Wednesday 19 September 2018

Las Vegas Police detail the 11-minute operation between first emergency phonecall and end of massacre

  • Shooter forced to stop attack within 11 minutes
  • Police operation was 'remarkable'
  • Shooter fired on and off for between nine and 11 minutes
  • Officers on patrol in hotel 'teamed up' and evacuated hotel
  • 'Very heroic' security officer approached bedroom and was shot
Police officers take cover near the scene of a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police officers take cover near the scene of a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip (AP Photo/John Locher)
Las Vegas Shooting
A night time view of the scene of a mass shooting, bottom right, on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
This undated photo provided by the Ontario Police Department shows Officer Michael Gracia. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Gracia was off duty when he was injured during a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas. (Ontario Police Department via AP)
White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (3rd L) and Ivanka Trump are joined by White House staff as they prepare to observe a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive to take part in a moment of silence with White House staff for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, on the South Lawn of the White House on October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump arrives with White House staff before US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump take part in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, on the South Lawn of the White House on October 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, and her husband, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, arrive for a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 2, 2017, for the victims of the shooting yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Mesquite Police Sgt. Tracy Fails and members of a citizen volunteer patrol block the entrance to the Prominence community, where shooter Stephen Craig Paddock owned a home, in Mesquite, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Mesquite Police Sgt. Tracy Fails talks with another officer at the entrance to the Prominence community, where shooter Stephen Craig Paddock owned a home, in Mesquite, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip (AP Photo/John Locher)
Paddock (64) killed himself before the officers entered his hotel room, according to Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo
Las Vegas Shooting
A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside of a music festival along the Las Vegas Strip
A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas StripY
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Las Vegas Police have detailed the 11 minutes between the first emergency phonecall during Sunday night's mass shooting - and the moment in which the shooter stopped his attack.

In the 11 minutes, Stephen Paddock killed 59 people who were enjoying a country music concert off the Las Vegas Strip across the street.

At least 515 people were left injured.

Speaking at the latest press conference, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said it was "remarkable" that the shooting was stopped within 11 minutes.

"We received the first emergency phonecall at 10.08pm. The suspect fired on and off for between nine and 11 minutes," Office McMahill said.

"He shot a dozen or so volleys. The firing by the suspect ceased at 10.19pm.

"I want you to think about that, that's a remarkable thing."

The officer said patrol officers in the Mandalay Bay hotel teamed up when they heard the shooting and entered the stairwell of the hotel, before ascending the floors and evacuating hotel guests.

A sign asking for blood donations on a marquee is shown following a mass shooting at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Photo taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lisa Girion
A sign asking for blood donations on a marquee is shown following a mass shooting at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Photo taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lisa Girion

"We also had a very heroic security guard who was shot during the search for the suspect," Officer McMahill said.

"He went up to the room. The suspect fired through the door and struck him.

"But he was able to provide additional information to the police. At this stage, the shooting stopped."

He continued; "All the floors had already been evacuated. The suspect was isolated and contained in the room.

A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A candlelight vigil is pictured on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

"The SWAT made the decision as to when it was appropriate to enter.

"The suspect was no longer firing into the crowd at this stage."

A woman looks over a makeshift memorial site on Las Vegas Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
A woman looks over a makeshift memorial site on Las Vegas Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The undersheriff said the photos which have been leaked showing the inside of the hotel room after the SWAT operation are valid.

He said they have now launched an internal investigation to find out how the photos were leaked to the public.

Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas Shooting

Officer Kevin McMahill described how the suspect Paddock had positioned two cameras in the hallway so he could watch people approach.

He also paid tribute to a fallen officer Charleston Hartfield who "ultimately gave his life protecting others".

The officer also used the press conference to show bodycam footage of police officers who responded to the shooting (watch above).

Nighttime view of the Las Vegas Strip including the festival grounds where a mass shooting occurred, bottom right, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino and began firing with a cache of weapons Sunday, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Nighttime view of the Las Vegas Strip including the festival grounds where a mass shooting occurred, bottom right, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino and began firing with a cache of weapons Sunday, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Payment

It was also reported this morning that police are expected to interview the girlfriend of the gunman, after it emerged he made a large international money transfer to her home country in the days before the shooting.

Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 (€84,936) to his girlfriend Marilou Danley in the Philippines last week, authorities in Manila said on Wednesday, citing the FBI.

"Danley arrived in the Philippines last month, and then there was a wire transfer to her account for $100,000 from Stephen," Nick Suarez, spokesman for the Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), told AFP.

It has now emerged that the girlfriend of the retiree who killed 59 people and then himself arrived from the Philippines in Los Angeles and has been met by the FBI.

She arrived in Los Angeles on a flight from Manila on Tuesday night.

Police said Ms Danley, a former casino worker who was in the Philippines when the mass shooting in Las Vegas took place, was not believed to be involved in the shooting.

Pictures emerged on Tuesday of Paddock in the Philippines at what appeared to be a gathering of Ms Danley's family.

Security expert Jeffrey Simon, author of Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat, said: "I think the girlfriend is key. Hopefully, she may be able to provide some answers.

"But we may have America's worst mass shooting and never know really why it happened."

FBI investigators said they were looking at Paddock's finances as a matter of urgency in a bid to establish a motive for the massacre.

Relatives said Paddock, a former accountant, was worth at least $2 million (€1,698,730) and obsessively gambled tens of thousands of dollars.

The gunman's brother, Eric Paddock, said he recently received a text message showing his brother had won $40,000 (€33,974).

"He'd grouse when he'd lost. But he never said he'd lost $4 million or something. I think he would have told me," Mr Paddock said.

But he appears to have been gambling particularly heavily in the weeks ahead of the massacre, with records kept by Las Vegas casinos showing he engaged in 16 transactions of over $10,000 in recent weeks. It was not immediately clear if they represented wins or losses.

Police are still trying to find a motive to explain why Paddock, 64, fired hundreds of bullets into crowds who gathered for an open air concert on Sunday night.

Discovery

The gunman was already dead when armed police blasted their way into his 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel a 11:20 PM on Sunday night, ending a 9-11 minute killing spree that left 59 dead and over five hundred injured. Police said he had shot himself.

Paddock's body was found amid a vast arsenal of high-powered weapons that he appeared to have assembled over several days in preparation for the massacre.

Investigators sweeping the room found no fewer than 23 guns, including a Kalashnikov and AR-15 assault rifles, and a vast stockpile of  of military grade .223 calibre ammunition.

At least two of the weapons had been set up on tripods at windows overlooking the concert site, and 12 had been modified with "bump-stocks", a mechanical device to depress the trigger faster than a finger, simulating automatic machine gun fire.

Police said they believe he used 10 suitcases to smuggle the weapons up to the room, which he had checked into using Ms Danley's ID four days earlier.

They also found Ms Danley's slot machine card, which he had apparently been using to gamble with.

Early on Monday, police found another arms cache including 19 weapons, several pounds of a commercially available explosive, and thousands of rounds of ammunition at his home in Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

They found traces of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which can be used to make homemade bombs, in his car.

Paddock began his killing spree at eight minutes past ten on Sunday night,  when he opened fire from his hotel room windows on concert goers at the the Route 91 country music festival below.

Craig Herman (57), a contractor, said: "I was right in front of the stage.  I heard 'pop, pop, pop' over and over again. When he was reloading I ran. I stepped over a guy with blood pouring out of his head. He was dead. Gone. I saw maybe 15 others like that before I got out."

"There were people screaming, lying on the ground. I've never seen so much blood. I kept thinking what type of person would do this, who would be that kind of stupid? Was it the Taliban? Mexican cartels? gang related? But it was someone a bit like me," he added.

Videos filmed by concert goers show that Paddock’s first volley lasted only about ten seconds - a time scale consistent with emptying the magazine on an automatic assault rifle. He fired several similar volleys over a period of about ten minutes.

As casualties mounted, dozens of bystanders, including off duty soldiers, policemen, and nurses, but also ordinary civilians scrambled to attend to the wounded.

They included Ross Woodward, a trooper with 1st Queens Dragoon Guards who had just completed a training deployment in the Nevada desert.

Recognizing the sound of automatic fire, Woodward and two other off duty soldiers from the Welsh regiment ran towards the scene to tend to the wounded and shepherd people to safely.

"He just said that he helped the injured and to get people to safety and that was it really,” said Curtis Dyer, his brother, told the Press Association. "I'm dead proud of what he's done, that he was able to do it."

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