HEARTBREAKING SCENE: CELL PHONES RANG FOR HOURS AFTER VENUE CLEARED; PLUS THE GESTURE BY A ‘NOBLE COWBOY’ TO HONOR DEAD & NOTES

HEARTBREAKING SCENE: CELL PHONES RANG FOR HOURS AFTER VENUE CLEARED; PLUS THE GESTURE BY A ‘NOBLE COWBOY’ TO HONOR DEAD & NOTES

(CAPTION: ISRAEL CABANAS RESPONDED TO THE DEAD AND DYING –  PHOTO: NORM CLARKE)

UPDATE: A source described this unbearably sad scene after the Highway 91 festival: Amid the carnage following the shooting and street closures, the only sound heard, other than departing airplanes, was the eerie cacophony of vibrating cellphones and ring tones going off all night long. Also: I received this from a reader: “There were people on scene that were picking up any and all phones they found. They threw them in the back (of a truck)…and handed them off to Metro  (LVPD). Hoping 1. They could extract video and photo evidence 2. Identify victims via photos 3. Contact information for loved ones.”

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UPDATE: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo confirmed in an earlier press conference that in excess of 10 suitcases were found in the room, indicating that’s how the arsenal of  assault weapons got in the room.

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So many dead covered the blood-stained music venue on Sunday that Israel Cabanas looked for any way to respect the victims’ privacy.“Many were wearing cowboy hats, so we put their cowboy hats over their faces,“ said Cabanas.

The 33-year-old Mexican singer was at the final night of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with a credential as a guest/worker, “just to help, but it was mainly as security,” he said.

He turned into a first responder when a sniper firing from the 32nd floor of a Mandalay Bay suite transformed the venue into a killing field. Stephen Paddock went back and forth between two knocked-out windows to rake the 22,000 fans with an arsenal of assault weapons that left 59 dead and at least 527 injured – the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

“We thought and hoped they were just fireworks,” said Cabanas. But there was something distinctly different in the sound. “We realized they were high-caliber weapons.”

Then he saw people “crawling and dragging themselves, crying for help.

“I thought, ‘God, how can I save these people?’ We tried our hardest,” said Cabanas, who goes by the stage name of El Charro Noble (the Noble Cowboy).
He was among many who helped turned crowd-control railings into makeshift gurneys.

“I kept telling the injured, ‘Stay calm, stay calm,’ but I was having trouble staying calm. It was just so surreal.

“What started as a beautiful night ended as a total nightmare. I didn’t sleep last night,” he said.

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After many stampeded out of the festival grounds, they poured into the nearby Tropicana hotel, just north of the venue,

“A lot of bloody people ran through valet,” a valet attendant said.

The Trop turned into a temporary refuge for about 2,000 who fled the shooting scene, a hotel rep confirmed.

Some hotel occupants at the hotel said there was a rumor that a bloody body was found near Tropicana and Karen Avenues, but the hotel rep could not confirm it.

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Update: Sheriff Joe Lombardo confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday that bodies were found blocks away from the festival site. He did not identify where they were discovered.

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Pickup trucks were pressed into duty as ambulances in the rush to get injured to hospitals.

Savannah Stallworth was working at the concert when the gunfire erupted. She and two friends made it to Stallworth’s truck and ended up taking two trips to a hospital with injured concertgoers in the back.

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Ashley Farkas, executive director of public relations at MGM Resorts International Corp., was among the wounded. She is recovering from a gunshot wound to her left shoulder. Former Las Vegas PR publicist-turned-People magazine writer Mark Gray was at the concert and wrote a harrowing first-person piece for Rolling Stone. Also there: Well-known Las Vegas PR brothers and businessmen Cory and Craig Nyman, who were interviewed Monday by CBS national correspondent Anthony Mason.

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Las Vegas attorney Cory Hilton weighed in with his theory for a possible motive behind Paddock’s shooting spree. Hilton told ESPN 1100 on Monday that Paddock lost a slip-and-fall LAWSUIT against the Cosmopolitan three years ago. Hilton suggested it might not be a coincidence that the shooting came close to the third anniversary of Paddock losing the case, Oct. 3. According to court records, Paddock alleged he slipped in a puddle of liquid and sued the Cosmopolitan for $100,000 in 2012. Hilton raised the possibility that the setback left Paddock disillusioned with Las Vegas.

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MANDALAY BAY MASS SHOOTING AFTERMATH: ROOM-BY-ROOM SEARCH UNDERWAY. “IF YOU AREN’T IN YOUR ROOM, YOU’RE NOT GETTING IN YOUR ROOM.”

I just interviewed at 3 am my wife’s sister, Gini Germany of Las Vegas. She is in her 15th floor room at Mandalay Bay awaiting the room-by-room, floor-by-floor searches by police “who are not knocking.”

Germany is a travel director for a data storage conference. She said the hotel is on lockdown, with people in Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” showroom, restaurants and stairwells stuck inside.

