How police zeroed in on the Las Vegas gunman

Investigators say he "cased" several other venues, plotting to carry out similar attacks.

(USA TODAY) - The worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history begins during a music festival on a Sunday night in Las Vegas.

During the final performance, a gunman with weapons stockpiled in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino starts shooting into the crowd below.

Police working at the Route 91 Harvest Festival respond and converge on the shooter's position.

In the 10 minutes before the gunman shoots himself, he kills 58 people and wounds 489 on the grounds below.

This is how the incident unfolded (all times Pacific):

Sept. 28: The gunman checks in

Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev., checks into room 135 on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, bringing “in excess of 10 suitcases” to the two-room suite. 

Oct. 1: Paddock takes aim at concert-goers

An estimated 22,000 people are attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, spread across a 15-acre concrete lot. Country singer Jason Aldean is performing the final act when the shooting starts. A security fence stops people from getting in — but also prevents people from getting out.

10:05-10:08 p.m.: The gunman smashes two outside windows and begins firing on the crowd. A police dispatcher receives the first reports.

Police zero in on the Mandalay Bay casino

There is still confusion about whether the shots are coming from Mandalay Bay, the Luxor or even from within the festival grounds.

“We’re seeing multiple flashes in the middle of Mandalay Bay, on the north side,” one officer says, over the radio.

10:12 p.m.: Two officers arrive on the 31st floor and report gunfire is coming from directly above them.

10:15 p.m.: Gunfire ceases. No one, however knows the shooting is over.

Rescue efforts begin at concert

10:16 p.m. Officers ask for medical help at a Giles Road and Reno Avenue. Meanwhile, other officers are pinned down against the east side wall of Las Vegas Boulevard, along with 40 to 50 people.

 

Officers approach gunman's room

10:17 p.m.: Two officers and a hotel security officer arrive on the 32nd floor and approach the shooter's room.

10:18 p.m.: The gunman shoots through his suite door, hitting the hotel officer in the leg.

10:26-10:30 p.m.: Eight more officers arrive on the 32nd floor and begin systematically clearing every room down the hall using a master key from the injured hotel officer.

A virtual tour of the "Vista" suite similar to where Paddock stayed. Note the layout is reversed from Paddock's room.

10:55 p.m.: The eight officers reach the stairwell closest to the suspect’s room.

11:20 p.m.: Police set off a breach — an explosive charge to break down the door — and officers enter the room. They observe the shooter down on the floor and notice a second door they can not access.

11:27 p.m.: Officers set off a second breach to access the second room. They see it is empty. Officers report the suspect is down.

Police later identify Paddock as the gunman. At least 23 weapons, many of them rifles ranging in caliber from .308 to .223, are later found in the room, along with two tripods positioned near windows. Another 19 guns will be found at Paddock's home, along with Tannerite explosive used in firearms practice.

Source: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department briefing

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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