Hotel: Gunman shot at crowd seconds after shooting guard
Washington Post ^ | October 12 at 6:52 PM | Michael Balsamo
Posted on 10/12/2017, 6:58:36 PM by SSS Two
Mandalay Bay hotel officials said Thursday the Las Vegas gunman wounded a security guard in a hotel hallway within 40 seconds of firing into the crowd at a music festival, disputing a police timeline that put six minutes from the time the guard was shot and when Stephen Paddock committed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
In the most recent chronology given by investigators on Monday, police said Paddock sprayed 200 rounds into the hallway on the 32nd floor Oct. 1, wounding an unarmed security guard in the leg, six minutes before he unleashed his barrage of bullets on the festival crowd. He killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life.
The 64-year-old high-stakes gambler and real estate investor began his 10-minute attack on the crowd at 10:05 p.m., firing more than 1,000 rounds from his bashed-out windows, police said. Police didn’t arrive on the 32nd floor until 10:17 p.m., two minutes after he had stopped shooting.
In a statement Thursday, MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay, said the reported time of the hallway shooting, which Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said happened at 9:59 p.m., came from a report that was manually created after the massacre.
“We are now confident that the time stated in this report is not accurate,” the statement said.
Hotel officials believe Paddock began shooting into the concert crowd “at the same time as, or within 40 seconds after” the wounded guard, Jesus Campos, used his radio to call for help, the statement said. A maintenance worker, Stephen Schuck, also called for help on his radio, asking a dispatcher to call the police because someone was shooting a rifle on the hotel’s 32nd floor.
Police declined to comment on MGM’s statement.
The timeline given by police earlier this week differed dramatically from the one they gave last week: that Paddock shot through his door and wounded Campos after he had opened fire on the crowd.
The hotel says Las Vegas police officers and armed hotel guards immediately responded to the shooting and the company is continuing to cooperate with police.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said investigators haven’t yet determined a motive behind the mass shooting but they’re still digging.
“There’s a lot of effort being put into unraveling this horrific act,” Wray told reporters after a ribbon-cutting for the FBI’s new Atlanta building. “We don’t know yet what the motive is, but that’s not for lack of trying, and if you know anything about the bureau we don’t give up easy.”
Also Thursday, a funeral was held for Erick Silva, a 21-year-old security guard at the festival who was shot in the head while helping people climb over a barricade to escape the gunfire. Dozens of fellow “yellow shirt” security guards were among the hundreds of mourners at the service, where Silva was hailed as a hero.
“We counted on him, and he didn’t let us down,” said his boss, Gina Argento.