LV Security Guard Shot Before Paddock Began Shooting From Windows

Here is the video of the Las Vegas Sheriff Department media update today on shooter Stephen Paddock.

Update: I'm not going to write a third post about this tonight, so I'll just update this one with what I think may be the significance of this news, having thought about it for a few hours:

I am now thinking the concert was not Paddock's target at all. He may have still been in prep mode, methodically assembling his gear for a planned attack somewhere in Vegas the next day or even the day after that, when he was surprised by the security guard outside his door. The cameras may just have been to make sure no one intruded on him while assembling his stuff. The appearance of the guard, and his shooting of him at 9:59 p.m. may have caused him to realize the gig was up and he'd be discovered shortly. So instead of abandoning his mission entirely, he just assembled what he could as fast as he could, broke out the windows and started shooting. [More...]

Unlike the Sheriff, I don't see any signs of an exit plan. (Why was he wearing house slippers if he intended to make a fast getaway?) And if the concert was really his target, why would he wait until the last performer was almost done with his set?

I do think Paddock was expecting back-up for whatever he was planning, and that it was likely a more grandiose plan. Maybe he expected his back-up to put remote detonators in the cell phones. Why so many cell phones if he wasn't communicating with someone or planning on using the phones as detonators? What did the hotel show as his planned check-out date? I doubt his suite is the kind where you can just call in the morning and say "I'd like to stay another day."

Who were his intended accomplices? Were any of them FBI informants (meaning this was an FBI sting gone south?) Were they members of a radical right domestic group, a European faction of ISIS or some some other international terror group? I'm not ready to speculate on that yet. (Although I've pretty much ruled out his girlfriend and the Philippines.)

Original Post:

Police have now interviewed the security guard. The Sheriff changes the timeline and now says the security guard was shot at 9:59 p.m. He was not responding to the shooting, but to a report of an open room door on the 32nd floor. He used his radio to ask for help after being shot. There was a maintenance worker present on the floor and the sheriff said something the guard did prevented him from being killed.

Paddock began shooting at 10:05 pm. -- six minutes after the guard was shot. The Sheriff said they don't think the guard's presence or shooting sped up the timeline of the shooting.

The Sheriff confirmed the guard heard "drilling" and they did find that Paddock was drilling on the outer wall of the suite but he hadn't finished or gotten through the wall. As to why, he speculated that maybe he was going to put a camera there.

The sheriff maintains his personal belief that Paddock had an escape plan. This is based on the explosives in the car. He thinks he was going to use light flashes to distract the police and get out of the hotel.

There was no more lineup of officials (just the FBI guy there was behind him.) The Sheriff will no refer to Stephen Paddock by name. It was a very defensive interview -- he mentioned more than once the media made it seem like there were time gaps and the police weren't doing their job. He insisted they are working full time on this but Paddock hid his tracks too well.

Apparently, not that well, since the sheriff says they have 200 sightings of him in Las Vegas -- just nothing in the hours before the shooting.

He confirmed Paddock was gambling Saturday night and wouldn't say when he stopped. He said he didn't know how many cell phones were found in the room. He asked the FBI guy who wouldn't answer. He either didn't know or wouldn't answer the question as to the number of phones or whether the phones showed any communications before the shootings.

In another big change to the overall timeline, he says Paddock checked into the hotel on the 25th, not the 28th. (I questioned this in my last post, mentioning reports that he switched rooms because the suite wasn't available until Saturday.) That's pretty big, because it would mean he spent a full week at the hotel.

Questions not asked at the presser: Was he there the whole time? How many times did he ask the valets to bring his car up? Where else was he spotted in the days leading up to the shooting? (Since the rooms were comped, the hotel would have noticed if he missed a day or more of gambling. Every time he goes down to gamble, he either uses chips from his last session or takes out a new marker. I'd bet it's the latter and that he cashes out after each session. 8 hours is not unusual for a gambling session for regular gamblers in the comped categories.)

Also not asked: Were any of the guns or the "personal protection" equipment he had in the room purchased in the days leading up to the shooting?

How many times did he communicate with Marilou after she left on 9/15 and before the shooting? They identified her within a day -- surely the FBI got an emergency Title III or FISA wiretap on her phone as soon as they identified her. Even if she switched phones after leaving on the 15th, they would have immediately gotten her phone records and GPS and cell site locator records for the time period leading up to the 15th. By now they've gotten the information from her as to what phone she used overseas after the 15th and would have gotten the records. How many people besides her daughter did she speak with? One of the numbers would likely have been Paddock's, even if the phone was not under his name.

