LAS VEGAS – New details from investigators here show that gunman Stephen Paddock had planned out the Mandalay Bay massacre meticulously for months. He had even booked a room at a different location in Las Vegas last month overlooking a different music festival, possibly using it as a dry run for the one in which he wreaked so much havoc last Sunday night.
“Paddock rented a room at the Ogden Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. This has been confirmed,” said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo at a news conference Wednesday evening. “Reasons that ran through Paddock’s mind is unknown,” Lombardo continued, “but it was directly during the same time as [the] Life is Beautiful [Festival]. We have recovered video from there to review Mr. Paddock’s actions while he was there.”
The sheriff pointed out other new and shocking details, including that, during the shooting spree, Stephen Paddock targeted large aviation fuel tanks at McCarran International Airport, right next to the concert venue, trying to get them to explode.
Also, an exchange between the sheriff and reporters was further revealing. When a journalist at the news conference asked if investigators had seen any evidence that Paddock had planned to survive the attack and possibly try to escape, Sheriff Lombardo replied, “Yes.”
“Can you tell us what that is?” asked the reporter.
“I can’t tell you,” Lombardo answered.
When asked by another reporter if Paddock tried to carry out the massacre on his own, Lombardo replied, “You’ve got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point.”
A new assessment of casualties keeps the death toll at 58, plus the gunman, but the number of injuries, which include New Jersey resident Jenna DeCandio, has been revised down because of earlier miscounts. The number is now 489.
Also new is this detailed timeline of how Sunday night unfolded.
According to Las Vegas Metro Police:
10:05 p.m. Gunshots first reported
10:12 p.m. The first two police officers arrived on the floor below and realize that gunfire is coming from the 32nd floor.
10:15 p.m. Paddock fires his last rounds.
10:17 p.m. Officers arrive to the 32nd floor.
10:18 p.m. A security guard lets officers know he was shot and provides Paddock’s room number.
10:26 to 10:30 p.m. Additional officers arrive and begin to move down the hallway while clearing every room and seeking victims.
10:55 p.m. More officers arrive near Paddock’s room.
11:20 p.m. Officers breach a door and enter Paddock’s room, finding his body on the floor. A second door to another room is discovered.
10:27 p.m. Officers breach the second door and confirm there’s no one else inside.
The unarmed security guard who approached Paddock’s room, Jesus Campos, is being hailed a hero. Law enforcement authorities say that his walking toward the hotel room door effectively ended Paddock’s shooting spree.