Of­fi­cial says Ve­gas ho­tel didn’t im­me­di­ately re­port gun­fire

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Michael Bal­samo

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 con­di­tion of anonymity.

In the most re­cent chronol­ogy given by in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Pad­dock sprayed 200 rounds into the hall­way on the 32nd floor 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 in­jured nearly 500.

Over the past few days, Las Ve­gas po­lice and the Man­dalay Bay’s cor­po­rate par­ent, MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, would not an­swer ques­tions about whether the ho­tel no­ti­fied po­lice about the hall­way shoot­ing in the min­utes be­fore the mas­sacre be­gan.

MGM has said the chronol­ogy given by po­lice is in­ac­cu­rate, but it hasn’t said what was wrong with it.

“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.”

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 high-stakes 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 the guard, Je­sus Cam­pos, af­ter he had opened fire on the crowd.

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.

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