How the SWAT Team Found the Las Vegas Gunman
Fire alarms in the hotel room led SWAT teams to the shooter.
BY Nick Pachelli | Oct 3, 2017 | Culture
Last night, more than 50 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. The event is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. At this point, 516 people are injured, according to Sherriff Joe Lombardo. Here's a look at how authorities were able to find the gunman as the tragedy unfolded.
At 10:08 p.m., after breaking through the window of his hotel room, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on more than 22,000 concert-goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
First calls came in to emergency dispatch with reports of shots fired at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the South side of the Las Vegas strip. Witnesses told CNN that the shooting lasted for 10-15 minutes.
The gunman's perch gave him an unobstructed view of the festival. MSBNC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh said, “It doesn't take any great level of sophistication to accomplish this."
The gunman's location was discovered after fire alarms went off from the smoke from the weapons. Randy Sutton, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police lieutenant, told CBS This Morning. "The way the shooter was identified was not from the muzzle flashes, but the smoke detector in the room went off from the amount of smoke that came from firing that fully automatic weapon."
According to the Washington Post, it took the SWAT team 20 minutes to zero in on Paddock's hotel room, one of 3,309 rooms at the Mandalay Bay, after Las Vegas police cleared floors 29 through 32 of the hotel.
Once the SWAT team located the room, they used explosives to get inside. CNN released audio from the moment they breached Paddock's door.
According to a statement released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Paddock was found dead inside the hotel room. Authorities believe he killed himself. Sherriff Lombardo announced later that they had found a number of firearms in the room.
LVPD also says they found the suspect, Stephen Craig Paddock, dead in his hotel room when they breached it.— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) October 2, 2017
At 12:01 a.m., Las Vegas police announced that one suspect was down.
On the ground, the death toll rose as victims were rushed to multiple Las Vegas hospitals. Currently, 58 individuals are reported dead and 516 injured. Las Vegas officials provided a phone number that people can call to locate friends and family.
For families looking to locate missing loved ones, please call 1-866-535-5654.— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017
Facebook has also set up a crisis response page to help people determine whether their loved ones are safe.