(National Sentinel) Mass Murder: Police say that Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock fired on a security guard at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel about six minutes before he opened fire on a crowd of about 22,000 hundreds of feet below.
The Los Angeles Times reports that police are now dramatically revising their initial account of the Oct. 1 massacre, in which Paddock stands accused of killing 59 people and wounding more than 500 hundred.
Officials had previously said that gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., shot Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos after Paddock had unleashed his deadly volley at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an assault that began at 10:05 p.m. and left 58 people dead, with hundreds more injured.
They had credited Campos, who was shot in the leg, with stopping the 10-minute assault on the concert crowd by turning the gunman’s attention to the hotel hallway, where Campos was checking an alert for an open door in another guest’s room.
But Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Monday that Paddock shot Campos before his mass shooting — at 9:59 p.m. — and they now didn’t know why Paddock stopped his attack on the crowd.
Reports claim that Paddock fired on the crowd below for about 10 minutes. By the time police breached his door on the 32nd floor to allegedly find that he had killed himself, the firing had stopped for several minutes. That’s odd, they say, because cops found thousands of rounds of ammunition contained in neatly stacked magazines in the room.
Paddock had placed cameras outside his room on a room service cart so he could see anyone approaching his room, police have said. They also noted that Paddock fired through his hotel door at Campos, getting off about 200 rounds. That means Paddock either had to reload a single weapon several times or he used more than one weapon.
The Times noted further:
In a news conference Wednesday, Lombardo said it was his “assumption” that Paddock stopped his shooting spree because the gunman, using his spy cameras, “observed the security guard, and he was in fear that he was about to be breached, so he was doing everything possible to figure out how to escape at that point.”
In another news conference last week, Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Campos “had notified his dispatch, which was absolutely critical to us, knowing the location, as well as advising the responding officers as they arrived.”
But on Monday, the timeline changed.
“Mr. Campos was encountered by the suspect prior to his shooting to the outside world,” Lombardo said at a Monday news conference.
After Campos was shot, a maintenance worker appeared on the 32nd floor and “Campos prevented him from receiving any injuries,” Lombardo said.
As we reported earlier, police believe that Paddock intended to survive the attack. Also, Fox News contributor and former CIA-trained intelligence officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (Ret.) said sources have told him that police, who claim they are stumped as to Paddock’s motive, believe there was a “political” motivation to the shootings.
“My sources tell me they reviewed the information on those videos and there are things that do lay out some understanding of his motivation,” he said, adding that officials haven’t released the new information because of “leads they want to follow.”
When host Martha McCallum pressed him further, he said, “There is a political angle people are concerned about.”
Lombardo has also said he believes that Paddock had help at some point in the planning and preparation stages of the worst domestic mass murder in U.S. history.
“At face value, he had to have some help at some point and we want to ensure that that’s the answer,” Lombardo said. “Maybe he was a superhuman who figured this out all on his own but it would be hard for me to believe that.”
To that end, an Australian witness who was staying at the Mandalay Bay the night of the attack claimed in local media that there were multiple shooters.
“I got outside safely and was hiding in bushes,” guest Brian Hodge told the Australian Courier-Mail. “There were multiple people dead and multiple shooters. I was just hiding waiting for police to come get us.”
The Times also noted that Lombardo “revealed that Paddock had started drilling a hole next to the door of his suite, but the drilling apparently was not completed, and officials weren’t sure what the hole was for.”
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