The revised timeline given by investigators for the Las Vegas massacre raises questions about whether better communication might have allowed police to respond more quickly and take out the gunman before he could kill and wound so many people.
On Monday, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Stephen Paddock shot and wounded a Mandalay Bay hotel security guard outside his door and sprayed 200 bullets down the hall six minutes before he opened fire Oct. 1 from his high-rise suite on a crowd at a country music festival below.
That was a different account from the one police gave last week: that Paddock shot the unarmed guard, Jesus Campos, after unleashing his barrage of fire on the crowd, where 58 people were killed and hundreds injured.
However, as the investigation continues, Metro’s timeline will likely change again.
Here’s how the timeline currently breaks down:
9:59 p.m. — Paddock fires on security guard Jesus Campos and a maintenance man working on the stairwell door. Paddock hits Campos once in the leg.
10:05 p.m. — Paddock begins firing into the crowd at Route 91 Harvest Festival.
10:12 p.m. — Two metro officers arrive on 31st floor and report hearing gunfire above them.
10:15 p.m. — Paddock stops firing into the crowd.
The new timeline also raises these questions: During the six minutes before the mass shooting, why did paddock turn his attention from shooting at security to shooting at the crowd below? Also, why did he ultimately stop shooting?
On the 8 News NOW Good Day show, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said investigators are following thousands of leads looking for answers.
“Nobody’s trying to be nefarious; nobody’s trying to hide anything,” Sheriff Lombardo said. “What we want to do is draw the most accurate picture we can, and I’m telling you right now, today, that timeline might change again because it’s a human factor involved. The individual that put the timestamp associated with the radio call they received. Maybe their watch was different, or maybe they looked at a different time when they put it down. So it may condense smaller — maybe less than six minutes when it’s all done, but let’s not let’s not get wrapped around the ax on that. I think it’s important for people to understand that no matter what that timeline is, the response was as quick as possible. I don’t think the response could have been any faster.”
MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay is also disputing the new timeline, releasing a statement in part that says, “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. We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publically, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate. Therefore, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time on what remains an open matter for law enforcement.”