a trigger crank or gap crank basically just is a mechanism that pulls the trigger mechanically using the crank the way -- and that makes the trigger get pulled way faster than you can fire yourself for any sustained amount of time. you can also use something called a bump stock, which is a modification to the stock part of the gun that goes up against your shoulder, slides back and forth in such a way it uses the
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recoil of the gun to make the fiery pace indistinguishable. with the bump stop you flip the switch one way and fires like a normal semiautomatic and flip the switch the other it pyfires like a machine gun. if you want to have sustained bursts of automatic or near automatic weapons fire, you don't want to do that with a ten round magazine, right? you want to do that with a large-scale magazine to hold a ton of bullets or you would be reloading. perhaps you would be using a drum magazine like this guy has on the left or a belt feeding device. and yeah, if you're not an expert and trained by the military or in some other way, these kinds of devices and modifications for your semiautomatic assault rifle, that might make your gun more prone to misfirings or jams or over heating or other screwups and over heating is a real deal. if you didn't screw up, you will probably have a screaming hot rifle barrel to worry about if you put down that many hundreds
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and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rounds that fast, but presumably that's why this guy had 20 different rifles in the room, right? one jams up, grab another. one gets hot, grab another. and then another. and then another and another. you don't need to be that good at keeping all your guns firing for that long if you have 20 to choose from. there are over 3300 rooms in the building from which the killer took his shots. that building behind me. it took police 72 minutes from the first 911 call until they blew up his door and found him dead inside. police sources tell "the washington post" part of the way they zeroed in on his room is because he set off a smoke alarm because of all that gun smoke in the room. clark county nevada has declared a state of emergency. bodies were still being cleared from the scene mid afternoon today. five hospitals including the level one trama center have been
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handling nearly 600 victims, 59 dead, 527 hurt. we don't know exactly how many of the victims were shot directly rather than hurt in some other way related to the shooting. trampled or hit with shrapnel but this is one man that was able to set up enough legal firepower that he as a single person created more victims than if he had crashed a fully loaded 747. police say in addition to the 20 rifles in his hotel room, they recovered another 18 guns at his home in mesquite, nevada and explosives although we don't know the character of the explosives. three gun scores say they sold him guns, one in utah sold him a shotgun and two in nevada.
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you don't even need a license to buy a long gun in nevada, just cash. and if you buy it from a store, you got to pass a federal background check. don't want to do that, just go to the gun show. if that background check is a problem or you don't want to deal with it, go to the gun show. trust me, there is one this weekend, there is one every weekend. so we'll be reporting this hour on the on going crisis for victims and their families, the effort to collect blood donations for the many hundreds of victims. we'll be reporting on the planned police search tonight of another property owned by the shooter in nevada and talking with an expert about how seriously we should take the claims from isis today he was one of theirs. the fbi dismissing that but isis doubling down about the claims and put out a celebration video. we'll talk to the expert there appears to be almost no online trail evident today from the shooter's life but as we're continuing to cover this now
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still on going crisis, most of what we're doing is reeling at the staggering number of victims, which at its heart is a gun story and the price of stock in gun companies went up today. which means for them today, if nothing else, was good for business. for most of us, that's hard to understand but they get it. they always have. nbc news pete williams has been reporting on the alleged shooter since early this morning as investigatiors worked on what might have driven the 64-year-old to such an atrocity, learning more about him and what got him to this point peefeels daunting and crucial and in parts confusing. joining us pete williams. thanks for being with us tonight. appreciate your time. >> you bet. >> we know a little bit about the biography of this shooter and movements in terms of
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property purchases and employment history and where he lived. do we have any inkling what might have driven him? >> we don't because authorities don't. we know a fair amount about his life, but nothing to indicate why he came to the hotel intending to kill a huge number of people. we don't know whether that in fact was his plan to attack that concert and that's why he asked for the rooms where he did. we just don't know. there is a lot of supposition here but very few answers. nothing in his past would seem to lead up to this. as you point out, there is no social media postings or claims -- credible claims of credit. there is no e-mails, no notes left behind. no manifesto, no video made to claim credit for this by him himself. nobody has come forward to say they thought they heard him
