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New disclosure shows a casino guard alerted hotel to gunman before Vegas massacre began. So why did it take so long to stop him?

Source: Los Angeles Times

By: Matt Pearce and Richard Winton

Before the Las Vegas massacre began, a wounded Mandalay Bay hotel security guard called hotel officials to warn them about a gunman on the 32nd floor, an investigator told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

But police did not arrive at the room where the guard had been shot until after Stephen Paddock had finished a 10-minute shooting rampage on a crowd gathered below for a country music festival, the investigation now shows.

The revelation that hotel security had been alerted comes a day after Las Vegas police changed their timeline of how the Route 91 Harvest country music festival massacre started on Oct. 1 — not with an attack on a crowd along the Strip at 10:05 p.m., but with the shooting of Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos inside the hotel about six minutes before.

“He called it in before” the attack began, possibly using a hallway phone to contact hotel security, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts told The Times in an interview. “He manually called down and he used his radio to call. … That’s what we were briefed this morning.”

Roberts said he didn’t know precisely what time Campos called in his own shooting before the assault on the concert began, or whether the hotel immediately passed the information to police.

“We just don’t know how long it took him to call. He’s getting shot at, he’s running, he’s getting shot, he finds some cover, that’s when he starts calling in,” Roberts said.

A spokeswoman for the company that owns Mandalay Bay seemed to dispute the police timeline given to The Times on Tuesday but did not explain why.

“This remains an ongoing investigation with a lot of moving parts. As evidenced by law enforcement briefings over the past week, many facts are still unverified and continue to change as events are under review,” MGM Resorts International spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement. “We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”

DeShong added, “It is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time on what remains an open matter for law enforcement.”

Paddock, 64, a real estate investor and professional gambler from Mesquite, Nev., may have also continued to shoot into the hotel hallway. There are some indications that a maintenance worker appeared in the hallway outside Paddock’s door during the shooting rampage, and the gunman may have interrupted his firing at the crowd to shoot once again into the hallway, Roberts said.

But, Roberts continued, “I don’t think it took long at all” for the hotel and for police to respond to the shooting.

Roberts said the hotel dispatched its own armed security team to the 32nd floor, which arrived “right around the same time” as Las Vegas police, who officials have said arrived on the floor at 10:17 p.m. But the gunman had already fired his final shots out his hotel window at 10:15 p.m.

By the time police entered the room, Paddock had killed himself.

Some police officers had already been inside the Mandalay Bay building responding to another, unrelated call when the attack happened, Roberts said.

There are no hotel surveillance cameras in the hotel hallway, only on the floor’s elevator banks, and the timestamps on the hotel’s communications systems have in some cases been inaccurate, hampering investigators’ ability to build an accurate timeline while they try to find a motive behind the attack, Roberts said.

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