Frantic switchboard calls, geometry of fire, led police to killer on Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor

As the noises began, scores of confused guests pressed zero on their room phones almost all at once. The first callers asked about what sounded like a sustained burst of fireworks. Others wondered: Was it something else? The hotel operators realized that for callers on some floors, the popping was louder than for guests phoning in from others.

…Steve Sisolak, chairman of the Clark County Commission, said it was clear that the shots were coming from the Mandalay Bay and that the flashes were coming from the windows facing the Strip.

…Paddock set up remote video cameras, which streamed images through a tablet so he could see down the hall behind him as he fired into the audience below. Police found one camera on a room-service cart parked in the hallway awaiting pickup.

…One officer spotted what he described as a “strobe light” coming from midway up the hotel’s north tower.

At the time, Mandalay hotel security and the Las Vegas police were sorting through officer observations about the trajectory of the shots and what they were learning from the guest calls coming into the call center. Police officials say they concluded that the shooter was firing from a room between the 29th and 32nd floors.

…Probably alerted by the images of police approaching his suite at the end of a long hallway, Paddock fired numerous rounds through his door, hitting a hotel security guard who was clearing guest rooms one by one.

…“Were it not for the men and women of the police department and the security at Mandalay Bay to help triangulate that movement and get to the 32nd floor, the casualty toll would not be 59 people but in the hundreds,” Sisolak, the Clark County commissioner, said. “They saved hundreds of lives by their actions to find that room on the 32nd floor.”

Frantic switchboard calls, geometry of fire, led police to killer on Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor – The Washington Post



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