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talking about something or saw him preparing for something or thought he was capable of anything like this. no one who knew him who worked with him who lived near him thought this was even possible that he could do such a thing. his brother says the family absolutely can't explain it, so there is just nothing obvious. there is nothing found in the search of the hotel room, of his cars or house that would give any indication. all they found searching is guns and ammunition. he probably had somewhere around 40 separate weapons, firearms of different kinds. he had both assault style weapons that could be modified as we discussed to fire rapidly and also had much more high-powered sniper-type rifles with scopes in the rooms in the hotel room but why is still a big question. now we do know that he was a high-rolling gambler. that he likeed to come to las vegas frequently and drop a lot
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of money gambling. his favorite was video poker and would make $225,000 a pop for an evening's play at the casinos. he was considered a high roller. he was given elite status in some casinos where they comp people who come in and give them all sorts of room upgrades and restaurant upgrades and so forth. so he was known in the gambling circles, known to the casinos. they liked his business. so one obvious question here, rachel, did he gamble himself into a financial problem and decide to take it out on las vegas? that's a question. no known answer at this point. five years ago he filed a lawsuit against another hotel, the gas cosmo after he slipped what he said was an obstruction on the floor. after a couple years that lawsuit was dismissed. the only derogatory thing in his entire family history is his
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father. his father benjamin was on the fbi's most wanted list in the 1960s. this is the boposter at the tim. he was captured for robbing a bank in phoenix and in 1968 he escaped from a prison in texas and at that point the fbi considered him a known fugitive and in this poster down in the corner under caution, it describes him as a diagnosed -- let me get my notes here to get it exactly right. it -- a diagnosed psychotic and someone who had suicidal tendencies. there is no such indication that those sorts of problems be de l devilled his son. diagnosed as saupsycho -- i can read my own -- psychopath and
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may be considered armed and dangerous and may have suicidal tendencies. nothing to indicate his son, stehpen had problems. this is a way of saying we know a lot of facts about steven pph paddock but don't know why he did this. >> the lack of information at this point is almost curious. over the course of the day by the time i was on the air tonight, i figured more would have been mined in the public record in terms of the tracks he left behind, whether on second media or in terms of employment history or there would be publicly available information to at least help us piece together more than we had when we woke up this morning. >> yes, and no, there is more information in the public record but none of it answers the question eye. you're right, there is a lot of stuff out there but not the usual thing you find after a shooting like this where it turns out he's been in
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communication with somebody overseas or he's posted something on his social media. he doesn't seem to have much of a social media presence. now perhaps that's not surprising for somebody whose 64 years old so he's not a heavy user of social media but doesn't seem to have social heed media presence at all. >> do authorities believe he would have needed specialist training to kill this many people from that vantage point? >> no, not the experts we've talked to. he was in essence spraying gunfire over a large area. this didn't require precision shooting. now, if in fact, he modified the firearms either using the method that you were describing in the video a moment ago or other methods out there for taking a perfectly legal semiautomatic assault style rifle making internal changes so that it will fire automatically, that would require some kind of facility
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with firearms unless he just bought it from somebody who had already done it and that's part of the -- that's one of the investigative tracks. how did he get his hands on what became automatic weapons. >> pete williams, thank you for the time tonight. really clarifying. >> you bet. to that last point, one of the interesting investigative lines here that is rare is that this is an older person, this is person who is off the number line in terms of a typical age of a typical mass shooter. we have so many mass casualty shootings in the united states, we can't talk about what counts as typical but seems to had access to a lot of money and that may be an important part of how he pulled this off. he may have had money to spend and might have spent it on things that wouldn't be available to your run of the bill blue collar shooter,
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somebody that didn't have access to the kind of money he did to put this arsenal together. that's one treat of investigation we're not used to. more to come from here tonight in las vegas. stay with us. >> i helped her up over the brick wall and another woman that needed help so i helped her over the brick wall and then at that point that's when i got shot. as soon as i stood up my pants were soaked and shoes were soaked. i knew i was in trouble. once i got over the wall, actually, i got his name, i got to give him a call later. nice guy. he saved my life. dropped the tailgate on a random truck and i was bleeding over it and took my belt and tied off my leg and kept me from bleeding out. i would have died. i got to make sure i tell him thinks when i see him. directv has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like banging their head on a low ceiling. drinking spoiled milk. camping in poison ivy.
