Las Vegas Police Release Body Cam Videos of Oct. 1 Shooting
As the one-year anniversary of the October shooting nears, Las Vegas Police released more body-camera video of police officers in the Mandalay Bay on the night of the tragic shooting. The video shows officers as they search, with guns ready, casino floors and hotel rooms in an attempt to find the person responsible for the catastrophic shots fired on October 1, 2017.
The search eventually would lead to the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip, where occupant Stephen Paddock had shot into a crowd of 22,000 people at a county music festival below. Paddock killed 58 people and wounded over 500 others during the mass shooting.
This past Wednesday, 27 video clips were made public giving a direct view of some of what went down that horrific night. This is the 17th batch of public records involving the shooting that have been released. Police were ordered by the courts to provide the material that was collected during and after the October 1st shooting.
According to Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the initial investigation revealed no motive for the massacre. As the investigation continues, a final report by the FBI is expected to be released by the end of the year.
Both local police and FBI have said that Stephen Paddock was the only shooter and the deadly attack was not connected to any broader conspiracy or terrorism.
Shooting on October 1, 2017
On the evening of October 1st, 2017, while country music lovers enjoyed a live concert, Stephen Paddock was strategically setting up camp on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
At 10:05 p.m., after using a hammer to bust out two windows in his Mandalay Bay suites, Paddock began shooting roughly 490 yards away into the music festival crowd. Police reported that more than 1,100 rifle rounds were fired. Starting with a few single gunshots, Paddock quickly moved onto several prolong bursts with small pauses in between. Paddock repeatedly shot into the concert crowd for more than 10 minutes as he took the lives of 58 people and injured more than 500.
As concertgoers initially heard the load bursts, they assumed them to be fireworks. Sadly, as people started to realize it was something else, for many it was too late. What made matters worse, a security fence caged the concertgoers in, preventing them from fleeing the lot.
Police Approach Stephen Paddock’s Room
It took several minutes for the police to determine where the shots were coming from. There initial suspicion pointed to the concert grounds, the nearby Luxor hotel and the Mandalay Bay. Several false reports also stated that there were additional shooters at other hotels along the Strip.
Eventually police noticed the flashes of gunfire in the middle of the northern side of the Mandalay Bay hotel. At 10:12 p.m., reports came from two officers on the 31st floor saying that they heard gunfire from the floor above. By 10:17 p.m. officers made it to the 32nd floor where they found a wounded security guard who pointed them to Paddock’s room.
After several units arrived to the 32nd floor and nearly an hour of clearing out guests from the floor, police breached Paddock’s room, 32-135, with explosives at 11:20 p.m. Stephen Paddock was found dead on the floor due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. At 11:27 p.m., officers had announced that a suspect was down.
Stephen Paddock’s Motive Still Undetermined
No more evidence has come to surface since the initial investigation, but police have not given up yet. On August 3, 2018, Lombardo held a press conference on the release of “LVMPD Criminal Investigative Report of the 1 October Mass Casualty Shooting.”
The gunman’s motive has yet to be determined, though police have ruled out conspiracy or a second gunman. Police first interviewed Paddock’s girlfriend, whose fingerprints were on some casings used. She was in the Philippines at the time and just as shocked as everyone else by the identity of the shooter. Because he had paid her $100,000 to buy a house in the Philippines, she thought he was breaking up with her.
Then the police arrested an Arizona man who sold Stephen Paddock the bump stocks used to turn a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle into an automatic (or virtually automatic) weapon. Once again, the arms supplier knew nothing of the attack. Police also questioned whether a 2-year losing streak at the high roller video poker machines had led to the attack, but Paddock appears to have still had money at the time of his death.
In the end, Stephen Paddock appears to have taken his motives with him to the grave. Lombardo said, “What we have been able to answer are the questions of who, what, when, where and how…what we have not been able to definitively answer is why Stephen Paddock committed this act.”
As the year marker approaches families of the victims desperately search for answers and though the newly released videos may bring more pain to their healing it might shed a new light into the why behind the horrific attack.