October 10th, 2017

Messing with the Las Vegas shooting timeline

This news sure isn’t going to engender a lot of trust in the police’s competence and/or veracity:

The gunman in the Las Vegas massacre first shot a hotel security officer about six minutes before opening fire on an outdoor concert, a new revelation in the timeline of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Jesus Campos, who was injured in the leg during the shooting, investigated “sounds of drilling” coming from the 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay resort where killer Stephen Paddock was staying, authorities said at a late-afternoon press briefing.

Paddock, who had an arsenal of rifles and ammunition in his room, was drilling holes through a wall in preparation for his well-planned attack, which included not only firing bullets at the concert-goers below, but also the planting of at least 50 pounds of explosives in his car.

Moments later, Campos was shot in the leg by Paddock, an injury he would survive. The time of the shooting was 9:59 p.m. Las Vegas time — about six minutes before Paddock began spraying bullets into the crowd. He killed 58 and injured nearly 500 before fatally shooting himself as police closed in.

It’s very confusing, because Campos had been previously described by police as a hero who helped stop the slaughter by interrupting Paddock while he was killing concertgoers, diverting the shooter’s attention from the carnage he was creating. Where did police get that earlier information, and how did they get it so wrong? From Campos? From someone else? What caused them to revise the information, and how sure are they that they’ve got it straight now? If they don’t do that, they run the risk of having people disbelieve everything they say. And because there already were plenty of people who disbelieve everything the police say, the omission of the details of the reason for the change of information given out by police is glaring (at least, I havn’t been about to locate any of these details).

The old timeline made a certain amount of sense. The new one does not; at least not yet, with such incomplete information. Why the six minute pause before Paddock began to shoot in the direction of the concert? What was Paddock doing during those six minutes? Or had he just not fully set up his sniper’s nest yet? My guess is that they haven’t a clue.

And why didn’t Campos get any effective backup after being shot through the door and being the target of about 200 bullets? Did he lack the ability to radio anyone or even to use a cell phone to call anyone? Are security guards put on the job at this hotel without any modern communication devices of the sort that most civilians carry on their person at all times? Or was the hotel informed, and someone down the line failed to call the proper authorities? Or were the proper authorities just slow in coming? According to the new timeline, when was Campos located by police? Had Paddock not yet begun to shoot at the crowd, or had he already started the massacre, or was all the shooting over and was everything silent at the time? And if Paddock hadn’t yet begun the mass murdering when the police found Campos in the hallway, what summoned those police in the first place? The sound of the gunfire at Campos? Was everything quiet by the time they got there? If so, why did they wait for the arrival of the SWAT team to storm the room? And if they waited because they thought the shooting at Campos (that had already ended) was all the shooting that was going to occur during the entire incident, why did they think that? And surely, once Paddock re-commenced shooting (this time at the crowd, although they wouldn’t have known that was his target), wouldn’t they have been disabused of the notion that all the shooting was over?

In other words, were they completely unequipped to do business with an active shooter? Did they fire at Paddock at all? If not, why not? Were they fearful that innocent people were in the room with him and might be harmed by police gunfire? But if he was actively shooting, why would they not think it better to fire at him, despite the possible presence of others, than to allow him free reign to do whatever he might be doing as an active shooter?

And when did the SWAT team get there? Who summoned them? The original explanation—that police arrived as the shooting all stopped and the massacre was over, and that they thought they could take their time for that reason—made some sense. But it falls apart if they had actually arrived before the massacre and then heard Paddock start firing again, or if they had arrived in the middle of the massacre.

And, as before, there are still the questions of why Paddock stopped shooting and at what time he killed himself and why.

There’s little doubt that the process of getting information from the police department to the public about the Las Vegas shooting has been a mess. And it sounds to me as though the investigation itself has been a mess. That’s very unfortunate, because there already were enough mysteries and conspiracy theories being generated to fill a book, or several books, most of them by Tom Clancy.