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our hearts are broken, our hearts are devastated for the 515 plus in hospitals beds. there is no words we can say except to cry out to god and we know you love this city. we know you love these people. it does not represent the heart of las vegas. we love las vegas. i believe that people are standing up today because churches are standing up, men and women are standing up from different backgrounds saying god, please jump in here. >> just one of the prayer vigils going on tonight across las vegas and the country. there is a state of emergency here tonight in clark county, nevada. in the last hour, the governor
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of nevada has declared a statewide state of emergency, as well. and a public health and medical disaster for the state. now what may be implicated in the public health and medical disaster is that the state of nevada has a doctor shortage, and this decoloration, from the governor will allow doctors in good standing from other states to pitch in and help care for the mass casualties, for the hundreds and hundreds of people who were injured in this mass shooting. we're expecting another briefing from ocho personfficials at 10: eastern, 7:00 p.m. local time here in las vegas. this say local tragedy. the worst shooting in a national story. some of the most important reporting as always comes from local reporters that know this place better than anybody and here in las vegas, that's john. nice to see you. sorry about the circumstances. >> unfortunately. >> nobody covered this before
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because this has not happened like this in america. what do you make in terms of the response in terms of the police, swat teams, the fbi, the response on the ground, medical response, the overall -- the initial shock in how it was dealt with? >> i talked to a lot of people about that, rachel, including the chairman, the strip and he told me when he got there around midnight that he watched it unfold and talked to law enforcement who told him if the first responders didn't act the way they did, off duty california law enforcement -- hundreds more people would have been killed. >> wow. >> think about the situation. i don't think people -- people talk about outdoor concerts all the time. they are not outdoor concerts in an enclosed area around tall buildings, there is nowhere to hide. you had people especially sitting ducks for this guy on the 32nd floor and first responders having to go in and
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find a safe haven when there was none do triage for the folks out there. everybody that my reporters talked to and my reporters have been all over talking to people have talked about the remarkable first response by the first responders and how many lives are probably saved because of that. >> that absolutely matches what we're hearing. i want to under score that. the other part i find remarkable in terms of the city getting it right in the face of terrible and unforeseen circumstances is getting the crisis line set up for family members, for people to find loved ones. getting blood drives set up to try to get blood and plasma donated with hundreds of people in the hospital and getting an evacuation center set up so people here from -- 22,000 people at the concert that people had a place to go at that central convention center in order to get phone chargers and people to find that. it just seems like of all of the things that -- of all of the worst of humanity, this was a
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response issue in terms of capacity and our compassion. >> i think you're absolutely right. you and i covered politics for a long time. i'm a lot older than you. i'm cynical about things. you think of how people think about las vegas. it's easy to mock las vegas and character it and people don't live in these hotels but look at how the people of las vegas responded to this. you mentioned the blood drives. they are turning away people because they are running out of blood in some places. the chairman of the clark county commission and go fund me they help to get $1 million for. it's over $2 million people have donated to help the families here. so, i mean, it sounds cliche from a hardened political reporter. people really rose to the
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occasion and showed heart and soul outside of the las vegas strip and what makes this town run. >> one last question for you, it is a policy question, really. i was talking at the outset about the number of gun shows here that people i think from outside gun culture and outside vegas and vegas culture, you think there is a gun show. that means there is a time of the year when there is a gun show. maybe that was going on around now. gun shows are constant and shooting ranges are constant and places you can go and shoot fully automatic machine guns. i've done it. the policy decision that has been made in nevada about background checks for people buying guns is not only interesting in terms of people fighting about it and deciding what to do but the implantation is an interesting thing. >> you know, nevada, the gun culture here is prevalent not just in rural nevada but here in the urban areas. so if you're a republican, you look like you're to the nra and the governor came out against the background checks but the
