Police now say the security guard injured by the Las Vegas gunman in the Mandalay Bay hotel was shot several minutes before—not after—Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd below.
The change to the timeline alters the story, as the security guard’s arrival was previously credited for causing the shooter to kill himself, ending his murderous spree.
The updated timeline also raises questions about the police response to the shooting. The police did not know the guard, Jesus Campos, had been shot until they arrived at the scene, even though Campos had alerted hotel security, according to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.
Campos arrived on the 32nd floor of the hotel after an unrelated alarm went off on the floor, Lombardo said. Six minutes before Paddock started shooting, he shot Campos in the leg. When police arrived, they thought there might be multiple shooters, and they were told there was fire coming from the 29th and 32nd floors, Lombardo said.
They were delayed when they found Paddock had apparently blocked the door from the stairwell as well as when they saw a wired service cart—actually holding a camera to see the hallway—and thought it was rigged with explosives. It took police roughly an hour to enter his room after the shooting started. Authorities don’t know why Paddock stopped shooting when he did.
Lombardo, who told reporters about the updated timeline at a news briefing Monday, also said he was “frustrated” police still did not know why Paddock committed the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. “This individual purposefully hid his actions leading up to this event, and it is difficult for us to find answers for those actions,” he said.
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, has been talking to authorities, and Paddock’s brother Eric has arrived in Las Vegas to help the investigation. So far, police and the FBI have reported no evidence of any associates who might have aided Paddock. Investigators found more than 200 instances of the shooter traveling through the city. He was always seen alone, Lombardo said.