(Things probably no one but me is curious about: How much cash did he have on his body and in the room, and how many gambling chips? How much money was found in the safe in the garage at the Mesquite house? Did he have any credit cards on body? He must have one, or a bank debit card at the least, unless he carried wads of cash with him. )

The Sheriff says they are no closer to a motive but the FBI behavior analysis folks don't think there a single incident in his life that led to him doing this. They haven't finished a medical analysis. Some of the FBI behavioral folks are in LA and present when Marilou is questioned.

He insists there was no second shooter, he had no ideology and no connection to foreign groups. No questions were asked about whether they have found anyone else who knew his plan or assisted it.

His brother is in Las Vegas and providing information. He implied the new searches at Paddock's houses in Reno and Mesquite, and of his vehicles, are being done at the behest of the behavioral analysis unit, to see if they overlooked anything that might disclose more about him. I assume they are also sitting in on the brother's interviews.

There will be no more pressers until Friday. And the LVPD twitter page has a media notice up that there will be no interviews granted with individual officers, so don't ask. Why? Were they unhappy with something the officers told 60 Minutes?

Lastly, the Sheriff (or FBI) has renamed the shootings the "1October shootings" with the hashtag "#1October". No more "Las Vegas Shootings."

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  • Display: Sort:
    What happened during the time period (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 09, 2017 at 08:20:19 PM EST
    between when the hotel security guard was shot and when Paddock egan firing out the window?

    It seems to me by this time Paddock's (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 09, 2017 at 10:38:00 PM EST
    computers, homes, phones, cameras, etc., must have all been gone through by investigators.

    I think in the past we've been kept reasonably up to date with past investigations into high profile murderers like this.

    Is there a reason the findings by the investigators are being kept so under wraps this particular time?

    It has only been a week. Not long at all. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 09, 2017 at 11:44:10 PM EST
    Besides, it would be very unusual for investigative findings to be disclosed one fact at a time, rather than after inferences and conclusions have been drawn from the totality of the evidence.

    Ok, maybe so. Typically, though, we'd have (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 12:04:35 PM EST
    more details by this time.

    For example, reports are Paddock had 23 guns in the room. Where is the list of exactly what guns he had?

    In the Aurora shooting, the list of James Holmes' guns was released the same day:

    He had in the car an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40 caliber Glock handgun, said Chief Dan Oates of the Aurora police, and all three were believed to have been used inside the theater.

    So...... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 04:36:16 PM EST
    You're comparing the release of the list of James Holmes' guns used in the Aurora, Colorado shootings with the lack of release of the list of Paddock's guns yet.
    Let's see......Holmes had three guns.  Paddock had 23.  
    (And I would bet that they are still taking those 23 guns apart bit by bit.)
    It's apples to oranges, at any rate.  Three, versus twenty three.

    Ya, the struggle to find an LVPD officer (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 05:22:58 PM EST
    with the ability to read the manufacturer and model number off the sides of 23(!) guns is real...

    LEOs release information during ongoing (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Peter G on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 10:40:12 PM EST
    investigations when and if, and to the extent that, they believe that the disclosure will aid their investigation in some way, not as soon and as fully as they can because of a belief in transparency.

    Fair enough. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 10:54:01 PM EST
    Yes, thinking about all those (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 10:39:44 AM EST
    Without an attorney present full interrogation tapes we all get to see for the sake of transparency.

    Heck, I spent most of my life not understanding that law enforcement can lie to me :)

    Netflix destroyed the fairytale.


    No doubt (none / 0) (#21)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 10:24:10 PM EST
    The Las Vegas law enforcement people are deliberately withholding a list of the types of guns used, just to annoy random, anonymous commenters on blogs.
    You should let them know that you expect them to step up their game.  I'm sure they'll be impressed.

    Too many things don't add up (none / 0) (#4)
    by ragebot on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 12:07:28 AM EST
    In the other thread Jeralyn questioned the claim that the "note" in the room contained calculations to improve shooting accuracy.  I don't know of any long range shooter that would bother with such calculations if they were using bump stocks on their weapons.  A quick viewing of youtube vids of bump stocks will quickly show why.

    There also seems to be a big dispute about Paddock's alcohol consumption.  Wynn said none of the peeps in his hotel saw Paddock or his girlfriend drinking while other reports claim he was a heavy drinker.  Given what appears to be Paddock's success gaming I am inclined to believe he did not drink while gaming.