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attorney general after it passed narrowly because of the urban areas got crushed on the ballot in 2016 passed by 1% point but the fbi raised issues about imp pennation and the attorney general refused to enforce it. >> on the books but not infect. >> it's essentially not been enforced which caused a lot of divisions and the attorney general of the state is about to get into the governor's race and would be a major issue in that race. you can't get away from politics in that. as pete williams mentioned, you don't know everything about how this guy got his guns and his motivations but certainly the fact nevada passed a background check law and yet, it hasn't been implemented will be talked about. >> it will be talked about and showing the limb natiitations o ability to function as a policy-making -- >> people pass --
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>> yeah, john great to see you. sorry about the circumstances. >> thank you. i want to bring into the conversation, it's my honor, the mayor of the city of las vegas. mayor goodman, i'm grateful that you made time for us tonight. so sorry about the circumstances. >> it has been such a difficult time, as you can imagine but we know we have 59 new beautiful stars in the heaven. it been an incredible time which will not define us or detour us from being who we are. we have a great community, and i know you've been talking to john. i really can assure you that we have a drama one unit and finest physicians and nurses support staff and of course, the first responders and law enforcement are unequalled. this is a very safe community and much like the tragedies of
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sandy hook and pulse, we're reeling from this but we have a magnificent community bonded together and is really out there either contributing to that or donating blood or waiting in line for six and seven hours to donate blood to those needy victims that are still being treated, still undergoing surgery. >> mayor goodman, no community in the united states has ever dealt with in peacetime 59 people killed well over 500 people in addition to those -- to those people who lost their lives. as you say, you got a very, very capable level one trama center in las vegas and half dozen other hospitals able to take in patients in this circumstance. do you feel like you have the resources that you need? do you need other forms of help from outside your community or outside the state? do you -- are there places
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you're short on resources? >> i believe the out lying communities in los angeles stepped up. we had offers from around the country of people that want to come in and help us. we have a remarkable team that is so well trained and so professional. i don't care if they are just in the medical field or law enforcement or first responders. the people that i visited overnight last night in the hospitals, those not undergoing surgery that i talked to, it was just unbelievably devastating for them. country music fans having a grand time. because of the technology and everything, they didn't know even if it was fireworks or part of the bands and what was going
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on, and most of the people had no idea the direction the bullets were coming. we had one crazed mentally really deranged human being who came in here with a plan and it's just sick, and unfortunately, i think we have these issues all around, not just here but for this we pride ourself in having a wonderful time with the safety and prime issue here. we have so much excitement and the best restaurants and conventions here. i have to believe the stars up above tonight and will be there for eternity are the souls of those very beautiful, beautiful 59 people we lost. what a tragedy and their families. that fund the sheriff started
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over $2 million now will help them with either staying here and visiting those that are undergoing more complicated surgery or help them with unfortunately, the funeral expenses they have to you believ believed -- undergo now. tourists are standing in line to give blood. we're so grateful for that and we're just a proud community that really is just i'm brac em each other in this tragic time. >> mayor caroline goodman, thank you for being with us tonight and keep us apprised. if there is anything you want us to let people know, you got much more to come from las vegas. >> i looked over and there was a young lady's body on the ground next, just direct down from me and people running over her.
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the shots kept coming and coming and coming. i bet probably five or six times. as we were driving, it seemed like it took 30 minutes to get here. my thoughts and prayers go out to the people that didn't make it and that i can't believe -- i don't know. this world has a big problem right now. i don't know why people think they can pick up guns, knives, bombs and take people's lives. it makes no sense. what started as a passion...
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today isis claimed the shooter was a soldier of the islamic state. isis claimed that isis was behind this shooting. they said that the shooter converted to islam months ago and declared he had chosen an arabic language and also reportedly released a sell b celebration video although there wasn't any footage of the shooter that they could have gotten. late reports that there may have been camera equipment in the shooter's hotel room have peeked interest whether he filmed at d. the shooter has no connection to isis or terrorist group and "the new york times" pointed out today that isis is usually correct when they claim responsibility for attacks, and