Police also have now changed the timeline of when Paddock checked into the hotel, saying it was three days earlier than they had originally stated, so that he’d been there about a week prior to the killings. Authorities also have located about 200 surveillance video photos of Paddock around Las Vegas during that time, and in the photos he is always alone.

I can’t fault anyone who doubts nearly all of the information coming from police at this point. Personally, however, I believe that it’s almost always incorrect to ascribe to conspiracy that which could be explained by incompetence.

[NOTE: Another point on which I’d love to have some clarification but so far have found none: what type of police are we talking about at the different points on the timeline? In other words, if Campos was shot first and was an unarmed security guard, when did the first armed police arrive? Were they members of the general Las Vegas police force, or are we talking about armed security guards at the hotel? If the latter, was it a private security detail, and what was their training about how to deal with an active or inactive shooter? When did the SWAT teams arrive? Who called them?

I would expect each tier of security to have different reactions and training for an active and/or inactive shooter situation. But the information I’m getting on this is both sparse and confused.]

23 Responses to “Messing with the Las Vegas shooting timeline”

  1. TommyJay Says:

    Thanks for the info.

    This clear things up considerably for me. Why did he have those explosives that weren’t set up to do anything? Why did he shoot ineffectually into the jet fuel tanks? Why wasn’t Campos visibly in the media? (Plus others questions.) Because Campos interrupted the execution of Paddock’s plan, and didn’t stop the shooting as originally claimed.

    The time from Campos being shot to the arrival of police is perhaps about 16 min. Pretty typical for even a rapid response. There must have been a few armed hotel security people for fast response. But imagine… Campos radios that some nut-job fired 200 rounds of automatic fire at me and I’m hit. Are YOU going to take that on with a hand gun?

    200 rounds from a bump-fire AR type weapon, and one injury. Hello inaccuracy. If killing Campos was the objective, a standard AR-15 would have been better. If scaring the crap out of follow on security and police was the objective, then the simulated automatic fire was very smart.

    The other scary thing was that the wireless webcam WAS used to great effect and the serious problem that a steel hotel door posed. The steel is thin enough that bullets go right through. But the door and the bolt is tough enough to stop almost any battering.

    Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn was been warning people for a while that the standard Las Vegas security was a disaster waiting to happen. True that.

  2. Griffin Says:

    This is a perfect example of how conspiracy theories take hold. The authorities come out with a reasonable scenario then after a period of time they come out with another seemingly less plausible scenario and now we are supposed to believe that.

    The nature of this shooter and this whole investigation are perfect for long term conspiracy theories.

  3. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Slightly off-topic: I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio this morning. There was to be yet another program regarding the shooting in which, the voice said, “Paddock killed 58 people and wounded over 500 more.” Wounded?

    The take-away for the weak-minded and un-informed is that over 500 more people were hit by bullets from Paddock’s guns. Which makes the aforesaid people even more afraid of scary rifles.

    However, even the WaPo stories specified that many people were injured in the panic to escape; climbing over fences, falling, and in some cases, being trampled.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    Well, this simply reinforces my opinion that every law abiding citizen should have the option for armed self-protection if they choose that route. I never believed that the police could/would respond in time to prevent a lethal attack.

    Now, it seems that they are slow to respond even after 200 shots are fired in a major hotel.

  5. LCB Says:

    Perhaps the concert shooting wasn’t the plan? And the guard being at the door caused him to “wing it”. The big question then becomes, did he break the glass windows before he shot at the guard, or not until he shot the guard.

    FYI, SOP for Vegas casino security is to wait for police during active shooting situations. Then may have been in the hall to keep the shooter in his room, but they would NOT have engaged. SOP may need to change.

  6. RT Stephenson Says:

    I guess we are to now believe that Las Vegas doesn’t have all the CCTV that we thought it had. Otherwise we would have known by now all of the shooters comings and goings. Whether he went to the parking garage or to the slots or to the blackjack tables or if anyone else went to his room or met up with him. Or someone is holding back information or lying altogether.

