Ve­gas shoot­ing event time­line proves elu­sive

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION - By Michael Bal­samo

LAS VE­GAS >> Even as in­ves­ti­ga­tors strug­gle to un­ravel the mys­tery of what mo­ti­vated a gun­man to open fire on a Las Ve­gas con­cert crowd, con­fu­sion sur­rounds the se­quence of events in the fa­tal few min­utes of the worst mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­tory. On Thurs­day, the ho­tel where gun­man Stephen Pad­dock opened fire from his high-rise ho­tel suite dis­puted the of­fi­cial time­line and re­jected any sug­ges­tion that ho­tel of­fi­cials de­layed sum­mon­ing po­lice for sev­eral min­utes af­ter the gun­man’s ini­tial burst of fire. It was the lat­est head-turn­ing change in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that has been frus­trat­ing for all in­volved. Since the Oct. 1 mas­sacre, the time­line of the shoot­ing has changed sev­eral times and po­lice and ho­tel of­fi­cials can’t seem to agree on the ba­sics of when the shoot­ing hap­pened.

In the most re­cent chronol­ogy given by in­ves­ti­ga­tors on Mon­day, po­lice said Pad­dock sprayed 200 rounds into the hall­way on the 32nd floor, wound­ing an un­armed se­cu­rity guard in the leg, six min­utes be­fore he un­leashed his bar­rage of bul­lets on the fes­ti­val crowd. That raised a se­ries of ques­tions about whether of­fi­cers were given in­for­ma­tion quickly enough to pos­si­bly have a chance to take out the gun­man be­fore he could carry out the blood­shed.

But on Thurs­day, MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, which owns the Man­dalay Bay, said it was no more than 40 sec­onds between the time the guard used his walkie talkie to call for help and Pad­dock open­ing fire on the crowd from two win­dows in his suite.

The 64-year-old high­stakes gam­bler and real es­tate in­vestor be­gan his 10-minute at­tack on the crowd at 10:05 p.m., fir­ing more than 1,000 rounds from his bashed-out win­dows, po­lice said. Po­lice didn’t ar­rive on the 32nd floor un­til 10:17 p.m., two min­utes af­ter he had stopped shoot­ing. The time­line given by po­lice ear­lier this week dif­fered dra­mat­i­cally from the one they gave last week: that Pad­dock shot through his door and wounded Cam­pos af­ter the guard dis­tracted him.

Ho­tel of­fi­cials said the re­ported time of the hall­way shoot­ing, which Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo said hap­pened at 9:59 p.m., came from a re­port that was man­u­ally cre­ated af­ter the mas­sacre and “is not ac­cu­rate.”

A spokesman for the Las Ve­gas Metropoli­tan Po­lice Depart­ment de­clined to com­ment on MGM’s state­ment.

The ho­tel said Las Ve­gas po­lice of­fi­cers and armed ho­tel guards im­me­di­ately re­sponded to the shoot­ing and the com­pany is con­tin­u­ing to co­op­er­ate with po­lice.

FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray said in­ves­ti­ga­tors haven’t yet de­ter­mined a mo­tive be­hind the mass shoot­ing but they’re still dig­ging. Also Thurs­day, a funeral was held for Erick Silva, a 21-year-old se­cu­rity guard at the fes­ti­val who was shot in the head while help­ing peo­ple climb over a bar­ri­cade to es­cape the gun­fire. Dozens of fel­low “yel­low shirt” se­cu­rity guards were among the hun­dreds of mourn­ers at the ser­vice, where Silva was hailed as a hero.

“We counted on him, and he didn’t let us down,” said his boss, Gina Ar­gento.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Em­ploy­ees of Con­tem­po­rary Ser­vices Corp. em­braced Thurs­day dur­ing a funeral for co-worker Erick Silva in Las Ve­gas. Silva, a se­cu­rity guard, was killed dur­ing the Oct. 1 mass shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas.

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