New photos leaked Tuesday, showing the horrifying scene SWAT teams encountered when they blew the door off the Las Vegas shooter’s room. Authorities also revealed that the murderer set up a camera on a room service cart outside the room to warn him when police arrived.
Photos obtained by local Boston affiliate Fox 25 and posted Tuesday offer a glimpse into the level of preparation by Paddock to carry out different styles of attacks in a frantic nine-minute window of alternating gunfire.
According to the Washington Post, one of the two images of rifles published by the station showed an AR-15 type rifle with a bump or slide fire modification, said Cody Wilson, director of Defense Distributed, which primarily sells a gun milling machine.
Bump fire stocks, first made by the company Slide Fire, are legal modifications to the lower receiver of rifles that simulate automatic fire. The modified stock harnesses the energy from recoil, forcing the firing mechanism to move faster than originally designed, according to the Trace, a nonprofit website that examines gun violence in the United States. Numerous videos online, including from Slide Fire, demonstrate the mechanics.
Another photographed weapon, however, shows a meticulous collection of accessories that indicate Paddock also readied himself for precision fire.
Behind a nearby pillar, about 15 magazines are piled in neat stacks. It’s unclear if they are loaded or spent.
A SWAT team located Paddock in his room about 72 minutes after the beginning of the deadly attack – but cops estimate he only fired on the crowd for nine minutes, starting at 10:08 pm. He allegedly had cameras set up in the hallway to let him know when law enforcement arrived – including one on a room service cart.
Police say he shot at officers as they breached the door, but by the time they made it into the suite, Paddock had committed suicide.
Paddock killed 58 in the attack and injured 527. His death brought the total death count to 59.
On Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said they had identified all but three of the victims, and that the injured county might be slightly off because one of the hospitals was double counting patients. However, he didn’t release a revised injured number.
In addition to the new photos, on Tuesday, a video was released showing debris strewn outside the shooter’s hotel room, from when the SWAT team blew the doors off the front door.
The video shows bullet holes piercing the left side of the suite’s double doors, confirming reports that Paddock shot at officers as they tried to break into the room. However, most of the door is knocked down from the SWAT team’s forceful – but necessary – entrance.
Earlier in the night, a security guard approaching the door had been shot in the leg by Paddock. He is currently in the hospital and in good condition.
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Lombardo confirmed that Paddock had cameras set up inside and outside of his room – including one on the food service cart but he refused to comment on whether the cameras inside the room were used by Paddock to capture the massacre.
In a Tuesday night conference, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said that another camera had been placed at the peephole of the door, giving a view of the corridor outside.
He added that an investigation was underway to find out who leaked the photographs.
Investigators are still struggling to determine what caused Paddock, a retiree with only a traffic infraction on his criminal record, to carry out the attack.
His girlfriend, Marilou Danley’s native Philippines, to whom he recently wired $100,000, has been considered a person of interest. She is now on her way back to the US for further interrogation.