According to Metro Sheriff Joe Lombardo a “lone wolf” shooter was shot dead in a 32nd floor room after repeatedly firing an automatic weapon on the Route 91 Festival venue located catty-corner from Mandalay Bay. At least 20 are dead, 100-plus injured and many more injured.

“If you aren’t in your room, you’re not going to get in your room” she said.

Her room faces I-15, or west. She didn’t hear the shooting but she saw “ambulances flying down the streets. I turned off the TV an hour ago but there’s no way I can sleep.”

POWER OF THE PATCH!

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SCARAMUCCI RETURNS TO WASHINGTON, D.C. ON HIS NO-APOLOGIES TOUR (Anthony Scaramucci addressed the Nevada State Dinner Gala on Monday in Washington, D.C. – Norm Clarke Photo)

SCARAMUCCI RETURNS TO WASHINGTON, D.C. ON HIS NO-APOLOGIES TOUR (Anthony Scaramucci addressed the Nevada State Dinner Gala on Monday in Washington, D.C. – Norm Clarke Photo)

Brash Anthony Scaramucci was back in Washington, D.C. for the first time since being banished from the White House and had a one-liner ready.

He’s coined a term for his history-making 11-day tenure.

“I became a unit of time,” said the short-lived assistant to President Donald Trump.

Eleven days, he said, “is a Scaramucci. I was fired 55 days ago so that’s five Scaramuccis.”

About 200 attendees for the Nevada State Dinner Gala on Monday at the Metropolitan Club, the latest stop on what’s become The Mooch’s No-Apologies Tour.

He had the crowd roaring early and often as the featured speaker for the kickoff of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual trip to to D.C.

He hinted he was going to sell “Frontstabber” t-shirts, a reference to his famous remarks back in July, before his exodus, when he said, “What I don’t like about Washington is people do not let you know how they feel. They’re very nice to your face, and then they take a shiv or a machete and they stab you in the back. I don’t like it, and I’m more of a front-stabbing person.”

The former Goldman Sachs financier-turned-White House-communications director was fired July 31, shortly after his incendiary interview with The New Yorker in which he ripped Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Scaramucci gave no hint of having regrets over fall from grace. He said he was hired to find the leakers in the White House and he succeeded.

As for Bannon, who was fired about three weeks after Scaramucci, the latter told the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce gathering, “The problem Steve had, he was very concerned about his brand and his movement. And what do we do about the founders? What do we do about the Republic?” said Scaramucci.

He continued, “ We set it up so that we have to figure out how we get along with the opposition. Ronald Reagan had the best line ever: ‘I’m going to go for 80 percent and.give up 20 per cent to the other side and cut the deal so we can move forward. You can sit there as a bomb thrower and say ‘it’s my way or the the highway.’ That’s never going to work.”

Scaramucci emphasized the biggest test facing Trump is not North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un, whom the President has ridiculed as “Rocket Man.” In an aside, Scaramucci said a better insult would have been “Rocket Boy.”

Scaramucci stated Pakistan was “10 times” more dangerous to world peace than North Korea because of its growing nuclear weapons capabilities. He didn’t offer details.

Scaramucci said former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda “called me the day I got fired.” Scaramucci said he attended Lasorda’s 90th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on Sunday and theorized what advice Lasorda would give him about losing his job.

“You know what Tommy would say?” said Scaramucci. “Tommy would tell you ‘There’s no whining. No whining in sports, no whining in politics. There’s no victimization. Dust yourself off, get back in the game and tell your story.”

After his speech, I interviewed Scaramucci on the sidewalk of the ultra private Cosmopolitan Club, which doesn’t allow tape recorders on the premises. I asked him about Trump’s fiery rhetoric about firing players who kneeled during the national anthem. Trump’s comments led to mass protests by NFL players and owners who responded by kneeling before games Sunday and Monday.

“If you are asking me personally how I would have handled the situation, whether people like it or not, there is systemic and institutional racism in our society,” he said. “We are going to have to heal that divide.

“Having said that, as a family that has veterans I would never kneel,” he said. “In my mind you have to love the flag unconditionally. There are things that are not going right, but disavowing the flag is not the answer because its too agitating to the people you need to reach, to communicate to, what your grievance is, what your issue is.

Asked how the NFL can resolve the controversy, Scaramucci said, “I think NFL has got more problems related to the concussion issue, CTE. I think there are more issues related to that, and I think the NFL is going to have to continue to adapt itself away from that because we’re learning that unfortunately most of the players in the NFL have some level of that CTE injury to their brains.

“At some point it’s almost like tobacco and smoking and things like that. It’s an unhealthy situation to put those kids through and so I think over time it’s going to slide this way unless they do something creative and disruptive. The kneeling in front of flag is obviously going to upset half your fan base so that’s not helping the league.

Since 2009, Scaramucci has been holding his SALT Conference in Las Vegas. It stands for Skybridge Alternatives. Born out of the recession, the idea behind the conference, he said, was to “have an intersection of Hollywood, politics, economics thought leadership, as well as an international component.”

