US authorities have released more than 1200 reports featuring chilling witness accounts of survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting and staff who interacted with the gunman.
The Las Vegas Strip was “lit up like a fishbowl” when Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rounds of gunfire on a crowd of concertgoers on October 1, 2017, one witness said.
The police reports were made available after the Associated Press and other media outlets fought for their release in a public records lawsuit. All names were redacted.
‘Very loud drill’
Security guard Jesus Campos was shot in the left leg while attending to a dispatch call at about 10pm and told police he feared for his life.
The gunfire sounded like a “very loud drill,” he told Las Vegas police on October 4, 2017.
He was instructed to check an open door on the 32nd floor of the hotel but found a metal bracket had kept the door shut.
‘People dead everywhere’
A woman said she saw a man whose eyes were “wide open” and “lifeless” drop to the ground.
She thought bullets were being fired from helicopters and recalled having to jump over a dead body of a security guard to take shelter under a stage.
The woman then texted her sister-in-law, “OMG, there’s tons of gunshots and people dead everywhere.”
‘Couldn’t get through’
A resident inside the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock shot dead 58 people and injured about 500 others tried to call 911 but was redirected to the hotel’s security phone line, according to police records released on Thursday (Wednesday US time).
He told security the shooter appeared to be on the 30th floor of the hotel but reported waiting about 50 minutes before receiving a call from police, notifying him that they had located the shooter.
“I tried to tell somebody as fast as possible that he was in our area but I couldn’t get through,” he said.
‘It was embarrassing’
A housekeeper who tidied Paddock’s hotel room four days before the shooting rampage told police he made her feel uncomfortable.
As he was seated at a table and consuming soup, Paddock asked the woman to clean out the refrigerator and change the bed sheets.
But as she was doing so, the woman said Paddock stared at her and at one point asked “are you OK?”
She said she just needed to get some things from her cart.
The woman said the encounter made her feel embarrassed.
‘An odd guy’
A casino host, who reported chatting with Paddock on several occasions while he gambled, said the mass shooter was an “odd guy” who had a problem with his temper.
Paddock often spoke about travelling and gambling and once complained about it taking 20 minutes for his luggage to be delivered to his room, the host told police and the FBI last year.
He once stayed in a penthouse presidential suite and requested the same room during previous visits, the host said.