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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# Las Vegas
WATCH: Police enter shooter's hotel room after worst mass shooting in modern US history
Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more on 1 October 2017.

Associated Press / YouTube

LAS VEGAS POLICE have released footage of officers who entered gunman Stephen Paddock’s hotel suite after a mass shooting in Las Vegas last October.

Police used explosives to blast into the room where a gunman unleashed the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. They found him dead, with a cache of assault-style weapons and broken windows that had a view of a concert venue killing field, according to the video footage.

Hours of footage released from two officers’ body-worn cameras shows what some of the first officers uncovered when they got to the room, but didn’t provide new information about the motive for the rampage.

Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more on 1 October when he unleashed gunfire from his Mandalay Bay suite on the crowd below, before killing himself as authorities closed in.

The videos show officers walking into the casino that was still packed with people playing slot machines — unaware that gunfire had been raining down on an outdoor concert from 32 floors up.

“You need to get everybody out of here,” an officer tells two Mandalay Bay security guards. “There’s a shooter up there. He’s killed multiple people already.”

The video shows officers methodically checking rooms on floors 29, 30 and 31 before getting to Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor. An officer says, “Breach! Breach! Breach!”, before a loud bang and a fire alarm begins to sound.

Inside, Paddock’s body is seen on his back, clad in dark trousers and a long-sleeve shirt, with a glove on his left hand. A pool of blood stains the carpet near his head as a police SWAT officer walks past.


Officers in the videos mention the number of firearms scattered around the room, with one saying there were at least 10 high-powered weapons.

“Did he have any scoped weapons over there?,” an officer asks. “Oh yeah,” another replies.

Others talk about Paddock “blasting out the window” and point to “a whole suitcase full of loaded AK mags”, referring to ammunition magazines for an AK-47 rifle.

Officers are seen looking behind curtains, and one grabs an assault-style rifle from the ledge of a broken window.

aptopix-las-vegas-shooting-4-390x285 Eric Paddock via AP An undated photo of Stephen Paddock Eric Paddock via AP

An officer tells others to watch where they are stepping. “I don’t know what that is, but there’s a wire there,” the officer says. He then turns toward the room’s door and says, “He put cameras up on the peepholes and all that. That’s what these wires are.”

An officer says the attacker “has an intricate camera system set up … so he knew when officers were coming down the hallway”.

The videos also show officers talking about whether there was evidence of a second shooter, and finding Paddock’s driver’s licence. Police and the FBI later said they believe the 64-year-old former accountant and high-stakes video poker player acted alone.

The footage does not show what the first officer through the door saw because he didn’t activate his body-worn camera. This disclosure by police lawyers raised questions about whether officers followed department policy.

A police spokeswoman, Carla Alston, said yesterday that no one in the agency would comment about the videos, whether the first officer followed proper procedure by not turning on his camera or whether he had been disciplined for violating policies.

The department requires officers with body cameras to activate them during calls that lead to interaction with residents, and searches.

Sued to obtain videos

The newly released videos, totalling two-and-a-half hours, are a sample of hundreds of hours of body-camera recordings and do not provide a complete view of everything police discovered when they entered Paddock’s suite.

The Associated Press and other media outlets sued to obtain videos, 911 recordings, evidence logs and interview reports to shed light on the response by public agencies, emergency workers and hotel officials while Paddock fired for more than 10 minutes.

The police investigation is not finished, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters on Tuesday, saying he believed releasing the footage would “further traumatise a wounded community”.

“For that, we apologise,” the elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.

What is seen on those videos in no way changes the facts that we were able to clarify for you shortly after the crime.

Lombardo referred to a preliminary police report released on 19 January that said Paddock meticulously planned the attack, researched police SWAT tactics, rented hotel rooms overlooking outdoor concerts and investigated potential targets in at least four US cities.

Police department lawyers had told a judge it would be time-consuming and costly to comply with the media outlets’ public records requests and said the materials could disclose investigative techniques.

However, the Nevada Supreme Court last week upheld a state judge’s ruling that the records must be made public. Lombardo said on Tuesday that the department would release more recordings in batches in coming weeks.

Associated Foreign Press
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