New Video From the Las Vegas Massacre: Officers’ First Reactions
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – July 26, 2018
Newly released Oct. 1 body camera footage has captured harrowing scenes from deep within the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds, including the moment a handful of officers realized a mass shooting was unfolding, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
The eight videos released Wednesday marked the 12th court-ordered release since May of Metropolitan Police Department audio, video and documents from the massacre, which left 58 concertgoers dead and hundreds more injured.
The clip in question begins in the festival’s medical tent, where at least three officers are finishing up a medical call. The sound of continuous popping can soon be heard in the background.
At first, no one reacts. But a few seconds later, a suddenly bewildered-looking officer starts moving his radio closer to his ear — the first sign that something isn’t right.
“Jesus Christ, that was real?” another officer asks moments later. “That was real?”
Without an answer, the group jerks toward the exit, jogging into a clearly confused crowd.
The next several minutes are a blur of screams, long bouts of booming gunfire and the bright lights of the Strip that sometimes shake into view. The officer with the camera orders people to keep moving, helping as many as she can along the way.
“Let’s get them out,” she instructs other officers after realizing the shots were coming from Mandalay Bay. “Let’s just work on getting people out. We’re not going to be able to get this guy.”
The videos released Wednesday amounted to nearly eight hours of footage. Most were recorded from inside Mandalay Bay or throughout the festival grounds. Another 1,5 hour video was published this Monday.
One clip captured footage from a nearby flood tunnel, where officers worked to evacuate several people.
“Let’s go, pep in that step,” an officer shouts to those in the wash as they collect their belongings. “People are dying.”
Two other videos show officers working to evacuate the festival grounds sometime after the gunfire ended.
In one video, they order a man walking into the venue to turn around and exit. He explains that he is looking for someone.
“I understand,” the officer says. “They’re not in here.”
“Are you sure?” the man asks.
“Yes,” the officer replies. “And if they are here, you do not want to see them. I guarantee that. Come on.”
Behind the stage, groups of officers worked to evacuate people taking shelter in trailers and tour buses, including a group of 18 people and an infant.
In what appears to be a catering tent nearby they found one man hiding alone.
“I just did an active shooter class — literally — online,” the man says, speaking to the shock of it all.
The officers ask the man if he saw how the shooting started.
“I- I- I was to the right of the stage,” the man replies, his voice starting to break. “And they were shoo- He was shooting. And I said it was a joke in front of everybody. I said it was a joke.”
He burst into tears as he tried to speak.
The woman to the left of him had been hit. He grabbed his wife and child and tried to hide. They got separated, but were OK. He had been there hiding ever since.
The officers briefly comforted him, then escorted him toward an exit.
Police previously released more than 3,000 pages of witness statements and officer reports, as well as 911 calls and additional body camera footage. A Review-Journal examination of those records found that many officers experienced communication problems during the mass shooting response.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said a final report on the massacre will be released by the end of the month.
The final report, the Sheriff promises, will detail everything investigators know about Paddock, his actions, and his interactions. He remains the lone suspect.
Ever since the bullets stopped, critics have scrutinized the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's response. LVMPD's officers did not enter Paddock's room until his firing was over.
In his interview last month Lombardo told News 3, that they arrived at Paddock’s room as soon as they could.
“I believe their response was robust. I believe it was timely and it was of quality,” Lombardo says, telling News 3 as the firing began officers had a difficult job of determining where the gunfire was coming from. Once they arrived in Paddock’s hallway, "our officers had concern for their safety, too, upon entry of that door. Is there 20 people behind the door gonna be fired upon as they enter?"
Will we find out the shooter's motive?
“The answer to that is no. At this point, it's no. I don't see anything in the near future that would change my statement,” Lombardo says, adding that “there’s some information that we believe that his mental state was degrading.”
In January 2018 LVMPD has released a preliminary Investigative report of the incident.