Nearly a month after the worst mass shooting in US history, many questions remain unanswered.
After an exhaustive investigation, the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department have confirmed that Paddock meticulously planned the assault, and even booked hotel rooms overlooking music festivals in other cities – suggesting that he had planned previous attacks, but backed out for whatever reason. However, his motive is seemingly lost to the wind.
But perhaps even more troubling than the absence of a motive (from a legal perspective, at least) is the fact that, four weeks later, the timeline of events remains murky. Specifically, two things are still unclear: The first is whether security guard Jesus Campos, who first alerted the hotel to the attack, was shot before, during or after the assault began. The second is how long it took the hotel’s dispatcher to inform the police.
This information is, of course, crucial because victims of the attack have already begun filing lawsuits against MGM Resorts, the owner of Mandalay Bay, for negligence related to the attack.
So far, the company appears to be doing everything it can to suppress any new information from leaking to the press. The mystery surrounding Campos’s activities following the attack has only further alarmed victims. Following Stephen Paddock’s Oct. 1st massacre, Campos flaked on a press conference that he reportedly scheduled then went missing for days before suddenly resurfacing on the ‘Ellen’ show – a decision that was made for him by MGM management, who apparently believed Ellen wouldn’t ask too many probing questions.
On Saturday, audio of Campos’s dispatch call reporting “shots fired” has been released. But curiously, the audio was not released with a time stamp, making it impossible for the public to discern when, exactly, the call was placed.
During the 24-second audio released Friday, Campos can be heard reporting “shots fired” at Mandalay Bay from the 32nd floor.
“Hey, there are shots fired in 32-135,” Campos says, according to the audio, which was released by MGM.
According to the most recent official version of events (which has of course been revised several times) Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has said Campos first reported that he had come across a blocked off doorway on the 32nd floor at 9:59 pm. The official timeline shows him being shot six minutes later, just before Paddock began firing on the crowd of 20,000 country music fans across the street. The shooting ended around 10:15, and the first police to arrive on the floor encountered Campos minutes later before forcing their way into Paddock’s room.
Last week, the New York Times postulated an alternative timeline that places the shooting of Campos about a minute after the shooting began. While it’s been reported that Paddock fired 200 rounds into the hallway, the gunshots in the record sound distant enough to suggest that he may have been firing on the crowd during the Campos call.
Of course, the audio clip was not released with a timestamp, and no explanation from MGM was given as to why the clip is just being released now.
But as lawsuits move forward, perhaps more details about what exactly happened that night will emerge.