    In a previous thread I was bashed for saying Paddock could have had a better ROI if he simply did something like getting five full auto AK47s instead of the mish mash of semiautos with bump stocks.  Or he could have busted his piggy bank and got a minigun or belt fed weapon.  Given the speculation about how detail oriented he was I have to say several of my military friends are equally unimpressed with his choice of small arms.

    But what worries me most is what I will call the timing of the attack and some of the facts around it.  I have to wonder why he shot the security guard and then continued on with the attack.  Doesn't take much to figure shooting 200 rounds through a hotel door and hitting someone once in the leg would attract some type of attention.  In addition the random time of the door open check by the security guard and getting the attention of the guard by drilling in the hotel room wall seems more than a freak natural occurrence.

    When Wynn said something like this could not happen in one of his hotels I have to wonder how it happened at all.  In any hotel I have been in if a security guard was shot there would be instant response.  Hotel security, especially in Las Vegas, would be there in a flash and LEOs would quickly follow.

    Bottom line to me is the Las Vegas police screwed the pooch, to some extent with help from hotel security.  Once the security guard was shot there should have been lots of LEOs quickly investigating what happened.  I also suspect this is part of the reason the sheriff is not having a presser for a few days and not granting interviews.  What is the over/under there are a lot more embarrassing details?

    You (none / 0) (#7)
    by FlJoe on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 06:01:13 AM EST
    are correct that things do not add up, but your obsession with his choice of weapons is still dumb.
    His arsenal was cheaply and more importantly easily obtained, anything more "military grade" ranges from difficult to nearly impossible to get and much more likely to put you on the radar.

    The trajectory calculations do seem odd for the situation, but remember he did have some scoped rifles so perhaps he was going to some real sniping after the easily targeted crowd  scattered.

    I Have a couple of questions about the shooter, WTF was he drilling in the wall, mere minutes before the attack? The sheriff speculated he was installing another camera, how many cameras did he need anyway? Poor planning as far as sniper/ambush tactics go.

    I do agree that the LE statements have been a bit dodgy, they put out an erroneous timeline and let it stand and they keep suggesting there is evidence he was preparing to escape while there seems to be signs he was preparing for a siege.


    Difficult to nearly impossible (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 06:58:31 AM EST
    Might be an overstatement

    I know gun collectors.  It's not so hard.  Particularly if you have money.  Which he did apparently


    My (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 08:14:35 AM EST
    understanding that "grandfathered" MG's are available with the cash, and there is apparently some detailed federal paperwork and restrictions.

    Under the NFA, it is illegal for any private civilian to own any fully automatic weapons manufactured after May 19, 1986. Only certain types of FFL/SOTs may make them, and then only for purchase by qualified state and federal agencies. There are no exceptions.
    So what about pre-1986 machine guns? Are civilians permitted to own those? Yes, with a host of exceptions. The pre-1986 machine guns may be sold only by a FFL/SOT and must be registered with the ATF. Easy peasy, right? Not really. The process of registering a NFA item with the ATF is costly, invasive, and time-consuming. Federal law requires extensive background checks of anyone wishing to own a NFA item such as a machine gun. If you wanted to purchase a machine gun today, it would take close to a year, and you would be required to submit fingerprints and a photo to accompany your background check. Each NFA item also requires its own tax stamp, which costs $200. Once the ATF decides that an individual is permitted by law to own a NFA item, it adds that individual's name, address, and biographical information to a federal gun registry and matches it to the serial number of the licensed NFA item. This goes for every item listed in the NFA, not just machine guns. Individuals with NFA items are then required to notify the ATF when they move and any time they plan to travel outside their state of residence with the NFA item.
    I don't even know if privately owned mini-guns is a thing, but to casually acquire  one seems to to highly improbable.

    It's also my understanding that it is very much a sellers market and the weapons that do become available are snatched up quickly by people with both cash and connections. It sure doesn't seem that this guy was in the circle of high end collectors where such dealings occur.


    i know this (none / 0) (#18)
    by linea on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 07:12:45 PM EST
    I don't even know if privately owned mini-guns is a thing, but to casually acquire  one seems to to highly improbable.

    i researched this on the internet when it was brought up in the previous thread. i suppose that makes me the resident amateur expert.

    there are believed to be 13 civilian owned miniguns. some of these are non-functional collectors items. most of the functional weapons are owned by Movie FX / Licensed Film Armourer companies. the minigun used in the predator and terminator movies is (or was) on display in the alleghany arms museum in pennsylvania. you can fire a minigun at the Battlefield Vegas firearms range `one block off the vegas strip.' it's a tourist attraction.

    it would have been impossible for stephen paddock to have acquired and used a minigun.


