Understanding the timeline of the Las Vegas shooting
The aftermath of the October 1st, 2017 Las Vegas shooting has left investigators and the entire country with many vexing questions. As we struggle to deal with this attack, which has left 58 people dead and over 500 injured, we have watched the timeline of events change as new information becomes available.
The gunman, Stephen Paddock checked into his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on September 25, 2017, a week prior to carrying out the assault. He brought an arsenal of weaponry into his room and seems to have meticulously planned the massacre that he ultimately carried out.
There has been much coverage of the resort security guard who was wounded in the course of the assault. At one point, it appeared that the shooter wounded the security guard working at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at 9:59 p.m., a full six minutes prior to opening fire on the concert goers aggregated below the resort.
However, video footage from surveillance cameras and from the gunman’s own cameras indicates that the shooting of the security guard and the assault on the concert goers happened at about the same time. According to police, the security guard, Jesus Camposwent to the floor where the shooter was located after an alarm went off as the result of an open door near Paddock’s room. Campos heard drilling coming from Paddock’s suite, and was shot in his right thigh.
The timeline as it is understood now is as follows:
10:05 p.m.: Footage from the concert venue’s closed-circuit television indicates that the shooting began at this time. This is approximately the same time that Campos was shot.
10:12 p.m.: Officers arrived on the 31st floor, one floor down from the shooter. They were able to determine that the shots were coming from the 32nd floor.
10:15 p.m.: Paddock fired his last shots.
10:17 p.m.: Officers arrived on the 32nd floor.
10:18 p.m.: Campos informed officers that he was shot, and was able to direct the officers to the shooter’s room.
10:26-10:55 p.m.: Additional officers continued to arrive on the scene. The rooms near the shooter’s suite were cleared.
11:20 p.m.: Officers managed to get into Paddock’s room. They saw Paddock on the floor, but also saw an additional door that they could not access from their location.
11:27 p.m.: The officers were able to breach the second room. At this time, it became apparent that no one else was in the shooter’s rooms, and that the suspect was down.
We also now know that Paddock fired at police officers as they arrived at the scene of the shooting.
In his room, the gunman had 23 weapons, 12 of which had bump stocks, which are devices that can enable rifles to be fired more rapidly. Paddock’s car was loaded with over 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 additional rounds of ammunition.
Police say that Paddock fired at fuel tanks located at a nearby airport. The gunfire had only a small chance of causing the fuel tanks of exploding, but officers have speculated that had such an explosion occurred, it could have created some distraction and diverted police, allowing for Paddock to escape the scene.
Although the actual shooting ended in a short period of time, the investigation carried on, as officers attempted to understand what had happened and if anyone else had been involved.
In the early hours of October 2nd, Las Vegas police officers were searching for vehicles associated with Paddock. By 2:22 a.m., they started looking for the shooter’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, stating that she was being sought for questioning. It is discovered that Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the attack and that she had gone after being urged to do so by Paddock. She received a wire transfer from Paddock prior to the shooting. Danley arrived back in the United States on Tuesday, October 3rd, where she was a person of interest.
Danley was questioned by the FBI on Wednesday, October 4th, but claimed that she knew nothing about Paddock’s plans, and described the shooter as a “kind, caring, quiet man.” She claimed nothing gave her any indication that “something horrible” like the shooting was going to happen. Danley has not been described as a suspect, but rather as a witness who might have some sort of insight into Paddock’s motive. Despite Danley’s description of Paddock, some individuals have stated that they frequently saw Paddock berate Danley in public.
Searching For a Motive in the Las Vegas Massacre
While nothing has emerged that would explain why Paddock carried out his attack, details of the shooter’s life continue to emerge. According to a real estate broker who worked with Paddock in the past, he did have anti-government beliefs, and a dislike of taxes, although he would not describe him as a political or ideological person.
Information gleaned from a deposition Paddock gave in 2013 indicates that Paddock spent much of his time at Las Vegas casinos, gambled high sums of money, both in casinos and online, sometimes gambling up to $1 million in a single night. He also had a doctor who prescribed him valium.
Paddock’s early family life seems to have been rather dramatic as well, as his father went to prison for bank robbery when Paddock was 7 years old. He has three brothers but had little contact with any of them, and was described as a “stand-alone guy.”
As time passes, it seems unlikely that any satisfactory explanation for Paddock’s actions will emerge. The impact of the shooting could be seen in tourism in Las Vegas, and in the national gun control debate. Already, there has been much discussion, and some consensus regarding the implementation of additional regulation for bump stocks, which are the device the shooter used to enable many of his weapons to function as fully automatic firearms.
Legal Help For The Victims Of The Mandalay Bay Tragedy
If you, or someone you know, suffered personal injury, property damage, emotional distress, other loss, or death you may have valuable legal rights. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call one of our experienced attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).