Po­lice face ques­tions about re­sponse time in Ve­gas at­tack

Ho­tel guard was shot six min­utes be­fore ram­page.

Star Tribune - - NATION & WORLD - By MICHAEL BAL­SAMO As­so­ci­ated Press

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 mu­sic fes­ti­val.

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

Rib­bons in Stacee Etcheber’s fa­vorite color, orange, adorned posts at Pi­o­neer Park in No­vato, Calif. Etcheber was killed in the Las Ve­gas mas­sacre.

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.”

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.

“Our of­fi­cers got there as fast as they pos­si­bly could and they did what they were trained to do,” Las Ve­gas as­sis­tant sher­iff Todd Fa­sulo said pre­vi­ously.

So far, nei­ther the po­lice or the ho­tel have of­fered any an­swers, and both sides have in fact suggested there could be fu­ture re­vi­sions to the time­line.

“No­body’s try­ing to be ne­far­i­ous, no­body’s try­ing to hide any­thing, and what we want to do is draw the most ac­cu­rate picture we can,” Lom­bardo said in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view Wed­nes­day. “I’m telling you right now, today, that that time­line might change again.”

The par­ent com­pany of the ho­tel has raised con­cerns that the re­vised time­line pre­sented by po­lice may be in­ac­cu­rate.

“We can­not be cer­tain about the most re­cent time­line,” said De­bra DeShong, a spokes­woman for MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional. “We be­lieve what is cur­rently be­ing ex­pressed may not be ac­cu­rate.”

DeShong de­clined to com­ment on a law­suit filed Tues­day by lawyers for Gasper against the com­pany, con­cert pro­moter, gun­man’s es­tate and the man­u­fac­turer of the “bump stocks” used by the gun­man to help mimic a fully au­to­matic firearm.

The six min­utes wouldn’t have been enough time for of­fi­cers to stop the at­tack, said Ron Hosko, a for­mer FBI as­sis­tant di­rec­tor who has worked on SWAT teams.

Rather than rush in with­out a game plan, po­lice would have been for­mu­lat­ing the best re­sponse to the bar­ri­caded gun­man, he said.

“Maybe that’s enough time to get the first pa­trol­man onto the floor but the first pa­trol­man is not go­ing to go knock on that cus­tomer’s door and say ‘What’s go­ing on with 200 holes in the door?’ ” Hosko said.

JOHN LOCHER • As­so­ci­ated Press

Po­lice have de­fended their re­sponse at the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel, say­ing, “Our of­fi­cers got there as fast as they pos­si­bly could.”

PETER DASILVA • New York Times


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