As the investigation continues on the Las Vegas attack, journalists covering the incident are uncovering details surrounding the mass shooting. This includes a breaking news discovery that police were able to discover Paddock’s exact location on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay thanks in part to the hotel’s smoke detectors, and not because of his muzzle flashes. As NBC News points out, one hour and 12 minutes passed before that happened.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how long this ordeal lasted,” said Pete Williams, a justice correspondent for NBC News. “Now we know that the first phone call to the police of a shooting was at 10:08 last night.”
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters previously that local 9-1-1 call centers first received reports from concertgoers at 10:08 pm PT. According to a timeline created by several ABC News affiliates, however, the first news report did not go out until 10:40 nearly half an hour later, police shut down the Las Vegas strip at 11:08 pm.
In Williams’ report, the justice correspondent notes authorities did not reach Paddock’s hotel room until 11:20 pm.
“So it’s one hour and 12 minutes from the time of the phone call until the police finally went in and found that Stephen Paddock had shot himself dead,” he said. “What we don’t know from this timeline, what we can’t tell — and that’s going to be a long time, reconstructing the timeline — is when did the shots stop? We don’t know that.”
Ultimately, the hour and 12 minutes that passed between the first 9-1-1 call and the door breach only reveals how difficult it will be to investigate Sunday’s tragic event.
Paddock’s hotel room is located on the Las Vegas Strip, at an angle from the concert grounds. Some witnesses did claim to have seen muzzle flashes, although it would have been difficult to determine the exact floor and room alone by eye-sight alone.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 2, 2017
Who is Stephen Paddock?
The gunman who checked into a suite at a Las Vegas hotel and massacre dozens of concertgoers lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
According to the New York Times, Paddock, 64, was described as a retiree who loved to gamble and lived with his girlfriend Marilou Danley, 62. Other than that, relatives explained Paddock had not expressed “displayed strong political or ideological beliefs”. In fact, the NY Times reports, Eric Paddock said he and his family were “shocked, horrified” by the news and he was “not an avid gun guy.”
“Where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that,” the brother said. “When you find out about him, like I said, he’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.”
Paddock was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot in his room on the 32nd floor of the hotel. At least 10 guns were found in the hotel room, including several rifles.
A motive for the horrific attack is currently unclear. “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point,” Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
NBC News reports the suspected gunman had made several large gambling transactions recently. Multiple senior law enforcement officials told NBC News, Stephen Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day and in some cases $20,000 and $30,000 a day at Las Vegas Casinos. That said, it was not clear if those transactions were losses or wins.