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contrary to popular belief, they don't even always claim attacks that seem obviously connected to them. for example, this very weekend in canada, a man plowed through a police barricade hurting a police officer that he got out of his car and repeatedly stabbed the injured officers. the officer laid on the ground. that officer had an isis flag in his vehicle. but even in that seemingly clear cut case, isis hasn't claimed responsibility for that attack. there is a popular perception that isis claims everything and anything as their own attack because they want credit for everything that anybody else would see as blame. it's not necessarily true. that said, sometimes they have claimed things apparently wrongly. they claimed an attack on a casino in the philippines in june. just a couple weeks ago, isis claimed they put bombs at the main airport in paris after a british airways flight got evacuated there. there weren't any bombs. the evacuation was reportedly
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due to an unrelated incident. b.s. claims of responsibility. it's true. that said, it's unclear if today's claim is yet another example of a responsibility claim from isis gone wrong. the fbi seems to be treating it that way. but we should also remember that isis has called on followers to hit concerts and isis followers have hit concerts in the past. we saw it in 2015 in the paris attack and this year's manchester england attack on the a ariana grande attack at the concert. the fbi discounts isis' claims and any connection between the shooter and any terrorist group. isis or otherwise. joining us now is foreign correspondent for the new york times and focuses on isis reporting on this all day. it's been illuminating to follow
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your thoughts on this and reporting on this all day. thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> so what is -- somebody that's covered isis and has followed closely the science of the way or at least the art of the way they claim responsibility for things, what do you make of their claim that this shooting in las vegas was the work of one of their followers. >> what is clear about the way they are presenting this attack today is they really want us to believe they did it. they are doubling down on the claim, it's not just been put out by the news agency but picked up by an official isis channel. they have put out a secel sell celebratory video. i was forwarded a chat where followers are asking are you sure this one -- that this man was a soldier of the islamic state and an annoyed member of isis responded, well, if you don't believe us the only way to
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know is is if you open his heart and look at it. the point is they are very much stressing that this is them, but even within the terrorist group there are doubts. >> he would be -- i say this out of ignorance but it would seem to me he would be an atypical recruit. >> absolutely. >> specifically because of his age. age 64, obviously a white american guy who appears to have a comfortable existence here and no known ties to extremists groups but also just his demographic factors. is that -- i recognize i'm speaking from ignorance there but is that the case? >> you're absolutely right, rachel. that was the first flag that came up for me. he's 64 years old. according to the george washington's universities program on extremism cataloging all isis recruits from america. the oldest known recruit is a woman that happened to be 55 years old and she was an out liar. he's 64, almost a decade older
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than the oldest known recruit. so if this guy really is isis, he's not just an anomaly, he is literally the oldest known isis recruit in america. >> in terms of what we know about him, i spoke with pete williams about this earlier. we have very little information about him from online sources and from public sources. we got basic stuff in terms of him buying and selling property, a little bit on employment history and nothing from social media. we can tell about places he's bought guns, that information has come out over the course of the day. we know they executed a search warrant at his home in mesquite, nevada. what would investigators be looking for? what would be the smoking gun here? terms of trying to find some side of ties to a terrorist group? >> look, in terms of isis attacks, the first thing i would look for is his phone and laptop. on his phone, i want to know if he has the telegram channel, the telegram app loaded.
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this is an app that is very popular with isis users. it's on this app that they have their chat rooms and on this -- in these chat rooms they plan and that they put each other in contact with people who can help them make weapons, who can help them make bombs, et cetera. the very first question for me is does he have telegram on his phone and if so, who was he speaking to? beyond that, i would be looking for paraphernalia and literature that indicates an interest in extremism. for example, in the recent deadly attacks in spain, in barcelona, after some time in the rubble of one of the houses were the leader of the terror cell was based, they found a book and in the book they found an inscription where he describes himself as a soldier in the term of the peninsula where spain is located. those kind of things are very suggestive. police have not, to my
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knowledge, commented on what they found on his electronics or if they found them. i don't know if they recovered his phone at this point. >> you cover isis with incredible preciate it. >> my pleasure. the fbi says they don't see ties to any group. they are discounting the claim of responsibility. local authorities almost described him as a lone wolf attacker. we just -- we don't know. we're learning more and more about what is in the public record about the alleged shooter here. but in terms of getting in anywhere closer to a motive or to explain why this happened, we'll see. senator chris murphy joins us live in a moment. stay with us.
