Las Vegas police offered new details Monday about the days and
minutes leading up to last week’s deadly mass shooting, raising
new questions about the police response and their investigation
of the still unexplained massacre.
In a significant revision to the original timeline of the Oct.
1 massacre, authorities revealed that Stephen Paddock shot a
security guard in the hallway outside his Mandalay Bay suite
six minutes before he opened fire out the window on
concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, killing 58
people and injuring more than 500.
In their initial account, police said the security guard, Jesus
Campos, was shot around 10:15 p.m. — about 10 minutes into the
attack — when Paddock discharged a volley of gunfire through
the door of his room after seeing Campos approach on a baby
monitor the shooter had placed on a room service cart. Police
had portrayed Campos as a hero, telling reporters he had
interrupted and stopped the killing, and alerted law
enforcement about the location of Paddock’s room.
But on Monday, police said Campos, who was unarmed, was shot
and wounded at 9:59 p.m. as he investigated an apparently
unrelated alarm for an open door on the floor — six minutes
before Paddock began firing out his window at 10:05. Police now
say they have no idea why Paddock, who had a large quantity of
ammunition and other loaded weapons in his room, stopped his
rampage 10 minutes later.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Las Vegas sheriff Joseph
Lombardo offered little explanation for the discrepancy in the
accounts, although he implied that Campos, who was wounded and
“extremely shaken up by what happened to him,” may have
misremembered the details.
“As I have conveyed to you from the very beginning … in your
zest for information and my zest to ensure the public’s safety
and the calming of their minds … some things are going to
change,” Lombardo said.
But the revised timeline raised new questions about why it took
police so long to ascertain Paddock’s location as they
scrambled to figure out where the bullets were coming from.
On Monday, Lombardo said Campos had alerted Mandalay Bay
security that he had been shot, but police hunting for the
gunman only learned this when they found him lying wounded in
the hallway after the gunman had stopped firing at concertgoers
According to the updated timeline released Monday, police
officers reached the 31st floor of the resort and casino
at 10:12 p.m. — where, they reported to colleagues, that they
could hear shots being fired above them. Officers reached the
32nd floor, where Paddock was staying in Room 135, at 10:17,
two minutes after he stopped shooting. They found Campos a
minute later, at 10:18 p.m., and the security guard pointed
them to Paddock’s room.
Police have offered no details about communications between
their officers and officials at Mandalay Bay, who presumably
would have reported the shooting of one of their employees. MGM
Resorts, which owns Mandalay Bay and several other casinos that
Paddock frequented, has repeatedly declined to comment on the
specifics of the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
Officers did not enter the Paddock’s suite until 11:20 p.m. —
more than an hour after he fired his last shots. They found the
shooter dead of what they described as a self-inflicted gunshot
wound. It’s unclear when Paddock shot himself, or what he was
doing during those 65 minutes. Lombardo has repeatedly said,
and reiterated Monday, that he believes Paddock — who had 50
pounds of explosive material and another 1,600 rounds of
ammunition in his, car parked in the casino’s garage — intended
Police have explained that hour-long gap by saying the shooting
had already stopped and they wanted to safely evacuate nearby
hotel guests before breaching Paddock’s room.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo discusses the Route 91
Harvest festival mass shooting at the Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department headquarters on Oct. 9, 2017. (Photo: Erik
Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
Lombardo also acknowledged Monday that authorities had another
key fact wrong. Paddock checked in to Mandalay Bay on Sept. 25
— three days earlier than originally reported. That means the
64-year-old gunman had been staying in the hotel for nearly a
week before the Sunday night attack.
Witnesses have told police they spotted Paddock — a real estate
investor and avid gambler with no history of violence — playing
video poker, his game of choice, in the days leading up to the
attack. Police say they have reviewed video footage from the
casino, but have not revealed what it shows.
The latest revelations are likely to raise new questions about
what employees saw and heard, and about other security measures
at the hotel where Paddock brought 23 guns — including long
rifles — and thousands of rounds of ammunition into his room,
apparently without attracting attention.
And police have released new details from the scene that raise
more questions about how Paddock operated undetected as he
meticulously planned his savage attack — apparently in full
view of hotel security cameras that line the hallways of the
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes,
officers responding to the scene said Paddock had apparently
used power tools to barricade the door to the stairwell closest
to his room, anticipating officers would use the route to gain
entry to his floor.
“He had screwed shut the door … with a piece of metal and some
screws,” Sgt. Joshua Bitsko, one of the responding officers,
told “60 Minutes.”
On Monday, Lombardo revealed that Paddock had also started
drilling a hole next to the door of his suite in the hallway,
but didn’t finish, and authorities were not sure what that was
When police broke into Paddock’s room, they found a room filled
with ammunition and guns. “It just looked almost like a gun
store,” Dave Newton, another officer who responded, told CBS.
There were “all kinds of monitors and electrical equipment … a
few phones … a couple of laptops. A lot of drills, drill bits —
all kinds of tools.”
Officers also found a note with numbers that appeared to
calculate the distance between the Route 91 Harvest
festival site and Paddock’s window, as the gunman plotted the
trajectory of his bullets. Lombardo also confirmed again Monday
that Paddock also appeared to aim at two fuel tanks just beyond
the concert site near the runway of the McCarran International
Airport. The tanks were pierced by two bullets, but did not
explode — averting even further tragedy for thousands of
concertgoers who ran for their lives in that direction.
More than a week after the attack, the revelations only seem to
add to the mystery of why Paddock did what he did. Lombardo
indicated that police were no closer to understanding a motive,
in spite of the cooperation of his friends and family —
including his younger brother, Eric, who arrived in Vegas on
Sunday to speak with authorities.
Though authorities have zeroed in on October 2016, when Paddock
began assembling most of his arsenal for the attack, police
still have yet to identify a single event that might have put
the gunman on a path to murder.
“I’m frustrated,” the sheriff acknowledged. “This individual
purposely hid his actions leading up to this event, and it is
difficult for us to find the answers to those actions.”
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