Police Officers Waited Nearly Five Minutes In A Hallway During The Las Vegas Shooting, Video Shows
"Holy shit, that's rapid fire. Right above us. Right above us."
Newly released body camera footage from the October mass shooting in Las Vegas shows that two police officers waited in a hotel hallway one floor below the shooter for nearly five minutes, as a torrent of gunfire sprayed over the crowd at a music festival below.
Handguns drawn, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers can be seen in the video walking rapidly down the hallway of the 31st floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino alongside hotel security guards, after learning that another guard had been shot on the floor above them.
"Holy shit, that's rapid fire," one of the officers says, apparently reacting to the sound of gunshots. "Right above us. Right above us."
Both of the officers and the security guards stop and then take cover in the hallway, apparently holding their positions while a volley of gunshots can be heard off camera.
The videos, released by the Las Vegas Police Department Wednesday, show that the two officers appear to have been inside the hotel when the shooter, Stephen Paddock, began firing on the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street. Fifty-eight people were killed and another 800 were injured in the massacre, which lasted for 10 minutes on the night of Oct. 1.
The officers can be seen rushing across the casino floor as radio traffic reports that multiple people had been shot at the music festival. The officers then learn that there is an active shooter on the 32nd floor, where Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos has been shot by Paddock through a hotel room door.
Having arrived on the 31st floor, the officers head toward a stairwell, but the sound of the gunfire appears to prompt them to take cover. "Holy fuck," one of the officers says when he hears the sound of shots above him.
The group continues down the hallway and nears the door to a stairwell, but someone can be heard saying, "stop, stop, stop!" before they open the door.
One of the officers can then be heard relaying his position and informing police dispatch that the gunfire is coming from the floor above.
"Be advised, it is fully automatic fire from an elevated position — take cover," someone can then be heard saying over the radio.
In the hallway, one of the officers tells the group to "back the fuck up," as the five men back away from the door to the stairwell and hold their positions. At this point, gunfire can still be heard through the body camera.
The footage is not timestamped, so it is not clear at what point in the shooting the officers decided to take cover. According to a timeline released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Paddock fired his first shot at 10:05 p.m. and continued to fire hundreds of rounds into the crowd until 10:14 p.m.
Among those who were shot and injured that night was Las Vegas Police Officer Brady Cook, who was wounded in the left arm after he and other officers were pinned down by gunfire across the street from the hotel.
"Every officer's actions that night are being evaluated," Laura Meltzer, public information officer for the police department, told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
The department, however, did not respond to questions about why the officers chose to wait rather than move toward the shooter's location.
"One of the things Sheriff [Joseph] Lombardo has said from the beginning is that this is an ongoing investigation," Meltzer said. "Part of that investigation is the evaluation of the performance, actions, and conduct of every officer and civilian employee involved in the incident."
According to the department's timeline, the two officers reached the stairwell door on the 32nd floor at 10:16 p.m., but found that it had been barricaded by the shooter.
Police did not breach the door and enter the hallway until 10:57 p.m.