Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Multiple victims were being transported to hospitals after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/John Locher)
On October 2, just a day after a guy named Stephen Paddock killed 58 persons and wounded 489 more by firing into a concert with Jason Aldean on the stage from the window of his room in Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay resort and casino, the Clark County Sheriff gave a briefing which seemed to be pretty definitive.
Police have dramatically changed their account of how the Las Vegas massacre began on Oct. 1, revealing Monday that the gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before opening fire on a country music concert — raising new questions about why police weren’t able to pinpoint the gunman’s location sooner.
Officials had previously said that gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., shot Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos after Paddock had unleashed his deadly volley at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an assault that began at 10:05 p.m. and left 58 people dead, with hundreds more injured.
They had credited Campos, who was shot in the leg, with stopping the 10-minute assault on the concert crowd by turning the gunman’s attention to the hotel hallway, where Campos was checking an alert for an open door in another guest’s room.
But Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Monday that Paddock shot Campos before his mass shooting — at 9:59 p.m. — and they now didn’t know why Paddock stopped his attack on the crowd.
Paddock, who had placed security cameras outside his room, shot Campos through the door of his suite, which was outfitted with a camera to survey the hallway, as was a room service cart parked outside. Police said Paddock fired 200 rounds into the hallway.
Investigators previously said that the security guard was shot after Paddock had already spent 10 minutes firing into the crowd of concertgoers gathered below the hotel.
That is a major problem. According to the revised timeline, the security guard was shot and some 200 rounds of 5.56mm ammo fired through the hotel room door six minutes before he opened fire on the crowd. (By the way, remember this story, that the police found the shooter by using smoke detectors to locate the gunfire? I called bullsh** on that at the time because it was so outlandish.)
A maintenance worker said Wednesday he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance.
Worker Stephen Schuck says he was checking out a report of a jammed fire door on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay when he heard gunshots and a hotel security guard, who had been shot in the leg, peeked out from an alcove and told him to take cover.
“As soon as I started to go to a door to my left the rounds started coming down the hallway,” Schuck said. “I could feel them pass right behind my head.
“It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on,” he said. “As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again.”
And Schuck’s radio call about the shooter was recorded by the hotel.
Gunshots can be heard in the background as Schuck reported the shooting on his radio, telling a dispatcher: “Call the police, someone’s firing a gun up here. Someone’s firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway.”
Now the story has changed from police responding to the scene of the shooting (which started at 10:06pm), trying to locate the shooter, and the killer committing suicide at 10:17 to Campos shot at 9:59. 200 rifle rounds fired in the hallway. Campos calls his dispatch. Schuck shot at and calls dispatch. Shooter begins shooting at 10:06 and dies at 10:17. How much difference would it have made if someone had called LVPD and told them of a high volume of rifle fire six minutes before the slaughter began? We’ll never know.