Official: Vegas hotel waited to report gunfire
Former top FBI aide doubts extra minutes would have mattered
Mandalay Bay hotel officials didn’t notify police about a shooting in a hallway inside the high-rise until after Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd at a country music festival outside, a federal official told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The disclosure means there may have been a delay of some six minutes in summoning police to the scene of what became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The official was briefed by law enforcement but wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In the most recent chronology given by investigators, Paddock sprayed 200 rounds into the hallway on the 32nd floor on Oct. 1, wounding an unarmed security guard in the leg, six minutes before he unleashed his barrage of bullets on the festival crowd. He killed 58 people and left nearly 500 injured.
Over the past few days, Las Vegas police and the Mandalay Bay’s corporate parent, MGM Resorts International, have declined to answer questions about whether the hotel notified police about the hallway shooting in the minutes before the massacre began.
“These people that were killed and injured deserve to have those six minutes to pro- tect 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.”
But Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who has worked on SWAT teams, said the six minutes wouldn’t have been enough time for officers to stop the attack.
Investigators have yet to figure out what drove Paddock to mass murder.
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.