Pres­sure mounts for Ve­gas po­lice to ex­plain re­sponse time

Imperial Valley Press - - OPINION - BY MICHAEL BAL­SAMO

Pres­sure mounted Wednesday for Las Ve­gas po­lice to ex­plain how quickly they re­acted to what would be­come the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­tory after two ho­tel em­ploy­ees re­ported a gun­man spray­ing a hall­way with bul­lets six min­utes be­fore he opened fire on a crowd at a mu­si­cal per­for­mance.

On Mon­day, Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo re­vised the chronol­ogy of the shoot­ing and said the gun­man, Stephen Pad­dock, had shot a ho­tel se­cu­rity guard through the door of his suite and strafed a hall­way of the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel and casino with 200 rounds six min­utes be­fore he un­leashed a bar­rage of bul­lets into the crowd.

That ac­count dif­fered dra­mat­i­cally from the one po­lice gave last week when they said Pad­dock ended his hail of fire on the crowd in or­der to shoot through his door and wound the un­armed guard, Jesus Cam­pos.

“These peo­ple that were killed and in­jured de­serve to have those six min­utes to pro­tect them,” said Chad Pinker­ton, an at­tor­ney for Paige Gasper, a Cal­i­for­nia col­lege stu­dent who was shot un­der the arm in the at­tack. “We lost those six min­utes.”

Main­te­nance worker Stephen Schuck told NBC News that he was check­ing out a re­port of a jammed fire door on the 32nd floor of Man­dalay Bay when he heard gun­shots and the ho­tel se­cu­rity guard who had been shot in the leg peeked out from an al­cove and told him to take cover.

“It was kind of re­lent­less so I called over the ra­dio what was going on,” Schuck said. “As soon as the shoot­ing stopped we made our way down the hall­way and took cover again and then the shoot­ing started again.”

Gun­shots can be heard in the back­ground as Schuck used his ra­dio to re­port the shoot­ing, telling a dis­patcher: “Call the po­lice, some­one’s fir­ing a gun up here. Some­one’s fir­ing a ri­fle on the 32nd floor down the hall­way.”

Cam­pos also used his ra­dio and pos­si­bly a hall­way phone to call ho­tel dis­patch­ers for help, po­lice have said. It was un­clear if and when the ho­tel re­layed the re­ports of shots be­ing fired to po­lice.

Las Ve­gas au­thor­i­ties did not re­spond to ques­tions about whether ho­tel se­cu­rity or any­one else in the ho­tel called 911 to re­port the gun­fire.

Flow­ers, can­dles and other items sur­round the fa­mous Las Ve­gas sign at a makeshift me­mo­rial for vic­tims of a mass shoot­ing Mon­day in Las Ve­gas. Stephen Pad­dock opened fire on an out­door coun­try mu­sic con­cert killing dozens and in­jur­ing hun­dreds. AP PHOTO/JOHN LOCHER

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