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♪ hungry eyes ♪ one look at you and i can't disguise ♪ ♪ i've got hungry eyes ♪ applebee's 2 for $20. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. senator chris murphy represented newtown, connecticut, as a member of the u.s. house of representatives in 2012 when a young man from newtown shot his mother before heading to a local elementary school and gunning down 20 children and 6 adult staff members. at sandy hook elementary. today senator murphy released a blistering statement of what happened here in las vegas last night, said in part, quote, positively infuriating my colleagues in congress so afraid of the gun industry they pretend there aren't public policy
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responses to this epidemic. after the white house made the position clear today, quote, premature to discuss anything of gun policy in the aftermath of this shooting, this evening senator murphy went to the senate floor to disagree and to condemn, continued inaction, by the united states congress. >> hurt is deep. the scars are wide in newtown but they are made wider by the fact that this body in four and a half years has done absolutely nothing to reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting. if the greatest deliberative body in the world doesn't act in unison to condemn them through policy change, it starts to feel and look like complicity. if we aren't talking about policy change, the day after a mass shooting in this country, then you are never talking about policy change because a mass shooting happens on average
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every day. >> joining us now is u.s. senator chris murphy of connecticut. senator murphy, i know days like this are a difficult day for you and for your constituents bs especially in newtown, sandy hook. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. thank you for having me. >> the white house press secretary today said i think there will be time for that policy discussion to take place. that's not the place we're in at this moment. and, you know, coming from the white house, obviously, this white house likes to mix it up, be bombastic and to disagree with democrats such as yourself but i think people are torn whether or not it is the right time to make changes and talk about guns and policy when the country is in tears. >> so i understand that sentiment. i understand that when you are within hours of a shooting happens, the instinct to be focused on compassion but compassion comes in a lot of different forms. when a murder happens, the
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police don't wait 24 or 48 hours to try to solve the crime and hold someone accountable and we shouldn't wait because the responsibility for this epidemic of mass execution lies with policy makers. the fact of the matter is these weapons apparently used should not be legal. the kind of magazine that adam lanza walked into sandy hook elementary school should not be sold to civilians. thes a favorite tactic of the gun industry to tell america that you can't talk about changing policy right after one of these shootings when america is most finely tuned to these public policy questions. as i noted on the senate floor, just because we're talking about this particular horrific mass shooting doesn't mean one of these doesn't happen around america every day, five people, ten people, 15 people being shot and if you couldn't talk about mass shootings within 24 hours of them you wouldn't ever talk
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about public policy change. >> in terms of the technology here, obviously, you're right about the statistics of how frequently there's a mass shooting editorialized here in the local press today. nine out of every ten days in america there's a mass shooting but this one was absolutely massive in terms of the numbers of people injured and killed. we have never seen 600 shooting victims from a single shooter. it is just never happened and it would appear that that's because the technology that he had at the disposal and sounded like automatics weapon fire, surmising too hard to get an automatic weapon and so he must have used one of these aftermarket gizmos to convert it into an automatic weapon. do you feel like a narrow policy approach focusing on that kind of thing, focusing on the trigger cranks, focusing on the stock modifications that make a semiautomatic function automatically, is that a narrow
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focus, something that might be possible? >> i think it is possible. i think if you talk to most americans they should be shocked to know that fully automatic weapons are legal in many parts of the country if you get the right permits and the aftermarket modifications, packages that you can buy to turn a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon are legal, as well. so i think that you have to walk before you can run. when you're talking about changing federal gun policy and making clearer the prohibition that exists today in federal law on the possession of automatic weapons, tightening that up is i think a good place to start but if the assault weapons ban still applied you simply could not have something like we saw last night if the individual had a pistol and ten-round magazines instead of automatic weapon and potentially limitless magazines attached to it. >> the fact that it's -- it's
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still feels impossible to talk about a place where we might start to address this, i mean, i know that you are relentless on the subject. it is for me just almost surreal that the practicalities of the policy can't get there. senator chris murphy of connecticut, thank you for being so out on this issue and talking to us on it. >> thank you, rachel. all right. we'll be right back from las vegas where we're expecting a press conference from the local sheriff to begin at the top of the hour. the briefings from local authorities really is where we get the lion's share of information at this stage of the investigation and we expect it to be important so stay with us.
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any minute now we are expecting a live update from local authorities on the investigation. sheriff is due to be holding a press conference momentarily. here in las vegas the people starting to line up at blood donation centers almost as soon as news of the shooting broke overnight. las vegas's mayor told us a few moments ago, people waited in line for hours today to give blood. the response is so strong that vegas blood centers are scheduling appointments for thursday and friday because they're all booked up before then. but this is a massive crisis with hundreds of victims. they still need blood so if you are in the vegas area and you would like to donate the places on the screen would be grateful for every pint.
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outside of las vegas, head to the red cross site for a donation center near you. never a bad time to give blood. we're also posting this information online at maddow blog.com. the coverage continues not just through the evening but through the overnight, as well. my colleague lawrence o'donnell brings on the coverage. >> sorry to see you here but there was senator chris murphy who emerged on this issue after connecticut was hit so baddy at sandy hook and surely more will emerge from nevada because of this same situation. >> yeah. >> we are going to go -- thanks, rachel. we'll come back and talk later. we're waiting for the press conference to begin live in las vegas. it is starting now. let's go to the prez conference. >> at the home of stephen craig paddock in mesquite, nevada. detectives are uncovering the

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