Las Vegas police released body-cam video that revealed the drama while police officers sought to detect the location of the gunman responsible for killing 59 persons from his perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino hotel on October 1. While police crouched behind a cinder-block wall, the video recorded the sounds of sirens and rapid gunfire as people yelled, "They're shooting right at us." Officers shouted, "Go that way!"

Police say that the deranged Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada, had an arsenal of rifles at his disposal in his room from which he opened fire on a music festival crowd on the ground across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. His female companion was called back from The Philippines for questioning as to any fore-knowledge of the shooting. He checked into the hotel on Thursday with 23 firearms, according to police.

Paddock also rigged at least one video camera just outside the door to his room, apparently to be forewarned of the arrival of police officers. A police SWAT arrived about 70 minutes after the first reports of shooting and blasted the door down. They found that Paddock had taken his own life, but not before firing through the door at them. The firing by Paddock commenced at about 10:08 pm and ended at about 10:19 pm.

"I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody," Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. Lombardo said there was a camera on a food service cart in the hallway. "FBI took all digital and electronic evidence into custody," Lombardo added.

On Monday, Lombardo could not provide a motive for Paddock's actions. "I can't get into the mind of a psychopath," Lombardo said at a news conference. Paddock is believed to have been solely responsible for the attack, according to police. "This individual was premeditated," Lombardo said on Tuesday. "I'm sure he evaluated everything he did in his actions, which is troublesome."

"The world has changed. And, you know, who would have ever imagine this situation," Lombardo said. "I couldn't imagine it. And for this individual to take it upon himself to create this chaos and harm is unspeakable."

In addition to the weapons discovered at the hotel, police found 19 additional firearms and explosive material at his home in Mesquite. Police said five handguns and two shotguns were also found at the suspect's home in northern Nevada. Bomb-making materials were also found in Paddock's car. 

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Monday, "I don't know if I have words to describe what we are going through. ... We are angry, we are grieving, we are confused. People are hurting." At the news conference, Sandoval said, "To the people at the concert, you see courage and compassion there." Sandoval said, "People helping total strangers. Risking their own lives to help people. That really speaks highly to the character of America. "

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt said at a news conference, "When you see one of these men and women who are wearing a badge, tell them, 'Thank you.' Their selfless actions saved the lives of hundreds of people. Not a dozen, but hundreds of people. This death count would have been many hundred more were it not for [their] brave work."



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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