    There's a story we haven't heard yet (none / 0) (#19)
    by McBain on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 07:40:10 PM EST
    As for his choice of weapons, I'm just glad he didn't get to use any of the explosives.  I think most of the talk about banning bump stocks or high ammo magazines is well intended but probably won't save many lives.  If shooting people becomes more difficult, bad guys will make more bombs.

    Not remotely believable (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 10:19:34 AM EST
    If shooting people becomes more difficult, bad guys will make more bombs.

    Guns are very simple to use, easy to acquire, target and conceal.  There's a reason they're used to commit thousands of acts of violence every year, while bomb use is extremely rare.  But it does sound scarier than the usual "they'll just use a knife or a board" argument.


    Just saw claims that (none / 0) (#5)
    by ragebot on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 12:16:14 AM EST
    Paddock put a couple of rounds in some big gas tanks across from the concert grounds.  Also that there was dealer information on one of the ammo boxes in his hotel room and when contacted the dealer said Paddock wanted to buy tracer rounds but the dealer did not have (enough of) them.  Seems like if you wanted to ignite the gas tanks at that range a 50 cal and tracer/incendiary rounds would be the way to go.

    Lets keep in mind there is agreement that Paddock spent a great deal of time and money preparing for this and both the 50 cal and ammo would not break the bank.  I am thinking less and less that this was a well planned op.  First Las Vegas has tons of security all over.  Stuff like drilling holes in your hotel room wall and setting up cameras all over the place are things that will get noticed.  Not to mention moving 20+ guns and lots of ammo to your room.

    If Paddock really did scope out Chicago and other venues it raises the question why he chose the place with the most security.

    I've read a few articles saying (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 03:28:09 AM EST
    that jet fuel tanks can't be exploded by gunfire. If true, I would think he would know that.

    Maybe he paid off someone employed (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 12:24:20 PM EST
    by the hotel.  Or security was really poor.

    I am now thinking the concert was not Paddock's target at all. He may have still been in prep mode, methodically assembling his gear for a planned attack somewhere in Vegas the next day or even the day after that, when he was surprised by the security guard outside his door.

    Although, since he put a camera(s) on the (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 01:43:17 PM EST
    food cart outside his door, and you would assume food carts are fairly quickly removed by the hotel meaning the cameras would be discovered, it would seem that detail would indicate Paddock was planning something imminent...

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 02:47:23 PM EST
    Lugging up several hundred pounds of weapons, ammo and other gear, setting up multiple cameras and actually screwing the stairwell door shut.

    Something seems strange (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 07:02:28 PM EST
    The Las Vegas shooting:

    Date: Sunday, Oct. 1

    # of deaths: 59

    # of wounded 527

    The shooting occurred more than a week ago, and yet, every search I've done shows the wounded number remaining at 527. Now, just speaking anecdotally, as a vet, I've been in battles where similar types of weapons were used, and, where mass casualties resulted. The damage those types of high velocity bullets do to humans upon entering any part of their bodies is like small bombs exploding within. For maximum damage the projectiles are designed to fragment and fan out after entering the body. Now, I, completely understand trauma medicine has come a long way since my days, but, for all 527 wounded victims to have survived is, just, incredible.

    It just seems, statistically, implausible that 59 people died almost instantly, yet, all 527 people shot at the same time, in the same barrage, from the same guns, and, with the same or similar, high impact, high velocity bullets, all survived.

    the number of injured (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 09:25:18 PM EST
    includes people who were not shot but trampled or injured in the aftermath

    Nevertheless, it is remarkable -- and quite a (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Peter G on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 03:21:26 PM EST
    tribute to modern emergency medicine -- that none of the wounded succumbed to those horrific gunshot injuries after the first few hours, that is, as NYShooter pointed out, that the "58" figure has remained steady.

    Yes, exactly, (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 05:40:40 PM EST
    I haven't researched exactly what cartridges were used in this attack. But, if they were designed, as seems likely, to break apart, and, inflict maximum damage, the term, "miracle," hardly begins to describe just how fortunate these survivors were/are.

    You see, bullets like these are traveling at supersonic speed, and, the instant they hit their intended target, they, immediately, slow down causing a whiplash, "billowing," or, "mushrooming," effect on the projectile. And, the projectile's "billowing" is transferred to the flesh, bones, and, organs in the immediate area causing them to fragment in a similar way. If the bullets were actually designed to break up in this manner, the effects (damage) can be multiplied many times over.

    The energy of a bullet traveling at such high speeds, then, stopping instantly upon entering a human body has to go somewhere. It, of course, is, instantly, transferred to the numerous fragments (projectiles) fanning out. These projectiles then lacerate any tissue, organs, bones, and blood vessels, not only in the immediate area of the bullet hole, but, in an area much, much larger. That's why I described it, in another post, it's like a hand grenade exploding inside the victim's body.

    I will be very interested to read the accounts of the emergency rooms, and, the amazing advances in trauma care that saved so many of the victims involved.

    And, on a personal note, it's times like these that I'm reminded of the truly stupid mockery some of the right wing media hurl(ed) at educators, universities, and, their ( as Bill O'Reilly used to call them) "pinhead" Professors. I'm more than certain that the many survivors of this tragedy are, in their own way, thanking all the "pinhead" professors, doctors, nurses, and, EMT's who studied so hard and long that complete strangers, rather than sucuumbing to certain death, can look forward to optomistic and healthy futures.


    were a looooong way from the shooter. The kinetic energy of the bullets had dissipated quite a bit over that distance.

    I've read that at that distance the velocity of the (presumed) .223/5.56 caliber bullets would decrease by about 1/2. If so, since kinetic energy is related to the square of the velocity, at impact the kinetic energy of the bullets was about 1/4 of what it was when the bullets left the rifle barrel.

    Presuming he was shooting a .223/5.56 caliber gun, that would mean the kinetic energy was approximately that of a standard .22 rifle.


    I have no problem (none / 0) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 12, 2017 at 06:12:11 PM EST
    with your calculations, SUO. Just, two points: While a .22 cal. doesn't have the "blast" effect of more powerful loads, by virtue of its small size, it has superior penetration capabilities. There's a reason a 22 is the weapon of choice for hit-men; a well placed shot from the rear into the bottom of a skull, the bullet ends up in the middle of the brain. But, that's neither here nor there.

    The question that still remains unanswered is, while 50+ victims died almost instantly, the other 500+ wounded, or, injured, none have been reported to have died as a result. That's an anomaly that I, and, all the trauma doctors interviewed, find to be, well, simply incredible.

    There's so much we don't know, and, the virtual media lock-down/black-out doesn't help.


    Ya, no question, a 22 can be very lethal. (none / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 12, 2017 at 06:18:38 PM EST
    Regarding the 58 that died at the scene, my know-nothing guess is that because he was firing down at an angle, and the victims were so closely packed together, that many were shot in the top/side of the head, and that's where the majority of the immediate deaths came from.

    And I agree also that there has been frustratingly little info given out.


    Firearms expert? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Oct 13, 2017 at 11:01:45 AM EST
    Presuming he was shooting a .223/5.56 caliber gun, that would mean the kinetic energy was approximately that of a standard .22 rifle.

    Not remotely true.  All you have to do is look at the two cartridges.  Kinetic energy is a function of weight and speed.  A .22 long rifle cartridge is about an inch long, and the shell casing is the same diameter as the bullet.  A military .223 bullet is about the same size but the shell casing is four or five times the size of a .22 long rifle and has a larger diameter than the bullet itself.

    I'll make the comparison easy for you.


    .22 long rifle


    Reading comprehension is not your forte. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 13, 2017 at 11:12:48 AM EST
    Thanks, you're right, (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 01:50:57 PM EST
    Half the article I've read use the term, "wounded," the other half, "injured." In the interest of accurate reporting, it would be a good idea for reporters to let us know the breakdown: X-number wounded by gunfire, Y-number injured by other factors during the mayhem. (or, words to that effect)

    "We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline," MGM Resorts International spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement. "We believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate."

    in my opinion (none / 0) (#30)
    by linea on Wed Oct 11, 2017 at 07:48:32 PM EST
    everyone is trying to minimize any possible liability or perception of fault. mgm is being sued (expect more lawsuits) and law enforcement doesn't want to explain the gap in response time and why they did nothing for an hour.

    Honestly, it sounds like the security guy's intrusion may well have caused Paddock to start his rampage. Who knows what Paddock would have done if he wasn't put in the position of having nothing to lose.