- MGM Resorts claim armed officers were on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay when the shooting began
- Mass shooting on October 1 killed 58 people and injured 546
The revs on the rumor mill have just gone up a notch after reporting by the Washington Post that at least four armed security personnel were on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, during the mass shooting in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured 546 on October 1.
The report actually draws on a statement from MGM Resorts, the owners of the Mandalay Bay, which was made back on October 12 to clarify the timeline of events surrounding the shooting of hotel security guard Jesus Campos. The relevant section of the statement refers to the presence of officers on the relevant floor:
“Metro officers were together with armed Mandalay Bay security officers in the building when Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio. These Metro officers and armed Mandalay Bay security officers immediately responded to the 32nd floor.”
According to the official timeline of events, Campos reported that he had been shot within 40 seconds of Paddock opening fire from his hotel suite. The suggestion that security personnel were on site is also supported by the evidence of building engineer Stephen Schuck, who reported via radio that someone was firing on the 32nd floor and could be heard less than a minute later confirming that security had arrived.
Sheriff Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department appeared to confirm the suggestion that armed officers had been on the 32nd floor during the shooting at a press conference on October 13, when he agreed with MGM’s timeline, which raises important questions.
If there were armed officers on the same floor as Paddock, why did they not attempt to intervene during the ten minutes in which he was firing on the crowd?
Although it is likely that the security guards and police officers involved were relatively lightly armed compared to the killer, since the 1999 Columbine killings and the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, it has been the protocol for armed first responders to attempt to neutralise any shooters.
Why this didn’t happen at the Mandalay Bay is yet another question that the ongoing police investigation will have to address.
However, the flow of information has reduced considerably since the second half of October, which has done nothing to dampen speculation.
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