Las Vegas police release body camera footage of Stephen Paddock's hotel room moments after the concert massacre
After Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers from his perch stories above them, officers cautiously crept up a hallway as they prepared to storm the gunman's Las Vegas suite.
A partial footage showing officers entering and combing through Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock's hotel room has finally been released by law enforcement in Las Vegas. The footage was recorded from police body cameras who were investigating the room from where Paddock sprayed bullets on country music lovers last October.
Officers stormed the dimly lit room where 64-year-old Paddock was staying. He had opened fire at a massive gathering of 22,000 concert-goers on October 1, killing 58, amounting to the worst massacre in U.S. history.
In the video, one can hear a loud bang triggering an alarm inside the hotel, likely set off by the police. Whispering directions to one another, officers cautiously proceeded. One of the officers asked to check the butler's cart, which had something that looked like a camera.
Paddock had set up cameras outside his room to see who was coming towards his door. One officer remarked, "Those are cameras pointed down the hallway. 'Check under the bed,' another officer could be heard saying, while another shouted, 'Watch these closets, watch your back.'"
The police can then be heard shouting "clear" as they secured each room within Paddock's suite.
One officer seemed to confirm that police already had a suspect’s name and address after clearing one of the rooms: “It looks like that name I gave you shares an address with the suspect.”
“We got one suspect down, 419 inside,” the officer wearing the body cam said. “This is clear." Code 419 stands for a "dead human body." The footage features multiple firearms thrown about the room. According to officers, the guns were fitted with scopes for precision.
Several windows in the suite were broken. One can see in the video an officer carrying a gun away from a window where the curtain was pulled back. The police body cam footage also cleared any doubts over speculative reports that claimed there was more than one shooter in the room.
“Hey do you guys see anything in here that indicates two guys?” one officer asked. “I see a guy switching guns, not reloading. Switching guns, not reloading,” another answered.
“I’m really thinking this was just a 'one guy' thing,” the officer wearing the body cam could be heard saying. “What about all the calls? Is that just people panicking?” someone else said.
Joe Lombardo, the Clark County Sheriff told reporters on Tuesday that the video “in no way changes the facts” put forth immediately after the shooting and that they remained the same throughout the course of the investigation.
Many news organizations were demanding the release of the said footage from Las Vegas officials in a court battle that reached Nevada's Supreme Court, which ultimately denied the police's bid to further delay the release.
“We’re grateful Las Vegas police have decided to comply with the court’s order,” Glenn Cook, the executive editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one of the organizations involved in the lawsuit, said Tuesday. “All we’ve ever asked Metro to do is follow the letter of the Nevada Public Records Act, which makes clear that taxpayer-funded body camera footage, 911 recordings, and other records can be reviewed by the public.”
The sheriff was accused by an attorney for the Review-Journal of “suggesting that the media is trying to victimize the community” and that he and his department “has done everything in its power” to keep the records private.
“The truth is that the community still has many unanswered questions about the police response to 1 October, and it has a right to assess what happened for itself,” said attorney Maggie McLetchie.
Michelle Simson Tuegel, an attorney representing some of the victims of the massacre, told Fox News that her clients “definitely don’t want to re-live things but they want information to be released if nothing else for us to go through."
“The clients have always wanted answers -- to know more about what happened and to have a bigger picture about everything about that night and the days and hours leading up to it,” she said on Wednesday. “It seems like we have gotten piecemeal information.
“It’s interesting because this is still the most severe mass shooting in U.S. history, the numbers of people who were injured and killed were still the highest and most severe... and yet this story has fallen silent,” she added.
Looking at the bigger picture, the public is eagerly waiting for the FBI to release a report on the attack so as to unravel the biggest question that is yet to be answered - why Stephen Paddock did what he did on that fateful night.
MGM Resorts, in a conversation with Fox News, said that they are still trying to figure out what to do with the site where Paddock's attack was staged.
Debra DeShong, a spokesperson for MGM, said, “Regarding a memorial, we believe the victims and those who acted heroically to save lives, should be memorialized and honored, and we look forward to working with those affected, first responders and community leaders, to determine the most appropriate path forward."