By: Bentley. C
(People run for cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, after gunfire was heard on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.)
On Oct. 1, at least 59 people were killed, and 500 people injured during the Las Vegas shooting. The gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino showered bullets down onto the route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
The events on Sunday played out on two stages: the festival grounds which became a killing field and the halls of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where police sought the gunman.
The gunman Stephen Paddock had stocked his Las Vegas suite with 23 weapons. 12 of which were outfitted with a device called a bump-fire stock, which enables shooters to fire rapidly, similar to an automatic rifle. The Calibers of the guns ranging from .223 to .308, with some equipped with scopes. Authorities have said that one of the weapons used was an AK-47 type rifle, with a stand used to steady it for firing.
Between 10:05 and 10:15 pm PDT, Stephen Paddock had fired hundreds of rifles rounds. An hour later he fired his final round, he was found dead in the Las Vegas suite from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
As the gunman sprayed bullets down from the 32nd floor, concertgoers began to flee. Many jumped fences to escape. Officers see ducked down trying to help people evacuate, “Go that way, get out of here! There’s gunshots coming from over there,” one officer was heard yelling at civilians.
(Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after an active shooter was reported on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada.)
“People were getting shot at while we were running, and people were on the ground bleeding, crying and screaming. We just had to keep going,” said Dinora Merino, 28, a dealer at the Ellis Island casino who was at the concert with a friend. “There are tents out there and there’s no place to hide. It’s just an open field.”
Searching for the Gunman
(The account below is based on recordings of police communications, captured by Broadcastify.com and some individuals.)
At 10:08 p.m., an officer on the scene sounds the alarm. “We got shots fired, sounds like an automatic firearm.” he says.
As the officers arrive to the scene of death and mayhem, there were several minutes of confusion.
“It’s coming from upstairs in the Mandalay Bay. Upstairs in the Mandalay Bay, halfway up I see the shots coming from Mandalay Bay halfway up”.
“We have an active shooter, we have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds.”
10:12 p.m., an officer, using law-enforcement shorthand for gunshot wounds, reports in an agitated voice: “We have multiple casualties. G.S.W.’s in the medical tent. Multiple casualties.” confusion continues as bullets spray down.
“Shots are coming down from Gate 7.”
“We’re in front of Mandalay Bay. We’re trying to see where the shots are coming from. If anyone can advise if they’re coming from Mandalay.”
“It sounds like it’s either Mandalay or Luxor, we cannot tell.”
At 10:13 p.m., it becomes more clear where the gunshots re coming from
“It’s coming from like the 50th or 60th floor, north of the Mandalay Bay! It’s coming out of a window”
“We’re seeing local flashes in the middle of Mandalay Bay on the north side, kind of on the west towers but towards the center of the casino, like one of the middle floors.”
One of the officers on the chaos filled streets has identified where the shooting is coming from: “I’m inside the Mandalay Bay on the 31st floor, I can hear the automatic fire coming one floor ahead, one floor above us.“
“Repeating, just be advised it is automatic fire. Fully automatic fire from an elevated position. Take cover.”
Outside chaos continues
“We’re taking gunfire. It’s going right over our heads. There’s debris coming coming over our heads we’re pinned down here with a bunch of civilians.”
“We can’t worry about victims, we need to snuff the shooter before we have more victim! Anybody have eyes on him, on this shooter?”
By 10:20 p.m., there are indications the shooting has stopped although it is not clear
“It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any shots. Does anybody have eyes on the shooter?”
At 10:24 p.m., officers report in from the stairwell just outside the gunman’s door
“It’s room 135 on the 32nd floor. I need SWAT.”
At 10:28 p.m., SWAT teams gather on the 32nd floor and 29th floor.
At about 11:20 p.m., they explode a door-breaching device, and enter to find the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound