CRIME
05/03/2018 08:31 am ET Updated May 03, 2018

Bodycam Video Of Police Entering Las Vegas Shooter's Hotel Room Finally Released

A Nevada Supreme Court has ordered Las Vegas police to release bodycam footage and audio from 911 calls from the night of the deadly rampage.

Warning: The videos may be disturbing to some viewers.

Las Vegas police released body camera footage on Wednesday showing officers entering Stephen Paddock’s 32nd-floor hotel suite on Oct. 1, 2017, about an hour after he opened fire on thousands of concertgoers, leaving 58 people dead and hundreds wounded.

The footage, provided to the media in eight segments, shows officers entering Paddock’s multi-room Mandalay Bay suite and finding the 64-year-old dead on the ground. Police also discovered multiple weapons strewn across the suite, as well as several cameras set up in and outside Paddock’s room.

“Breach, breach, breach,” a voice can be heard over the radio as officers took cover in a stairwell in the moments before entering Paddock’s suite. A loud bang is then heard.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said the sound came from explosives used by police to open Paddock’s door. Police have said previously that the door was breached at around 11.20 p.m., about an hour and 15 minutes after Paddock’s shooting rampage first began. The bodycam footage did not include timestamps.

The newly released footage also shows officers telling hotel guests elsewhere in the building to take shelter in their rooms.

“Lock the door,” one officer is seen telling a sleeping couple. “There’s someone shooting inside the casino.” 

According to the Review-Journal, the clips released Wednesday were taken from the body cameras of two K-9 officers, Sgt. Joshua Bitsko and David Newton. The SWAT officer who first breached Paddock’s room, Levi Hancock, reportedly did not activate his body camera. It’s unclear why Hancock failed to do so.

In the days after the shooting, Las Vegas police released a few minutes of bodycam footage showing officers helping concertgoers to safety as bullets rained down from Mandalay Bay. But the police department had resisted calls from the media to release additional bodycam footage and 911 calls from the night of the mass shooting.

On Friday, however, following a monthslong legal battle, a Nevada Supreme Court upheld a state judge’s ruling that the materials must be released.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters on Tuesday that the Las Vegas police department would be releasing more bodycam recordings, as well audio from the 911 calls and documents related to the mass shooting, in the coming weeks. He said he expected to release new materials weekly.

The sheriff denied suggestions that law enforcement was trying to “hide anything” related to the shooting, saying that cost considerations, as well as concerns about the potential trauma to those affected by the shooting, had been factors in the delayed release.

“I don’t know how this footage will be played in the media, but I want to warn you, if you are a survivor or a family who lost a loved one, you should know the video from this concert is disturbing and graphic,” Lombardo said, adding that he believed the release of the footage and other materials “will further traumatize a wounded community.” 

Lombardo said there were hundreds of hours of body camera footage from the night of the shooting, according to The Associated Press. He said, however, that none of it offered insight into the motive for the crime.

Police say Paddock, an amateur gambler, opened fire on about 22,000 concertgoers from his hotel room at around 10:05 p.m. on Oct. 1, killing dozens people and injuring more than 800 in the course of about 10 minutes. Police found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when they entered his room.

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