POWER OF THE PATCH!

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OH BROTHER! AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE MEXICO CITY EARTHQUAKE (Photo: Jeff and Jenny Scheid of Las Vegas were in Mexico City during the deadly earthquake.)

OH BROTHER! AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE MEXICO CITY EARTHQUAKE (Photo: Jeff and Jenny Scheid of Las Vegas were in Mexico City during the deadly earthquake.)

Today was a first: After covering many major disasters — from earthquakes, fires and a hurricane — during my 50-plus years in journalism, I found myself in the unusual position of interviewing my brother, who was in the heart of Mexico City when the 7.1 earthquake hit Tuesday.

Jeff and Jenny Scheid of Las Vegas arrived last there Wednesday for a one-week stay.

One of the biggest shocks of my life came about 1:30 p.m. today when I saw breaking news about the earthquake on TV.

I immediately sent Jeff a text but it bounced back. I frantically started scrolling through Facebook and was relieved to see Jenny had posted a “we’re OK” to a friend.

I called Jeff’s cell phone and was surprised when he answered. They were on their way back to their apartment on what turned out to be an eight-mile walk. It was a 10-second conversation. His telephone battery was almost dead.

Jeff and Jenny were just entering Zocalo, the main square and historic center of Mexico City and one of the largest city squares in the world.

“Suddenly the earthquake alarm went off,” he said. They knew they were earthquake alarms because two hours earlier they were preparing to enter some Aztec ruins when they were turned back because of a major earthquake drill.

They were on their way to have lunch at Pujols, which the Wall Street Journal ranked as the best restaurant in Mexico City and Restaurant Magazine ranked as No. 13 in the world in 2013.

“We rushed into Zocalo to get away from the taller buildings,” Jeff said. They noticed a dust cloud appear over the belltower of the massive Metropolitan Cathedral. “We thought it was coming down. People were screaming and crying. We had been in the tower an hour earlier. I can’t imagine what it was like being up there. It had to be 30 seconds of pure hell,” he said.

I read reports that Zocalo was one of the most damaged areas, but Jeff said they felt that the Condesa area, known for its nightlife, was more heavily damaged.

“Traffic was at a standstill,” he said. “We saw an ambulance that couldn’t move. All the traffic lights were knocked out. We only had about 500 pesos, about $40 in cash, so we decided to take the subway instead of Uber. But the subway was so slow we got off after two stops.

“We had skipped breakfast because we wanted to be hungry for Pujols. Almost everything was closed as we were walking back to our apartment. Finally we found a place that had orange juice.”

Shortly after that they found street food and it was heavenly, he said. He had a tongue taco and Jenny had a cream of cactus taco.

Jeff emphasized that they were so impressed by how organized the response was to the earthquake.

When they finally got back to their two-story apartment they had no power or Internet. “But we had a couple beers,” he said. (Jeff sent me an update saying a condo had collapsed in their neighborhood).

When I checked his Twitter site, @JeffScheid, I noticed he had posted a photo of their boat ride through the floating gardens in Xochimilco, a southern suburb of Mexico City. After retweeting his photo I wondered what kind of thrill ride that turned out to be during the earthquake. I got my answer a couple hours later when one of my 32,000 Twitter followers sent a video of the party boats bobbing in the canals as waves washed from bank to bank.

It was deja vu moment for me. I had my own wild earthquake adventure. I was in the press box at Candlestick Park in 1989 when the deadly World Series quake caused great damage. When I finally got back to the Nikko Hotel in downtown San Francisco, I had to hike about 12-15 stories since the elevators didn’t work. I fantasized about a cold beer when I got there. Exhausted from the long walk to the hotel and the hike up the stairs, I cracked open an Anchor Steam. It was warm, but in that moment, it was the beer ever!

And suddenly the phone rang: It was Jeff, whose call had amazingly gotten through when the phone was dead the rest of the night.

They hope to fly out Wednesday. (Good luck with that). So happy you’re safe. Here’s hoping you can get out on Wednesday.

ON THIS DAY….

September 19, 1957: The U.S. government stages the first underground nuclear test in a tunnel 100 miles north of Las Vegas. There’s no mushroom cloud for tourists to gawk at, as in previous tests, but the seismic waves from the 1.7 kiloton explosion are felt in Vegas and up to 2,000 miles away.

September 20, 2010: Paris Hilton pleads guilty to drug possession a month after she was arrested for having cocaine in her purse. She said it wasn’t hers, but the plea bargain keeps her out of jail. Steve Wynn bans her from his hotels after the arrest, but the decree is lifted a year later.

SIGHTINGS
Magician David Copperfield, taking in “Mike Tyson Undisputed Truth—Round 2” at the MGM Grand on Sunday night.

THE PUNCH LINE
“(Monday), Trump posted a tweet where he referred to Kim Jong Un as ‘Rocket Man.’ Which beats the other nickname he gave him, Lil’ Kim.” – Jimmy Kimmel.

POWER OF THE PATCH!

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