Las Vegas gunman shot security guard six minutes before mass killing began

  10 October 2017    Read: 2644
Las Vegas gunman shot security guard six minutes before mass killing began

The Las Vegas gunman opened fire on a security guard six minutes before he rained down bullets on a crowd and killed 58 people, officials said on Monday in a change to the timeline of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Stephen Paddock, 64, shot and wounded a security guard who came to his floor at the Mandalay Bay hotel to investigate an open door near Paddock’s suite, Clark county sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference, providing new details on what occurred immediately before the mass shooting on 1 October.

The sheriff said the security guard, Jesus Campos, heard drilling from Paddock’s room. Paddock, who had installed three cameras to monitor the approach to his suite, opened fire through the door, spraying 200 shots down the hall and wounding the guard, who alerted other security officials.

Campos was struck in the leg as the gunman, from behind his door, shot into the hallway on the 32nd floor.

Paddock shot the guard at 9.59pm local time, Lombardo said, six minutes before beginning his deadly assault on the Route 91 Harvest festival in an attack that began at 10.05pm and lasted 10 minutes.

During that time, Paddock sprayed the outdoor concert with bursts of gunfire, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more, before killing himself.

Previously the sheriff had said the guard’s arrival in the hallway may have caused Paddock to stop firing.

Police officers found Campos when they arrived on the 32nd floor.

Paddock had previously been seen on numerous occasions in Las Vegas without any person accompanying him and he gambled the night before the shooting, Lombardo said.

“This individual purposely hid his actions leading up to this event, and it is difficult for us to find the answers,” said Lombardo, who said he was frustrated with the speed of the investigation.

“In coordination with the FBI’s behavioural analysis unit, a comprehensive picture is being drawn as to the suspect’s mental state and currently we do not believe there is one particular event in the suspect’s life for us to key on,” Lombardo said.

There is no indication anyone other than Paddock fired on the crowd, Lombardo said, adding that investigators were talking to family members and Marilou Danley, the partner of the gunman.

Paddock had a document in the room with him that contained numbers, Lombardo said, adding he could not immediately say what purpose the figures served.

Las Vegas police officer David Newton told CBS News program 60 Minutes on Sunday that he entered the room and saw a note on the nightstand with numbers that appeared to be designed to help Paddock’s aim.

It was unclear why Paddock stopped firing at the crowd, suggesting he may have initially planned to escape, Lombardo said.

He shot at jet fuel tanks at McCarran international airport and had protective gear in the hotel suite and explosives in his parked car, Lombardo said.

More about: #Las-Vegas