  7. Frog Says:

    What this whole to-do shows is that more chatter leads to more confusion. We are awash in a sea of chatter. Usually, repetitive, mindless, ignorant, laced with speculation babble.

    Much chatter is just plain stupid. I’ve seen a lot of media chatter about the cops being unable to come up with a motive for Paddock’s acts. My conclusion is that a motive or motives does not matter. His was an act of evil, and I am happy, so to speak, to leave it there. I do not consider Paddockians “sick or “mentally ill”, because I/we then have a duty to try to heal them.

    Evil is out of my hands. It just exists. I feel no duty to understand it, beyond understanding the logic for its existence, and that is a spiritual journey.

  8. Romey Says:

    I believe too much is invested in “why”, when knowing “how” is enough to proceed with measures to counter act potential action in the future.

  9. groundhog Says:

    I didn’t hear why the story changed. Did the security guard change his story or did the police change the timeline after reviewing it.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “There’s little doubt that the process of getting information from the police department to the public about the Las Vegas shooting has been a mess.” neo

    Incompetence? Or…

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, once we start to deceive” Sir Walter Scott

    IMO, to suggest this much incompetence on such basic procedures goes far past the point of credulity.

  11. parker Says:

    While reluctant to believe in conspiracy theories, this massacre certainly suggests a conspiracy. I can’t wire $10,000 plus to one of my children without the feds poking their noses into my business. I call BS on this FBI ‘investigation’. And, why is the FBI involved?

    This should be a local, or at the most state investigation. Nothing crossed state lines. At first, I thought there was at least a whiff of a possible international terrorism involved to bring in the FBI. Within 48 hours there was a declaration that no international terrorist organizations were involved. So why is the FBI still on the ‘case’?

  12. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    This whole investigation has been just plain weird from the get-go: the timeline already made no sense.

    In regards to SOP, in most places (post-Columbine), in the event of an Active Shooter the training is now to link up with other officers (at least one but hopefully more than that) and begin clearing the building/room/area. Waiting for SWAT was the old procedure. But the lesson learned at Columbine was that the loss of life was too great while waiting. Outcomes were better when officers were trained to take the initiative on the shooter(s).

    The time gap (I think 2218hrs to 2333hrs) is damned odd. Why? Because given the loss of life going on outside, why wait roughly an hour for SWAT to arrive and blow the door? (Especially, given the above change in tactics)

    Is it because it actually took that long to assemble them? (That would be shocking enough; Las Vegas isn’t a podunk town w/o a SWAT presence who has to wait for neighboring agencies)

    Is it because they feared for the officers’ safety, given the fire taken by Campos? Plausible but I’ve known guys on teams who would have given the go ahead regardless. Its what those guys live for and they understand the risks.

    And then, to add this new wrinkle with Jesus Campos into the mix…

    I know that we should always assume incompetency before evil motives…but, man. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear TPTB were deliberately lying to us.

    And then, as Instapundit says (or someone he quotes frequently) we might consider, “Embrace the healing power of AND.”

  13. Terrence Condolini Says:

    i bet not one reporter has bothered to check the public records to see just what kind of money paddock made off real estate. if any.

  14. parker Says:

    After so much incompetence by the FBI, the supposedly top most investigative LEO in the nation, what is left beyond cover up? This is a cover up. No one in this era no one even little oh me in flyover country leaves a digital trail.

    Heck, my and your comments are stored on a NSA server. Same goes for phone calls and the mail delivered by the USPS is scanned. There is no privacy, it was taken away in the last century. Paddock is not a mystery to the feds. BS is BS.

  15. The Other Chuck Says:

    Frog:

    Amen to everything you said, and especially:

    His was an act of evil, and I am happy, so to speak, to leave it there. I do not consider Paddockians “sick or “mentally ill”, because I/we then have a duty to try to heal them.

