Police defend shifting shooting timeline
Witness counters first reports; more revisions possible
Since the Las Vegas gunman opened fire from his 32nd floor hotel suite, killing 58 people at a country music festival last week and injuring hundreds more before shooting himself, questions have swirled around the attack.
Investigators plumbing Stephen Paddock’s life in search of answers have been so far unable to explain what motivated him to carry out the rampage, why he stopped shooting and whether he planned even more carnage beyond the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
In recent days, a new uncertainty level has emerged, as questions emerged about law enforcement response to the shooting after police revised their account of what happened before and during the massacre.
Ten days after the shooting, key details about what unfolded remain a mystery, while officials cannot seem to agree on basic facts about the timeline.
Police in Las Vegas, who had previously said Paddock shot a hotel security guard during the rampage, reversed course Monday and said the guard was actually wounded six minutes before the mass shooting began.
The revelation from Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas sheriff, gave way to a new round of questions, including when information about this shooting was relayed to hotel security and when, or if, that detail was then given to the local police. 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 Wednesday. “I’m telling you right now, today, that that timeline might change again.”
MGM Resorts, which owns the Mandalay Bay, released a statement Tuesday night casting doubt on the latest timetable Lombardo had announced. In the statement, the company said it “cannot be certain about the most recent timeline” released publicly “and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”
MGM did not elaborate on what part of the police timeline was inaccurate and did not respond to questions regarding what it was disputing, what happened inside the hotel and whether hotel security officials are required to immediately call the police upon reports of gunshots. Through a public relations firm, MGM declined to make any employee available for an interview Wednesday, and said: “Security has been and continues to be a top priority at all of MGM Resorts.”
The Las Vegas police did not respond to questions Wednesday about the revised timeline or whether they stood still by it. In his interview with 8 News Now, a local TV affiliate in Las Vegas, Lombardo attributed shifting timeline to police being transparent.
Lombardo also said the timeline could shift again due to the “human factor,” explaining that it was possible someone reporting the time the first shots were reported could have not written down the correct time.