Police have dramatically changed their account of how the Las Vegas massacrebegan 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.
In a timeline released last week, investigators said Paddock had stopped firing at the concert across the street at 10:15 p.m., and the first police officers arrived on the floor at 10:17 p.m. and encountered the wounded Campos at 10:18 p.m., who directed the officers to Paddock’s suite.
Police were not in a hurry to enter Paddock’s suite because the security guard’s arrival had halted the shooting, police implied in previously describing the timeline. Paddock had killed himself by the time officers entered the room, they said.