  16. The Other Chuck Says:

    Parker, if there appears to be a cover up there may be legitimate reasons. If they are pursuing leads which could implicate terrorist organizations or foreign countries, or could net the arrest of and stop future terrorists, then it makes sense. There are also mixed jurisdictions here which can cause a mess. Look no further than Congress and the Special Prosecutor investigating Russian influence in our elections, with the underlying and unstated theme of “get Trump.”

    If Paddock is a lone shooter without an easily discernible motive, it makes it all the more likely they will not want to accept that such an evil act could just happen. It’s the reason we are still trying to explain the Holocaust, to make sense of unmitigated evil.

  17. TommyJay Says:

    Numerous officials have said that Vegas hotels have both armed and unarmed security. But it dawned on me, that these hotels are casinos first and hotels second. That means that the armed security are there to protect the cash, and perhaps chips that can be used as cash in many cases.

    So would they ever send armed security to a hotel room? Perhaps, but I’m sure they would avoid being suckered into depleting their bank security in the process.

    The police have an obligation to give accurate information to the public, eventually. The casino/hotel and their security don’t. The security force’s obligation is to not cost the company needless expenses, not trigger expensive law suits, and not harm the company’s reputation.

    The police can accidentally shoot bystanders and juries will cut them plenty of slack, as the NYPD has demonstrated repeatedly. Security people are just citizens with gun permits. Every bullet that flies through the open or closed hotel door that doesn’t hit something substantial, will fly out the window onto the strip, with your barrel signature on it.

    I have little knowledge of how SWAT really operates, but the following would seem to be obvious: They study and prep for scenarios like this one and are best suited for it. They need a few minutes to gear up when the call comes in. They only get called when things are really bad, so they respond with caution. So necessarily, in this situation or the one in Orlando, they are much too slow to be extremely effective.

    I’m not trying to make excuses, but the mess of misinformation and the reality of the professional response to Paddock, once we discover it, is predictably not excellent.

  18. parker Says:

    Well Other Chuck, I agree with you. But why come out and say “no connections” so quickly? Why not simply say “still under investigation”? This is obviously a tangled story, not quickly unraveled. It is the speed of the definitive statement under 48 hours that doesn’t smell right to me.

  19. The Other Chuck Says:

    Parker, yes that statement excluding terrorist connections coming so soon without anytime to investigate raises a flag. I was bothered by it also. It’s seems almost like a politically correct reflex that’s instilled into them.

  20. J.J. Says:

    Never underestimate the possibility of human error when trying to understand the official narrative. Or the Clouseau effect. Not every cop is top notch. And what we have seen from the FBI in recent years makes us wonder about that agency as well. It is entirely possible that there is a huge intelligence operation going on behind the scenes to find the ISIS connection. I’m not holding my breath on that prospect, however.

    It’s maddening that the good guys aren’t always infallible, but that’s what we have to live with – human fallibility. A reason for the Second Amendment and the right to self defense.

  21. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “It’s maddening that the good guys aren’t always infallible, but that’s what we have to live with – human fallibility.” J.J.

    I for one am not expecting infallibility. Just a basic level of competence. This is not rocket science. It’s the level of competence we expect from a plumber, electrician, or airline pilot…

    The FBI and major city LEOs are professionals who spend innumerable hours, days, weeks and years practicing and honing their craft. At that level, making an utter hash of getting the basic facts straight isn’t just inexcusable, it’s ludicrous.

    It’s intentional and originates at high levels. And intentionality always has a purpose, a goal. And in this case, identification of that purpose is easy, just look at what is demanded in reaction to this attack… Gun Control.

  22. Ymar Sakar Says:

    With CAIR controlling FBI training, they couldn’t find a terrorist if they wanted to…

  23. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I told you about the false flags, GB. Doesn’t need to be now. But soon.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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